Thursday, August 6, 2009

Another Illegal Dog Kennel Shut Down In Pennsylvanian

Dog Wardens Shut Down Franklin County Illegal Kennel, Dogs Seized
Wardens and Police Officers Remove Dogs for Cruelty, Filthy Conditions

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dog wardens have shut down a Waynesboro dog kennel that was operating without a license. Through the investigation, dog wardens and officers with the Washington Township Police Department yesterday removed all 29 live dogs and one dead dog from the premises.

Acting on information provided by a visitor to the kennel, dog wardens and police officers secured search warrants to investigate potential kennel and cruelty violations. The agents found dogs and other animals living in filthy conditions, including cages stacked four-high and filled with feces, maggots and moldy food.

The dogs -- Papillons, Yorkies and Poodle mixes -- as well as several cats and birds, were immediately removed by the Antietam Humane Society in Waynesboro. The dogs were matted and dirty, and several appeared to have eye and ear infections. The animals will all be examined and receive veterinary care.

Dog Law charges against the owner, Donna Cook, are pending. Any charges for animal cruelty will be issued by the police department.

Cook was cited in 2001 for cruelty and operating a kennel without a license.

Jessie Smith, the state's special deputy for dog law, said any kennel with more than 26 dogs per year must obtain a license and be inspected annually.

"Unlicensed kennels are difficult to regulate because they are often intentionally secretive about their operation," said Smith. "Unfortunately, without undergoing a regular inspection, as a properly licensed kennel would, the conditions can go unchecked for long periods of time and dogs can be in need of veterinary care. We take unlicensed kennels very seriously and will work to shut down any illegal kennels that come to our attention."

Smith said the case highlights important legal advances provided under Act 119 of 2008, which Governor Edward G. Rendell signed into law in October.

"The previous dog law was ambiguous about what charges could be filed against illegal kennels, beyond charges for failure to get a license," said Smith. "Act 119 makes it clear that wardens can also cite for any unsatisfactory conditions for which a regularly licensed kennel would be held accountable, and we will file those charges in this case for sanitation, upkeep and any other applicable violations."

To offer confidential tips about unsatisfactory or illegal kennels, call the toll-free hotline at 1-877-DOG-TIP1.

    CONTACT:  Justin Fleming

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