Fifteen dogs were allegedly rescued from an unlicensed Pennsylvania breeder accused of “debarking” some of them by shoving a pipe-type object down their throats, PEOPLE confirms.
The 10 puppies and five adult dogs were taken from the Lancaster County breeder by the state’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on May 24, according a news release by the organization.
The organization had received a tip about an adult female Siberian Husky allegedly being debarked, the release states. Officers later discovered two other dogs who were allegedly debarked.
The breeder allegedly debarked the dogs by pushing a pipe-type object down their throats multiple times to damage the vocal cords, the organization said in a Facebook post.
In addition to the Siberian Husky, authorities removed three adult Doberman Pinschers, one adult pregnant German Shepard, and 10 puppies including Doberman Pinschers and Siberian Huskies.
Pennsylvania prohibits debarking of any dog unless performed by a licensed veterinarian using anesthesia, the news release states.
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“The manner in which these dogs were devocalized is concerning on many levels, not the least of which is that it is illegal,” said Nicole Wilson, PSPCA Director of Humane Law Enforcement said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
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“These animals were debarked because it was a nuisance, and the inhumane manner in which the act was carried out can carry a felony charge,” Wilson continued. “We will continue our investigation and press charges to the fullest extent allowed by the law in an effort to ensure this never happens again.”
The Lancaster District Attorney’s Office is working with the SPCA, the latter of which is leading the investigation, to determine charges against the breeder, who has not been identified, according to the The Huffington Post. (PEOPLE could not be reach the district attorney for comment Thursday.)
The fifteen dogs are now in the custody of the SPCA and have received medical care. They will eventually be placed in loving homes, the news release states.