Pennsylvania SPCA: Lancaster County man found guilty on 6 counts of animal cruelty, ordered to surrender dogs

Gordonville man had been charged for lack of veterinary care and lack of shelter

Philadelphia, PA (September 28, 2017) - The Pennsylvania SPCA today announced a Lancaster County couple has been found guilty of six counts of animal cruelty in a case involving the lack of veterinary care and lack of necessary shelter for 14 dogs seized from his property in July.

Reuben and Mary Esh, of the 3700 block of Newport Road in Gordonville, pled guilty to four counts of lack of veterinary care and two counts of lack of necessary shelter for 14 dogs. They also agreed to surrender 13 dogs remaining on their property to the Pennsylvania SPCA. The couple will be prohibited from owning any dogs for a period of 540 days.

On Thursday, July 20, PSPCA Humane Law Enforcement officers removed 13 dogs from Esh’s property after receiving a request for help from the Bureau of Dog Law. The PSPCA’s team returned the very next day with another warrant, rescuing 14 dogs in total. The dogs, which included English bulldog type-dogs, Bichon Frise type-dogs, and a Labrador, were taken to the PSPCA’s Erie Avenue headquarters where they were evaluated and cared for by the PSPCA’s veterinary team.

All but one of the dogs were signed over to the PSPCA and found homes. Hillary, an English bulldog, who had not previously been signed over, was surrendered to the PSPCA on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, the couple surrendered 13 dogs remaining on their property to the PSPCA.   

“It is only fitting that as we take over operations at the Mary K. Dano Shelter in Lancaster, that we continue our work to protect animals and prevent cruelty in the region,” said Julie Klim, PSPCA CEO. “In this case, we rescued all the animals in violation of the cruelty code in July, but with the knowledge that animals remained on the premises, we were dedicated to returning for them. We look forward to finding them all the loving homes they have always deserved.”

To report animal abuse, call the Pennsylvania SPCA's cruelty hotline, (866) 601-SPCA.