Local/State

80 dogs shot

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two Berks County kennels are empty tonight now that all 80 of the dogs that used to live there have been shot and killed.

As it turns out, the shootings were legal.

Ammon Zimmerman and his brother had kennels with dozens of dog between them, and were told by the state dog warden to seek veterinary services from some of the canines.

Under the law, they had three choices. They could take the dogs to a vet, they could surrender them to the Humane Society, or they could kill them.

They chose the third option.

Action News was there as Ammon Zimmerman was confronted by animal lover Laurie Rochotte.

"I'm a dog owner, and even if you're not a dog owner, to think of 80 dogs being shot... It's a massacre of helpless animals," Rochotte said.

Rochotte supports a proposal in Harrisburg that would change Pennsylvania's dog and kennel laws, making it illegal for anyone to euthanize a dog except for a certified veterinarian.

The Berks County Humane Society says it's upsetting to see how often the option to kill dogs is used.

"It's not common, but it's not unusual," said Damon March, of the Humane Society.

Under current law, if the Zimmermans had taken their dogs to the Humane Society, they risked facing criminal charges. But, since they killed the dogs, no laws have been broken.

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