Proposed House Bill 2525 would prevent kennels from killing dogs.
With his Golden Retriever, Maggie by his side, Gov. Ed Rendell responded to the slaughter of 80 kennel dogs.
Maggie is former breeding dogs who were rescued and adopted by the Rendells.
He strongly urged the House of Representatives to pass his proposed amendments to the state dog law during a news conference at the Schuylkill River Dog Park in Philadelphia Aug.
According to Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff, dog wardens inspected E&A Kennel on July 24, noting several violations for kennel sanitation and maintenance. Wardens also noted flea and fly sores on 39 of the dogs and ordered veterinary checks. Four citations for violations were issued. Wardens planned to confirm the veterinary checks during a follow-up inspection.
The wardens were notified on July 29 that the owners - A&J Kennel and E&AKennel owners Ammon and Elmer Zimmerman, of Maxatawny - shot all 80 dogs and dismantled the kennels. Then, they voluntarily surrendered their licenses.
"This act disgusted and shocked citizens all over the commonwealth," Rendell said in a release. "These violent killings were totally unnecessary, particularly considering that there are rescue societies that would have taken all of the dogs, regardless of their ages or conditions."
"Clearly, the time has come to enact legislation that would make this practice illegal and raise the standards under which the state's commercial breeding kennel industry operates. There is simply no excuse for continued inaction," he said.
Under legislation pending in the House, only veterinarians would be authorized to euthanize dogs in commercial breeding kennels.
House Bill 2525 also:
Â€¢ Doubles the minimum floor space for cages.
Â€¢ Requires outdoor exercise. Current law does not require even that dogs be let out of cages, much less given access to outside exercise.
Â€¢ Requires solid flooring. Dogs now can spend their entire lives on wire floors, which damage their feet over time.
Â€¢ Prohibits the stacking of cages. Under existing law, cages can be stacked so high that inspectors can't see whether they have food or water, or even if they are still alive.
Â€¢ Requires veterinary checks annually or during each pregnancy. Many dogs now never see a vet throughout their entire lives.
Provided by the Gov. Ed Rendell's office.