Monday, November 30, 2015

Archive: October, 2009

POSTED: Sunday, October 18, 2009, 3:46 PM

Addendum to the article published today: To submit comments to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission regarding the proposed Canine Health Board regulation, email To view the proposed regulations and to see the comments already submitted click here.

Tougher dog rules raise hackles of group that had input
By Amy Worden

Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau

POSTED: Saturday, October 17, 2009, 4:50 PM

Michael Vick may be making the rounds bringing his anti-dog fighting message to Philadelphia school children, but there's one audience he is not interested in meeting with: his victims.

A pit bull advocacy group in Oakland, Calif. says Vick declined an invitation to visit eight of his former dogs this weekend when the Eagles take on the Oakland Raiders.

The group BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls) told The Associated Press it extended the invitation through the Eagles to Vick last week to view his former dogs that were part of the dog fighting operation at Bad Newz Kennels in Virginia.

POSTED: Thursday, October 15, 2009, 11:55 PM

Former Lehigh County kennel owner Derbe Eckhart is planning to drop his guilty plea on animal cruelty charges. The Morning Call of Allentown has the latest. Morning Call columnist Bill White has a nice take on Eckhart's argument that he was in fact trying to "save animals from abuse." Eckhart, former owner of Almost Heaven kennel, pleaded guilty last month to two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and five violations of the state’s dog law. Eckhart, twice convicted on cruelty charges before, faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $7,500 when he is sentenced Nov. 16. In June, the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement removed 216 dogs from the kennel after Eckhart lost an emergency appeal of his kennel license revocation. A raid at the Emmaus property last year by the Pennsylvania SPCA exposed horrendous conditions inside the kennel where as many as 800 animals, also including cats, horses, birds and guinea pigs, were found living in filthy, crowded cages and kennels.

Jury selection is set to begin Jan. 25 in Sullivan County for Laura Antretter (aka Lauren Wolf), owner of Autumnbriar kennel, who after being raided earlier this year, spent two weeks on the lam and returned to face 76 counts of animal cruelty and 30 dog law violations. Humane officials and dog wardens twice raided her kennel and found a number of dead animals, including eight Jack Russell terriers, five Lurcher puppies. an adult Lurcher, and a goat. The surviving animals were in poor condition, had no food or water and were living in feces-filled cages. Antretter's kennel license had been revoked in 2008 and under state law was permitted to own only 25 animals. Her court-appointed lawyer was granted leave and Antretter will represent herself, according to court documents.

There is word of a possible plea deal in the case of Chester County veterinarian Tom Stevenson who was charged with animal cruelty after two undercover witnesses in March saw him cut off the tail off a puppy - with no anesthesia - as he held it under hot water at a kennel. The incident occurred at Sam King's Country Lane Kennel in Lancaster County. King, whose kennel license was recently revoked, has long history of dog law violations and also was charged with animal cruelty in the case, but the charge was dismissed. District Justice Stuart Mylin in July found that there was enough evidence against Stevenson to hold him over for trial. A pre-trial conference was held yesterday in Lancaster, during which the case was returned to Mylin's court, but it is unclear why. Neither the charging agency- the Pennsylvania SPCA - nor the Lancaster County District Attorney's office are responding to requests for comment.

POSTED: Thursday, October 15, 2009, 12:04 AM

What if the dogs really ruled the world?

Check out the band You Scream, I Scream's video for their single "Dog." The music is infectious and the dog's-eye-view of adoption theme tugs at your heart strings.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 1:13 PM

Here's the latest on the Michael Vick rehab tour courtesy of my Inquirer sports department colleagues, Jeff McLane and Bob Brookover:

Michael Vick was to appear at Germantown High this morning as part of his ongoing public penance. The Eagles quarterback has already made several appearances as local high schools.

"He's going to be talking to 100 members of Germantown High School about dogfighting and making poor decisions," Eagles spokeswoman Pamela Browner-Crawley said. "A lot of these organizations and schools reach out to us because they feel they have an issue and they feel that Michael has something to bring to the table. Quite frankly, when people see Michael, they see someone who is more like they are. It's hard for you and me to go some place and say how terrible we think something is. When Michael talks to them about it, I think they really hear it. It's almost like going to France and talking a person who speaks French with you."

POSTED: Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 12:22 AM

The following are some of the recent cases investigated by the Pennsylvania SPCA. Headquartered at 350 E. Erie Avenue in Philadelphia, the PSPCA operates five branches throughout the state. For more information, call 215-426-6300 or visit To report animal cruelty call 1-866-601-SPCA.

Horses, dogs seized in western PA raid

Aliquippa Township, Beaver County. Oct 12. PSPCA humane officers executed a search warrant and rescued three adult horses, one foal and seven dogs from a property. Three deceased cats were also found in the house on the property. Officers were alerted to the case of alleged animal cruelty and neglect by a complainant who contacted the PSPCA’s cruelty hotline. In addition to the horses, foal and dogs, humane agents found the remains of a dead foal on the property, as well as three deceased cats in various stages of decomposition inside the house. It could not be determined how the animals died at the time of their discovery. The investigation is ongoing and no citations or charges have been filed at this time.

POSTED: Monday, October 12, 2009, 2:22 PM

The Eagles today launched a $500,000 grant program to assist animal welfare organizations in the Philadelphia area and beyond.

That's about one-third of what the man who got a sports team into the animal welfare business -  Michael Vick  - will receive in the first year of his two-year contract.

The first three $50,000 matching grants were announced at a news conference this morning by team owner Christina Lurie and president Joe Banner.

POSTED: Monday, October 12, 2009, 1:43 AM

Thanks to Michael Vick, the Eagles have now officially joined the ranks of animal welfare advocates in Philadelphia.

The team later today is expected to announce details of their Treating Animals with Kindness (TAWK) program first reported in the Inquirer last month. Among the initiatives discussed to help local animal welfare groups combat dog fighting and pet overpopulation: a mobile spay/neuter van, public service announcements, trading cards of team members and their pets and public appearances by team members and cheerleaders.

Headlining the event - scheduled for 11 a.m. at the NovaCare complex -  is Eagles team owner Christina Lurie, president Jeff Banner and Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States.

About this blog
Amy Worden is a politics and government reporter for the Inquirer. In that capacity she has explored a range of animal issues from dog kennel law improvements and horse slaughter to the comeback of peregrine falcons and pigeon hunts. From hamsters to horses, animals have always been part of her life. To pass along a tip or contact Amy, click here. Reach Amy at

Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
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