“Why must I feel like that, why must I chase the cat?”

Sometimes, the stories write themselves. Here’s a mash up of statements from 3 separate articles on the animal control conundrum in Delaware County and Chester City.

The county, after shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars, wants out of the animal shelter business for good.

The Delaware County SPCA stopped taking in strays in 2012, which sparked a frantic search for a viable alternative. Delaware County Council established the Animal Protection Board and contracted with the Chester County SPCA (since changed to the BVSPCA) to provide shelter services.

…an annual fee of $2,000 per municipality for Animal Protective Services must be paid or else the BVSPCA will have “no obligation to provide any service.” The contract also calls for a monthly maintenance fee of $500 for staffing, vehicles and equipment; a $50 activity fee for picking up the stray animal; $250 to shelter dogs or $150 for cats; a $150 emergency fee for all after-hours services; and the possibility of a 3 percent increase every year.

“We’re a year behind on payments from our bad municipalities,” Razzi said, who outed Chester, Yeadon, Eddystone and other municipalities behind tens of thousands of dollars in payments.

“Chester City owes $35,000 … soon Brandywine Valley will just cut them off,” Razzi said.

…the county, tired of footing the bill for something that is really not its problem, has washed its hands of the situation, telling municipalities they would now have to fend for themselves.

The city of Chester has placed its animal control operations in the hands of Justice Rescue.

Justice Rescue Humane Officer Russ “Wolf” Harper said the city owes the group $30,000 for four months of services dating back to April, but he would accept an immediate payment Monday of $22,500 – the amount he submitted in an invoice dated July 1 for three months of services and now overdue — to resume around-the-clock animal control services for the city.

…when the city approached him four months ago and asked for full-time animal control coverage by Justice Rescue, Harper said he knew he could not do the work for free. At that time, according to Harper, a single individual “who was not trained, licensed or capable of handling the stray load” was employed as the city’s animal control officer, working Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In the employee’s absence, the city’s animals were left helpless “and that’s the reason Justice Rescue wanted to help,” he said. “It’s not a job we ever wanted to accept. But without Justice Rescue, these animals have nothing.”

Justice Rescue was supposed to meet with city officials on Monday to settle their differences, but there’s been no update that I’ve seen.

I can almost hear the anger from Justice Rescue Humane Officer Russ “Wolf” Harper in the article.

He’s probably humming…‘It’s nothing but the dog in me.’