By Shelby Stewart
Brandon Twp.- At the regular meeting of the township board on last Monday night, the board discussed a motion to amend the township policy to allow pets in the office on casual days. The motion was not made and failed for lack of interest, but was discussed between members of the board.
“I’ve received interest from employees wanting to bring pets to work,” said supervisor Kathy Thurman.
The board offered varied opinions on the subject of pets at the township office, both for and against it.
“For the record, I am totally against it,” said clerk Candee Allen. “I don’t think pets belong in our building with citizens. I have allergies and I have dog hair on my desk every day, still from the past treasurer. And there are people that are afraid of animals. And I want to know, if you bring your dog, who is going to clean up after it, how are you going to get your work done when you’re caring for your pet? It’s a lot of my concern.”
According to a May 2017 study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, having dogs in the work place can reduce stress, increase social support, and increase job performance. Higher social support has been shown to lower levels of depression and improve job performance. It was shown they may also have a positive effect on social interactions among employees.
“I can tell you it happened at least two dozen times, because we’ve had the public coming in and paying their taxes, there were a number of occasion where someone came in and they were going to be cantankerous about the taxes they had to pay, and when they saw my dog come around the desk, the mood changed and it was better for everyone involved,” said treasurer Scott Broughton. “My staff feels better. I had to be out the other day and they asked me to leave him behind just because they like having him there. In my opinion it needs to be up to the department heads. It can’t just be a yes or no in some kind of motion, every situation is going to be different.”
Broughton said that when his dog is in, it stays in his office. The previous treasurer also brought her dog in, though there is a not policy allowing or disallowing pet in the office.
“I think having a friendly dog in the office is a plus to the public,” said trustee Bob Marshall.
Other trustees had an issue with the fact that proposed amendment did not specify dogs, but said pets.
“I think we agree we should not allow it because of messes, allergies and we’re not really specifying types of pets,” said trustee Dana DePalma.
The motion was not maid and therefore failed for lack of interest, so the township remains to not have a pet policy.
By Shelby Stewart