Lancaster DA: 1 win, 1 loss on animal cruelty

One win, one loss for Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman in recent animal cruelty cases.

First the win: David Lamar Martin of Elizabethtown pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges on July 27 for attempting to neuter his male Husky by tying a rubberband around the dog's testicles, the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal reports.

The dog, Bandit, was originally found running loose by the Organization for Responsible Treatment of Animals (ORCA) more than three weeks ago with exposed testicular arteries and veins and no scrotum from being banded for a neutering attempt.

(Photo/Lancaster Intelligencer)

Dr. Mark Huber, who operated on Bandit, said the dog had been banded for home castration and was in severe pain.

"We were lucky the infection hadn't spread — but the dog is going to be fine," he told the newspaper. The dog was surrendered to ORCA as part of the deal.

Until 2009, Martin had a kennel license allowing him to keep as many as 250 dogs on his property was warned repeatedly for having cages where the protective coating had come off the wire on which the dogs were housed, where there were rusted or broken food bowls and the amount of feces and hair build up indicated kennels were not cleaned every day. A 2008 inspection at Linden Valley Kennel noted there were 56 dogs on his property.

In a Quarryville courtroom last week, the district attorney's office failed to win its cruelty case against embattled dog breeder Loretta Wilson, who owns Jenloren Kennel.

The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal reports that district justice Isaac Stoltzfus found Wilson not guilty, ruling there was no evidence of cruelty or neglect in the cases of dogs with dental disease.

Humane agent Keith Mohler said in April he removed five dogs because of veterinary problems and told Wilson another 27 dogs needed vet care. Veterinarian Willard Stoltzfus of Black Horse, said he visited the kennel in January and saw no dogs in distress. 

But Dr. Christopher Hunsicker testified that both dogs had severe dental disease and ear infections that it would have taken "months" for the dogs' problems to reach such a severe level, the newspaper reported. Wilson's attorney Michael Winters said he will ask the court to order the dogs be returned to her.

The state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement refused Wilson's 2010 kennel license earlier this year and she has been ordered to reduce her dog population to under 26, the legal threshold under which an individual does not need a license.

Wilson has a history of violation-filled inspection reports. A May 5 inspection showed 93 dogs on the property and inspection reports this year show a string of violations among them: cages with no water, outdoor cages that did not have adequate shelter for the number of dogs, poor lighting, no temperature control, undersized cages, rusted wire fencing. On May 19 Wilson pleaded guilty to dog law charges of failing to provide "potable" water and for failing to have a program of veterinary care.