Pennsylvania Governor Calls for Dog Law Reforms

The recent shooting of 80 dogs by kennel owners prompts plea for changes.

Posted: August 20, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

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The governor of Pennsylvania, joined by one of his two Golden Retrievers, recently urged lawmakers to amend the state dog law after two kennel owners killed 80 dogs by shooting them.

Pennsylvania’s current dog law does not ban kennel owners from euthanizing their dogs with firearms, whether they are healthy or not. In his appeal at a news conference Saturday at Schuylkill River Dog Park, Rendell called the killings “totally unnecessary” and said the time has come to enact legislation that would make this practice illegal as well as raise the standards under which the state’s commercial breeding kennel industry operates.

The dogs were shot two weeks ago by Berks County kennel owners Elmer Zimmerman and his brother after dog wardens ordered kennel repairs and veterinary checks for 39 dogs found with flea and fly bites.

A vigil was organized Friday outside the property to remember the dogs. Zimmerman could not be reached for comment, but according to The Associated Press, he apologized and said he thought he would face legal action if he didn’t act immediately.

Under House Bill 2525, currently pending in the House, only veterinarians would be allowed to euthanize dogs in commercial breeding kennels. The bill also requires outdoor exercise, solid flooring, and prohibits the stacking of cages.

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Jenny   New Oxford, PA

8/20/2008 5:35:13 PM

It's hard to find anything positive about so many dogs losing their lives, but maybe in this case if the bill passes, we will see some serious changes in our great state of PA!

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Celena   Dallas, NC

8/20/2008 2:53:26 PM

Thank goodness there are lawmakers and government officials out there that care for animals. Without them we would never have the laws now that protect animals.

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J. H.   Manheim, PA

8/20/2008 12:13:04 PM

It was totally wrong for the kennel owners to shot all those dogs. It was totally unnecessary. I know someone who lived on a farm & had an Irish Setter. She loved to run & run & run!! She had alot of acrage to run. When she had gotten too old & in pain he had taken her to the vet to be euthenized. He said that he would never do that again. It was painful for him & he could tell she knew something was going on & she was scared also. She would have been better off to let her do what she loved to do & that was to run, then shoot her. To some extent their should be a law, for kennel owners especially if they had that many dogs or more or less. It should not pertain to farmers that have a large property that let their dogs run, but it is their choice to take their dog to a vet if they so choose.

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J. H.   Manheim, PA

8/20/2008 12:12:51 PM

It was totally wrong for the kennel owners to shot all those dogs. It was totally unnecessary. I know someone who lived on a farm & had an Irish Setter. She loved to run & run & run!! She had alot of acrage to run. When she had gotten too old & in pain he had taken her to the vet to be euthenized. He said that he would never do that again. It was painful for him & he could tell she knew something was going on & she was scared also. She would have been better off to let her do what she loved to do & that was to run, then shoot her. To some extent their should be a law, for kennel owners especially if they had that many dogs or more or less. It should not pertain to farmers that have a large property that let their dogs run, but it is their choice to take their dog to a vet if they so choose.

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