Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Archive: August, 2010

POSTED: Thursday, August 19, 2010, 4:15 PM

The state Independent Regulatory Review Commission in a 3-1 vote today approved final regulations that will provide the first-ever standards for temperature, ventilation, humidity and lighting in Pennsylvania's commercial dog kennels.

The regulations were developed by the Canine Health Board as stipulated by Act 119 - the dog law, signed by Gov. Rendell in Oct. 2008.

Commission members and animal advocates agreed the legislature would have to address the law's wire flooring loophole, which will allow adult nursing dogs to stand on wire for months at a time in what many contend is a contradiction to the law's wire flooring ban.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 11:38 AM

Trial began yesterday in Lehigh County for two American Kennel Club judges charged with animal cruelty after state wardens found dogs in their kennel suffering from severe matting, starvation and other health problems.

One veterinarian said the matting on the Bichon Frise dogs in the care Miriam "Mimi" Winkler and James R. Deppen, who ran Judge's Choice Ironwood Kennels, was the worst she had ever seen, according to the Morning Call of Allentown. She said the tangle of urine, feces and dirt took at least a year to get that bad. Another vet said the starving Border Collie, who was removed from the property, was so skinny she was surprised his body was "functioning."

A state dog warden said during an inspection this spring he ordered veterinary exams on three Mastiffs. He returned four days later and found a dead Mastiff in a wheelbarrow.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 10:43 PM

Is it the final showdown over dog law?

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission, the body charged with taking final action on the 873 pages of regulations governing commercial dog breeding kennels meets Thursday (at 10 a.m. 333 Market St., 14th floor conference room) in Harrisburg to hear from the public and make its decision.

The big issue, in the eyes of animal welfare advocates, is the sudden and unexpected return of wire flooring in cages (like those pictured at left). 

POSTED: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 8:39 AM

In the wake of the devastating Haitian earthquake last January, the Humane Society of the United States, along with partner Humane Society International, deployed teams of animal rescue workers, veterinarians and supplies to Haiti, its efforts bolstered by $1 million in donations.

They found a country with no animal shelters or veterinary hospitals, in other words no animal welfare infrastructure at all.

Now the groups are digging in for the long haul, guiding veterinarians on disaster response, implementing street dog sterilization and helping teach owners to care for their horses. Its lofty goal: building a humane nation.

POSTED: Monday, August 16, 2010, 8:02 AM

Tucked in my email box, dying to get out was the story of little Kim Gordon, the "rockstar" piglet who fell off a transport truck in South Dakota and was saved by a musician and his girlfriend.

Lanore Hahn says she was on tour with her boyfriend and driving down a back road in Mitchell, SD, when they saw a little piglet running frantically around the street. Seeing no farms nearby they corralled the 12-pound piglet and put her in their car. They called animal control who told them given the piglet's sunburn and severe scrapes she had likely fallen off a truck. He advised them to turn over the animal, adding that it would be summarily shot.

Not happening, Hahn thought.

POSTED: Friday, August 13, 2010, 7:30 PM

A judge yesterday denied probation for a former Lehigh County kennel owner serving a prison sentence for animal cruelty.

Derbe "Skip" Eckhart, who owned the now-defunct Almost Heaven kennel in Emmaus, had petitioned the court to reduce his sentence, despite having assaulted a prison guard days after being admitted at Lehigh County prison in May.

Eckhart's lawyer, Jeff Conrad, called the six-23-month sentence "excessive" and asked Judge Robert Steinberg to reconsider it and also allow Eckhart to be free on bail until the state Superier Court considered his appeal. Both requests were nixed by Steinberg without comment, according to the Morning Call of Allentown.

POSTED: Thursday, August 12, 2010, 12:18 PM

The PSPCA is extending the hours at its low-cost veterinary clinic. Beginning Aug. 17, the clinic, at 350 E. Erie Ave. will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Clinic hours on Monday, Friday and Saturday will remain 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

“Making affordable, high-quality veterinary care accessible to Philadelphia-area pets is just one of the ways in which we are working to prevent cruelty to animals,” said PSPCA Medical Director Aime Berman, VMD. “It’s our hope that by extending the clinic’s hours we will make it more convenient for animal lovers to provide their pets with the medical attention they need and deserve.”

In 2009, more than 20,000 animals received care at the Pennsylvania SPCA’s low-cost veterinary clinic. Services include: vaccinations, new puppy and kitten exams, spay/neuter surgery and annual check-ups in addition to appointments for animals that are sick. The veterinary staff also provides information about flea and tick prevention as well as heartworm disease and general pet health. To make an appointment, call 215.426.6300. Walk-ins are also accepted.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 10:32 PM

A toddler was attacked by a dog who broke free from his chain in Philadelphia's Olney section Monday evening. The two-year-old girl was rushed to the hospital with multiple bite wounds after a German Shepherd attacked her grandmother as she carried her across the street to try to avoid the dog. 

The attack came just as Altoona-based anti-chaining activist Tamira Ci Thayne was finishing day six of her protest at the Capitol.

Thayne, founder of the national anti-chaining group Dogs Deserve Better, has tethered herself to a dog house and is camped out on the Capitol steps in an effort to win passage of a bill banning round-the-clock chaining. (Image at left shows a chained dog in Montgomery County). Bills that would limit chaining have been introduced in both the House and Senate, but have seen no movement during this legislative session which ends in December.

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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