Snakes and feral cats draw complaints in Scott

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Complaints about feral cats and snakes have Scott commissioners considering additional control measures.

Within the past few weeks, issues with feral cats have been reported in Glendale, and concerns about a house with more than 20 large snakes have alarmed residents on Meadowlark Drive. Some of the snakes are pythons.

Roy Hayward, one of four full-time animal control officers with South Hills Cooperative Animal Control, told commissioners Tuesday that Scott has an ordinance regulating animals running at large. Dogs are covered by state law, but cats are not — except that they must be vaccinated for rabies by 3 months of age.

He also said the Humane Society and Animal Friends are working to get all furry animals protected against rabies.

Scott 's ordinance states that cats cannot roam freely. That ordinance could come into play in Glendale, where a resident is caging and feeding feral cats.

As for the snake problem, Mr. Hayward said the Pennsylvania Fish Commission has no jurisdiction over snakes that are not native to Pennsylvania.

Solicitor John Vogel said a letter has been sent to the snake owner advising him that constricting and poisonous snakes are detriments to public health. An ordinance also could be enacted that requires anyone with more than five animals to get a kennel license.

When Commissioner Bill Wells pointed out that Brownsville has an ordinance regulating wild or exotic animals, Mr. Vogel responded that he would look into that legislation.

Jeff Cooper, who owns several houses on Center Street but lives elsewhere in the township, said he first noticed evidence of feral cat problems in March 2011. Residents are cleaning up cat excrement and are afraid to let their kids outside to play or to put furniture out, he said.

Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer:

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