Authorities plan to file charges on Monday against an Amish kennel owner, after seizing 23 sick and disfigured dogs, which were reportedly crammed into cages Thursday inside a barn with roughly 300 others, John Blank of Upper Oxford will be charged for lack of veterinary care and neglect in the Oxford district court, according to Pennsylvania SPCA program officer Elaine Skypala.Officials learned about the alleged conditions at Limestone Kennel after Blank surrendered nine dogs to the Main Line Animal Rescue roughly three weeks ago. The dogs, Skypala said, had numerous health issues, prompting the shelter to contact the PSPCA.
Next, officials sent an under-cover officer into the kennel. Blank sold the officer a 3-week-old puppy that was nearly dead for $300, Skypala said. The puppy died a day later due to dehydration, emaciation and hypothermia, she said.
The sale was enough for authorities to obtain a search warrant, she said.
Thursday evening, authorities went to the farm in the 1500 block of Limestone Road, where they found about 300 dogs and as many as eight puppies stuffed into one small cage, Skypala said.
The dogs were piled onto each other and had food troughs with feces mixed in, she said. Some puppies, she said, were so small they could not reach the lipsticks for water bottles attached to the cages and their paws slipped through gaps on the cages' floors.
"The way the animals were kept, you could tell they were not getting veterinary care," Skypala said.
Authorities seized 23 dogs that had obvious medical issues, including fly bites and untreated wounds, Skypala said. And, she said, one of the dogs Blank turned over to the shelter had a severe eye problem.
"Had it been treated, it could have been fixed," she said.
Blank sold his puppies to pet stores and individuals for $800 to $1,300, Skypala said. The owner was licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sell to pet shops, she said.
Charges are expected to be filed Monday with Magisterial District Judge Harry W. Farmer Jr. in Oxford.
PSPCA is caring for the nine adult dogs and 14 puppies.
Skypala said her office will be conducting more similar investigations.
"This is just the beginning of our investigation," she said.