PSPCA removes 15 dogs from Lancaster County breeder due to debarking concerns

QUARRYVILLE, Lancaster County — The Pennsylvania SPCA removed 15 dogs from an unlicensed breeder in Lancaster County due to concerns that one of the dogs had been debarked, the agency announced Tuesday in a press release.

State law prohibits debarking, also known as devocalization, on any dog for any reason — unless the procedure is performed by a licensed veterinarian using anesthesia, the PSPCA says.

Acting on a tip from a concerned citizen, the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement officers went to the breeder’s property last Thursday. They found the debarked dog, a female husky, and two other dogs that had been debarked sometime in the past, the PSPCA says.

Five adult dogs — three Doberman Pinschers, a German Shepherd and a husky — were removed from the breeder, as well as 10 puppies.

The dogs will receive medical care and be placed for adoption, the PSPCA says.

 “The manner in which these dogs were devocalized is concerning on many levels, not the least of which is that it is illegal,” said Nicole Wilson, PSPCA Director of Humane Law Enforcement. “These animals were debarked because it was a nuisance, and the inhumane manner in which the act was carried out can carry a felony charge. We will continue our investigation and press charges to the fullest extent allowed by the law in an effort to ensure this never happens again.”

The investigation is ongoing, and charges are pending the conclusion of the full investigation, the PSPCA says.

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