A Pennsylvania dog breeder who has been among the most often cited for kennel violations has been charged, and convicted, again — even though he seemed to have downsized his operation enough to avoid state regulations.
John Esh, of Lancaster County, was found guilty and fined $175 last week for running an unlicensed kennel, the Philadelphia Inquirer blog, Philly Dawg, reports.
Esh, and his son Daniel, who breed dogs on two adjoining properties in Ronks, in the heart of Lancaster’s Amish country, have a long history of kennel violations — dating back to well before the state toughened up its dog law.
In 1996, Daniel was held responsible for selling a rabid puppy to a customer whose child was bitten by the dog. In 1997, both father and son were sued by the state attorney general for selling hundreds of sick dogs without a license. Both have had their licenses revoked for operating kennels under substandard conditions.
John Esh closed down his kennel, Twin Maple, opting to keep fewer than 26 dogs on the premises to avoid stricter kennel regulations put in place for commercial breeders.
But recently he was found with 27.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture said Esh was selling puppies under the name Green Mountain Toy Puppies. A dog warden assigned to root out illegal kennels selling dogs on the Internet made the discovery.
In court, Esh was told to keep his dog population under 26 and not sell anymore dogs unless he has a kennel license.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 17th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, animals, breeders, breeding, commercial, daniel esh, dogs, fined, fines, green mountain toy puppies, john esh, kennels, lancaster county, law, pennsylvania, pets, puppy mills, regulations, ronks, twin maple, violations
Wake Forest University has been fined $35,000 for shortcomings found during a government inspection of its animal research laboratories, including failing to properly secure a macaque who escaped last summer.
The 8-pound female macaque — used to breed other monkeys for research purposes — got out of her cage at the Wake Forest Primate Center on June 29 and roamed the woods for 11 days before she was captured.
In response to a formal complaint by PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted an initial inspection and cited Wake Forest University for failing to safely and securely house the monkey — a violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Subsequent investigation led to the fines — posted this week on the USDA website — for that and five other violations.
The other violations include failing to ensure that personnel involved in experimental use of animals were qualified to perform their duties, insufficiently monitoring rabbits in which diabetes had been induced, and improper euthanization of rabbits.
The $2 million primate center, based on a 200-acre farm in southern Forsyth County, is the subject of a court battle between Wake Forest University and the University of California at Los Angeles, which hold a joint agreement to operate it.
Wake Forest has sued UCLA to terminate the agreement and recoup half of the 2012 operating expenses during the 2012 fiscal year, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
UCLA has filed a countersuit accusing Wake Forest of financially mismanaging the research center and using vervet monkeys there for unauthorized research.
(Photo: By Lauren Carroll / Winston-Salem Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 20th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, citations, escape, fines, forsyth county, inspection, macaque, north carolina, peta, pets, primate center, research, usda, violations, wake forest, wake forest university, winston-salem
Problem is, IT’S NOT.
Proving once again that words written in all caps should never be trusted.
As the New York Post reported yesterday, the signs, which show a human dutifully following his dog with a small shovel, are a bit off the mark.
Posted in at least a couple of locations, the signs not only have the maximum fine wrong, but the law they cite — Public Health Law 1316 — doesn’t exist.
The actual maximum fine for the offense is $250, and the law behind it is Public Health Law 1310.
Most signs in the city have it right, but apparently some rogue ones got fabricated and posted as well over the years, either due to poor research, or because the city wanted to scare the sheer bejeebers out of people.
The Post reported that “the city for years has posted signs in parks and promenades that threaten a $1,000 fine for dog-waste violations … Just one problem with the signs: They’re full of crap.”
When The Post asked city officials about one such posting on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, they admitted that “1316” was a typo — and that the actual fine is $250. A spokeswoman said for the Parks Department said the promenade sign was taken down after The Post’s inquiry.
The spokeswoman said the sign “appears to be an older sign that is no longer fabricated and no longer installed in parks. We make every effort to replace these signs when applicable.”
That would make sense if the signs were ever accurate, but they weren’t.
The Post found at least one more sign still standing – at Washington Market Park in TriBeCa.
All of which makes us wonder: Is there a fine for putting up false warning signs?
(Photo: Helayne Seidman / New York Post)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 7th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $1000, $250, 1310, 1316, animals, clean, dog, dogs, error, failure, feces, it's the law, law, maximum, new york city, new york post, one thousand dollars, parks, penalty, pets, poop, pooper, posted, public health law, scoop, scooper, shit, signs, typo, violations, warn, waste
Start spreading the news. Dogs, despite the many drinking establishments in New York that let them in, are against the rules, and the city health department is making it a point to enforce them.
That means — even though everybody knows his name — dogs like Miles, a 9-year-old boxer-pug mix who has been going to Ace Bar in the East Village all his life, is no longer welcome there .
Citywide, it’s the end of a tradition — an illegal tradition, but a tradition all the same, the New York Times reports.
The crackdown applies indoors and out, and even to bars that don’t serve what you and I might consider food. “Beer, wine and spirits have always been classified as food,” a department spokeswoman wrote in an email to the Times.
As a result, Miles can only forlornly look in the door when he passes the Ace Bar on his daily walk, said manager Justin Saunders. “Every time Miles walks by, he tries to come in.”
“He’s a dog, but I swear he looks sad,” said Miles owner, Mike Israely.
While it has always been a violation of the city’s health code to allow a dog in a bar, the health department has decided to enforce the rule — clearly the work of buzzkilling bureaucrats who don’t really understand dogs, or bars.
“Bars are built around characters,” noted Andrew Templar, an owner of Floyd NY in Brooklyn Heights — an establishment that drew both the canine and human variety.
It recently received a violation notice after health inspectors twice observed dogs on the premises this summer. “Now it’s just people and their people problems,” Templar complained.
The health department issued 469 violations for live animals in food-service sites from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011.
The Times article recounts a long history of dog-friendly drinking holes in the city. At P.J. Clarke’s in Midtown, when a collie named Skippy died, patrons pitched in to have him stuffed. He sits atop a ledge above the entrance to the handicapped bathroom.
A few bars continue to allow dogs, but — unlike the New York Times — we’re not going to name them, lest health inspectors be trolling the Internet.
(Top Photo: By Christian Hansen for The New York Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace bar, atmosphere, ban, bar dogs, bars, beverage, characters, crackdown, dog friendly, dogs, dogs in bars, drink, enforcement, food, health department, illegal, inspectors, miles, new york city, rules, tradition, violations
Testimony began yesterday in the trial for Derbe “Skip” Eckhart, accused of animal cruelty and dog law violations at the kennel he operated in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.
The first witness, a state dog warden, described conditions at the Almost Heaven Kennel — shut down by authorities last year — as “foul,” according to the Allentown Morning Call.
“I couldn’t breathe. I wish I could give you what I smell in my mind right now. I’ll never forget it. Ever,” Kristin Donmoyer testified, recounting what she saw during an October 2008 raid at the kennel in Upper Milford Township
She said drains inside the kennel were filled with feces and stagnant liquid that could attract pests and promote disease. “This was foul,” Donmoyer testified. “You couldn’t walk past it without gagging.” She said she saw accumulations of feces, soiled and saturated animal bedding, “gunk” covered fencing, rusty pipes, exposed fiberglass and ripped up flooring.
The state Department of Agriculture found the violations to be so egregious, she said, that it revoked Eckhart’s breeding and boarding licenses.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Conrad, in his opening statement Monday, had warned the jury that they would see some excrement in the trial:
”Are you gonna see turds? You betcha,” he said.
”That fella right there is Derbe ‘Skip’ Eckhart,” Conrad said during his opening. ”This fella right here loves dogs, loves critters … The problem with this guy is that Skip can’t say no to any mutt. That guy right there is just dumb enough to take your ugly dog.”
The defense attorney said Eckhart is the innocent victim of officials seeking media attention: ”Those folks at the Department of Agriculture and the SPCA love money and they love headlines,” he said. ”What we have here is a man that loves animals and a government that loves headlines.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: almost heaven, animal cruelty, attorney, conditions, derbe eckart, dog law, excrement, feces, jeffrey conrad, jury, kennel, kennels, kristin donmoyer, lehigh county, news, ohmidog!, opening statement, pennsylvania, rusty pipes, skip, soiled bedding, state department of agriculture, testimony, trial, turds, upper milford township, violations
The operator of the Almost Heaven dog kennel has withdrawn his guilty pleas to animal cruelty charges, choosing instead to stand trial in Lehigh County Court in Pennsylvania.
Judge Robert L. Steinberg, who was scheduled to sentence Derbe “Skip” Eckhart , instead approved his request to withdraw guilty pleas that had been entered in court on Sept. 22. The judge ordered Eckhart’s bail increased to $25,000 and ordered him to stop working as a dog groomer pending the outcome of the trial, according to the Allentown Morning Call. “Your employment involving animals is now at an end,” the judge said.
Eckhart’s, who has prior animal cruelty convictions from 1988 and 1993, is facing four new counts in connection with the operation of Almost Heaven Kennel in Upper Milford Township. The kennel was shut down in June following mounting complaints and dog law violations, and more than 200 dogs were seized.
When the trial does take place, it’s a safe bet the American Kennel Club won’t be testifying on his behalf.
According to a letter the AKC sent to the Lehigh County Probation Department, the non-profit organization has suspended his membership — three times.
The letter, as reported by columnist Bill White in his blog for the Morning Call, recounts that the AKC initially suspended Eckhart in 1988 after his conviction animal cruelty conviction, then extended the suspension to 25 years after learning in 1994 of another conviction in 1991. In May 2002, the AKC received information that Derbe Eckhart had sought the AKC seal of approval under the name ‘Skip’ Eckhart.
Upon learning he had managed to circumvent the suspension, the AKC took Eckhart to court, where an order was issued prohibiting him from claiming any affiliation with the AKC. He was also ordered to pay AKC $8,910.21, but has not done so, the letter said.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, almost heaven, american kennel club, animal cruelty, court, courts, derbe, dog law, dogs, eckhart, guilty, innocent, judge, kennel, law, lehigh county, pennsylvania, plea, skip, violations, withdrawn, withdraws, withdrew
Jury selection begins this week in New Jersey in a lawsuit against CCPets, a Pennsylvania kennel with a long history of trouble.
Lewis and Stephanie Ostrander, of Cape May County, N.J., sued C.C. Pets alleging that the Labradoodle they bought in 2006 was diseased and dying, according to Philly Dawg, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s animal blog.
The lawsuit names kennel owners Joyce and Raymond Stoltzfus, who have a history of dog law violations and were the subject of the largest consumer settlement involving pet sales in Pennsylvania.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 21st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: breeders, cape may, cc pets, consumer, court, died, dog law, fines, health, ill, kennel, labradoodle, lawsuit, new jersey, ostrander, pennsylvania, puppy love, puppy mills, sick, stoltzfus, violations
This just in: Baltimore’s City Council has scheduled a hearing on reducing the recently imposed $1,000 fine for violating the city’s leash law.
The hearing will be held Tuesday, April 28th, at 10:00 a.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.
The $1,000 fine went into effect in February, followed by a crackdown on leash law violations at several city parks. After complaints from dog owners, a proposal to lower the fine was introduced by a group of council members last night. Under the new proposal, the fine for a first offense would be $250, a second $500, and a third $1,000.
The original fine had been $100.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 21st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baltimore, city, city council, dog, dogs, fines, hearing, leash law, news, ohmidog!, one thousand dollars, parks, penalties, proposal, reduce, scheduled, unleashed, violations
While they may seem to dog owners to have come out of nowhere, the changes in the city’s animal control law that led to $1,000 fines for off-leash dogs and unscooped poop have a history.
And here it is:
Feb. 25, 2008: The revised law was introduced to the city council, with the following sponsors listed: James B. Kraft, Bill Henry, William H. Cole, IV, Robert W. Curran, Sharon Green Middleton, Edward L. Reisinger, Warren Branch.
It was then sent for review to the following committees and offices:
- The Public Safety and Health Committee, which completed its review ten months later, gave it a thumbs up.
- The City Solicitor’s office deemed it legal, which also took ten months.
- The Health Department, meanwhile, okayed it in three days. Also signing off on it were the city’s Office of Animal Control, Department of Finance and Environmental Control Board.
Dec. 2, 2008: The Public Safety and Health Committee held a public hearing on it.
Dec. 4, 2008: The revised law had its second reading before the city council and was approved.
Jan. 14, 2009: Signed by Mayor Sheila Dixon.
Feb 14, 2009 — Law went into effect.
What little official information can be found about the new law — though it’s not a shining example of clarity — can be found here.
Under the new law, the penalty for letting your dog off his leash, or not picking up dog waste is the same as the penalty for dogfighting. In fact, penalties for more serious offenses were increased far less severely than run of the mill offenses.
For instance, these penalties all went up tenfold: Not having a rabies vaccination (from $50 to $500), not having a license (from $25 to $250), animal disturbing the peace, failure to pick up dog waste, and unleashed dogs (from $100 to $1,000).
Meanwhile, the penalties for dogfighting only doubled ($500 to $1,000), the penalty for abusing an animal went from $200 to $500, and the penalty for operating an unlicensed dog facility only went up from $100 to $250.
So today in Baltimore, thanks to the city council, abusing a dog is a less serious offense — fine-wise, at least — than letting one off his leash, or not picking up his poop.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, amended, animal control, baltimore, citations, city, city council, dog, dogfighting, dogs, feces, fines, health department, history, law, leash law, licenses, mayor, off-leash, one thousand dollars, penalties, poop, public safety, rabies, revisions, sheila dixon, sponsors, violations, waste
Just a quick word of warning for those who take their dogs to Riverside Park in South Baltimore.
Police and animal control officers were at the park today, prepared to dispense some of the city’s new $1,000 citations for violation of the leash law, according to our sources.
The same newly increased penalty applies to owners who fail to pick up their dog’s waste.
Crackdowns usually take place when the weather gets nice, and, thanks to the city council, they now carry a much higher price tag. So, no matter which city park you and your dog visit, watch your step — in every meaning of the phrase.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 4th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, baltimore, citations, city council, crackdown, dogs, leash law, one thousand dollars, parks, police, riverside park, south baltimore, tickets, unleashed, violations