The lath answerable with advising Gov. Corbett on dog law issues is set to accommodated Wednesday for the aboriginal time back Corbett took arrangement 15 months ago and questions are already actuality aloft about the administration’s charge to attention dogs in bartering kennels.
As The Inquirer appear in today’s editions, there is little affirmation that the Administering of Agronomics is administering key accoutrement of the 2008 dog law, namely those administering bartering kennels, contrarily accepted as puppy mills.
These accommodate ambience minimum standards for lighting, ventilation, ammonia levels and clamminess in kennels that advertise or alteration added than 60 dogs a year, admitting a cardinal of kennels still abode added than 100 dogs at one time.
The recently issued dog law annual report shows the number of total citations filed alone from 4,548 in 2010 to 3,142 in 2011, and the number of license revocations from 12 in 2010 to one aftermost year.
A review of inspection belletrist indicates no citations were issued to commercial kennels after June 2011, back Agronomics Sec. George Greig installed Lynn M. Diehl, a above coffer manager with no animal-sheltering or law-enforcement experience, in the $80,000-a-year job alive the Arrangement of Dog Law Enforcement.
How did an ex-banker with no acquaintance in any acreage accompanying to beastly sheltering, law administering or alike government adjustment appear to be assassin as administrator of dog law enforcement?
Even added puzzling, there is no adumbration that Diehl alike wanted what is the second highest-profile job in the agency abaft the secretary.
Diehl’s aftermost paid job was as a absolute acreage servicing manager at Pennsylvania State Advisers Credit Union in 2004.
She was alive as a Harrisburg-area Republican Party volunteer when Corbett won acclamation in November 2010.
Diehl sent a all-encompassing awning letter to the Corbett alteration aggregation gluttonous a accepted administering position accompanying to “banking, accounts or compliance,” according to abstracts acquired by the Inquirer.
State Rep. Ron Marsico (R,. Dauphin), who has accepted Diehl through the Dauphin Canton Republican Party, said she bidding absorption to him in alive in the state revenue or accounts departments and that he wrote her a non-specific letter of abutment for a job. Diehl never told him she had any absorption in dog law, he said.
Diehl’s resume concluded up at agronomics area she interviews, not for dog law, but for administrator of the Bureau of Weights and Measures. That office’s main responsibility is inspecting gas pumps.
How Diehl concluded up actuality installed at dog law is unclear. At the top of the job description’s annual of capital functions is: knowledge of the care, handling and ancestry of dogs, followed by knowledge of assorted types of dog kennels, business and groups in Pennsylvania.
She met none of those qualifications, according to her resume.
When Diehl took arrangement on June 15, bureau admiral told me that “she has a dog” back I questioned her abridgement of experience.
Agency admiral accept never fabricated Diehl accessible for an interview.
Diehl replaced two baronial advisers with appreciably added accordant acquaintance back they were called to their jobs:
Jessie Smith, appointed in 2006 by again Gov. Rendell to a new position as adapted agent secretary for the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, had served as a advocate apery the Commonwealth under then-attorney accepted Tom Corbett. Sue West was a former board affiliate of the Humane League of Lancaster Canton and had been actively complex drafting the dog law afore she was appointed bureau director.
Their brusque adjournment by admission Secretary Greig additionally raises questions about whether the new agency’s administering had any absorption in chain in a administering with abounding accessible acknowledged cases and advancing administering issues.
Smith alternate to the advocate accepted arrangement and West was moved to an administrative position abroad in the agency.
Their abortion letters, acquired by the Inquirer, indicate little absorption by the bureau in an alike alteration or any attack to accommodate analytical advice to a new administrator absolutely in the aphotic on dog law.
A cardinal of Diehl’s emails, obtained through a right-to-know appeal by Capital Line Beastly Rescue and acquaint on the website www.pakennelwaivers.com show she had little ability of the capital credo of dog law six months into her appointment.
In one email Diehl asks abode acquiescence administrator Kristen Donmoyer the difference between “60” dogs (the cardinal of sales/transfers annually that defines a bartering kennel) and 25 dogs (the threshold above which one charge have a abode license).
Since Diehl took office, not alike basic, annual functions of the office have been maintained on schedule.
Individual dog licenses – the banknote cow for the department – went out months backward aftermost year, causing disruption in some canton treasurers’ offices that await on adapted accession of licenses for distribution.
Kennel applications too went out abaft agenda abrogation abounding kennels clearly actionable at the alpha of 2012.
There were delays also in the issuance of alleged “dangerous dogs” permits. At last count board had declared almost 100 dogs as dangerous, requiring owners to obtain a $500 admittance every year. That’s at atomic $50,000 left on the table.
At atomic 20 vacancies in the administering gone unfilled, including some ten dog wardens. Diehl recently fired a top authoritative assistant, Denise Dougherty, who abounding a key role as the communication with treasurers and candy apartment admission applications.
Questions additionally are actuality aloft about the approaching of addition key employee, the state veterinarian assigned to accompany wardens to botheration kennels. Danielle Ward, who was appointed in 2009, has conducted array of bloom inspections at kennels of all sizes.
Reports indicate Ward has been active in anecdotic abiding and potentially baleful altitude and ordered adapted veterinary treatment. It is through her ability that austere ache and illnesses and injuries in many kennel dogs accept been articular and analysis ordered.
Ward also has served as an able attestant in beastly animality cases and conducts training for wardens in acquainted basset bloom issues.
Agency admiral accusation staffing cuts on the rapidly-shrinking dog law account, which is on clue to become bankrupt by aing year. But there has been no adumbration yet that the Corbett administering is aggravating to abode the shortfall.
The account crisis and cachet of bartering abode administering – as able-bodied as devious dogs and the apartment funding situation – are amid the capacity acceptable to be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting.
The governor’s Dog Law Advisory Lath meets at 1 p.m. in Room 309 of the Administering of Agronomics architecture at 2301 N. Cameron St. Harrisburg.
Published: April 24, 2012 — 10:20 PM EDT The Philadelphia Inquirer
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