Rescued shih tzu puppies

Pennsylvania SPCA removes 21 dogs from breeder's property over concerns for their welfare

Philadelphia, PA (January 20, 2023) – The Pennsylvania SPCA's Humane Law Enforcement team rescued a total of 21 dogs from a property in Gap on Thursday, January 19, 2023, over concerns for their welfare.

The PSPCA's Officers, acting on a tip from the Bureau of Dog Law who had been performing an inspection of the breeder's kennels, seized 21 dogs, including a Shih Tzu mom and three 2-week-old puppies, a Shih Tzu mom and four 5-week-old puppies, two adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, four Labrador Retrievers, a Belgian Malinois and several poodles, terrier and Shih Tzu type dogs from the property on Cains Road in Gap.  

After receiving the complaint from the Bureau of Dog Law that animals at the property were living in unsanitary conditions, in improper sheltering to maintain body temperature in the extreme cold or heat, and some suffered from severe matting, the PSPCA officers, with the help of Lancaster County Detective Joanne Resh, executed a search warrant at the property.

The dogs were removed from the property over concerns for unsanitary and improper housing and lack of veterinary care, as many of the Shih Tzu and poodle-type dogs were found with extreme matting. The dogs were brought to the PSPCA's Philadelphia headquarters to be examined and cared for by the shelter's medical team.

All of the animals were surrendered to the Pennsylvania SPCA by the owner. After medical examinations, the animals will be available for adoption. The young puppies and their mothers will be placed in foster homes until they are old enough to begin the search for permanent homes.

"It is important to remember that breeding facilities like this one still exist in Pennsylvania, with mother dogs and their puppies suffering in horrific conditions," said Julie Klim, CEO of the Pennsylvania SPCA. "While we have made many strides in the fight against animal cruelty, it is disheartening that the demand for puppies from breeders like this continues. We implore members of the public to consider adoption when searching for a new dog. But, if they must go to a breeder, please do the proper research to find a responsible breeder, always make sure you meet your puppy's mother and inspect their living arrangements, and report any abuse and neglect. "

The investigation into animal cruelty and neglect is ongoing, and charges are pending the conclusion of the full investigation.


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