Seven Lancaster County dog-breeding facilities are listed on the fifth annual “Horrible Hundred” list, a report published by the Humane Society of the United States.
The list, according to a statement from the HSUS, is intended to “shine a light on violations, despite increasing challenges in investigating them.”
According to The Hill, a Washington, D.C.-based newspaper, the society’s report “found the greatest number of problem breeders in Ohio, Kansas and Pennsylvania.”
Problems found at the facilities listed include underweight dogs, dogs with large open wounds, animals with feces in their fur and food bowls, and unlicensed dealers who had previously been charged with animal cruelty for selling sick puppies online, The Hill reported.
On the list
A dozen breeding facilities on the list are in Pennsylvania, seven of which are in Lancaster County.
According to the HSUS, local kennels on the “Horrible Hundred” list are:
— Evergreen Kennel in East Earl, for selling underage puppies and not properly vaccinating all of its dogs.
— Fill-in-the-Gap Pets, aka Infinity Pups, in Gap, for failing five state inspections in 2016, maintaining unsafe conditions and having excessive feces on the premises.
Note: Marvin Riehl, owner of both Fill-in-the-Gap Pets and Infinity Pups, said Wednesday that the two companies are not related. Fill-in-the-Gap is a kennel that breeds dogs, he said, and Infinity Pups is an online advertising company that sells dogs.
— Jonathan Lapp in Ephrata, for receiving two written and verbal warnings for conditions, veterinary issues and excessive feces.
— Runway Kennel in Gordonville, for a bulldog with “large, painful cysts” on two separate inspections, as well as several other dogs with eye or skin problems, dogs living in an unlit building, and various citations and warnings since 2010.
— Walnut Run in Strasburg, for receiving two warnings and one citation in 2016 for inadequate, unsafe housing and other problems.
— Whispering Spring Kennel in East Earl, which was “instructed 12 times to get vet checks for dogs between 2010 and 2017,” and received warnings and citations at six state inspections between 2010 and 2017.
— Marlin Zimmerman, aka Turkey Hill Kennel, in East Earl, who was instructed eight times to have vet checks on dogs between 2010 and 2016, and was issued 10 warnings or citations since 2010 for poor conditions.
Other breeders on the list from Pennsylvania are Hill Top Farm Kennel and Sunny Slope Kennels, both in Honey Brook; Garden Spot Puppy Haven in Parkesburg; Margaret (Molly) Graf, aka Eichenluft Working German Shepherds, of Newville; and Paul Ober, aka Celtic Farms and Kennels, of Mohrsville.
The Humane Society noted in a statement that its efforts to research breeding facilities were “severely crippled” because the U.S. Department of Agriculture removed animal welfare inspection reports and enforcement records from the USDA website in February.
Although some records had been restored online as of April 20, the Humane Society reported, records on pet breeding operations have not been restored.
Its findings, the Humane Society stated, are “a compilation of records obtained from state inspection data in those states that inspect puppy mills, and/or from recent USDA records that The HSUS preserved before the USDA removed the reports from their website, as well as certain available court records, consumer complaints, investigator visits and media reports.”