Police raid puppy mill

July 18, 2008 3:29:14 PM PDT
A Chester County puppy mill is out of business and the man accused of running it is facing some serious charges. State police raided a Cochranville farm and found dozens of sick and injured dogs.

One dog has a festering infection where another dog bit its neck.

Another dog lost an eye to an infection.

They're among 23 dogs rescued from John Blank's farm in Cochranville.

Main Line Animal Rescue discovered the alleged abuse and called the SPCA.

Officer Wendy Mutch bought a puppy undercover.

It died a few hours later.

"He told me it was seven weeks, it was only about two or three weeks, and it just gave up and passed away," Officer Mutch said.

The dogs sell for upwards of $1,300.

Their owner, John Blank, was in tears when he was arrested in front of his children yesterday.

"He's in tears and I thought maybe he's really upset about these puppies. He's crying and he's saying, 'please, please, please, don't take my puppies. These are already all sold,'" Elaine Skypala of the PSPCA said.

Blank admits the collar was too tight on one of the dogs, and another should have been treated better for a bite wound. But, he says, all in all, he treats his animals well.

Another dog sounds hoarse, but was actually debarked to keep neighbors from complaining about noise from the kennel.

The PSPCA estimates Mr. Blank has about 300 dogs, some of them, crammed eight to a cage.

The cages have wire mesh floors and the waste just falls through to sawdust on the floor.

The dogs never leave the cages.

"They couldn't walk across the floor when we first brought them in here because it was the first time they ever, ever been on solid ground," Skypala said.

Some dogs will eventually find their footing and new homes.

Others will have to wait for a new puppy mill law that is languishing in the state legislature.