80 Dogs Shot Dead by Kennel Owners
The loss of 80 more lives can be chalked up to Pennsylvania’s antiquated Dog Law and the people who continue to hold up the passage of new legislation as well as the two men who actually pulled the trigger and shot and killed the doomed puppy mill dogs.
Rather than clean up and take care of their dogs, two Berks County kennel owners, Elmer Zimmerman of E&A Kennel and brother, Ammon Zimmerman of A&J Kennel, shot and killed their entire kennel population, about 80 dogs.
On July 24, after receiving poor inspection reports and told to have their dogs checked by a vet, Elmer Zimmerman shot his 70 small breed dogs and threw them on a compost pile and his brother killed 10 at about the same time.
It is legal for kennel owners to shoot their dogs in Pennsylvania!
Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff released the following statement in response to the shooting of 80 dogs at two Berks County kennels:
“The recent shooting of 80 dogs at two Berks County kennels is saddening. The decision by commercial breeders to kill healthy dogs instead of paying to repair a kennel and seek veterinary care is alarming, and will likely outrage many people. Unfortunately, the killing of the dogs was legal under current Pennsylvania law.
“The two kennels involved have both voluntarily closed, but until our state’s outdated dog law is changed kennel owners may continue to kill their dogs for any reason they see fit, even if it is simply to save money. We can’t afford to wait any longer to pass legislation that would ban commercial kennel owners from killing their dogs.
“House Bill 2525, introduced in May, would allow only veterinarians to euthanize dogs in commercial breeding kennels. The bill would strengthen current dog laws and provide better standards for the health and safety of dogs in commercial breeding kennels without burdening other types of kennels that house dogs. The legislature has an opportunity to pass this important legislation this fall, and they should — as doing so will assure that this activity will be illegal in PA commercial breeding kennels moving forward.”
Elmer Zimmerman, owner of E & A Kennel, said Tuesday that he feared the Department of Agriculture was trying to close him down and that he destroyed the dogs on his veterinarian’s recommendation.
“They were old, and we were hearing that they don’t want kennels anymore,” said Zimmerman, who has held a commercial kennel license since at least 2003. “The best thing to do was get rid of them.”
Jessie Smith, the dog-law bureau’s special deputy secretary, said Elmer Zimmerman told dog warden Orlando Aguirre that the dogs had been shot.
Aguirre, who had cited Zimmerman for multiple dog-law violations and ordered vet checks on 39 dogs for flea and fly bites, told him he didn’t believe he had shot the dogs. Zimmerman then got out the backhoe and uncovered the bodies of dogs – among them poodles, shih tzus and cocker spaniels – that had been thrown onto the compost pile, she said.
“It’s horrible, but it’s legal,” said Smith of the shooting.
“That someone would shoot 70 dogs rather than spend money to do a vet check is extremely problematic,” she said. “If the definition of a puppy mill is putting profits over care of the dogs, this is a stark example of doing that.” (The Olympian)
During the inspection on July 24, wardens found, in addition to the skin infections, 19 other violations. They issued citations for maintenance, extreme heat, insufficient bedding, and wire flooring that allowed dogs’ feet to fall through.
The Zimmermans voluntarily surrendered their licenses on July 29 after killing the dogs and the only charges that will be faced is by Elmer Zimmerman who pleaded guilty to four charges of violating the dog law.
Ken Brandt, lobbyist for the Pennsylvania Professional Dog Breeders Association, which represents 300 commercial kennels, said his group did not support the Zimmermans’ actions.
“There are others ways to take care of the situation, like in a court,” he said.
Howard Nelson, chief executive officer of Pennsylvania SPCA, called the shootings inhumane and evil and said the breeder could have easily surrendered the dogs to rescue groups.
“He could have treated the dogs with medication for $40 or $50,” said Nelson. “Every humane society in the state would have taken those dogs.”
State Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone, a Reading Democrat, is an advocate of reforming the dog law and a prime sponsor of an amendment to the proposed legislation.
“I’m shocked that something like this could take place,” he said
Yet another reason the new ‘Puppy Mill’ legislation needs to be passed and passed NOW!! All these hold-ups and BS by certain legislators need to end.
Read more about what some legislators are doing to HB 2525, the love overdue Puppy Mill bill – Will HB 2525 be Amended to Death?
After you read this, you will know what to do; TAKE ACTION!!
Find out what you can do HERE! Then Call, Write, Email!! Don’t let more innocents lose their lives at the hands of other heartless, cruel, money-grubbing puppy millers!!
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