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West Mifflin council declaws proposed pet ordinances

A large crowd gathers before West Mifflin Borough Council on June 18, 2024.
Jeremy Scott
90.5 WESA
A large crowd gathers before West Mifflin Borough Council on June 18, 2024.

Cat and dog enthusiasts of West Mifflin will not be forced to rehome any of their pets, after all.

In front of a standing room-only crowd that spilled into the municipal building's lobby, borough council Tuesday night voted down two proposed animal-related ordinances, even before the scheduled public comment section of the meeting.

One of the bills would have capped the number of cats and dogs permitted in a household, while the other limited the number of chickens. Councilwoman Karen Santoro originally made a motion to table the bills, but after it became clear council had little desire to move forward with the legislation, she proposed voting both of them down.

"We do not want to take your pets. That is not on the table," she said.

To the cheers of the crowd, council voted against both measures. That effectively ended any chance in the foreseeable future the borough will limit the number of animals permitted in a household.

"Before there would be a new ordinance [proposal], it would go through a process which essentially takes about three months," explained council vice president Mike Moses. The bills, he said, "would have to be rewritten, go through the planning commission, be approved by the planning commission, recommended for council, [and] council would have a public hearing, before coming to a formal vote.

"At this point, I don't believe anyone at this table has any interest in revisiting this."

"There's not going to be any support to move forward with an ordinance like this," agreed Councilman John Inglis.

Santoro explained why she took the initiative to eliminate the proposals, which were brought before council by the planning commission after a dog-biting incident in the community.

Because the incident "just happened to be in my neighborhood, I got accused" of drafting the bills, Santoro said. "I did not write this ordinance."

Jeremy comes to Pittsburgh with a bevy of both commercial and public media experience, and many address changes along the way, including Parkersburg and Martinsburg, WV; Galena, AK; Cambridge and Coshocton, OH; and Peoria, IL. A native of Youngstown, OH, Jeremy is a proud alumnus of Ohio University, which is also where he got his first public radio experience (WOUB in Athens, OH).