By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The Dog Law Advisory Board held its first meeting under since Governor Corbett took office, with some members fuming about what they say is the administration’s lack of commitment to enforcing the state’s new puppy mill law.
Michael Pechert, Executive Deputy Secretary of the state Department of Agriculture, says the law has been a success since it was passed in 2008.
“Since then, in Pennsylvania, we’ve gone from nearly 350 commercial dog breeding facilities to 52 today.”
He says the law is important to the Corbett Administration.
“One of the first things that Governor Corbett did when taking office is change the bureau from the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement to the ‘Office’ of Dog Law Enforcement, which, in state government, an office carries more weight than a bureau.”
But Dog Law Advisory Board member Tom Hickey of Chester County is vocal in his belief that the administration has all but ignored much-publicized changes.
“What I’ve seen is a complete breakdown in the enforcement activities. I’ve seen situations where animal cruelty cases, rather than being prosecuted – which is their job – they’ve settled them all.”
Hickey believes the administration is taking a ‘warn and educate’ approach rather than cracking down. Another board member, Marsha Perelman of Wynnewood, claims enforcement has all but stopped since Corbett took office.
“Since the current administration took over no kennels have been closed, no licenses have been revoked… no permits have been denied, other than one at the very beginning of his administration.”
She wants to know if the governor is aware of this.