Pennsylvania SPCA: Lancaster County man arrested after burning “ocular issue” out of English Bulldog puppy’s eye by heating up a knife in his kitchen

PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement team arrest Ray Martin of New Holland on felony and misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty

Philadelphia, PA (May 12, 2021) – The Pennsylvania SPCA, alongside Lancaster County Detectives, today executed an arrest warrant for Ray Martin of New Holland in reference to the removal of a cherry eye with a kitchen knife.

Martin has been charged with 2 counts of animal cruelty which include 1 felony count for intentionally or knowingly torturing an animal and 1 misdemeanor count for failing to provide veterinary care to an animal at imminent risk of serious bodily injuring.

On July 3, the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement team received a complaint from a veterinarian referencing an English Bulldog puppy that had been purchased from a breeder and subsequently brought in for care for a concern regarding an eye problem. Upon examination, it was determined that the puppy was missing a portion of the eye’s anatomy. No surgical records or veterinary records for this condition were provided to the purchaser, and the breeder had ultimately admitted to removing it himself.

Responding to the report, Humane Law Enforcement Officers confirmed that the breeder in question, Ray Martin, had found that the puppy developed a cherry eye, an inflamed or prolapsed gland of the third eyelid. Mr. Martin admitted to removing the cherry eye himself. It was further uncovered that his wife had held the English Bulldog Puppy in question on the kitchen table while he heated up a knife and proceeded to burn and then cut the cherry eye out of the puppy. All of this was done without any anesthesia or pain medication.

According to the affidavit, the procedure violated Pennsylvania’s cruelty code resulting in felony and misdemeanor charges being filed. At this time, no animals were seized from Martin as the puppy in question had been placed with a loving family who continue to provide for the puppy’s medical needs.

“This case of animal cruelty is especially horrific,” said Nicole Wilson, Director of Humane Law Enforcement and Shelter Operations at the Pennsylvania SPCA. “The offender in this case took this innocent puppy’s medical care into his own hands, using what was essentially a kitchen knife to simultaneously burn while cutting out an essential part of the puppy’s eye anatomy without considering the pain and suffering endured by this vulnerable animal. As the puppy ages, the eye will likely need lifelong ongoing medical treatment just to maintain the basic health of the eye. These charges are not only about finding justice for this puppy but also to ensure this never happens again.”

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