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PSPCA: Chester County kennel owner pleads guilty to killing 5 sick dogs in 2019

Ammon Stoltzfus, of Honey Brook, near the Chester/Lancaster County border, is barred from owning animals for the next 10 years, the PSPCA said.
Credit: Pennsylvania SPCA
PSPCA team members care for one of the dogs seized from Ammon Stoltzfus' Honey Brook, Chester County kennel on Feb. 25, 2021.

HONEY BROOK, Pa. — A Chester County kennel owner has pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty stemming from the deaths of several dogs on his property, the Pennsylvania SPCA announced Friday.

Ammon Stoltzfus is a kennel owner in Honey Brook, located near the border between Lancaster and Chester Counties on Route 322, the PSPCA said. He pleaded guilty to injecting five dogs suffering from Brucellosis (an infectious disease of the reproductive system caused by bacteria) with Epsom Salts in an attempt to kill them, according to the PSPCA.

When that method proved ineffective, Stoltzfus shot the dogs, the PSPCA said.

In pleading guilty, Stoltzfus will be on probation for 10 years and will be prohibited from owning animals during that time period, the PSPCA said.

During that time span, the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement team will have unannounced inspection rights on Stoltzfus' property, the agency said.

On Thursday, PSPCA members removed the remaining dogs from Stoltzfus' property, the agency said. Dogs seized included a Shih Tzu, two Yorkshire Terriers, a miniature poodle, and a Yorkipoo.

The dogs were brought to the PSPCA’s headquarters in Philadelphia, where they will undergo medical examinations and begin their search for new homes.

In May of 2019, the PSPCA said, humane officers were contacted by the Bureau of Dog Law regarding the incident involving Epsom Salt on Stoltzfus’ Honey Brook property. 

Upon inspection, two deceased dogs were recovered from the property, with Stoltzfus claiming three others had been disposed of in a swamp, the PSPCA said.

Officers returned to the property a month later to seize three dogs over concerns of lack of veterinary care, according to the PSPCA.

Charges from this separate incident were included in Stoltzfus' plea deal, the agency said.

 “While we can never take back the pain and suffering these dogs endured, we can provide the justice they deserve and additionally ensure that no other animal be harmed by Stoltzfus’ hand,” said Nicole Wilson, Director of Humane Law Enforcement. “We can assure you that we take our inspection rights very seriously."

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