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N. Catty residents voice concerns over dogs

Tensions rose at the North Catasauqua Borough Council meeting Oct. 3 as a room full of community members expressed their concerns regarding two reportedly hostile dogs on Willow Drive.

“Every morning, I go out, and I have to look around,” North Catasauqua resident Eileen Lapsonsky told council members and others present. “I’m scared to death.”

Thirteen people signed in to speak on the topic. There was a strong police presence to protect all involved, as emotions ran high.

Since Sept. 9, the local police have dealt with two incidents of the dogs attacking people and domestic pets within the vicinity of Willow Drive. North Catasauqua Police Department shared information on these incidents in a Sept. 29 Facebook post.

Several reports were made to the police involving the same two unleashed dogs. A Reverse 911 call was initiated Sept. 9 requesting residents to shelter in place at their homes until the dogs could be located and contained. The dogs were later returned to the owners, and legal procedures have been started to have the dogs classified as “dangerous dogs” through the state.

Numerous incidents were brought up regarding the unleashed dogs. Neighbors wanted to know how the dogs got out in the first place and what precautionary measures were being taken to make sure they don’t get out again.

North Catasauqua Police Chief Christopher Wolfer said his department has gotten several calls, but, according to the law, the owners are entitled to a hearing before the dogs can be legally taken from them. The dog warden has been contacted.

“There is a state dog law that would take precedence over any ordinance the borough would try to pass,” council President Peter Paone said.

The two dogs have reportedly gotten loose more than once, chasing after people and creating fear in the community.

One woman was taken to the hospital and a woman’s cat was “mauled by the same two dogs that were terrorizing my neighborhood for years,” said the owner of the deceased cat, Simon.

“We got a dog that would freaking kill a kid,” one man alleged to council members and a crowd that filled the room.

“I think our blame is being placed at the wrong place,” borough resident Joe Weber said. “It’s not the dogs’ fault. It’s the owner’s fault.”

The family responsible for the dogs say they are getting death threats on social media and fear for their lives.

“I am now terrified that residents and nonresidents are encouraging one another to carry guns and shoot dogs if they are going to run out,” Councilwoman Jessica Cope said.

“I have people coming by, and I don’t appreciate the death threats,” said the owner of the dogs. “How you’re going to shoot my dogs. Did anyone actually think that while you’re aiming at a dog, you might actually shoot a child?”

“I can’t explain the fear that I have while I’m out trying to solve this issue,” said the owner’s daughter. “That I’m going to come home and my house is going to be on fire, with my mother inside. I am truly sorry and am trying to fix this situation.”

“We have a beautiful community, and we have trick or treat coming up,” said a community member at the meeting. “Please protect our community and our children.”

In other news, the Best of North Catasauqua AutumnFest and Car Show is scheduled for 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 9.

There are around 100 preregistered cars, and there will be entertainment for the whole family, including horseback riding, a craft tent, pumpkin decorating, a ventriloquist, bounce house, an obstacle course and police fingerprinting.

Trick-or-treat night is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Oct. 29. The rain date is set for Oct. 30.

PRESS PHOTO BY REBEKAH HAWK North Catasauqua Borough residents attend the Oct. 3 council meeting to voice concerns over two dogs that reportedly attacked people and domestic pets within the vicinity of Willow Drive.