Tag: chester county
Alex Underwood, the county’s first African-American sheriff, said he left A.J., his 19-month-old German shepherd, in the yard Sunday while attending a Martin Luther King Jr. parade.
Shortly after he got home, the dog started acting oddly and foaming at the mouth.
He died early Monday, according to a report in The Herald.
A.J. was in training to become a sheriff’s department K-9, and he frequently visited area schools, Underwood said.
“The kids loved him. We always took him around to different places,” he said. A.J. spent much of his time at the sheriff’s office.”Everybody knew him, I mean he was here. He’d be in 911, sometimes he’d be in my office, sometimes he’d be back in narcotics, he was just kind of, he was part of the family here,” said Underwood.
He said there are some possible suspects, but he wouldn’t elaborate.
“It’s like taking a child, he didn’t bother anybody,” said Underwood.
The arrests of a couple accused of running a dogfighting operation in Chester County has led Pennsylvania congressmen to renew calls for tougher laws.
Rep. Jim Gerlach, of West Pikeland, and Rep. Pat Meehan, of Delaware County, both Republicans, urged passage of a bill that would make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight.
“As former prosecutors we know how crucial it is for law enforcement to have all of the tools necessary to deprive the organizers of these horrific events from receiving the financial rewards they need to continue the criminal enterprises,” Meehan and Marino said in a joint statement.
“With passage of this bill, we can give federal prosecutors more ability to crack down on animal fighting and the criminal culture that typically surrounds animal fighting events.”
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, was passed by the Senate last week, but remains in the House Agriculture Committee.
Despite bipartisan support, the bill could die if no action is taken before the end of the year.
Called the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, the bill would also institute harsher penalties for bringing minors to animal fights.
Shane Santiago and his wife Laura Acampora, both 33, were arrested last week for allegedly operating a dogfighting ring out of the home they shared with five young children in West Brandywine.
Officials accused the couple of contributing to the death of at least 10 dogs and the maiming of many more that were forced to fight in an arena in the basement of the couple’s home. Two of the dogs were found in Chester County, left for dead at the side of the road. One survived.
Santiago and Acampora are charged with over 30 counts of animal cruelty and numerous other offenses. Both remain in Chester County Prison, according to the Pottstown Mercury.
(Photo: One of the dogs seized from the West Brandywine dogfighting operation)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal fighting, arena, basement, bill, chester county, congress, couple, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogfights, family, house, jim gerlach, laura acompora, law, legislation, pass, passage, pat meehan, pennsylvania, senate, shane santiago, spectator prohibition act
Officials in Pennsylvania believe they have found the source of that pit bull corpse that turned up in Chester County — a dogfighting operation they say operated out of a home in West Brandywine.
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrests of a husband and wife Wednesday.
He described their home as “a house of pain and horror for the dogs that lived there. The defendants’ dogs lived by one rule: Fight and win, or die.”
Hogan said five young children also lived in the home, one of whom was bitten by one of the dogs. In retaliation, that animal was hung with a coaxial cable, he said.
The Unionville Times reports that, according to the criminal complaint, the father, who referred to the animals as “livestock,” acknowledged killing at least 10 dogs by hanging or electrocution, and said the couple was “planning on making the training and fighting of pit bull dogs a family business.”
Six living dogs were recovered from the home and are in the custody of the SPCA, according to the York Daily Record
The investigation began after two abandoned pit bulls were found — one, who had been burned, dead in cage; another maimed and burned but still alive, alongside a road. That second dog, Radar, is recovering under the care of the Chester County SPCA.
The younger of the pit bulls was found on the same road the Santiago’s lived on, just miles away.
Santiago was first identified as a suspect when he was arrested on drug charges as part of Operation Silent Night, an operation aimed at curbing violent crime in Coatesville. Neighbors had complained about large numbers of people visiting the property, many from out of state and most bringing dogs with them.
“When we got into that home, what we found was a nightmare,” Hogan said. “This was a full-scale operation of not only dog fighting, but dog training, dog breeding and dog killing.”
They discovered a treadmill, tools used to encourage aggression, and an arena in the basement, with blood-spattered plywood barriers set up around the fighting area. Up to 16 pit bulls were kept in the home at one time, Hogan said.
Santiago and Acampora are charged with more than 30 counts of animal cruelty, endangering the welfare of a child, and conspiracy to commit animal cruelty. Both were being held in Chester County Prison.
(Photos: Unionville Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrests, bodies, brandywine, burned, chester county, coatesville, corpses, cruelty to animals, district attorney, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, father, five children, injured, maimed, mom, mother, operation, pennsylvania, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pop, spca, tom hogan
A crated dog was set on fire Friday night in West Brandywine Township, Pa., , the Chester County SPCA reports.
The dog was the second to be found fatally burned in Chester County in just over three months.
Wagontown Fire Chief Todd Ziegler was driving on Manor Road about 8 p.m. Friday, when he stopped to investigate what looked like a brushfire near Route 340. He discovered the burning body of a dog in a crate and called his department, which put out the fire.
A necropsy on the dog was planned at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine at the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
On June 9, the charred remains of a Yorkshire terrier mix between 3 and 5 years old was found in the 300 block of Coates Street in Coatesville. The 15- to 20-pound dog had been burned, then placed in a trash bag.
A $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in that case, Chester County SPCA spokesman Rich Britton said Saturday.
Tips about both attacks can be reported anonymously by calling the SPCA at 610-692-6113, ext. 213, or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, burned, chester county, chester county spca, coatesville, crate, crated, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, fire, necropsy, pennsylvania, pets, second, set, spca, two, university of pennsylvania, veterinary, west brandywine township, yorkshire terrier
Firefighters extinguishing a trash fire in Coatesville, Pa., found the charred body of a small dog Saturday, and investigators suspect the fire may have been set in connection with abusing the animal, or to cover it up.
The dog appeared to be a male Yorkshire terrier or Yorkie mix and was 3 to 5 years old. He weighed about 15 pounds and had silver, black and tan coloring. The dog’s owner is unknown.
“Foul play is suspected. Coatesville Detective Kevin Campbell told the Delaware County Times. “This dog was dumped in the middle of nowhere.”
Campbell said it hasn’t been determined whether the dog was killed in the fire or killed before it was set. A necropsy is scheduled.
Chester County SPCA spokesman Rich Britton showed reporters a photograph of a dog that he said likely was similar in appearance to the burned animal. “If this turns out to a criminal act, let me tell you, we’re going to go out there and we’re going to do everything we can with the Coatesville Police Department to bring this person to justice,” Britton said.
Both Coatesville police and Chester County Animal Protective Services are investigating the incident.
“In the eight years that I’ve been here I’ve never seen something so horrific,” Animal Protective Services officer Craig Baxter said. “How someone could do this to a small animal is beyond my belief.”
Animal Protective Services officer Cheryl Shaw emphasized that unwanted animals can always be brought to the SPCA’s shelter. “We’re not going to judge anybody. Please, if you don’t want your animal or can’t keep it for whatever reason, bring it to us,” Shaw said.
Investigators asked that anyone who is missing a dog similar to the burned animal or who has any information call the Coatesville Police Department at 610-384-2300 or the Chester County SPCA at 610-692-6113, ext. 213.
(Photo: Chester County SPCA spokesman Rich Britton holds a picture of a dog he says is similar in appearance to the one found burned in the fire; by Michael N. Price / Delaware County Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, burned, chester county, chester county spca, coatesville, dog, dogs, fire, found, mix, pennsylvania, pets, rich britton, spca, yorkie, yorkshire terrier
A Pennsylvania community is mourning the loss of Ricky, an 11-year-old German shepherd with an outstanding temperament and an even more impressive resume.
Among his accomplishments, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported:
Helping protect two presidents; assisting at ground zero after 9/11; apprehending numerous criminals; checking hundreds of potential bomb sites, four of which contained live material; locating two missing children, one of whom was autistic; and interacting with thousands of elementary-school students.
Ricky, who belonged to West Caln Township Police Chief Curt A. Martinez , began his career when he was less than a year old at the Coatesville Area School District, where Martinez worked at the time as a school district security officer.
In May 2002, a budget crisis led the district to put Ricky on the auction block, a decision that provoked public outrage and led to Ricky’s appearance in People magazine. The ensuing publicity helped raise the $4,000 needed for Martinez to buy Ricky.
When Martinez went to work in the West Caln police deparment in Chester County, he took Ricky went with him. Martinez has led the West Caln force for three years.
Martinez said Ricky began barking incessantly last week. After visits to the veterinarian and the animal hospital, Martinez learned the dog had a softball-size tumor in his spleen.
“He was clearly in pain,” Martinez said today. “We had to put him down.
“Everyone in the township is taking it pretty hard,” Martinez added. “It’s a loss to the community, too; he was a great police dog.”
A memorial service will be planned, but Martinez has not worked out the details.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chester county, coatesville, curt a. martinez, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, german shepherd, K-9, k9, pennsylvania, pets, police, police dog, put down, ricky, school district, security, spleen, tumor, west caln township
They left the choppers at home (too cold), but members of Rescue Ink arrived in Pennsylvania Friday to help search for the killer of a Chester County family’s two dogs — and promote their TV show at the same time.
The tattooed stars of National Geographic’s TV show “Rescue Ink Unleashed” greeted fans at the Chester County SPCA, and later Friday night at a town hall meeting.
Then they set out to search for the killer of Emma and Luna, two dogs found slain in October.
The dogs were reported missing from a Pocopson Township farm on Oct. 25 and were found later that day several miles away in Pennsbury Township by a resident walking in the woods near railroad tracks along the Brandywine Creek, Britton said. The dogs were shot between the eyes and lined up tail to tail.
Rescue Ink had this message for the perpetrator: “Come find us before we find you.”
Joe Panz, one of the members, said the group plans to spend several days canvassing Chester County neighborhoods. “We’re street guys; we know how to get information from people,” he said.
Members of the New York-based group chatted with visitors at the SPCA Friday, many of them members of the animal-rescue community, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Anyone with information about Emma and Luna is asked to call the Chester County SPCA at 610-692-6113, Ext. 213. A $50,000 reward has been posted.
(Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic Channel)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appearance, big ant, chester county, chester county spca, choppers, dogs, emma, investigation, joe panz, killed, luna, motorcycles, national geographic channel, pennsylvania, pets, promotion, rescue ink, rescue ink unleashed, shot, tattoos, van
The reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever shot and killed two dogs in Pennsylvania has reached $50,000, the Chester County SPCA said yesterday — and the gang at Rescue Ink has joined in the investigation.
The reward fund was established last October after the two family pets were found near the railroad tracks along Brandywine Creek in Pennsbury Township. Both had been shot between the eyes at close range.
Emma, a one-and-a-half-year-old German shorthaired pointer, and Luna, a two-year-old mix of the same breed, had been placed tail to tail, said Rich Britton, spokesman for the Chester County SPCA. The two dogs were reported missing from a Pocopson Township farm Oct. 25.
Today, the search for the killer will get an additional boost from Rescue Ink, a group of tattooed animal rescuers who appear on National Geographic Channel’s Rescue Ink Unleashed, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Rescue Ink, which targets animals in danger, will participate in a news conference today at 2 p.m. and meet with the public from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Chester County SPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester. A town-hall meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Chadds Ford Historical Society, 1736 Creek Rd.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chester county, chester county spca, dogs, emma, executed, execution-style, german shorthaired pointer, luna, meeting, news conference, pennsylvania, pets, railroad tracks, rescue ink, rich britton, shot, spca, town hall, west chester, woods
A Pennsylvania veterinarian has been convicted of animal cruelty after he removed part of a puppy’s tail without anesthesia while holding it under scalding water.
Tom Stevenson of Honey Brook in Chester County performed the procedure on the nine-week-old puppy last March in the washroom of a kennel in Lancaster County.
A prosecutor said Stevenson acted against all “reasonable veterinary judgment” when he used unsterilized scissors and failed to give the animal pain medication or proper treatment for the wound, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Stevenson, whose medical license was suspended by the state veterinary board in May as a result of the cruelty charge, testified that he was performing first aid on a previously injured dog and used the tools he had on hand. Stevenson’s attorney said he would appeal yesterday’s conviction.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, chester county, convicted, kennel, lancaster county, license, pennsylvania, puppy, state veterinary board, surgery, suspended, tail, tom stevenson, unsterilized, veterinarian, veterinary, washroom, without anesthesia
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot and killed two dogs in Chester County, Pennsylvania, has grown to $11,000.
Rich Britton, a spokesman for the Chester County SPCA, said this morning that the Humane Society of the United States contributed $2,500 of the sum, most of the rest coming from public donations.
The reward started out at $500, grew to $5,000 by the next day, and was up to $11,000 by day’s end, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The dogs, Luna and Emma, both about 2, were killed, and left arranged tail-to-tail along the railroad tracks in Pennsbury Township, Pa. They were found on Sunday. The dogs were owned by a family that has not been publicly identified that lives about three miles from where they were found. They were last seen at the home on Saturday.
Both were shot between the eyes with a small caliber handgun.
Investigators are loking for the owner of a red Ford F-150 pickup truck with a cap that was seen parked beside Brintons Bridge Road with lights flashing sometime between 1 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, he said.
Anyone with information about the crime should call 610-692-6113, Ext. 213, he said.
To contribute to the reward fund, make checks payable to the CCSPCA and mail them to CCSPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, Pa. 19380.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $11, 000, between, chester county, crime, cruelty, emma, executed, execution, eyes, fund, investigation, killed, luna, missing, pennsbury township, pennsylvania, reward, shot, spca