PA Governor Supports Change In Dog Law
The entire state of Pennsylvania and beyond is outraged after 80 dogs were shot and killed by their owner earlier this month because they suffered from fleas and insect bites. And it was all perfectly legal.
That’s because a 1984 state law says that dog breeders are permitted to kill their dogs with firearms, even if they are perfectly healthy. It’s a disgusting story. It’s caused so much chatter that the Governor is speaking out about it. Hopefully, this horrible incident will prompt change.
Breeder Elmer Zimmerman, and his brother, Ammon, have since apologized to the public for shooting 80 small-breed dogs at the two kennels they operated in Kutztown after wardens had ordered 39 dogs checked for insect bites and had issued citations for conditions at the kennels. The two brothers have since surrendered their breeding licenses.
At a press conference last Saturday in Philadelphia, Gov. Ed Rendell urged the passage of state House bill 2525 that would allow only vets to euthanize dogs in commercial breeding kennels.
According to reports that I’ve read, House Bill 2525 also proposes that the following change at kennels:
* Doubles the minimum floor space for cages.
* Requires outdoor exercise. Current law does not require even that dogs be let out of cages, much less given access to outside exercise.
* Requires solid flooring. Dogs now can spend their entire lives on wire floors, which damage their feet over time.
* Prohibits the stacking of cages. Under existing law, cages can be stacked so high that inspectors can’t see whether they have food or water, or even if they are still alive.
* Requires veterinary checks annually or during each pregnancy. Many dogs now never see a vet throughout their entire lives.
Last Friday night, 100 people attended a vigil for the animals outside the Berks County property where the atrocities occurred. Rest in peace poor pups. Let’s hope this new bill passes in their honor.
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