FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Nov. 16, 2007
Department of Agriculture
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
CONTACT: Nicole L. Cullison
UNION COUNTY KENNEL CHARGED, DOGS SURRENDERED
State Dog Wardens, Humane Officers Remove 29 Dogs from Lewisburg Kennel
HARRISBURG - State dog wardens helped humane officers to recover 29 dogs from an unlicensed Union County facility as part of Governor Edward G. Rendell's effort to crack down on unsatisfactory kennels, the Department of Agriculture said today.
On Nov. 13, state dog wardens visited Fairview kennel in Lewisburg to investigate a complaint about the facility operating without a license. The wardens found 29 of the 40 dogs were dirty, matted and living in unsanitary conditions, including excess fecal matter.
The owner, Alvin Zimmerman, is being charged by the wardens for operating a kennel without a license and failing to maintain sanitary conditions.
Jessie Smith, the state's special deputy for dog law, said any kennel with more than 26 dogs per year must obtain a license and be inspected annually.
"The conditions of the kennel were unsatisfactory and without a license it could not continue to operate," said Smith. "Upon finding evidence of poor sanitation, the wardens immediately contacted humane officers who removed the dogs."
Zimmerman previously held a kennel license, which was surrendered in 2006 due to problems with the kennel, including sanitation and cleaning deficiencies. Following the surrender of his license, Zimmerman voluntarily reduced the number of dogs housed. Smith said sometime between the kennel license revocation in 2006 and the inspection this month, Zimmerman increased the number of dogs at the kennel to more than is allowed by law.
In October 2006, Governor Rendell announced sweeping changes to the state's dog law and regulations. The Governor also took actions to increase the enforcement of current laws by naming Smith as a special deputy, hiring a special prosecutor, and increasing the number of dog wardens.
For more information on Pennsylvania's dog law, and to access kennel inspection records, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us/padoglaw .
Complaints against veterinarians in Nassau County, NYCAPS did an extensive investigation of Jeff Blustein, a USDA licensed broker whose company, Rare Breeds, was importing Hungarian puppies with fraudulent pedigrees. He sold these puppies to pet shops in New York and New Jersey. CAPS received a number of complaints from consumers who purchased European Kennel Club (EKCH) puppies. CAPS President Deborah Howard appeared on TV news in Hungary and worked closely with reputable Hungarian breeders who verified that the pedigrees produced by the bogus kennel club were fraudulent.
We presented our documentary evidence to the New York Attorney General's Office in 2005. CAPS had two lengthy meetings in the Manhattan and Nassau County Attorney General offices to discuss the case. The Attorney General reached a settlement in March. Rare Breeds agreed to discontinue importing dogs from Hungary with pedigree documents from EKCH or any other kennel clubs with which Bela Musto (the exporter and creator of the pedigrees) is affiliated. Rare Breeds also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $20,000. CAPS will continue to monitor Hungarian puppies in pet shops.