In November 2006, for reasons unknown, Tioga County kennel operator Scott Fay destroyed 58 of his hunting dogs. Were these dogs - hounds of various breeds - shot while chained to their plywood boxes or taken to the vet to be euthanized? We don't know. What we do know is that the act was legal and noted matter-of-factly in a kennel inspection report for Bear Creek kennel that month. In early 2008, after repeatedly failing kennel inspections, Fay's kennel license was revoked. Under terms of an agreement, he was to keep no more than five dogs, even though he could legally keep as many as 25 dogs without having a kennel license.
Fast forward to 2009. Fay was advertising nine dogs for sale on the Gun Dog Breeders Website. Pictures show a woman posing with the dogs on the back of a flatbed truck. In the background is a field of crude plywood boxes, some not even sitting flat on the ground with dogs clearly chained to them. When the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement is alerted to this two weeks ago they sent wardens out who discovered Fay had 33 dogs in his possession.
Fay forfeited 18 dogs to the state, all of which appeared to be in good health, according to Chris Ryder, a spokesman for the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. (He and two other individuals listed on the agreement were allowed to keep five dogs each). Fay immediately posted a notice on the Website saying he no longer had dogs for sale and suggesting the state was going to destroy the dogs they took.
In fact, most of the dogs were placed at Stone Creek Hounds, a sporting dog kennel in Huntingdon County. Main Line Animal Rescue in Chester Springs took three of the dogs and will be placing them up for adoption.
Fay will be charged this week with multiple dog law violations, including operating an unlicensed kennel and also with violating his legal agreement with the state to keep no more than five dogs, Ryder said. But animal welfare advocates are asking why dog wardens failed to monitor a kennel owner with a long history of ignoring the law.
Ryder said members are the public are urged to call the bureau's toll free tip line 1-877-DOG-TIP1 (1-877-364-8471) to report an illegal kennel or poor conditions at a licensed kennel.