HARRISBURG – In connection with Gov. Edward G. Rendell’s efforts to crack down on unsatisfactory kennels, state dog wardens have helped to remove 18 dogs from a Lancaster County kennel as a result of cruelty charges issued by humane officers.
Dog wardens were in the process of issuing a license revocation to Ervin Zimmerman, who owns the kennel in Ephrata, on Nov. 2, when they spotted dogs with matted fur and open sores. The wardens contacted the Humane League of Lancaster County and then helped humane officers remove the dogs from the facility the following day.
The dogs are currently being kept as evidence at the Humane League of Lancaster County.
“The conditions in the kennel were not satisfactory during recent inspections, but during a Nov. 2 inspection, wardens found what they believed to be evidence of cruelty,” said Jessie Smith, the Department of Agriculture’s special deputy secretary. “They immediately contacted humane officers who, with the Lancaster County district attorney’s office, secured a warrant for the removal of the dogs.”
Dog wardens cannot issue cruelty charges, said Smith, but they work closely with the humane officers who can.
Zimmerman was issued five citations earlier this year for unsatisfactory kennel conditions, including food and sanitation charges. These citations, which are pending trial, led to the revocation of the kennel license.
In October 2006, 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, as well as by hiring a special prosecutor and several new dog wardens.
For more information on Pennsylvania’s dog law, and to access kennel inspection records, visit here.