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Chester County Kennel Pleads Guilty to Dog Law and Cruelty Violations, Surrenders Dogs

2008-07-25 15:54:00

Chester County Kennel Pleads Guilty to Dog Law and Cruelty Violations, Surrenders Dogs

    HARRISBURG, Pa., July 25 /EMWNews/ -- The owner of

Limestone Kennel in Cochranville, Chester County, pleaded guilty today to

eight counts of animal cruelty and two violations of the Dog Law. John

Blank's kennel license has been permanently revoked and he surrendered

nearly 75 dogs to the Pennsylvania SPCA.

    The plea comes as a result of investigations by the Bureau of Dog Law

Enforcement and the Pennsylvania SPCA last week. Blank will be on probation

for two years, during which time dog wardens will make sure he owns no more

than five personal dogs.

    "As a result of today's actions, the dogs from this commercial breeding

kennel will be cared for and put up for adoption to homes. This is the best

possible outcome for the dogs," said Wolff. "While the results are positive

for these dogs, the case shows the need for better laws to protect all dogs

in commercial breeding kennels."

    Wolff said all dogs in commercial breeding kennels would be better

protected with passage of House Bill 2525, currently in the House

Appropriations Committee.

    Introduced in May, H.B. 2525 would strengthen current dog laws and

provide better standards for the health and safety of dogs in commercial

breeding kennels without affecting other types of kennels that house dogs.

    "Raising the minimum standards for commercial breeding kennels and

requiring annual veterinary checks would benefit all dogs in these types of

settings," said Wolff. "Current law does not require that dogs ever receive

routine medical care and as a result, many go without."

    The bill would require veterinary examinations for each dog at least

once per year or during each pregnancy.

    Among other protections for dogs, H.B. 2525 doubles the minimum floor

space for dogs, eliminates wire flooring, and requires access to an outdoor

exercise area twice the size of the dog's primary enclosure. Current law

does not require dogs ever be taken out of cages, much less given access to

exercise areas.

    Current law treats all kennels the same, regardless of size or

function. The proposed legislation would allow the health and welfare needs

of the dogs housed in large commercial breeding kennels to be addressed.

    Requirements are virtually unchanged for other types of kennels, like

sporting and hobby dog kennels, because they do not operate with the

purpose of breeding large quantities of dogs to sell for profit. Instead,

they operate for the purpose of sporting, hobby, boarding or finding homes

for dogs.

    The proposed legislation is a result of Governor Edward G. Rendell's

effort to improve living conditions for dogs in Pennsylvania kennels.

    Since 2006, Governor Rendell has made improvements to the staffing and

enforcement efforts of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, which oversees

the inspection and licensing of kennels.

    For more information on the proposed legislation overhauling

Pennsylvania's Dog Law, visit

    CONTACT: Chris L. Ryder

    (717) 787-5085

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