View Full Version : News: Trio plead guilty to cruelty/cavaliers in PA

21st June 2006, 11:07 AM
For those interested in these dogs in Pennsylvania, be sure to contact the shelter immediately


Trio plead guilty to animal cruelty charges
Kennel owner ordered to pay SPCA $122,000
The News Journal

More than 300 animals seized in February from a kennel in Lower Oxford Township, Pa., can go up for adoption after kennel owner Michael Wolf and two co-defendants pleaded guilty to animal-cruelty charges Monday.

The animals -- mostly dogs but also a few cats and parrots -- likely won't be available until July, said Chuck McDevitt, spokesman for the Chester County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Wolf, 65, must pay the SPCA more than $122,000 for caring for the animals -- many of which required veterinary attention -- since February and a $6,000 fine. A lien was placed on his property.

Co-defendant Gordon Trottier will have to pay the SPCA about $31,300 in restitution and was fined $3,000. A third defendant, Margaret Hills, was fined $3,000.

Each defendant pleaded guilty to 60 counts of animal cruelty, pre-empting an appeal hearing that was to begin Monday in West Chester. A District court judge in Oxford found them guilty of the charges in late April, after hearing testimony about the squalid conditions in which the animals were housed.

Wolf, in a brief telephone interview, suggested he had too many dogs because he simply loved animals.

"They were happy. They ate. They went out and they played," he said. "I mean, why would I hurt them?"

Wolf was a well-known dog breeder who had competed in high-profile dog shows.

"I signed away my life's work today," Wolf said Monday. He said he was depressed and didn't know how he'd pay the fines against him.

Wolf said the SPCA didn't give him enough time to clean up his property, and that the conditions weren't as bad as described in earlier court testimony.

"Dogs are always going to go to the bathroom," he said. "They're always going to rip up the papers."

Along with the animal-cruelty charges, Wolf and Trottier pleaded guilty to operating a kennel without a license and were each fined $350, plus court costs, McDevitt said. Trottier was also sentenced to two years of probation and fined $200 for resisting arrest and assaulting a Pennsylvania state trooper who was assisting the SPCA.

All three defendants were prohibited to own or work with animals for 15 years.

Hills declined to comment. Neither attorneys for the the defendants nor an assistant Chester County district attorney could be reached Monday.

21st June 2006, 11:54 AM
For those interested in these dogs in Pennsylvania, be sure to contact the shelter immediately

All three defendants were prohibited to own or work with animals for 15 years.

Oh wow such a punishment :x OK, so they have to pay fines etc. I personally would have made them live in the conditions they kept their poor animals :(

How anyone can be so cruel is beyond the realms of most people's understanding :x

22nd June 2006, 04:21 AM
i was thinking that too, if they had had separate counts for each dog, that would've really added up but it sounds like instead they paid a lump sum just for the dogs' care, plus relatively small fines. anyway, i hope this is an example to others, but if puppy millers are making a fortune at their business, they aren't going to be deterred by $5000 fines.

22nd June 2006, 04:41 AM
Yes, but they have to pay $112,000 to the SPCA to pay for the care for the animals. That is a nice chunk of change in addition to the fines. They also have a lien on the property for the fees and aren't allowed to have animals for 15 years. I agree, I wish the fine had been per dog. At least these particular pups will have a chance to live a better life.

22nd June 2006, 06:17 AM
you're right Jay, they lost their business and their livelihood, and they have been vilified in what used to be their social circle where they enjoyed respect and prestige. So this does make an example in that sense. And it put an end to one person's ongoing crimes against helpless victims.

1st July 2006, 12:15 AM
Further to this seizure: the dogs are now being adopted.

Hundreds come to adopt rescued dogs

WEST GOSHEN - The Chester County SPCA had braced itself for what it knew was going to be a tumultuous day Thursday when the first of the rescued dogs were available for adoption.
Most of the staff arrived at 5:30 a.m. and found a number of people waiting in the parking lot. One dedicated dog lover had arrived at midnight. By 9:30 a.m., there were 150 people in the parking lot. And someone decided they had better order some portable bathrooms.


Tracy Deal, of West Chester, was one of those early birds, and by 11:30 a.m., she had selected Clara, a quiet brown and white Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and was in a greeting room with kennel technician Miranda Albrecht.

"She’s adorable," Deal said, stroking the dog’s back. "She has the perfect disposition. I actually think she picked me. It was worth getting here at 5:30 a.m."

Albrecht explained that all the dogs rescued from the unlicensed kennel in Lower Oxford in February have medical problems. For Clara, those problems include cataracts, as well as having a number of teeth removed. It was impossible to tell her age, but Albrecht estimated Clara was a young adult.

"Her teeth are so bad. She has the teeth of a 10- to 11-year-old, but she’s not that old," Albrecht said. She warned Deal that Clara, like all the rescued dogs, will have ongoing medical problems.

While Deal didn’t walk out with Clara, as Clara had to go to the veterinarian to get spayed and examined, she did get a picture of the dog on her cell phone, which she happily showed to people waiting in the parking lot.

Thursday was the first day that the SPCA is offering the dogs, which are part of the 333 dogs that were rescued from an unlicensed kennel in Lower Oxford.

Michael Wolf and Gordon Trottier, breeders at the kennel, pleaded guilty on June 19 to 60 counts of animal cruelty due to unsanitary conditions. Wolf and Trottier forfeited the dogs, enabling the SPCA to put them up for adoption.

Lynn Martin, of Ardmore, was sixth in line Thursday morning, having arrived at 6:45 a.m. She felt a special connection with the dogs, since she had bought a Cavalier King Charles spaniel two years ago from Wolf.

"Three weeks after I brought her home, she got very sick," Martin said. After many trips to the veterinarian, the dog was diagnosed with having a congenital problem. Martin said she confronted Wolf about selling her a sick dog and Wolf said it had never happened before.

On Thursday, Martin was picking out another Cavalier King Charles to be a companion for her first.

The SPCA said it had 60 King Charles Cavalier spaniels and 25 papillons available for adoption.

By 12:30 p.m., Karen McCullin, of Wilmington, Del., was ready to leave. "It looks pretty hopeless," McCullin said clutching a ticket that said she was No. 123 in line. "My daughter has been pestering me for a dog." McCullin said she was going to try again today and arrive very early.

Bill and Vicky Holzmann came all the way from Easton to get a dog, and while they were No. 84 in line, they also felt it was hopeless to wait around.

"We’re disappointed," said Bill Holzmann. "We’ve been wanting a Cavalier for a long time as a companion for our Chihuahua."

By 4 p.m., Chuck McDevitt, an SPCA spokesman, said that about 15 adoptions were complete and about 15 adoptions were in some stage of completion, which would leave about 50 dogs still available for adoption. McDevitt said he anticipated the adoption process would still be ongoing today and Saturday.

from http://www.dailylocal.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16866776&BRD=1671&PAG=461&dept_id=17782&rfi=6