Monroe Co. AKC breeder convicted of animal cruelty

A Monroe County show dog breeder was convicted on seven counts of animal cruelty in October, two months after humane agents raided her kennel and found sick and starving animals on the property.

Julie Forsyth, of Anamolink, also faces 100 counts of violating the state dog law for keeping dogs in unsanitary conditions, failing to get rabies vaccinations, failing to obtain individual dog licenses and failing to have a kennel license.

Her associate, Dan Sweeny, was convicted on two counts of cruelty. The convictions bar both of them from obtaining a kennel license in Pennsylvania for ten years.

In July humane agents with the Pennsylvania SPCA removed five sick dogs, including a pregnant chihuahua, and a miniature horse were removed. They said

the horse was skeletal and the chihuahuas were being kept outdoors in filth and flooded kennels.

At the time Forsyth had 54 dogs and 20 miniature horses on the property.

Email correspondence obtained in a right-to-know request indicate that Forsyth was found to be operating an illegal kennel with 39 dogs in May 2011 and given the option to downsize (reduce her numbers to below the required 26-dog threshold for obtaining a license) or apply for a kennel license.

Plans were made then by the Office of Dog Law Enforcement to remove animals from the property but no action was taken. Forsyth did not get a license, nor did she downsize to fewer than 26 dogs.

Forsyth, 58, who operates under the name Fortura Kennel, is an American Kennel Club show breeder of chihuahuas, Yorkies, Basenjis, miniature Australian Shepherds and racing greyhounds.

The AKC, which promotes a vigorous inspection program of its members and sanctions those that violate show rules and criminal law, did not respond to an email request for comment.

An internet search indicates that Forsyth is continuing to sell greyhound puppies from racing lines on a New Jersey website.

Of the animals that were removed, one dog was returned to Forsyth, and the others are in foster care and doing well, said Wendy Marano, spokeswoman for the PSPCA which handled the case. One of the pregnant chihuahua's three puppies did not survive.