Velogal's Blog

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I’m heading to Interbike early this morning, but I want to update you on what is happening with the chained dog. The photo shows where the dog lives day and night, in this dismal situation all the days of a miserable, unloved life....

I called the Clearfield SPCA yesterday morning, and followed up by sending this letter, to both the local and the Pennsylvania State Federated SPCA:

“I am writing about a case of animal neglect and abuse that is spreading all over the Internet. This has previously been reported to the Clearfield County SPCA. The address where the dog is located is 632 Link Road, West Decatur, PA. This is the situation:
This dog is chained to a dog house 24/7. He is left without water. His chain doesn't have a clip on it - it is wired in place. His owner works 12 days in a row and does not get home until 10 or 11P.M. He is not home on his days off. The dog does not have a cover over his door to keep out the weather. He is left out in the freezing cold. The dog lives in very unsanitary conditions, his food and water dishes are filthy. In the winter, if he has any water at all, it is frozen. Last winter he had no bedding in his pen. When it rains the dog is always soaked. His collar is encrusted with filth.
The owner will not sell, nor give away the dog. Neighbors have tried to buy it from him to rescue it. One neighbor sneaks in during the day and gives the dog food and water, but is scared that the owner will catch them. The owner is obviously a disturbed person to keep a dog under these conditions and not give or sell it to someone who wants it. The dog has been chained since it was a puppy.... I doubt that it has ever received any veterinary care....
I have looked at the Pennsylvania Animal Cruelty Law and it says:
Title 18-Section 5511 Pennsylvania Anti-Cruelty Law As of 2/96
(c) Cruelty to animals. --A person commits a summary offense if he wantonly or cruelly ill-treats, overloads, beats, otherwise abuses any animal, or neglects any animal as to which he has a duty of care , whether belonging to himself or otherwise, or abandons any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter or veterinary care, or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal's body heat and keep it dry. This subsection shall not apply to activity undertaken in normal agricultural operation. "
This dog needs to be removed from the owner, and offered up to a good home.... I know that this has been reported previously and I am wondering why no action has been taken by the Clearfield County SPCA. The law seems pretty clear to me... ”

Well, calls from some of us, and my letter finally got the local SPCA off their duff. They sent out their “Humane Officer” yesterday afternoon, who assessed the situation by looking only at whether the dog had food and water and was maintaining body weight. They sent back a letter saying that having a dog chained up was not against the PA law. They said, “It is our belief that the care this dog receives conforms with PA Law”. The Clearfield SPCA is totally ignoring the part of Title 18, Section 5511 that refers to neglect, and refers to the animal having “access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal’s body heat and keep it dry.” If it does not, then it is animal cruelty....

I believe that the SPCA is wrong when they use the criteria of food, water and body weight to assess that the PA law is not being broken. This is not just about a dog being chained.... The PA law about cruelty states differently, and they are overlooking the definition of cruelty to animals contained in the Anti-Cruelty Law that they are there to enforce.


  • Do you know about the ongoing controversy about DDB and chained dogs? See

    Perhaps you could contact Best Friends with your experiences with these "humane officers"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 9:48 PM  

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