The governor of Pennsylvania, joined by one of his two Golden Retrievers, recently urged lawmakers to amend the state dog law after two kennel owners killed 80 dogs by shooting them.
Pennsylvania’s current dog law does not ban kennel owners from euthanizing their dogs with firearms, whether they are healthy or not. In his appeal at a news conference Saturday at Schuylkill River Dog Park, Rendell called the killings “totally unnecessary” and said the time has come to enact legislation that would make this practice illegal as well as raise the standards under which the state’s commercial breeding kennel industry operates.
The dogs were shot two weeks ago by Berks County kennel owners Elmer Zimmerman and his brother after dog wardens ordered kennel repairs and veterinary checks for 39 dogs found with flea and fly bites.
A vigil was organized Friday outside the property to remember the dogs. Zimmerman could not be reached for comment, but according to The Associated Press, he apologized and said he thought he would face legal action if he didn’t act immediately.
Under House Bill 2525, currently pending in the House, only veterinarians would be allowed to euthanize dogs in commercial breeding kennels. The bill also requires outdoor exercise, solid flooring, and prohibits the stacking of cages.