State animal law charges filed against local service dog provider

Charges have been filed against a Warren County non-profit organization.

New Hope Assistance Dogs, 3 Scott Run Road, faces eight summary counts related to allegedly failing to keep its kennel safe and sanitary.

According to its website, New Hope “provides highly skilled mobility, autism related, hearing and therapy dogs for people with disabilities.”

The charges were filed by Pennsylvania Dog Warden Amy Tyger on Friday. Tyger and Warren County Humane Officer Tera Darts inspected the facility on Aug. 28. The Humane Society had not filed charges as of Tuesday.

The state charges stemming from that inspection include eight variations of the summary offense: failure to keep kennel in sanitary and humane condition.

They touch on food, shelter, records, cleaning, drainage, safety, vaccinations, and the exercise area.

According to allegations in the court documents:

there were “feces and mud inside and outside of food and water receptacles. Water was brown in color and receptacles were chewed;

there was “puddled water on the floor inside of dog houses… dog houses were inside of kennel area where dogs were kept;

there were “incomplete and inaccurate records of dogs in kennel;

there were “old” feces “under rocks and housing units inside every primary enclosure;

“dogs housed in holding pens with sharp and rusty poles;

“several dogs housed in outside pens standing in water with no drainage;

“copies of rabies certification were altered, crossed-out, and changed. Certificates were incomplete and also expired;

“three dogs viewed inside exercise area – said officer viewed broken, sharp, and rusted poles on exercise fence/pole.”

The total penalty for the offenses, if New Hope were to be found guilty, would be $1,082. Each count carries a penalty of a $100 fine and an additional fee. Two counts carry fees of $70.50 and the others are $23.50 each.

When asked for comment Tuesday, New Hope President Barb Ruhlman declined, saying the facility had not received notification of the charges.