HARRISBURG – The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, acting on a confidential tip, recently found 17 dogs stacked in cramped, dirty conditions in a panel van in Delaware County, said the Department of Agriculture.
The transporter, Anne Marie Wessel from Lillington, N.C., surrendered the dogs to the Pennsylvania SPCA, whose agents arrived after being contacted by dog wardens. The van contained no food, water, leashes, bowls or bedding. Two dogs were not contained, and other dogs were held in undersized crates lacking adequate ventilation.
“This was not a typical rescue transport,” Special Deputy Secretary for Dog Law Enforcement Jessie Smith said. “This was a paid transporter who made no effort to follow Pennsylvania’s requirements for humane transport. These dogs were suffering from the conditions they had to endure during this trip.
“The bureau appreciates the efforts of groups that rescue and find new homes for dogs in a responsible manner. But this enforcement action is about a transporter who violated the Pennsylvania dog law and, more importantly, did nothing to safeguard the dogs under her care.”
The dogs were transported from North Carolina. Eleven dogs were bound for New York and Vermont. Additional dogs had been taken previously to other locations.
Wessel was cited with five transport conditions violations, failure to have health certificates as required for interstate transports and for selling a dog in a public place. Health certificates are legally required for incoming dogs to protect Pennsylvania dogs from contagious diseases carried by dogs from other states.
“Pennsylvania’s new Dog Law added a provision to aid rescues by exempting transfers between rescue network groups from the ban on dog transfers in public places,” Smith added. “That exemption did not apply here because this was a paid transporter, not a rescue network member.”
For more information about the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement or to view kennel inspection reports, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us, click on “Bureaus, Commissions & Councils,” and select “Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.” Tips about unsatisfactory or illegal kennels can be reported confidentially by using the Department’s Web complaint form, or calling 1-877-DOG-TIP1.