HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – So broke that it was considering having police officers shoot stray dogs, Pennsylvania‘s capital city Harrisburg is reconsidering the policy in the wake of public anger.
Harrisburg lacks the money to pay an animal shelter to take in strays, so its police department issued a memo last month giving officers the option of shooting dangerous dogs and dropping their carcasses at a state Department of Agriculture loading dock.
Police have yet to take that extreme measure and controversy generated by dog-lovers has led to a reconsideration of the policy, a city official said on Wednesday.
New guidelines could be in place by Thursday, but city officials declined to reveal exactly what they would say.
Facing a growing debt an unable to pay back bondholders who financed the repair and retrofit of a city incinerator, Harrisburg attempted to declare bankruptcy only to have the bid struck down by a federal court last month.
The December 5 police memo directed officers to either offer the dogs for adoption to the person who called to report a stray, adopt the animals themselves, take them to an area where it would be safe to release them, or kill them.
The city’s Bureau of Law is now redrafting the memo at the request of the city