Alligators found in Pa. Reservoir – is Economy to Blame?

By Becca Frankford –

After “pet” alligators were dumped in local reservoirs, municipal authorities are fearing the amount of pets dumped along the streets will increase around the Lancaster area due to the falling economy.

Shelters across Pennsylvania are seeing an increase in the number of pets being dumped at them. Workers there blame the economy. According to, the Animal Rescue of Berks County has seen and housed double the number of dogs this year than it did in all of 2010.

In Slickville, PA an alligator about five-feet long was found taking shelter in a local reservoir. The authorities around the county don’t believe the gator will last very long in the chilly water.

Kittens like these can be found in shelters across the country.

Berks County Animal Rescue and the York SPCA are no-kill shelters, which means that if over populated they will not kill any animals to help rid of the crowding.

With all the animals coming into these two shelters, chances for pets to survive is a lot lower with every new pet left behind. In Honesdale, Pa., a litter of puppies were dumped on the side of the road earlier this month.

Some factors include the rising price of pet food and the cost of taking a pet to the veterinarian being too high  for pet owners who are struggling with their own expenses. To help decrease the amount of dogs, cats and other friendly pets being dropped off, the Berks County shelter has offered to donate food to pet owners who can afford to buy it for their pets if asked.

In Harrisburg, tenants  Timothy Weltmer 44, and Michele Ryan 48, left 20 cats and kittens locked inside an apartment located on the first block of West St.

The landlord reported the cruelty act on July 13. When authorities arrived, eight cats were dead and two were emaciated. The couple is being charged with 69 counts each of animal cruelty, and 20 counts each for not vaccinating the cats and kittens for rabies. Weltmer and Ryan are being arraigned today, according to

The SPCA has reported 200 more animals coming in this year then the same time last year. York Dispatch reports high numbers of smaller dogs compared to big dogs being dumped at the shelters among York County. Berks County shelter is offering discounts on cat adoptions.