It's not a crime but... The Pennsylvania Game Commission destroyed a black bear that was too cozy with humans in a park in Lackawanna County. The 75-pound bear had become "habituated" by humans hand-feeding it in a picnic area, the PGC said in a press release, adding  "escalating concerns about public safety" led to decision to euthanize the animal.
What is it with people who run "animal sanctuaries?"First we have a woman in Franklin County - west of Harrisburg - who runs Greener Pastures No Kill Animal Sanctuary being charged with attempting to steal property and a Harley Davidson from a deceased man's family in 2008. The affidavit says Tracy Samantha Frey, 52, was charged with trying to collect a man's property by forging his signature on amendments to his will, according to the Public Opinion of Chambersburg (a newspaper worth bookmarking if you are interested in animal crime news. There is plenty of it in that area.)
Then, in Florida, a couple is facing multiple countsof animal cruelty after animal welfare groups rescued 517 cats suffering from disease and living in filth in their so-called "animal sanctuary." It is taking the resources of the two leading national animal welfare groups - the HSUS and ASPCA - to handle the huge rescue at Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary near Gainesville. Rescuers found dead cats and cats suffering from parasites and upper respiratory infections living in filthy cages on the 8-acre property. More from the Gainesville Sun here.
Pet shop puppies endure hellish ride. An Ohio man pleaded guilty to 20 counts of animal cruelty for conditions puppies had to endure inside his transport van for nine hours. Raymond Yoder of Fresno, Ohio, was charged with failure to provide water for puppies he was transporting from Ohio to Breeders Association pet store in Brick. Yoder is a driver for Abe Miller, a USDA-licensed commercial dog dealer in Fresno. The case was investigated by the NJ SPCA. See more on New Jersey Consumers Against Pet Shop Abuse web site. (Photo/NJSPCA)
Save the birds, kill all the cats. A staff member at the National Zoo is being charged with attempted animal cruelty after an investigation alleged she tried to poison cats in her Washington D.C. neighborhood. Nico Dauphine, a researcher with the National Zoo Migratory Bird Center, is charged with spiking food left out for feral cats with antifreeze and rat poison. The feral cat advocacy group Alley Cat Allies has a few things to say about the matter, including urging the National Zoo to suspend Dauphine pending her trial. More here.
On a positive note, the Pennsylvania Senate has approved amendments to the Puppy Lemon Law, designed to protect consumers who buy sick puppies. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R., Montgomery), would extend the time consumers have to seek reimbursement under the Puppy Lemon Law. For instance, the bill would extend from 30 to 90 days the time period in which a congenital condition may be certified by a vet in order to recover any losses from a seller. The bill also would extend the time period for a vet to certify an illness from 10 to 14 days. The bill now goes to the state House for consideration. For more information on the Puppy Lemon Law (formally known as the Dog Purchaser Protection Act) go to the PA Attorney General's web page.