Lancaster County breeder avoids trial, pleas guilty to animal cruelty

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. –  Jacob Esh, of Quarryville, a former licensed breeder plea guilty last Monday to animal cruelty charges. The Pennsylvania SPCA secured the plea from Esh for lack of veterinary care for a Havanese-type dog previously in his care.

Esh, agreed not to own any dogs for the maximum of 90 days, as well as the surrendering of nine adult and five puppy Havanese-type dogs. The dogs and puppies were transported to the PSPCA’s Philadelphia headquarters where they are being medically cleared by the shelter’s veterinary staff prior to being available for adoption.

A portion of the dogs and puppies are expected to be available to find new homes on Friday, March 10.

The PSPCA was contacted in September of 2016 by a private dog rescue regarding concerns over the health and veterinary care of a dog received from Esh. The dog had been transferred to the rescue in the summer. The dog was immediately brought to the veterinarian for concerns for her health and diagnosed with a broken jaw as a result of prolonged untreated severe dental disease. She received surgery for the broken jaw and additional dental treatment through the rescue. Since surgery she has recovered. After further investigation by PSPCA officers, charges were filed and a court date was set for March 7. Prior to the trial, a plea agreement was reached.

“The neglect of, and cruelty toward, animals can take many forms,” said Nicole Wilson, Director of the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement. “In this case, this cruelty took shape in the blatant omission of veterinary care for dogs suffering. We are glad that these animals will be placed in the capable hands of our veterinary staff, be cared for, and ultimately find the loving homes they have always deserved.”

Anyone with information about this case, or other cases involving animal cruelty, should call the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Cruelty Hotline at (866) 601-SPCA. Tips can be left anonymously.

About the Pennsylvania SPCA

Since 1867, the Pennsylvania SPCA, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization headquartered at 350 East Erie Avenue, Philadelphia, has been dedicated to preventing animal cruelty and rescuing animals from abuse and neglect. The Pennsylvania SPCA’s lifesaving programs for animals include a low-cost veterinary clinic, low-cost spay and neuter services, pet adoption facilities, and the Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department. For more information about adopting, donating or volunteering, please call (215) 426.6300 or visit


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