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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: February, 2009

POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 10:02 PM

A group of Pennsylvania dog breeders has filed a second federal lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture, challenging the new law designed to improve conditions in the state's commercial kennels.

In its latest suit, the Professional Dog Breeders Advisory Council alleges the new dog law violates breeders’ constitutional rights.

Robert Yarnall Jr., founder of the American Canine Association dog registry and a board member of the council, says the regulations specified in the law for “similarly situated” kennels are inconsistent.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 12:41 AM

The state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement has taken action to shut down a Lancaster County kennel owner embroiled in legal troubles for more than a decade. 

The bureau on Friday sent a letter informing Daniel P. Esh, 49, who operates Scarlet Maple kennel in Ronks, that his 2009 kennel license application was denied.

Under the new dog law, the bureau also issued a suspension notice that forbids Esh from selling, breeding or buying dogs while his case is on appeal. He may transfer his nearly 400 dogs to a licensed shelter or rescue with bureau approval.

POSTED: Monday, February 9, 2009, 6:41 PM

Get out your popcorn and Kleenex and settle in for an evening with Philadelphia's finest - animal cops that is - in the final episode this winter of Animal Cops: Philadelphia, airing tonight at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet.

On tonight's program, PSPCA agents rescue a Husky with a severely embedded collar and two cats.

The spotlight returns to Pennsylvania again on April 27 when Animal Planet airs its special feature program on puppy mills. Although the program is national in scope, it features the efforts of the PSPCA, ASPCA and Main Line Animal Rescue to expose the cruelty and neglect in southeastern Pennsylvania breeding kennels.

POSTED: Monday, February 9, 2009, 12:19 AM

Has the tightening of standards governing licensed kennels in Pennsylvania helped spur action to improve conditions for dogs elsewhere? It's a mixed bag.

Members of the state Agriculture Committee in Colorado last month killed a bill that would have a set a 50-dog limit on breeders, saying it would be tough to enforce and harm legitimate breeders. A rescue group based in Colorado cited the victories for dogs in California and Pennsylvania as reasons to soldier on.

In Illinois, there's a big push to pass "Chloe's Bill" - named after a puppy mill survivor - which would license breeders, set standards for dog living conditions, set a 20-dog limit per license and require dogs get examined by a veterinarian before pregnancy. With the exception of the 20-dog limit (Pennsylvania has no limit on the numbers of dogs a breeder may keep in their kennel), the Illinois proposal is similar to the bill that became law here in October.

POSTED: Sunday, February 8, 2009, 11:30 PM

The 133rd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show gets underway tomorrow at New York's Madison Square Garden. In all, 2,500 dogs representing 170 breeds - including newcomer, Dogue de Bordeaux- will be competing for the title of Best in Show.

The show will air on its regularly scheduled network with its prime sponsor despite efforts by an animal rights group to convince both to pull out.

The group PETA asked Pedigree to drop its sponsorship because it said the American Kennel Club "promotes dangerous and unhealthy breeding standards." It also tried to convince the USA Network not to air the event. Both efforts failed.

POSTED: Saturday, February 7, 2009, 12:31 AM

The Lehigh County kennel,where humane officers in October found hundreds of animals living in filth and crowded cages, will no longer be able to buy, sell or breed dogs.

The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement issued a suspension notice Friday to Derbe "Skip" Eckhart owner of Almost Heaven kennel in Emmaus. Under this new provision of the dog law, he can neither buy nor sell dogs while he appeals the department's denial of his 2009 operating license.

"He cannot profit from the dogs," said Ryder.

POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2009, 9:23 AM

There was good news this week for a homeless New Jersey man and his four canine companions.

Douglas Geary, 76-year -old, former paramedic from Medford, who had been living in his 1988 Bronco for two years, now has a roof over his head - so too his faithful friends, Kenzy, Dover, Frisky and  Buster.

A kindly landlord stepped forward after my colleague Monica Yant Kinney chronicled his tale (tail?) in her Inquirer column last week. It seems no shelter or temporary housing facility would take Geary and his pets. So Geary opted to stay on the street with his pets.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 10:53 PM

A Pennsylvania-based group has again launched a greeting card drive with a Valentine's Day message to break the chains that bind thousands of dogs across the country.

The group, Dogs Deserve Better, has recruited school children and others to send Valentines to thousands of chained dogs in its annual "Have a Heart for Chained Dogs" campaign. The goal this year is 12,500 dogs. Last year's campaign reached 10,435 dogs and their owners.

"It educates people on both sides; the people who have the dogs and the people who make the Valentines," said the group's founder, Tamira Ci Thayne. In the six or so years they've been sending cards and brochures about the dangers of chaining - both for the dogs and innocent victims - they have heard from some folks who decide to bring their dogs inside, some who ask for help and hundreds who tell them - with more than a few choice words - to mind their own business.

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 aworden@phillynews.com.

Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
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