Town Topics

Animal control workers lined up, standing outside in front of greenery.
South Hills Cooperative Animal Control is responsible for critter calls in 14 communities. From left: Todd Alisesky, Don Cooley, Monica Slate, Dave Lehman, Samantha Hermann and Supervisor Rob Fredley. Photo by Ken Lager

ANIMAL CONTROL READY TO ROLL Whether a raccoon is hanging out on your porch or a groundhog is attacking your dog, South Hills Cooperative Animal Control (SHCAC) will come to the rescue.

Sure, they’re there when a bear is running loose throughout the neighborhood (It has happened!). But they’re also there if your dog or cat goes missing.

The organization, started in 1977, originally served Mt. Lebanon and a couple of its neighbors. Since 1994, it’s expanded to now include 14 communities. The most recent addition was Baldwin Borough in 2020. SHCAC typically handles about 4,500 calls a year.

The expansion called for more officers, and a newly created supervisor position, which was filled by Rob Fredley. Samantha Walisik and Monica Slate brought the complement up to six.

In August, the Animal Control kennel, located in Upper St. Clair, received a facelift, including an inside painting and some improvements to the outside facade, including a new front door for the 40-year-old building.

With new additions, SHCAC has been focused on training, Fredley said. In 2020, officers received snake training, specifically around how to handle them.

“We’re the ones who get the snake calls, whether it’s in someone’s basement or their backyard,” Fredley said.

This year, training is focused around a “back-to-basics” approach. Officers are working on their certifications and re-learning the ropes to better serve the community. Part of the officer’s role also is to educate the community.

Want to help? Fredley asks that you get your dog its annual license and rabies vaccination.

“No one wants to lose a family member, whether it be your dog, your cat or your bird,” he said. “Something as simple as an $8 dog license (and vaccination) can get your dog home in minutes versus maybe never getting your dog home ever again.”

If you have an animal-related emergency, please dial 911 or the non-emergency number, 412-279-6911.

Officers are on duty Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

BUDGET TALKS Mt. Lebanon’s manager’s recommended budget for 2022 will be available for public review on November 1. You can read paper copies at the Mt. Lebanon Public Library and at the customer service center in the Mt. Lebanon Municipal Building during business hours, 8:30 to 5, and read the budget  online at The Mt. Lebanon Commission will hold budget workshops at 5:30 p.m., on Monday, November 8, Wednesday, November 17, Friday, December 3 and, if needed, Monday, December 6.

If you cannot attend any of the meetings but have a comment, you can email the commission at, or participate via Zoom. You can also view the meetings on the municipal website,

FIRING RANGE NEARS COMPLETION After a couple of unwelcome surprises, the police department’s firing range, located in the public works campus on Cedar Boulevard, is expected to be ready for use in the near future.

Construction on the range took place during a renovation of the campus, and was finished in June 2019, but during a final walk-through with Mt. Lebanon’s chief inspector and several police officers, the officers could clearly hear the test-fire shots in the surrounding neighborhood. A sound study showed that the noise level in the neighborhood exceeded the 65-decibel level of normal conversation.

Plans for sound reduction involve enclosing the range’s rooftop mechanical equipment in a structure, and installing silencers on some of the machinery. Cost of the remediation project is $561,200. Mt. Lebanon and RSSC Architecture, the project architect, are currently in discussion as to how the project’s cost will be divided.

As the sound-study issue was playing out, another curveball came, involving a change in the way police officers are trained. The Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission regulates training and certification standards for police officers. Last year, the commission amended firearms qualification standards to include “dynamic” shooting drills, in which officers must fire while in motion, in addition to stationary marksmanship. The building would need more work, to eliminate the danger of ricochets as bullets struck the walls.  The municipality is installing ballistic wall panels at the range, at a cost of $117,834.

At press time, a timeline of when the work is slated to be finished is not certain, but barring any more unforeseen circumstances, the range should be ready for use in the early months of 2022.

GET THE WORD Life-threatening situations don’t happen every day, but when they do, good, solid information is worth more than gold. Get time-sensitive alerts wherever you go, with LeboEmergency, a customized notification system that lets you pick how you receive alerts about dangerous conditions, such as active shooters, gas leaks, evacuations, missing persons, chemical spills and potentially deadly weather. Sign up by texting LEBO to 99411 or go to Both methods will lead you to a registration page where you can select the kind of alert you’d like to get (text, email or TTY) and where you’d like to get it (landline, cellphone and email addresses). If you need help using a computer, call the fire department during business hours at 412-343-3402 and someone will help you with the registration.

Veterans commencing a ceremony, walking with flags and rifles in hand.
Photo by John Schisler

SALUTE TO VETERANS Mt. Lebanon will observe Veterans Day with a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial, at the Cedar Boulevard entrance to Mt. Lebanon Park, Thursday, November 11 at 4 p.m. Josh Cannon will give the keynote address. Cannon, a former Marine Corps Arabic cryptologic linguist who served two tours in Iraq, holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and is a scholar mentor at the University of Pittsburgh.

LIGHT IT UP Come out to Washington Road for a kickoff to the holiday season, beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 18. Music from Mt. Lebanon School District musicians, a scavenger hunt (elves are involved!) and Santa showing up to light the Clearview Common tree at 7.
Then, three weeks later, head over to Beverly Road for Beverly Brite Nite, Thursday, December 9. Beverly Road will be closed from Overlook to Ralston from 7-8 p.m. for the event, which features music, face painting, giveaways and a live radio broadcast from Q92.9.

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