2016 Lehigh Valley Awards

Multimunicipal Project Winner


Animal Control Program

Slate Belt Council of Governments




• Borough of Bangor

• Borough of Pen Argyl

• Borough of Portland

• Borough of Wind Gap

• Northampton County

• Slate Belt Council of Governments

• Lower Mount Bethel Township

• Plainfield Township

• Upper Mount Bethel Township

• Washington Township


Responding to Pennsylvania State Law requiring all communities to care for stray dogs, the members of the Slate Belt Council of Governments (COG) worked together to hire an animal control officer to serve all participating Slate Belt municipalities. Implementation of this program began on June 15, 2016, and feedback from the public, communities and municipalities has been extremely positive. The benefits of this collective approach have included improved public safety, more humane care of stray animals, greater cost effectiveness, and the relief of local police departments from animal control duties. Building upon this effort, the Slate Belt municipalities are now proactively working towards crafting an ordinance addressing the issue of feral cats, which is currently not addressed in state law. The Slate Belt’s collective approach can provide a model for other communities and has already generated interest from other COG’s in the state regarding the startup and implementation of similar programs.


Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

961 Marcon Boulevard - Suite 310

Allentown, PA 18109

Phone: (610) 264-4544

Toll Free: (888) 627-8808