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Lancaster County man guilty of animal cruelty, ordered to forfeit animals, pay restitution

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – A Lancaster County man has been found guilty on 26 counts of animal cruelty for keeping 18 dogs in unsanitary conditions, as well as docking the tails of puppies beyond the allowable period. Pennsylvania prohibits the docking of a dog’s tail that is over 5 days old by anyone, with the exception of a veterinarian.

Samuel Stoltzfus, of Lititz, was found guilty of one count of unsanitary conditions for each of the 18 animals, as well as 8 counts of illegally docking the tails of puppies in his custody. Stoltzfus was sentenced to 90-days prohibition of animals on each count (totaling over 6 years), forfeiture of all animals involved, and to pay restitution to the Pennsylvania SPCA for the care of the animals. The cost of restitution is nearly $29,000.

On September 18, responding to a tip from the Department of Agriculture’s Dog Law Enforcement, the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Officers found 18 dogs living in kennels will feces and urine throughout, including feces and urine on their coats. Additionally, one dog was suffering from ulcers on their paws due to the unsanitary environment. The dogs, which were seized by the PSPCA, included two adult Boxers, eight Boxer puppies, one adult Shiba Inu, four Shiba Inu puppies, two German Shepherds, one of which was pregnant, and one Bernese Mountain Dog.

Upon seizure, the animals were transported to the PSPCA’s headquarters on Erie Avenue in Philadelphia, where they have remained.

“The Pennsylvania SPCA has been advocating for animals for nearly 150 years, and it is cases like this that remind us why our Humane Law Enforcement officers are so important to the welfare of animals in Lancaster County given the history and amount of animal cruelty,” said Jerry Buckley, PSPCA CEO. “These dogs were living in horrid conditions, and thanks to the work of our Humane Law Enforcement and Litigation departments, they have not only been removed from that life, but have been given a second chance at finding the loving homes they deserve.”

In Lancaster County, the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement work is supported by the Humane League of Lancaster County and a private donor committed to animal welfare.

To report animal abuse, call the Pennsylvania SPCA’s cruelty hotline, (866) 601-SPCA.