Woman pleads guilty to animal cruelty in debarking case

Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A woman has pleaded guilty to six animal cruelty charges regarding the debarking of dogs seized from her Lancaster County farm last year.

Annie M. Beiler, 47, of Quarryville, entered the plea Thursday and will serve two years of probation, the district attorney’s office said.

Beiler must surrender all of her dogs to the Pennsylvania SPCA except for one dog that must be spayed, remain an indoor pet, and be subject to welfare checks.

She is prohibited for two years from owning, possessing, or having in her control any dogs, or from having employment involving the care of any dogs.

Beiler was charged with 15 counts of animal cruelty and neglect after humane officers seized 15 dogs from her farm in May 2018.

The PSPCA said it had received a tip that Beiler had arranged to have a female husky-type dog debarked. When a humane officer informed Beiler that debarking is illegal, she claimed she had canceled the appointment.

Two days later, Beiler called the humane officer to report that she had the dog debarked and it was a woman who performed the act, according to a criminal complaint.

The humane officer went to Beiler’s farm and asked if any other dogs had been debarked. Beiler reported that two adult Doberman pinschers had been debarked by the same woman.

Beiler took the officer into her barn and stated the procedure was done on the concrete floor. She said she paid $60 for each procedure and was present when the dogs were given two shots and had a rod-like object thrust down their throats three times, the complaint states.

Beiler further indicated that she and her family docked the tails of their nine Doberman puppies themselves by placing rubber bands on the tails when the puppies were about three days old. She then led the officer to a hutch-like enclosure with three Doberman puppies and indicated there was an infection on the puppies’ tails.

The wire-based flooring of the hutch was spaced too far apart, which caused the puppies’ legs to fall through and/or become entangled, according to the complaint.

Beiler also failed to provide veterinary care for a Doberman puppy with hyphemia of the left eye, causing permanent visual damage that required removal of the eye, the complaint states.

An Iowa woman who illegally debarked the dogs, Denise Felling, received a sentence of time served to 23 months after pleading guilty in December to eight felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty. 

The district attorney’s office said felling represented herself as a veterinarian to Beiler but never obtained a veterinarian license in Pennsylvania. Her veterinarian license in Iowa has been revoked.

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