Rendell calls for new law after 80 dogs shot

August 17, 2008 1:49:11 PM PDT
Gov. Ed Rendell is calling on lawmakers to make changes to the state dog law after officials say operators of two eastern Pennsylvania kennels shot 80 dogs following an order that some of the animals be examined by veterinarians. State officials say Elmer Zimmerman, of Kutztown, shot 70 dogs after a July 24 inspection. Another 10 were shot by his brother, Ammon, who operated a kennel next door. Wardens had ordered 39 dogs checked for flea and fly bites and had issued citations for extreme heat, insufficient bedding and floors that the dogs' feet could fall through.

Current state law does not bar kennel owners from euthanizing their dogs with firearms, even if the dogs are healthy. Rendell is urging passage of a state House bill that would allow only veterinarians to euthanize dogs in commercial breeding kennels.

He says if that bill had been in effect, the dogs would probably be in rescue societies awaiting adoption. He spoke at a Philadelphia dog park accompanied by Maggie, one of his family's two golden retrievers.

On Friday night, 100 people attended a vigil for the animals outside the Berks County property.


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