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Failing in Compassion

Story ID:11119
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Quarryville Pennsylvania Lancaster
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I read two accounts of cruelty today to animals. If there were only two, how
wonderful that would be -but sadly there are probably millions of like stories
of cruelty to our sentient brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom. throughout
the world.

I found this account on Care2 written by Laura Goodman re Libre a mange-covered
emaciated puppy dying on July 4th of this year in a breeding farm (probably puppy
mill) in Pennsylvania. The writer doesn’t identify this Lancaster farm as Amish but I
believe it probably was because Lancaster has a number of Amish living there, and I
have read before that some of them are involved with cruel puppy mills. Check the
internet if you doubt this or are interested in researching puppy mills.

How blest was this dying 7-week-old Boston Terrier puppy because he was spotted
alone and almost lifeless by a compassionate delivery man. Immediately he realized
how precarious was his condition and rushed him to the Dillsburg Veterinary Center.

Miraculously, this puppy, who the veterinarian acknowledged was hours from death,
survived. Jennifer Nields, a former Lancaster County humane officer decided that
he should be named Libre – Spanish for liberty as he was rescued on the 4th of July.

Aside from having severe mange which was rotting his maggot-infested skin- this
puppy was starving and dehydrated. Many people believe that the Lancaster SPCA
dropped the ball on this one by not bringing charges of animal cruelty against
Benjamin S. Stoltzfus, the owner of the breeding farm in Quarryville.

In a press conference- Susan Martin, director of the SPCA, related that when she
had received a text message about Libre’s condition, she forwarded a photo of
Libre to a staff veterinarian. He decided that the puppy was not in imminent
danger. Who ever heard of a diagnosis from a photo?

Well, it was obvious that the 400 people who marched in protest outside the
Lancaster SPCA on July 17th didn’t believe that she had done her job well. And
then even 9,000 Care 2 members agreed and signed a petition requiring that
the breeding facility owner be changed with cruelty.

There would be justice for Libre because on August 11, Lancaster County District
Attorney Craig Stedman held a press conference announcing that his office had
filed a petition calling for the suspension of Martin’s appointment as a humane
society police officer for the Lancaster County SPCA. Per the petition, Martin had
conducted her authority to enforce animal cruelty laws in a ‘substandard’ fashion.

As for Stoltzfus who admitted to police that he had abandoned the puppy knowing
full well that he would die there - he was only fined about $905 because Pennsylvania
animal cruelty laws are weak. Pennsylvania is only one of three US states that
doesn’t have felony level punishments for cruel crimes to animals.

Hopefully, a lot of good will come from Libre’s suffering, Sen. Richard Alloway plans to
introduce “Libre’s Law,” which would increase the penalties for those who abuse or
neglect animals in the state.

It’s time. I can still remember reading about the “hand slap” that two cruel men got
for tying up an innocent Dalmatian dog to a tree and letting him be ravaged by pit bulls
they were training for vicious dog fights. The judge in the case was very lenient, and
let these cruel youth get away with this crime. Pennsylvania needs to enact Libre’s law.
Concern for animal cruelty should have been addressed way before this time.