HOLTWOOD, Pa. - Daniel Lapp,35, of Holtwood, Lancaster County has been convicted on 11 counts of animal cruelty. One February 22, Susan Martin from the Lancaster County SPCA was called to Lapp's home. She had received an anonymous tip.
"This is just your typical case of a puppy mill that’s gone wrong and basically, a puppy mill that’s not doing right by the dogs that are producing income for him," she said.
When Martin arrived, one of the dogs was dead and Lapp agreed to handover ten others. Four were puppies and two of the adult dogs had severe infections.
"One was so bad that her tail had grown into her rectum and punctured through her rectum. So, she had to have surgery at a specialist through Lititz Vet Clinic," she said.
Raja, another adult dog, had a severe wound on her leg and nearly lost it.
"More than likely it was from an open wound and her laying in her feces. That feces had gotten into that wound and made the leg the way it was. It was very apparent, based on the view of that leg, that it had been going on for months," said Martin.
Tuesday District Judge Stuart Mylin ordered Lapp to pay a $100 fine, plus court costs, on each of the 11 summary citations and $6,200 in restitution. Furthermore, he cannot have a dog for 990 days or around 3 years.
"Sometimes we don’t even get that. Sometimes we don’t get any kind of order like that. Sometimes you only get a fine. Sometimes you only get restitution. I mean it really depends. In this case, that is a substantial amount of time that the judge said he can’t own a dog. From this, (court documents) you can tell he really shouldn’t be owning a dog," said Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman.
Since the kennel laws have changed in Pennsylvania Stedman says the amount of puppy mills in Lancaster County has decreased.
"We just don’t have anywhere near the number of investigations or cases or complaints that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. For the dogs that is does, for the animals that it happens, it’s horrific and we will go after like we did in this case. It’s a very different story than it used to be," he said.
Furthermore he thanks the anonymous caller.
"People have to look out for each other and certainly look out for animals who can’t pick up the phone obviously and call 911 and ask for help," he said.