Michael Wolf wants to make one thing perfectly clear.

"I'm not a puppy mill," said Wolff, the owner of a Lower Oxford kennel whose dogs were seized by the Chester County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) recently.

"I'm a breeder of top dogs," Wolf added. "I've raised many champion dogs, and I've been a breeder of many Westminster Dog Show winners."

"Puppy mills do not breed show dogs," Wolf said when reached by telephone Monday.

The SPCA raided his kennel in the 1700 block of Old Baltimore Pike Feb. 10 and seized 335 dogs that were allegedly living in unsanitary conditions.

Wolff was charged Feb. 15 with 335 counts of animal cruelty for unsanitary conditions in Oxford District Court.

A "puppy mill" is the name given to a facility that breeds large quantities of purebred puppies.

Some of the inhumane conditions that puppy mills have been accused of are overbreeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, overcrowded cages, poor food and lack of socialization with humans, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Female dogs are forced to bear litter after litter and are frequently killed once their reproductive life is over.

Eric Coates, an attorney in Oxford who is representing Wolff, said that his client thought that he had an agreement with the SPCA prior to the Feb. 10 raid.

On Feb. 8, Coates said, the SPCA was at Wolf's location and gave him a written statement about "how to get the matter resolved."

The SPCA told him at that time that dogs that were not his should be returned to their owners and some dogs needed to be taken to the veterinarian.

"He thought he had an agreement with the SPCA and then two days later they came out and seized the dogs," Coates said. "My client feels his rights were infringed upon."

Wolf said a recent television news broadcast showed a dog that needed dental care as an example of a dog that was not receiving proper veterinary care at his kennel.

In fact, Wolf claims, the dog seen on the broadcast was 13 or 15 years old. Dogs have to be anesthesized in order to have their teeth cleaned or dental work done and the procedure is commonly not done for older dogs, Wolf said.

The owner also said that the dogs' medical records were at the vets. There are four different vets that take care of his dogs.

Wolf also claimed he is a good neighbor.

"I've lived here for over 20 years and nobody even knew we had dogs," Wolf said.

Of the 335 dogs taken from the kennel, 39 needed medical care and were treated for mange, broken limbs and infections. Many of the dogs had lice.

There were predominantly four breeds at the kennel, English bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Papillons and Havanese.

If convicted of the animal-cruelty charges, Wolf could be facing a fine of not less than $50 or more than $750, or imprisonment for no more than 90 days, or both, on each count, according to Assistant District Attorney Lori Finnegan.

Upon conviction, the court could also order the forfeiture of any abused, neglected or deprived animal to any humane society.

An employee at the kennel, Gordon Charles Trottier, who also raised papillons at the location, has been charged with 65 counts of animal cruelty for unsanitary conditions.

comments powered by Disqus