80 Dogs Killed Legally

 |  Aug 15th 2008  |   19 Contributions


What is wrong with people? Seriously. I just came across this story and was reminded of the depths to which humanity can go.

Two Berks County commercial kennel operators shot and killed 80 dogs after dog wardens ordered some of the animals be examined by veterinarians, state dog law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

And because they broke no current Pennsylvania law by slaughtering the dogs, animal advocates and some lawmakers are outraged.

Elmer Zimmerman of Kutztown shot 70 dogs after an inspection last month, officials of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement said.

His brother, Ammon Zimmerman, operator of a kennel next door, shot 10 of his own dogs, officials said.

These are kennel owners! You'd think they were in this profession because they love animals. How naive of me to think that. It's all about the dollar.

"We went out on July 24 and inspected Elmer's kennel. There were various kennel violations we said we'd be citing them for, and the warden ordered vet checks on 39 dogs," said Jessie Smith, deputy secretary of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. "(Elmer Zimmerman) told the warden, 'I think I'm going out of business.' We suggested that he surrender the dogs, but he was not agreeable to that. Then he called the warden back over the weekend and said he shot the dogs."

He brutally shot them because he couldn't afford to take care of them. Why not just give them up?

Still, she said she doesn't know why the Zimmermans chose to kill their breeder dogs rather than turn them over to any of the dozens of shelters, rescue groups and others willing to take even sick and ailing animals discarded by commercial breeding kennels.

"Unfortunately, under current law, kennel owners may kill their dogs for any reason, even if it is simply to save money," H.B. 2525's prime sponsor Rep. James E. Casorio Jr. of Westmoreland County wrote in a Friday press release in response to the Zimmerman killings.

The incident has outraged animal advocates and strengthened resolve of backers of House Bill 2525, which seeks to improve life for dogs living in the state's commercial breeding kennels. H.B. 2525 includes a provision that would prohibit commercial breeders from shooting their own dogs by requiring euthanization by a veterinarian.

If you live in Pennsylvania, let your local representative know that you support this legislation.

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