LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania SPCA says the owner of 55 dogs and puppies removed from a filthy, unlivable Lancaster County property was duping online buyers about the animals’ living conditions.
Law enforcement went to the property this week expecting to rescue 40 dogs but found 55. Many of the animals had untreated medical conditions.
Vets are working double-time in an effort to nurse them back to health.
“This rescue really demonstrates the scope of the puppy mill issue in Pennsylvania,” said Kristen Tullo, the Pennsylvania state director of the Humane Society.
Multiple dogs were stuffed in the same cages, with feces seeping out.
The owner, who had been previously cited for poor conditions, once had a kennel license but gave it up.
“This is clearly a situation where the individual knew what the laws were, what the expectations were,” said Nicole Wilson, the director of humane law enforcement at the PSPCA.
The dogs are getting treatment in Philadelphia. One has severe pneumonia and several are on IV fluids.
The owner’s name has not been released. Charges are pending as the animals get evaluated.
“He made it seem like they were living in idyllic conditions and hade a website up that was purporting to have just this amazing high-quality care for his dogs,” Wilson said.
The PSPCA and Humane Society agree it isn’t safe to buy pets online because you don’t know enough about where they come from and it continues the cycle of abuse.
“Never purchase a pet on the internet … pet stores and internet,” Tullo said. “They can purchase pets from places like this; there is nothing preventing them.”
There’s currently a bipartisan pet resales bill called Victoria’s Law that would target puppy mills. Tullo says it’s stuck in committee.
“We are urging advocates to contact their state legislator and ask them to urge the Senate leadership, Senate judiciary leadership to bring this bill up for a fair vote,” Tullo said.
The puppies are going to be quarantined for at least two weeks as they recover.
The Humane Society says if you’ve bought a sick or misrepresented pet, contact the Office of the Attorney General.
The PSPCA is raising money for the care of the dogs.