PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Last week, Humane Police Officers with the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals filed criminal complaints against six Pennsylvania commercial dog breeders after agents and volunteers purchased twelve dogs at a dog auction in Holmes County, Ohio on October 7, 2009. There is clear evidence as set forth in the criminal complaints that the dogs have been victims of deliberate cruelty. This is the first time any law enforcement agency has brought abused breeding dogs back into their state of origin and filed charges against the breeders who harmed them.
PSPCA agents drove unmarked trucks from Philadelphia to the rural town of Baltic, Ohio in Holmes County, to attend the auction, where some of Pennsylvania’s largest commercial dog breeders had sent almost four hundred breeding dogs to be sold at auction. At the same time, investigators from Main Line Animal Rescue flew a private plane, on loan from a generous supporter of MLAR, to Holmes County to attend the same auction. On board was a licensed veterinarian who provided invaluable assistance, examining dogs inside the auction and later dogs purchased by agents and volunteers. Less than two hours after leaving the auction house, several of the dogs purchased were back in the Philadelphia area, passengers on the private plane. PSPCA agents drove through the night to bring still more dogs back to Philadelphia to be evaluated and examined at our Erie Avenue facility. The dogs are receiving extensive medical treatment at this time.
At the auction, hundreds of frightened breeding dogs transported from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania were numbered and stacked to the ceiling in small fetid cages as hundreds of buyers, comprised mainly of Amish dog breeders, made their way through the narrow aisles of the crowded auction house. The majority of the breeding dogs sold were then transported to puppy mills in Ohio and in other states. Many of the filthy, terrified dogs for sale that day were registered with either the American Canine Association or America’s Pet Registry, Inc. – the names of the controversial registries posted on the outside of the dogs’ cages.
The Pennsylvania SPCA and Main Line Animal Rescue urges Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to investigate/question the state inspectors who walked by these animals during routine inspections of the kennels involved and did nothing to help them. We also ask that the Governor hire a qualified veterinarian to accompany inspectors during inspections – one who will take the time to thoroughly examine each and every dog in Pennsylvania’s problematic commercial dog breeding kennels. The PSPCA will reach out to the Holmes County prosecutor’s office and ask them to investigate the sale of sick and injured dogs at the Dog Auction at the Farmerstown Sale Barn in Baltic, Ohio.
Legislation is pending in Ohio (Senate Bill 95 and House Bill 124) which would prohibit such auctions in the future as well as efforts to place a ballot initiative before Ohio voters banning dog auctions altogether.
The Pennsylvania SPCA is the largest animal welfare organization in Pennsylvania and has been dedicated to fighting animal cruelty throughout the Commonwealth for over one hundred years. Main Line Animal Rescue has been in the forefront of raising awareness to the plight of puppy mill dogs and was featured on Oprah’s ‘puppy mill show.’
Lamb McErlane PC, a law firm located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, has been assisting the Pennsylvania SPCA and Main Line Animal Rescue in dealing with these complex legal issues. A conviction on any or all charges could result in the immediate revocation of PA state kennel licenses as stated in PA’s new dog laws.”