Almost Heaven, Closer To Hell

 |  Oct 3rd 2008  |   14 Contributions

A kennel in Emmaus (PA) will have its license revoked after an inspection by The Department of Agriculture cited the owner for severe sanitation issues.

Derbe Eckhart, the owner of Almost Heaven Kennel, will be cited for violating the state's dog law and will have to sell or transfer enough dogs to no longer be considered a kennel. Any kennel housing more than 25 dogs is required to be licensed and inspected.

"Mr. Eckhart allowed conditions at his kennel to deteriorate into a deplorable state," said Jessie Smith, special deputy secretary for dog law enforcement. "While we continue investigating his operations, we are taking this action to protect the health and welfare of the animals there."

Thanks to House Bill 2525, recently passed by the House making progress in the Senate, if passed it will strengthen the current dog laws concerning commercial breeding kennels.

"Raising the minimum standards for commercial breeding kennels and requiring annual veterinary checks will benefit all dogs in these types of settings," said Smith. "Current law does not require that dogs ever receive routine medical care and as a result, many go without.

H.B. 2525 would require veterinary examinations for each dog twice per year. It would also double the minimum floor space for dogs, eliminates wire flooring, and requires access to an exercise area twice the size of the dog's primary enclosure. Current law does not require dogs ever be taken out of cages, much less given access to exercise areas.

I realize this is only a start, but at least we're beginning to see some change. You can visit DogLawAction, to learn more about Pennsylvania's Dog Law proposed legislation.


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