More dogs seized from puppy mill

July 29, 2008 9:47:02 AM PDT
SPCA officials hope the Limestone Kennels horror has ended. Today kennel owner John Blank surrendered 66 more dogs. They are now here at animal rehab awaiting medical evaluation. It took two trucks to transport dozens of dogs and puppies from the Limestone Kennels in Cochranville to the PSPCA.

Many had fur matted with feces and urine. Officials say the larger dogs couldn't even walk because they were in their cages for so long.

"The bottoms of the cages were too wide and the dogs' legs were stuck in cages and they couldn't get them out, so some had broken legs," said Elaine Skypala of the PSPCA.

Officials said the conditions at the kennel today were an improvement from when PSPCA humane agents removed 23 dogs from Limestone Kennels last week because Blank had apparently tried to clean things up. "It seems the ones today might not have bad problems, but we just wanted to begin emergency care," said Skypala.

Many of those dogs rescued from the kennel last week had festering wounds. Two were even missing an eye. Another had been debarked so neighbors wouldn't complain about the noise. Blank, who is Amish, was selling the dogs for up to $1,300. "These puppy mills, they're never concerned about whether the animals can eat or how much they have to drink. It's about how much money they can get out of the dogs without putting money into taking care of them," said Skypala.

The dogs will have to undergo medical examination before they are put up for adoption. Those tests and housing the animals could cost at a minimum $300 per dog.

Blank has pleaded guilty to eight counts of animal cruelty and two violations of Pennsylvania's dog law, and one charge of harassment. There are still 12 dogs on the farm, belonging to others. Officials will return to the farm to make sure they are properly taken care of.

Click here to get the latest Philadelphia news and headlines from across the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.