Hellertown's animal control officer, Scott Ziegler, recently went above and beyond to help care for a stray pit bull puppy named Spike, Borough Council was told June 4.
Spike was held in the borough's kennel for 25 days, but has since been adopted.
And Ziegler's efforts to care for him were belatedly recognized when council voted unanimously to begin paying him a $15 daily stipend in future, similar instances involving stray dogs that are temporarily cared for by the borough.
Ziegler will receive the daily stipend in exchange for feeding and exercising dogs that are held at the facility for more than 24 hours, council decided.
If a dog is ultimately claimed by its owner, payment of the accrued amount will be the responsibility of that owner, council also determined.
Owners must also pay a $50 flat fee upon reclaiming their pet.
Councilwoman Gail Nolf recommended that Ziegler be awarded "back pay" for his care of Spike, who spent far more time in the canine holding facility than any other dog has .
"I do agree that he (Ziegler) does a lot and he saves us a lot of money," Police Chief Robert Shupp said.
Shupp said Ziegler--who is also a public works department employee--would visit Spike four times a day in order to make sure that he had food, cold water and an opportunity to relieve himself.
This standard of care was essential on hot days, and "he should be paid for it," he added.
In addition to the stipend, the motion approved by council included the authorization of retroactive pay for the animal control officer's care of Spike, as per Nolf's suggestion.
Ziegler, who was present at the meeting, told council he was pleased to be able to report to them that Spike has "a happy home now."