A very worthy endeavor in Oxford
● By Steven Hoffman
Parks are wonderful assets to a community, and the more people who enjoy them, the better. That's especially true now, at a time when childhood obesity is on the rise and Americans are spending more time than ever indoors.
No child with a disability should have to sit on the sidelines and watch as a brother, a sister, or a friend spends the afternoon at play. Unfortunately, most parks with playground equipment currently can't offer anything for children with special needs.
Oxford Borough Council member Paul Matthews initially raised this as an issue at a borough council meeting last year, and he has spearheaded the effort to bring the new equipment to the park. When borough manager Betsy Brantner told the Oxford Rotary Club about the initiative, the Rotary Club decided to provide its assistance.
It is expected to cost between $40,000 and $50,000 to install the playground equipment for children with special needs right next to the regular playground equipment. We wish the Oxford officials good luck on this very worthy endeavor.
Time to break the chains
Most dog owners would never think of tethering their beloved family pets outside for long periods of time, but thousands of dogs are still regularly chained up. State lawmakers are considering Senate Bill 373, which would establish statewide restrictions on chaining dogs up and provide law enforcement officials with a useful tool to protect dogs from neglect and abuse.
The proposed legislation would:
Ensure that a dog is not chained up during times of inclement weather, including times of extreme cold and heat;
Establish minimum standards for the length and type of tether;
Ban the use of certain collars that pose a threat to the safety of dogs;
Ensure that dogs are only chained up long enough for the owner to complete tasks, and that the dogs are not left unattended and tethered for long periods of time.
Advocates for this legislation say that dogs that are chained up or kept in kennels for 24 hours a day are often deprived of most basic care, including being denied adequate amounts of food, water, and veterinary care. They are three times more likely to attack people and other animals.
More than 20 states and more than 200 jurisdictions already have legislation in place that regulates the chaining of dogs, and it's time for Pennsylvania to join the ranks. We encourage dog-lovers out there to contact their representatives in the State House and State Senate and tell them to support this legislation.