Almost Heaven Animals in ICU

Several of the animals seized from Almost Heaven Kennels Tuesday were placed in intensive care, according to the Pennsylvania SPCA. The raid closed the Lehigh County, Pa. kennel for good.

About 250 dogs were seized in the raid when they were found in deplorable conditions.

Kennel owner Derbe Eckhart was allowed to keep 24 dogs as pets, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Further investigation of Eckhart’s home found nearly 100 animals inside his house including spider monkeys, birds, cats and dogs, according to the Pennsylvania SPCA.

Eighteen cats and four dogs were also removed. They needed immediate medical attention, Kim Wolf of the PSPCA said. The exotic pets, however, like the monkeys and birds, were not seized.

As of Thursday, several of the animals, mostly cats, were in intensive care, according to the PSPCA.

In 2008, the PSPCA found filthy conditions inside Almost Heaven with 800 animals crammed into cages and kennels. Dead puppies were also found stashed in a refrigerator, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement refused Eckhart’s 2009 kennel license application an inspection back in October found violations of the Dog Law. Through his attorney, Eckhart tried with an appeal to stop dog wardens from seizing the animals without success.

“Previous versions of the Dog Law allowed kennel owners to operate for extended periods of time even after having their kennel license revoked or refused,” said Smith. “The new law prohibits kennels in that situation from obtaining new dogs, breeding or boarding and…gives dog wardens clear authority to continue to inspect and to seize dogs when appeals are exhausted and allows a prior closure by the state to prevent issuance of a new license upon reapplication.”

Eckhart could face up to 22 misdemeanor charges for animal cruelty. No charges have been filed at this point.

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