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Plum Residents to Speak Out Against Dog Catcher

Plum Borough residents are planning to address council about the borough's contracted animal control services.

Plum Borough residents who aren't happy with how the current animal control services handles animals are expected to address council on Monday.

Since the end of August, residents throughout the east suburbs created a Facebook page called Stop Hoffman Kennels showing their displeasure with Hoffman Kennels of Delmont, which provides services to Plum, Oakmont, Verona and many other communities. The page has 1,315 "likes."

Several Plum residents already have signed a "Protect our Pets" petition—as of Friday night, it had 294 signatures.

Sandi Roach-Heller and Toni Soxman are among the Plum residents who are encouraging others to attend Monday's council meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. at the borough building.

The residents who are part of the group—there is one main group and several subgroups, including one in Plum—outline bad experiences with Hoffman Kennels, in which dogs have been mistreated, neglected and euthanized.

By law, Hoffman Kennels must keep a dog in its possession for 48 hours—not including weekends. Dogs that are not claimed within that time frame can be taken to a shelter or be euthanized.

"We would like to see the accountability of this contract changed for the benefit of the dog," Soxman wrote in a letter to the group. "We are asking our borough officials to look into this agreement with Hoffman Kennels and see where we can improve on the treatment of our beloved family pets.

"We need to have a better communication process that includes notifying owners that their dog has been picked up by Hoffman Kennels…Please help us speak for the animals who can not speak for themselves."

According to an article in the Plum Advance Leader, Gary Hoffman, owner of Hoffman Kennels, said he typically keeps dogs for a period longer than required and that he works with local animal shelters to place dogs. He also said it sometimes is hard to get a hold of some dog's owners.

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Reba's Pet Service September 08, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I don't know anything about Hoffman kennels and I have volunteered at shelters, worked at several local vets and been a advocate for animals for decades. If residents don't know where to call or how to get a hold of someone then how can they be reunited with there owners. Does Hoffman check for microchips, or call the local vets. Most clients call the vets in the area to see if a injured , stray was brought in. I hope the situation is resolved. the most important thing is the safety and well being of your pets. They are like family.
Reba's Pet Service September 08, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Anyone who looses a pet in the Plum Boro and surrounding areas can post a picture with information on my face book page under Reba Luvspets ... http://www.facebook.com/reba.luvspets I will do my best to spread the word of any lost or found pet.
Dale Walters September 09, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Hi Reba, thanks for posting, and for being a voice for pets. We're not sure if Hoffman checks for chips, or calls a local vet, or anything else. This, I feel, is part of the problem... there's no accountability. And thanks for sharing your FB page; we've included it on the StopHoffmanKennels page also. Here's hoping your efforts will help reunite pets with their families.
Athena September 09, 2012 at 12:54 PM
It is important to get a criminal back ground check on them and any pet sitters you use. Pets are family and need to be cared for as such and when lost they every effort needs to be made to have them reunited with their homes. I know a pet sitter who has agreed to watch a dog in her home while the owner is on vacation and then because the dog was annoying ,this local pet sitter who claims to love pets, kenneled the dog and still made a profit while the owner was unaware and the dog was scared.
Athena September 09, 2012 at 01:14 PM
It is crazy to know people who are in the business of caring for animals and claim to luv pets can be so heartless. Plum needs a new dog catcher and better pet sitters. I agree you need to get a criminal background, just because some one seems nice and has a few references does not mean they have morals. I would be horrified to learn I pay a women who had such experience with animals and seemed so caring actually kenneled my pup with out my knowledge. I know of a sitter who used to be a vet tech but got black listed so she started her own dog walking service but she not only cheats the client by only walking the dog around the block instead of the half hour or hour paid, but snoops and has even stolen from clients.
Reba's Pet Service September 09, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Dale, thanks for adding me, Checking for microchips are very important. My dogs have them along with there collars that have an I.D. tag with our phone and address on it... They have a lifetime licence so I never put that on there collar. People really need to make sure that Dogs have some sort of identification on it, People could bypass the dog catcher and Hoffman kennels completely if the dogs had I.D. Athena, That is so awful. I'm so very glad you bring awareness to such issues. I have been trying for the last few years to get that point across myself. Pet sitters just can't be people who have owned or love pets. Certain Education and requirements like insurance etc.. have to be met. I was a vet tech for many years. I have a DEGREE in Specialized veterinary medicine along with extra classes and courses taken in Pet CPR, emergency care and NSAIDS. I have worked at vet hospitals including AVETs, Banfield, and VCA and have years of experience working with peoples pets. Not many pet sitters out there have those qualifications so its WONDERFUL that you are helping spread the word of such unqualified people. We all need to ban together to help these animals. If you need any info on me and my pet services I have updated my website so check it out when you can at www.petsluvreba.com
Rachel September 09, 2012 at 01:24 PM
REBA, our pets luv you and I am so glad we found you. I know how much and hard you work from seeing your facebook post etc..to reunite lost pets with owners and also finding homes for strays. Thanks for all you do.
Athena September 09, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Reba, your right you have to have an education and insurance and be able to pass s criminal background. I will look into your services and background. I know a doctor and vet tech VCA, who should know you.well as they have been there 16yrs. Have to get the name of that black listed lady. People who cheat clients hurt our pets. Let's get the facts out there.
Reba's Pet Service September 09, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Yeah, Its awful Athena, A few months back I had to Fire a employee and her daughter who were great friends of mine because I had found out from clients that they were stealing dog food ( raw) to fatten up there boxer named Zues, funny too cause they have a mastiff named Athena...LOL That was just one of the many complaints also not walking dogs for full hour etc.. It was sad to have to fire her she was a Great friend but you have to do what you have to do these days. I thought with her being a friend of mine that she would work hard for me and be honest. Its sooo hard to find people you can trust. I know all the Dr.'s at VCA I worked there for a while, who do you see there? What are your pets names maybe I remember them?
Reba's Pet Service September 09, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Oh VCA has been there way longer than 15 years. About 2 times longer... What Dr. again do you see? Maybe we are talking about 2 different places there are several VCA's, there is one in Castle Shannon as well. There are a national chain like Banfield. Both great hospitals with high standards. I was the surgical tech at both places. I am a member of the Southwest Pet Sitters so I will ask a few of the other pet sitters in the area if they heard of another vet tech that was blacklisted. I am the only Vet tech I know of that pet sits so I think you may be wrong but I will look in to it for you. What is your contact info and if I find anything out I will let you know. Mine is on my website ( www.petsluvreba.com ) or facebook. http://www.facebook.com/reba.luvspets
Athena September 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Hi, Reba and I'm sorry to hear you had to go through that with a friend you're right it is very hard to find honest people that don't cheat or lie. that is why I think getting a criminal background check and calling around getting references from past employers is so important . Oh, I meant I know a doctor who has worked there for 16 years as well as a vet tech too its been there for 9. she told me about the lady who works there for a while a few years ago, right out of school and was let go blacklisted so this lady started her own pet care business, and has been known to do unscrupulous things. it is so nice that we can get this information out there and prevent someone from cheating another individual expecially when it comes to a family member like a dog or cat.
James F. Anker October 01, 2012 at 11:32 PM
My next door neighbor caught Mr. Hoffman trying to snare my dog (2year old boxer) off my back porch while he was on a dog run,tied up. Four different people saw him. 20 years ago they took my siberian husky off the same porch same dog run. My wife called his kennel five days in a row and they said there was no husky there. She went up to the kennel when she hung the phone up and he was there. They was trying to sell it. I believe if my neighbor did not stop him I would he not seen my dog again Try to take him to court for trying to steal the dog,but the cops told I had to file a report with the lady who hired him. Now I'm going u to do it. The reason he said he was taking him was he got one call saying the dog was always outside with no food or water and no shelter. He was on my back porch with a roof on it. I took him to the vet that night and the vet said that he was the most healthy boxer that she ever saw and any one in animal control could tell just by looking at him and if he tried to take him he has no business being in animal control. This happen on April 26 of this year. Jim. james112756@yahoo.com

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