PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement team, working with the Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office, arrest Steven Alston
Philadelphia, PA (October 30, 2020) – The Pennsylvania SPCA, alongside Lebanon County Detectives, yesterday executed an arrest warrant for Steven Alston of Lebanon. Alston has been charged with a total of 18 counts of animal cruelty which includes 14 felony counts, 2 misdemeanors, and 2 summary counts.
While on site serving the arrest warrant, local police found 2 horses and 2 calves in unsanitary conditions with the horses lacking food, water or bedding. They were surrendered to the Pennsylvania SPCA and transported to the organization’s Central Pennsylvania Center located in Danville for medical evaluation and treatment.
On Thursday, October 1, the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement team rescued a total of 34 dogs and puppies from Alston’s property over concerns for their welfare. Acting on a tip regarding illegal ear cropping and tail docking of puppies, the PSPCA discovered acts of cruelty including animals suffering from untreated medical conditions and sanitation issues. Among the medical concerns were untreated infected wounds, some containing maggots, as well as very thin body conditions of a number of the animals.
Alston is charged with 8 felony counts of aggravated cruelty for torture to animals in reference to cutting the ears of 7 Presa Canario type puppies with scissors without anesthesia and for the prolonged suffering of a German Shepherd, Sway, who was found in extremely critical condition with severe, necrotic wounds left untreated. Sway has been recovering at the PSPCA’s shelter hospital, and is expected to survive.
Additional felony charges relate to aggravated cruelty causing serious injury or death. These charges include three dogs that were found deceased on the property. Necropsy results show two of the dogs died of severe bite wounds with lack of veterinary treatment.
Alston is also charged with 1 misdemeanor for cruelty to animals and a second for lack of veterinary care causing bodily injury. Summary charges include lack of veterinary care and lack of access to sanitary shelter.
The dogs removed from the property were brought to the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Philadelphia headquarters where they have been receiving care at the organization’s shelter hospital.
Of the 34 dogs removed from the property, all have been subsequently surrendered to the Pennsylvania SPCA with the exception of 2, which remain at shelter under protective custody. Of those who have recovered medically, many have been adopted.
“This case of animal cruelty was particularly jarring,” said Nicole Wilson, Director of Humane Law Enforcement at the PSPCA. “To find a dog at death’s door and subsequently brought back to life shows the dedication of our staff. We are grateful to take this step in bringing the abuser to justice in an effort to ensure no other animals ever meet the same fate. The next step is through the courts to ensure that he is never allowed to own another animal.”
Anyone with information about this case or other cases involving animal cruelty, is urged to call the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Cruelty Hotline at (866) 601-SPCA. Tips can be left anonymously.
About the Pennsylvania SPCA
Since 1867, the Pennsylvania SPCA, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization headquartered at 350 East Erie Avenue, Philadelphia, has been dedicated to preventing animal cruelty and rescuing animals from abuse and neglect. The Pennsylvania SPCA's lifesaving programs for animals include a low-cost veterinary clinic, low-cost spay and neuter services, pet adoption facilities, and the Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department. For more information about adopting, donating or volunteering, please call (215) 426.6300 or visit www.pspca.org.