A Lancaster County Pennsylvania dog kennel was fined in court for dog law violations. And now, anti-puppy mill organizations are demanding the Turkey Hill Kennel be shut down because of what they call “poor treatment to the animals”.

An animal organization is demanding answers as to how the commercial breeder continues to be ‘let off easy’. Several previous citations related to unsanitary conditions have been thrown out and this time the kennel walked out of a local courtroom with a mere $400 fine.

The East Earl Pennsylvania  facility is run by a commercial breeder housing as many as 364 dogs. “No one person can take care of 346 dogs appropriately,” said Jenny Stephens with the North Penn Puppymill Watch.

Stephens is calling for the kennel to be shut down after a series of problematic inspections by the bureau of dog law.

“The first time at Turkey Hill in January, it was noted that there were frozen water bowls which means the temperature was well below 32 degrees,” Stephens said. “Dogs lives are in jeopardy. These dogs can’t speak for themselves.”

During inspections in both January and March, the stench of ammonia was strong enough to send wardens fetching respirator masks from their vehicles. They reportedly had difficulty breathing. The odor made their eyes burn. “If wardens need respirators to go in and inspect a kennel, it is not healthy for these dogs to be in that environment either,” Stephens said.

Proper ventilation related to the ammonia issue is an updated requirement for dog kennels as of 2008, however, many breeders like those at Turkey Hill, received three-year waivers to upgrade their facilities. The lack of immediacy in complying with new regulations coupled with lax penalties is a continued issue for these puppy mill groups.

Story by Elaine Furst for Dog Files