WILLIAMSPORT – PennLive is reporting…The operator of what the Lycoming County SPCA called a puppy mill has admitted he failed to properly care for 25 dogs of various breeds including a pregnant female dachshund. Daniel L. Stoltzfus on Monday was placed on three years’ probation and prohibited from owning or caring for dogs for five years. He must pay restitution of $8,700 to the SPCA. He pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of neglect of animals that charged him with failing to provide veterinary care for 12 dogs, sufficient nourishment for nine of them and clean and sanitary shelter for seven others over a one-year period beginning in January 2020.
The sentence also requires Stoltzfus to turn over the dogs to the SPCA, which he did on Feb. 13. “The dogs are now safe,” Judge Marc F. Lovecchio said. Charges of aggravated cruelty and cruelty to animals along with four other counts of neglect of animals were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. The dogs included newborns and several that were used for breeding, said SPCA executive director Victoria Stryker. All of them have been adopted or are spoken for, she said. SPCA humane Officer Betsey Sparling launched an investigation after receiving a tip about a female red dachshund whose condition was confirmed by a veterinarian.
Stoltzfus had taken the female dog and one of her puppies to the veterinarian on Jan. 14 claiming she had given birth to three puppies the previous day and two had died, the charges stated. During a C-section performed to remove a deceased puppy, the mother had to be resuscitated on the operating table, Sparling said she was told.