It’s great news for the dogs and puppies at Limestone Kennels, the Chester County, PA, puppy mill that was raided last week!! The endless cycle of use, abuse, neglect, breed and overbreed is finally over for them. They will now have a chance at life, the way life is supposed to be; life out of a cage, good food and water, proper medical care and most of all, a loving and caring family.

John Blank, owner of Limestone Kennels, has had his kennel license revoked permanently and has pleaded guilty eight counts of animal cruelty and two violations of the Dog Law. The remaining dogs at the kennel, approximately 75 or so, have all been surrendered to the Pennsylvania SPCA.

Blank will be allowed to own no more than 5 personal dogs while he is on probation for 2 years. As usual I find the sentence far too lenient for the prison sentence that more than 100 dogs in his kennel were subjected to, not to mention the abominable conditions they lived under. I guess we can take consolation in the fact that he will will not be running a kennel again.

“As a result of today’s actions, the dogs from this commercial breeding kennel will be cared for and put up for adoption to homes. This is the best possible outcome for the dogs,” said Wolff. “While the results are positive for these dogs, the case shows the need for better laws to protect all dogs in commercial breeding kennels.”

HB 2525, the legislation that would do so much for the dogs, that is currently sitting in the House Appropriations Committee.

“Raising the minimum standards for commercial breeding kennels and requiring annual veterinary checks would benefit all dogs in these types of settings,” said Wolff. “Current law does not require that dogs ever receive routine medical care and as a result, many go without.”
The bill would require veterinary examinations for each dog at least once per year or during each pregnancy.

Among other protections for dogs, H.B. 2525 doubles the minimum floor space for dogs, eliminates wire flooring, and requires access to an outdoor exercise area twice the size of the dog’s primary enclosure. Current law does not require dogs ever be taken out of cages, much less given access to exercise areas.

Current law treats all kennels the same, regardless of size or function. The proposed legislation would allow the health and welfare needs of the dogs housed in large commercial breeding kennels to be addressed.

Requirements are virtually unchanged for other types of kennels, like sporting and hobby dog kennels, because they do not operate with the purpose of breeding large quantities of dogs to sell for profit. Instead, they operate for the purpose of sporting, hobby, boarding or finding homes for dogs. (MarketWatch)

Sadly, although the “Puppy Mill Bill”, as HB 2525 is called, was passed to the House at the end of June, there is languishes. Since then, “those intent on keeping Pennsylvania “The Puppy Mill Capital of the East” have tacked on no fewer than 52 amendments to House Bill 2525. A review of the amendments reveal the majority to fall into one of two categories: (1) amendments that thwart the spirit of the Bill and essentially undo all positive measures for the breeder dogs; and (2) frivolous filler.” Please take a few minutes to read the whole story HERE. It’s quite enlightening and eye opening.

What is so difficult about asking that dogs, living, breathing, feeling creatures, be given fair and humane treatment? Of course I, and thousands of other puppy mill opponents, would prefer to see them all closed down, but realistically I know that’s not going to happen, far too many pockets to line with the almighty buck. So why not at least force those that make their buck on the bodies of innocent and defenseless dogs at least follow some humane standards.

Lately we been seeing more and more puppy mills raided and shut down. Puppy millers are coming under fire and are being forced to account for the actions and the treatment of the dogs. We need more of this, not just in PA, but all over the county. Puppy mills are a plague and one of the biggest causes for the millions and millions of dogs in shelters every year that are killed. It’s time to break the cycle!!

In PA there is a new hotline that you can use to call in complaints, 1-877-DOG-TIP1. This will help anyone wishing to offer confidential tips about unsatisfactory kennels between regular inspections.

“Dog wardens routinely visit a kennel twice a year,” said Jessie Smith, Pennsylvania’s special deputy secretary of dog law enforcement. “These inspections offer snapshots of the conditions of the kennel on that particular day, but conditions can be very different between inspections. If members of the public see kennel conditions that they feel are unacceptable at any time, they can report them to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement so a warden or a team of wardens can investigate.”

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