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Pearl River Schools Focused on Animal Policy

Pearl River Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Morgano said he will continue to focus more on the enforcement of the district's policy regarding animals on school property.

Twice this fall, dogs bit students in the Pearl River School district, including one on outside Pearl River Middle School. 

Pearl River Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Morgano recently sent out reminders of the district policy regarding animals on school grounds and addressed the issue again at Tuesday's school board meeting.

"I like dogs. I've always had dogs," Morgano said. "I don't bring them to work or on other people's property. We really have an issue with dogs on school property in Pearl River. We will increase our signage. We have to protect kids who are at risk by dogs attacking them.

"No dog is 100 percent trustworthy. As a person who has always had dogs, I can tell you that."

According to the district policy, pets of all kinds are not allowed on school district property in most cases. This includes school buses and athletic fields. The exceptions are:

  • Animals under the control of public safety officers with prior approval of the superintendent or designee.
  • Animals trained to assist individuals with disabilities, with prior notification to the building principal.

The incident at Pearl River Middle School was earlier this month, with a 14-year-old boy being bitten. Back in September, an 11-year-old boy was bitten while walking on Orangeburg road. 

"We had a student bitten and he had to go to the hospital," Morgano said. "Not long ago, we had a student in the community bitten. 

"Some day somebody is going to get really bitten and really hurt and we're going to be sorry. This dog thing has to be resolved. It has gone on long enough. The middle school is not a dog park. That's probably the worst area."

Morgano said that owners failing to pick up after their animals on school grounds is also an issue.

"We need everybody's help on this," Morgano said. "We are meeting next week with the dog wardens and Orangetown PD liaison. This is impossible to do alone."

Robert Bodnar November 29, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I have walked my small dogs in the forest behid the PR Middle school for years. Most of the time i come across a few people. No one really go back there at all. I love nature and so does me dogs. When they come across people, I call them back and they sit by me. Children love them and are very train and more scare of people and hide. Many time people control their dogs with no problem. I like my dogs to something run free when no one in the park, I go when no one there and never during school days or events. I understand the measure needed and when people need to control. This is being overblown. I have been bitten a few times by dogs mostly homeless. There are dog trails or park for them to go to. That the problem not the dogs biting people. If you want to control give owners a place to go. Like in New Jersey has control dog pens. In Lower NYC there a very nice dog pen in Battery City.

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