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Tag: chester county

Police dog dies after illustrious career

0215_ricky2_410A 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.

Rescue Ink roars into Pennsylvania

rescueinkvan

 
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)

Emma and Luna: Deaths still unsolved

emmaluna

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.

Chester County vet convicted of cruelty

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.

Reward in Chester County grows to $11,000

emmalunaThe 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.

Two dogs found shot between the eyes

Two pet dogs were found shot to death Sunday — execution style, authorities said — in Pennsbury Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

A woman walking in the woods came upon the bodies of Emma and Luna, laid out tail to tail “like bookends,” along the railroad tracks, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The dogs had been reported missing Saturday from a family farm three miles from where they were found, according to Rich Britton, spokesman for the Chester County SPCA.

Each had been shot once between the eyes.

“The dogs were placed with their backs to the tracks and their tails towards each other,” Britton said. “These were two young dogs – one was two; the other, a year and a half. It breaks your heart that anyone could do this.”

Neighbors reported seeing a red Ford 150 pickup truck in the area around the time the animals disappeared. Authorities are seeking that vehicle, and ask that anyone with knowledge of it call 610-692-6113, ext. 213.

The pets had the run of a 100-acre farm, Britton said, and there were no known issues with neighbors.

The SPCA is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

In hindsight, breeder regrets sale to Biden

What was initially a proud moment for Linda Brown turned sour not long after Joe Biden bought his new German shepherd puppy from her kennel in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Brown says the sale led to a visit every month from the state Department of Agriculture, death threats from animal rights activists, and loads of criticism.

“I thought when Joe Biden bought a puppy from me, what an honor,” Brown told the Chester County Daily Local News. “Out of millions of breeders in the country, in the world, he picked me.”

But as soon as the purchase was publicized, the criticism started — first of then vice president-elect Biden, for purchasing from a breeder, and for the Secret Service contingent that arrived at Brown’s Wolf Den Kennel with him; then of Brown, whose kennel was cited for record-keeping problems and warned about maintenance and sanitation shortfalls by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

“I was cited for a piece of kibble on the floor and five strands of dog hair. They took a picture of that, they walked around, snapped pictures and don’t tell you why,” said Brown.

According to Philly Dawg, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s dog blog, the violations found included dogs kept in outside pens with ice accumulation, broken fencing, shredded aluminum capping, and holes in pens large enough for a dog to escape. One large dog’s only shelter was an airline travel crate in which he could not stand erect.

Brown racked up five citations after December for numerous kennel violations and a slew of warnings for other problems including an “immediate grooming” order for a St. Bernard to “prevent the dog from harboring infectious and contagious disease.”

Brown was warned about the problems in a Jan. 5 inspection. When investigators returned to the kennel in Spring City in Jan. 22 they found conditions had not improved. They also found incomplete sales and health records, prompting three more citations –  one each for records, drainage and maintenance. Brown also received two citations in December – the same week that Biden purchased the six-week-old puppy.

According to Philly Dawg, Brown, who also operates as JoLindy’s German Shepherds, had 85 dogs on the property on Jan. 22 and reported 188 dogs sold in the past 12 months. She holds the largest state commercial kennel license that allows her to keep or sell an unlimited number of dogs. 

Brown’s case was heard by District Justice James DeAngelo in South Coventry on March 31. She was found “not guilty” for each citation, the judge’s office confirmed Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture said Brown was inspected in December because of a complaint. He declined to release the name of the person who complained. He said the inspectors returned as a matter of follow-up to determine if the matters had been addressed

Brown’s kennel, Wolf Den, was inspected twice a year by the agency and had satisfactory reports until December 2008 when it was rated unsatisfactory in seven of 26 areas, according to the inspection records on the agency’s website.

Brown, who spent $4,000 on lawyers to fight the citations, says she doesn’t plan to sell any more dogs to high profile clients. “Never, never, never again,” she said.

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