Woman charged with animal cruelty following the illegal ear cropping of four mini schnauzer puppies

PHILADELPHIA — A Montgomery County woman faces animal cruelty charges following the illegal ear cropping of four miniature schnauzer puppies, the Pennsylvania SPCA said Thursday in a news release.

Charges were filed against Joan Huber in Lebanon County court, where the illegal procedure occurred. She faces four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals – torture and aggravated cruelty of animals causing serious bodily injury or death, according to the release.

“These dogs suffered through this traumatic experience for no other reason than an outdated view of aesthetics,” said PSPCA Director of Humane Law Enforcement Nicole Wilson. “Whatever anyone may feel about the issue of ear cropping, no one would imagine that a purported lover of Schnauzers would slice off these puppies’ ears without proper anesthetic or pain management as alleged in this case.”

Acting on a tip, the Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at a kennel in Union County on May 8, where the puppies were being housed, the release says. Upon arrival, it was discovered that four miniature schnauzers, aged at approximately 3-months-old at the time, had recently undergone an ear cropping procedure, the release states.

Cropping of dogs ears, a cosmetic procedure, is only legal when performed by a licensed veterinarian under anesthesia, the release notes.

The Pennsylvania SPCA immediately seized the dogs and transported them to the organization’s Erie Avenue headquarters and medically treated in its Shelter Hospital, the release adds.. After recovering and being surrendered to the Pennsylvania SPCA, the dogs were adopted.