Mr. Fenstermacher should educate himself with the facts before denouncing the SPCA and the Department of Agriculture for doing their jobs (“In the case vs. Levi Kaufman, the SPCA is not what I thought” – Tri County Record Vol. 30, Issue 50, Dec. 11, 2012, Page A14 or online at http://bit.ly/WQNb7Y ).
This letter contains facts taken directly from the Kennel Inspections of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Office Website. To view the inspection records for Hill Top Farm Kennel online go to https://www.padogs.state.pa.us/PublicKennels/SearchKennelInspections.aspx and search for Hill Top Farm Kennel, or License # 04370.
I have taken the liberty condensing reports to save space and omit the legal jargon. The PA Dept. of Agriculture had been to the property 5 times in 2012. The normal is twice a year. The Kennel was in violation of the law on all occasions. These violations included veterinary issues which included poor health of the animals, lack of rabies vaccines, and temperature of the facility, paperwork, and unfettered access to an outdoor exercise area. During one inspection the kennel owner became argumentative, and at one point during the course of the inspection refused to help identify dogs that the dog wardens and state veterinarian wanted to examine physically. The kennel owner failed to apply for a new kennel license after an increase in total dog numbers within seven days of the increase.
So, obviously Mr. Kaufman isn’t a pillar of the dog breeding community. I don’t know how you can call Hill Top Farm a well-respected kennel. He has been in violation of many State laws this past year. I had to think twice about printing the following from a January 2010 inspection, as it is most disturbing, but I feel it (as well as the inspection report of March 15, 2010) should be known:
“Inspection of kennel took place on January 27, 2010. A total of 39 adult dogs and 17 puppies were located on the premises at the time of inspection. The kennel’s 2009 kennel license was viewed. Kennel owner has applied for 2010 kennel license pending in Harrisburg. Inspection was performed with Joseph Loughlin.
***Actions directed below are not all that may be required of the kennel owner to come into compliance. The kennel operator is responsible for taking any and all actions necessary to come into compliance.
An excerpt from the inspection of January 27, 2010 reads as follows:
Wardens observed several primary enclosures that had exposed, chewed and scratched wood rendering them no longer water resistant.
This Warden directs kennel owner take the following action(s):
The interior building surfaces of housing facilities shall be constructed and maintained so that they are water resistant and may be readily sanitized.
Wardens found adult dogs in a building with NO HEAT. In barn area, found bitch dogs with puppies, again NO HEAT, broken windows, allowing cold draft into barn. Temperature this day is 28 degrees (below freezing).
This Warden directs kennel owner take the following action(s):
Housing facilities for dogs must be sufficiently heated and cooled to protect the dogs from temperature or humidity extremes and to provide for their health and wellbeing. If dogs are present, the ambient temperature in the facility must not fall below 50 degrees F.
Wardens found incomplete records. No records for 17 puppies on premise.
This Warden directs kennel owner maintain and keep all records current for inspection.
Wardens found a newborn puppy screaming in pain, with a limp back leg, also fresh blood on floor of 2nd floor of barn kennel. Kennel thought maybe puppy with injured leg had been stepped on and that a bitch had miscarried that morning, this warden observed both dogs to be in need of immediate Veterinarian care.
This Warden issued a written notice requiring these dogs be examined by a Veterinarian immediately.
This Warden has not received any confirmation from Veterinarian of record, Pamela Stevenson. Kennel owner called that puppy had died, and that the bitch that miscarried was tested for Brucellosis and was fine.
Wardens found dogs maintained on wire flooring.
This Warden directs the kennel owner take the following actions.
The floor of the primary enclosure shall not be metal strand flooring whether or not it is coated.
Wardens found no unfettered access to outdoor exercise areas on the ground for dogs over 12 weeks of age.
The kennel owner has dedicated a large meadow for the exercise of the dogs.
This Warden directs the kennel owner take the following actions:
Provide exercise areas for dogs with unfettered clearance from their primary enclosures, have adequate means to prevent dogs from escaping, must be twice the size of the primary enclosure, kept in good repair, kept clean, must be on ground level, and nursing bitches and their puppies shall be exercised separately.
This Kennel owner has plans for a new building, which is partially constructed as of this inspection.
Re-inspection to be done at a later date.
***Kennel owner was denied for a Waiver on 1/27/2010”
Reading the January 27, 2010 report brought me to tears. So Mr. Kaufman is still in the dog abuse business two years later. Obviously he has no regard for the State laws or his dog’s welfare. He has been allowed numerous times to make the required improvements and has not complied. Mr. Kaufman should have been charged with Animal Cruelty back in 2010 and shut down.
The State has been far too lenient in the past with Puppy Millers and is finally starting to do its job. Even when the kennels are in full compliance it doesn’t mean they aren’t Puppy Mills. For the past four years I have worked with Puppy Mill dogs in a rescue and I have my own rescue dog from a Puppy Mill. I have seen horrible, dreadful things and heard about even worse. The way the breeder dogs are treated in these places would sicken the hardest of hearts, but apparently not the money grubbing breeders. As long as good puppies are produced it doesn’t matter what condition the mothers are in. As for the pregnant dog with dental issues, those problems didn’t occur overnight. They come from long term neglect. We get dogs with very bad dental issues at the rescues all the time along with other health and psychological problems. They’ve been neglected, beaten, had rods jammed down their throats to de-bark them. Surgery without anesthesia, etc. The breeders don’t want to spend any money on care for the breeding stock. They consider the dogs as a crop along with corn and wheat.