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Parkesburg couple waive preliminary hearing in animal cruelty case involving hanging deaths of dogs on their property

Couple faces multiple misdemeanors and summary charges

Philadelphia, PA (March 22, 2018) – The Pennsylvania SPCA announces that Elizabeth “Betty” and John Stoltzfus of Parkesburg have waived their preliminary hearing regarding the alleged hanging deaths of two female dogs, a Bichon-type dog and a Golden Doodle-type dog, at their dog kennel. The couple is accused of conspiring to kill the dogs, who had Brucellosis, by hanging them and then burning their bodies. They face multiple misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and conspiracy along with summary counts of animal cruelty.

The Pennsylvania SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Team, after receiving information from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law, opened an investigation into the killing of the two female dogs. Based upon the findings of this investigation charges were filed.

The Chester county couple waived their preliminary hearing. A formal arraignment has been scheduled for April 12, 2018. This case allegedly occurred only weeks prior to the enactment of Libre’s Law which would make acts such as hanging a dog a felony.

 “This case is especially heinous as it alleges the intentional torture of these two animals through hanging, which is a slow and painful way to die,” said Nicole Wilson, Director of Humane Law Enforcement at the Pennsylvania SPCA. “It is our hope that these defendants are convicted and face the harshest penalties available.”

Anyone who witnesses acts of animal cruelty is encouraged to call the PSPCA’s Cruelty Hotline, 866-601-7722.


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