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Discussion Starter #1
More on Almost Heaven:

http://www.mcall.com/news/columnists/all-5...,4871613.column

Quote:

"Dog Law supervisor Richard Martrich, the Eckhart friend who conducted many of the kennel's inspections over the years and who also helped give the agency's seal of approval to the hellish Limestone Kennels in Chester County, has been transferred to the state Bureau of Weights and Measures.

Dog Law spokesman Chris Ryder said the department's probe into the Limestone Kennels situation was completed with the Martrich transfer. The other warden who inspected the place with him, Maureen Siddons, has returned to active duty, he said.

Meanwhile, the state inspector general's office is conducting an independent investigation into the Dog Law Bureau and the Almost Heaven situation, in which inspections routinely came back clean despite continuing horror stories from customers and rescue groups.

Ryder said the inspector general's investigators are looking specifically at whether Eckhart was tipped off before his inspections. Nelson said PSPCA is cooperating with that probe.

Finally, many people have asked what they can do to help with the dogs that have been removed from Almost Heaven as a result of the PSPCA raid.

In the broadest sense, maybe the most important thing you can do is to stop buying dogs from pet stores.

Most pet store dogs come from puppy mills, which not only means you're rolling the dice about your new dog's condition, but that you're providing financial support for the animal cruelty that has distinguished Pennsylvania's sordid puppy mill tradition."
 

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"Almost Heaven" is definitely a misnomer. Those poor animals - I hope that rescues etc. can be found to take them. I went to his website and was totally shocked at what he charges for his "rescue" animals - I'm bettng a lot of them are breeding "stock" that he just wants to get rid of.

I hope the animal cruelty convictions stick and that he faces both fines and jail time. I don't know how the PA law reads, but I sincerely hope that he is required to find homes, shelters or rescues for his animals and is allowed to kill them. He sounds like scum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Elvismom-

Quote fron article:

"Eckhart also appealed Dog Law's revocation of his kennel license. That case will be heard in Harrisburg Nov. 13. If he loses the case and doesn't appeal further, he'll be given a set amount of time to dispose of his dogs."

If he loses and has to dispose of his dogs, he is not allowed to personally kill them - THANKS TO THE NEW DOG LAW:

Prior to this he would have been allowed to shoot them, as did the Reading puppymill owners who slaughtered 80 dogs back in late summer because they were being required to get rid of the dogs' fleas. It was easier and cheaper for them to shoot their kennel dogs than to buy Frontline. Under the new law, only a vet can euathanize a puppymill dog.


The above incident went a long way in getting the current legislation passed- people finally saw the horrors that could be inflicted on dogs LEGALLY in this state.


Hopefully most of the Almost Heaven dogs will be taken by rescues:according to the article I posted Oct. 4th about this raid, "Some of the scores of dogs and cats seized from Derbe ''Skip'' Eckhart's Almost Heaven kennel are already up for adoption through the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Philadelphia, and many more are expected to be available after they receive medical treatment and behavioral rehabilitation.''
 

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Thank doG he can't kill them. And I sure hope he loses his appeal and they shut him down. Now if we could only keep him from opening another kennel somewhere else.... But, I'll take the small victories when they come our way.

Now I'll pray for furever homes for each one of those canine victims. I hope they can all live out their lives with loving humans.

Thanks for all the postings you do on what's happening in PA. I hope that other states follow their example.
 

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he can't kill them but a vet can. i was spending the weekend in pennsylvania this weekend and the people i were with said the law hasn't passed yet cause it wasn't signed yet.is this true? Billy Milko ok now i just did a little research and saw where some else said it was signed by the Gov. of Pa on Oct.9th,but did it take effect right than?
 

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he can't kill them but a vet can. i was spending the weekend in pennsylvania this weekend and the people i were with said the law hasn't passed yet cause it wasn't signed yet.is this true? Billy Milko ok now i just did a little research and saw where some else said it was signed by the Gov. of Pa on Oct.9th,but did it take effect right than?[/b]

Most parts do not go in effect until 60 days after signing however the sections on comercial kennel requirement do not go in effect for a year because most of the regulation is not even written and is dependant on a animal welfare committe that has not even ben formed. There are a few sections with talk effect imeadiately one being that any anmimal siezed or held as part of the regulatory process can only be euthanized by a Vet. At one time the law required state notification and permission for even a vet to euthanized but under the current regulation a vet can euthanize first for the comfort and well being of the animal and notify the state after,


link to pased verision of HB 2525
(1) THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS SHALL TAKE EFFECT IN ONE <--
15 YEAR:
16 (I) THE ADDITION OF SECTION 207(H)(1) THROUGH (16)
17 OF THE ACT.
18 (II) EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH (2)(II), THE
19 ADDITION OF SECTION 207(I) OF THE ACT.
20 (2) THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS SHALL TAKE EFFECT
21 IMMEDIATELY:
22 (I) THE ADDITION OF SECTION 207(H)(17) AND (18) OF
23 THE ACT.
24 (II) THE ADDITION OF SECTION 207(I)(6)(X)(B) AND (J)
25 OF THE ACT.
26 (III) THE ADDITION OF SECTION 221 OF THE ACT.
27 (IV) THIS SECTION.
28 (3) The remainder of this act shall take effect in 60
29 days.[/b]
Michael Tefts
 

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Discussion Starter #7
he can't kill them but a vet can. i was spending the weekend in pennsylvania this weekend[/b]
Yes, but euthanization by a vet is alot more expensive than a box of bullets- so if they want to stay legal, another cheap option is contacting rescues or the SPCA. (Or maybe get out of the business all together because of higher costs.)

Under this new law medical procedures are still not required to be performed by a vet- puppymillers can still do lots of things including c-sections( which are often performed without anesthesia in filthy conditions, among other horrors which I won't list here) Next year H.B. 2532, which would put an end to this, comes up for consideration.

Hope you had a nice weekend up here- Paul and I bagged 18 more bags of leaves but the weather was gorgeous-

Thanks for posting the link, Mike.
 

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Yes, but euthanization by a vet is alot more expensive than a box of bullets- so if they want to stay legal, another cheap option is contacting rescues or the SPCA. (Or maybe get out of the business all together because of higher costs.)[/b]

Um law does not provide for that option explictly only if that meansd of divestment is in the CEASE AND DESIST order,
I) IMMEDIATELY CEASE AND DESIST FROM OPERATING A
24 KENNEL, INCLUDING BOARDING, BUYING, EXCHANGING, SELLING,
25 OFFERING FOR SALE, GIVING AWAY OR IN ANY WAY TRANSFERRING
26 DOGS.

...(III) NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO THE
6 EUTHANIZATION OF ANY DOG. NO DOG MAY BE EUTHANIZED UNLESS
7 IT IS DETERMINED BY A VETERINARIAN THAT THE EUTHANASIA
8 WILL PREVENT THE DOG FROM SUFFERING CAUSED BY A MEDICAL
9 CONDITION. IF A VETERINARIAN DETERMINES A DOG SHOULD BE
10 EUTHANIZED, A COPY OF THE VETERINARIAN'S FINDINGS, SIGNED
11 BY THE VETERINARIAN, MUST BE PROVIDED TO THE DEPARTMENT.
12 THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBPARAGRAPH DO NOT APPLY TO AN
13 EMERGENCY SITUATION IF IT IS DEEMED BY THE VETERINARIAN
14 THAT IMMEDIATE EUTHANASIA IS NECESSARY TO RELIEVE THE
15 SUFFERING OF THE DOG. FOLLOWING EUTHANASIA IN AN
16 EMERGENCY SITUATION, A COPY OF THE VETERINARIAN'S FINDING
17 MUST BE SIGNED BY THE VETERINARIAN AND PROVIDED TO THE
18 DEPARTMENT.

...DIVEST OF ALL DOGS NUMBERING OVER 25, UNLESS
24 DIRECTED OTHERWISE BY THE DEPARTMENT ORDER, WITHIN A
25 REASONABLE TIME PERIOD AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT,
26 BUT NOT TO EXCEED TEN DAYS. THE DEPARTMENT'S ORDER SHALL
27 SET FORTH THE MANNER BY WHICH THE KENNEL OWNER MAY DIVEST
28 OF THE DOGS.[/b]
so dog may be only given to whom the dog law bureau say's it is ok to.


Michael Tefts



...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
"Hopefully most of the Almost Heaven dogs will be taken by rescues:according to the article I posted Oct. 4th about this raid, "Some of the scores of dogs and cats seized from Derbe ''Skip'' Eckhart's Almost Heaven kennel are already up for adoption through the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Philadelphia, and many more are expected to be available after they receive medical treatment and behavioral rehabilitation.''

That quote is from my second post in this thread- in truth, local organizations have a history of taking discarded dogs-
and of course, that's not a good option because these organizations are already overwhelmed with unwanted pets.

It's a bad situation all around: there are no good solutions for these dogs. That's why the puppymill business needs to be shut down.

And that's why, as a resident of Lancaster County, which has some of the worst hell-hole puppymills in the United States, I supported the legislation and stand by it.

All I can say to you and others who have opposed it for whatever reasons, is to give it a chance.
 

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All I can say to you and others who have opposed it for whatever reasons, is to give it a chance.[/b]
A law that does not address why puppymills exist in the first place. Places much more stingrent requirments on locations that breed pupies than sell them Why?

then again the major provision of the bill still need to be worked out and won't take effect for at least three years so it will be a long wait
Michael Tefts
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A law that does not address why puppymills exist in the first place. Places much more stingrent requirments on locations that breed pupies than sell them Why?

then again the major provision of the bill still need to be worked out and won't take effect for at least three years so it will be a long wait
Michael Tefts[/b]
A: From my other thread- the Commercial kennels are the kennels which will primarily be affected, and the emphasis in that definition is on selling and transferring, not breeding:

Quote:"Two definitions of "Kennel" now exist in Pennsylvania.

1.KENNEL: Any establishment in or through which at least 26 dogs are kept or transferred in a calendar year, or a boarding kennel. THESE ESTABLISHMENTS WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE WITHIN THE PARAMETERS OF THE 1982 DOG LAW with the exeption that they must develop an exercise plan, and must be equipped with a smoke alarm or fire extinquisher

2.COMMERCIAL KENNELS: now defined as a kennel that 1. breeds or whelps dogs and sells or transfers any dog to a dealer or pet shop or 2. sells or transfers more than 60 dogs per calendar year.

The Commercial Kennels are the kennels affected by the new dog law (see provisions listed in post #1 of the previous thread)" end Quote


B: Puppy mills exist because of greed on the part of the operators, and ignorance on the part of buyers. I'm not sure how those things can be addressed through the legislature.

On the other hand, I've spent many hours over the past 2 years trying to educate people about the issues involved. Two years ago, it was common for people right here in Lancaster County to ask "what's a puppymill?" when they were asked to sign petitions to get the Dog Law changed. Thanks to hard work by alot of dedicated people, media support, and a governor who knows what a blot on the state the mills are, that's no longer the case.

C. There is a 3 year deferrment for some kennels who have made recent improvemnents- it will also take time to implement other aspects of the law- so be it.
 

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A: From my other thread- the Commercial kennels are the kennels which will primarily be affected, and the emphasis in that definition is on selling and transferring, not breeding:[/b]
Not true By defininiton a comercial kennel must either breed or raise puppies.
Quote:"Two definitions of "Kennel" now exist in Pennsylvania.

1.KENNEL: Any establishment in or through which at least 26 dogs are kept or transferred in a calendar year, or a boarding kennel. THESE ESTABLISHMENTS WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE WITHIN THE PARAMETERS OF THE 1982 DOG LAW with the exeption that they must develop an exercise plan, and must be equipped with a smoke alarm or fire extinquisher

2.COMMERCIAL KENNELS: now defined as a kennel that 1. breeds or whelps dogs and sells or transfers any dog to a dealer or pet shop or 2. sells or transfers more than 60 dogs per calendar year.

The Commercial Kennels are the kennels affected by the new dog law (see provisions listed in post #1 of the previous thread)"[/b]
One first need to kep in mind the definition of a "kennel" in the new legislation does not substantially change for most except rescue networks in that the 26 dog kept or transfered in a single year. The new edition is the Comercial kennel Which is one that Breed or raises "And" is very specific when it comes to the language of the law it means that both sides must be satisfied not just one as in "or" . That is for an establishment to be consider a comnercial kennels is must breed or raise young pups a Pet store and dealers etc that buys whepped puppies remain uneffected and are at the heart of the comercial dog business. Well not completely uneffected they must have a sprinkler system or fire extinguisher and an exercise plan .

Let say an web base commercial kennel wanted to avoid being effected by the new changes. all it simply needs to do is eliminate it breeding stock and buy/import puppies to sell at retail. Same size keenels that were legal prior will still be legal now, Same lack of climate control, wire cages, stacking of cages and sanitary conditions nothing changes. All the PA legislature did is make it more difficult to breed large quanity of dogs in the state it did not make it harder to sell large quanity of dogs in the state thus pushing the breeding issue onto other states.

.

2. Economics 101 is demand drives suppy the existance of puppy mills ( commercial breeding establisments) are because of demand. The only way to lessen the demand thus comercial breeders is one reduce demand for pups or educate the consumer as to the value of well bred dogs and at the same time make them available so consumers are seeking dog for an additional outlet. Keep in mind any law legislation or act the makes it more difficult for a hobby breeder to fill or replace the volume supplied by comercial kennels in the end is not going to effective in eliminating al it does is drive up the cost of dogs in puppy stores.

Now if one is only interested in so call 'phsyical cruelity" of some comercial enterpirses then such law may be effective but that case is only marginal bercause the cruelity laws on the book which are not routinely being enforced there is no reaonalble expectation that new ones will be as well. But this does nothing to address the true horror of comercial breeding which is simply done to produce quanity not quality on the dog population as a whole. Making hobby breeding more difficult or limiting the quanity of dogs a quality breed can produce only exaserbates the problem hence the problem with most legislative solutions.


I'm not sure how those things can be addressed through the legislature.[/b]
exactly which is why any legislation purporting to address the problem is fraudulent. While the intent of most regulation is to correct a problem in the end most have no or little effect on the problem that the intended to fix but have far reaching consequence never enve initially consider. Which of course requires another roung of legislation etc.
For most societal problems legisation is ineffective and often counterproductive.


Michael Tefts
 

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And the exercse requiremets. woohoo for pete's sake the biggest reason dogs end up in shelters is because of behavioral issue and the number one cause of behavioral issue is lack of early socialization. Socialization and habituation should be a requirement. Do that and exercise happens, but No. In fact issolation is more highly recommend for safety reasons.


This legislation makes it impossible for hobby breeders to come close to being able to fill the void if comercial breed were eliminated.
A hobby breeder with the show dogs and as few as a couple litter a year is likely to fit the new definition of a comercial breeder and has to meet alsort of requirement that are nearly impossible to do for a hobby breeder which does not treat dogs as chatle. Also keep in mind they can not escape registration even if they did not sell dogs. Because of the had number cut off and extreme requirement It would be extremely imprudent of a hobby breeder to ever approach the 26 number. On larger than normal liter and they could be in serious trouble. With just seven days to register. But a pet store can sell thousands of dogs keeping them in wire floor crates stack on wire floor crate so small the dog can not turn around but hey that what you want right a bandaid on a malignent tumour the size of a basketball.

Michael Tefts
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mike, thanks for caring enough about this issue to research it and post.

In response, I'll just say that I stand by everything I've previously posted on the subject.
 

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PA law enforcement in action

Get a job inspecting kennels of friends, allow all types of violations and when they catch up to you, you get only a transfer. Now this honest, credible political flunky will be protecting the public interest by inspecting the scales at the local butcher and checking gas pumps. I wonder if the fringe benefits will be as good. Certainly there will be more opportunities.

OH, wait --- we have a new law---- the old one wasn't enforced, but some people believe the new law will cure all. Did we get honest inspectors, or just new titles for some of the old group??? You don't suppose the other warden will get promoted to be the replacement??????

Puppy mills can no longer kill dogs-- well, giving them to shelters is even cheaper than a box of bullets.
 

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PA law enforcement in action

Get a job inspecting kennels of friends, allow all types of violations and when they catch up to you, you get only a transfer. Now this honest, credible political flunky will be protecting the public interest by inspecting the scales at the local butcher and checking gas pumps. I wonder if the fringe benefits will be as good. Certainly there will be more opportunities.

OH, wait --- we have a new law---- the old one wasn't enforced, but some people believe the new law will cure all. Did we get honest inspectors, or just new titles for some of the old group??? You don't suppose the other warden will get promoted to be the replacement??????

Puppy mills can no longer kill dogs-- well, giving them to shelters is even cheaper than a box of bullets.[/b]
I agree with all of the above :I started this thread to make people aware of the corruption we've had here for years. I think the fact that the situation is getting media attention creates pressure for reform.

And I certainly don't think the new law will cure all. But it will make living conditions better for the dogs, and hopefully pressure some of these operations out of business.
 

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Only adequate, honest and realistic inspection and enforcement will help -- not new laws

I know something about the PA system -- I had a kennel license once- only because it was cheaper than individual licences for the dogs. From talking with other license holders, I found the inspections to be anywhere from super picky to sit in the house and never even see the dogs or the kennel. When I found that the inspector was wandering through my property when nobody was home, I told them to take their license and leave.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Only adequate, honest and realistic inspection and enforcement will help -- not new laws[/b]
Well, I agrree with everything you say about enforcement, but I still see the problem as two-fold:

One: yes, we need to expose the corruption and get some real enforcement in this state.

Two: living conditions need to be improved for the dogs. The new law sets higher standards for living conditions,and by doing so puts financial pressure on the puppymills.

Educating the public is crucial to both stepping up enforcemnent AND improving conditions for the dogs.

In my mind, the ultimate goal is to pressure the puppymills out of this state, and I think that can happen if the public demands it.
 

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In my mind, the ultimate goal is to pressure the puppymills out of this state, and I think that can happen if the public demands it.[/b]

and in the giant scheme of things that changes nothing, because it is harder for you to see first hand things are better? Where a mill is located has no bearing on the quality of dog it produces or the pain it inflicts. It could be argued there is a much better chance of getting a less damaged pup from a more local mill than one that was shipped half way cross the country.


Let us make no mistake about it commercial breaders exist because they are necessary given the current regulatory climate in the US to meet the demand for dogs, Local zoning laws. that limit the number of dogs one can own, to laws like this one that make expanding hobby breading to more than one litter a year a regulatory nightmare make it impossible to expand the base of dogs produced by responsible breeders. . What laws like this do is drive out the smaller operations trying to do the right thing for large and more massive commercial enterprise to fill the void at the same time limiting supply drives ups profit margins,

It also makes things easier for radical animal right groups like peta and HSUS to end breeding all to gether when it is only a few people or corporations doing it.


From a moral perpesctive I have a real hard time uinderstand if the Law is to prevent cruelity then shouldn't such standard should apply to all and not a select few. Why should some one who produces 25 dogs per year be allowed to be cruel while some one who produces 26 is not. Selective enforcement and application of regulations is never a good idea Why should some one that provides guard dogs be allowed to keep then in cruel cramped wire floor crates stacked 20 high.

That is because it is antibreeding legislation not anti cruelity legislation as it is being portrayed.


Michael Tefts
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If I join you guys out at the E-town Beagle Club on Saturday, should I take all the bumber stickers off my car? :blink:
 
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