Prosecutors we CAN count on to protect Pennsylvania's animals:
Attorney General Tom Corbett successfully prosecuted Joyce Stoltzfus - one of the most notorious puppy mill operators in the United States and closed her down permanently in 2009. Animal welfare advocates in five states applauded Tom Corbett for ending Stoltzfus' reign of terror against consumers and the hundreds of dogs housed on her property. When a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer contacted Corbett's office regarding Stoltzfus' violation of her consent decree with the the AG's office, Tom Corbett acted quickly. He successfully prosecuted Stoltzfus, and because Joyce Stoltzfus was found guilty, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding (who as Secretary had the authority to revoke Joyce Stoltzfus' state kennel license), was then able to revoke her license based on her conviction. Tom Corbett did what he needed to do to help the dogs of Pennsylvania.
District Attorney Stephen Zappala of Allegheny County has an excellent record prosecuting individuals who abuse animals in his county. Atrocities at Tiger Ranch grabbed national headlines when hundreds of sick and dying cats were rescued by local animal welfare organizations and agents from the PSPCA. DA Zappala's office worked closely with the PSPCA, prosecuted Tiger Ranch proprietor Lynn Marie, and closed Tiger Ranch down permanently. Zappala is also known for working with animal welfare organizations and agencies that assist victims of domestic violence - extending protection to pets as well as women and children in abusive situations.
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin is currently prosecuting one of the worst commercial dog breeders in the history of Pennsylvania. For years, Skip Eckhart of the infamous Almost Heaven Kennel in Emmaus housed almost a thousand breeding dogs, puppies, cats, and other animals under the worst conditions imaginable. When the PSPCA raided Almost Heaven, it was reported that agents found 63 dead dogs in Eckhart's freezer. District Attorney Martin and ADA Jay Jenkins have made it clear that this type of large scale abuse of innocent animals will not be tolerated in Lehigh County.
District Attorney Joseph Carroll of Chester County assisted the PSPCA with a raid of Limestone Kennel in Cochranville. Limestone owner John Blank housed breeding dogs missing eyes, and suffering from severe infections, head trauma, and open, bleeding wounds. Thanks to Joe Carroll, the agents from the PSPCA and volunteers from Main Line Animal Rescue were able to help dozens of dogs like the puppy pictured below.
Former District Attorney Lynne Abraham of Philadelphia was known nationally for prosecuting individuals involved in dogfights, illicit kennels, hoarding situations, and the mistreatment of horses. Abraham was also well known for working with animal welfare organizations. Over her long career, Abraham made the protection of innocent animals in Philadelphia a top priority. She was loved and honored throughout her long career, and the oath she took as District Attorney meant something.
The list goes on and on. District Attorneys who readily work with animal welfare organizations and are willing to prosecute men and women who abuse or neglect animals in their respective counties. Then we have ...
Prosecutors we CAN'T count on to protect Pennsylvania's animals:
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman refuses to to work with Main Line Animal Rescue. For two years, MLAR has provided Stedman's office with evidence against numerous commercial dog breeders in Lancaster County. When Craig Stedman pressured the PSPCA into dropping charges against breeders who sent their dogs to Ohio, it was not the first time he has protected puppy mill operators who abused or neglected dogs MLAR had rescued. This has been going on for over two years.
Craig Stedman has also refused to cooperate with agents from the PSPCA. Ever resentful that PSPCA agents are sworn in and able to charge suspects in his county, Stedman's office has made it extremely difficult for the PSPCA to do their jobs. At one point, a prosecutor in Stedman's office shouted "you come into our backyard and think you can close down our puppy mills!" Well, DA Stedman, if you would step up and closed down your own puppy mills, the PSPCA and MLAR would not have to get involved in Lancaster County. And as long as dog breeders in Lancaster County continue to sell their sick puppies to us "city folks" and as long as these sick dogs are surrendered to our shelters, then what you do (or don't do) concerns us.
When an investigator with the ASPCA contacted Stedman's office to report at least two well-known puppy mill operators were selling drugs - actually operating fully stocked pharmacies on their properties, Stedman's ADA did nothing. When a representative of New Jersey Consumers Against Pet Shop Abuse contacted Stedman's office about one of the same breeders selling drugs, Stedman again did nothing.