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September 28, 2012

The Humane Society of the United States Applauds the Pa. Department of Agriculture for Revoking Kennel License

Notorious puppy mill operators had a history of severe violations

The Humane Society of the United States commends the Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Office for investigating and revoking the license of Golden Acres Kennel, a puppy mill owned by Nancy Zimmerman of Lancaster, Pa. For the past year, The HSUS, along with multiple other animal welfare organizations, has been encouraging the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to take action.

“The Humane Society of the United States is pleased to see Dog Law officers take action against this puppy mill operator and hope this is just the beginning of their efforts to crack down on these problematic facilities,” said Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for The HSUS.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued a kennel license to Zimmerman, owner of Golden Acres Kennel and wife of convicted animal abuser John Zimmerman in 2011. In October 2011, a coalition of animal welfare organizations sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture urging agency officials to re-evaluate their decision to grant Nancy Zimmerman a kennel license on the same property, and to review their policies regarding licensure of dog breeders. This K4 license allowed Mrs. Zimmerman to keep up to 250 dogs on the property under certain conditions. Zimmerman violated those conditions and the enforcement office revoked the license on Sept. 24.

John Zimmerman was convicted of animal cruelty in Lancaster County in 2010 based on the mistreatment of animals at the Silver Hill Kennel, which is located at the Zimmerman’s joint residence. In 2010 the state revoked his kennel license for Silver Hill Kennel. Federal and state inspection reports show that John Zimmerman racked up numerous violations of the Pennsylvania Dog Law including improper sanitation, inadequately sized enclosures and a lack of proper exercise and veterinary care for his dogs.

The HSUS expects the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to make sure these dogs are placed with shelters and rescue organizations and stands at the ready to assist the department in finding appropriate placement options for these dogs. 

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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