(PA - US) Dogs rescued from horrendous conditions at unlicensed
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Fri May 30 15:56:09 EDT 2003
Nearly 50 dogs rescued from unlicensed kennel
By: SUMMER PIERETTI 05/30/2003
Rows of cages in a quarantined section of the Susquehanna County Humane
Society are home to hairless, skin-covered skeletons.
The sign of hope is the wagging tail at the end of the scabbing flesh and
gaping wounds from parasites.
Forty-six dogs and two cats were rescued from Buck Mountain Farms, 70 Cabin
Rd., Tunkhannock, an unlicensed kennel, last Tuesday afternoon.
The owner and operator, John Tanis, attempted to leave with puppies before
hopping a plane to Russia - but wasn't allowed to take them because all of the
dogs are evidence, said Chad Weaver, Susquehanna County Humane Society shelter
manager and Humane Society police officer.
"We knew he was leaving," Dog Law Supervisor Eugene Dziak said. "He left
while we were there. We were there for almost fours hours. We let him go; we don't
have a warrant out on him yet."
Tanis spent a year in Lackawanna County Jail, Dziak said. "He has been in
trouble for the same thing before. He ran a kennel in Susquehanna County a few
years ago, and one just down the road from his current location.
"He is not running a legal kennel and he has no license. We've been watching
him for a long time."
Weaver said that Tanis moved some of the dogs a week before the search and
seizure. "He built a kennel in the woods with a chain link fence in a week - it
wasn't there before. These were the dogs he was warned about - we found
carcasses of three of these dogs in the woods. He shot them."
"We are still unfolding things every day. There is much more to do on the
health of the dogs," Dziak said.
Dziak said he will prosecute Tanis on all the dog law violations that he can.
"He could get jail time, but it depends on the judge. It is possible he could
get 90 days in jail and a monetary fine for each count. But no charges have
been filed yet."
The rescue was a joint effort with the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and
Susquehanna County Humane Society, assisted by humane societies from Lackawanna
and Bradford counties and the Wyoming County Sheriff's Department. "They all
helped to find and transfer the dogs," Dziak said. "Everyone did an excellent job
finding the dogs."
Dziak said the rescue stemmed from months of investigating Tanis, who bred
Labrador retrievers and Weimaraners for profit. His standard fee to use a male
Weimaraner for breeding was $1,000.
His best breeding dog, who could barely move, is so malnourished he may not
recover, Weaver said.
"We haven't put any of the animals down and we don't think we will have to,"
Weaver said. "Maybe one or two won't make a recovery, but we are hopeful."
Weaver said the dogs suffer from anemia, malnutrition and internal and
external parasites. "Thirty to 35 have scabies, half have demodeptic mange and half
have scarpoctic mange." These diseases chew the skin up, causing hair loss and
severe itching, he said.
"We are doing tests on the fecal matter samples for parasites," Weaver said.
"Most of the dogs only have hair on a quarter of their body or less."
The dogs are all being treated with medication, antibiotics and constant
baths. "It is very difficult to help them. It takes a lot of time. You've got to
really keep on top of it.
"A lot of them haven't been treated with worm medicine because they are in
such poor health that too much medication can be too much of a shock to them,
and it could hurt them - so it is a long process."
The dogs also suffer from diarrhea, which Weaver attests to "finally getting
real food in their systems."
Weaver said all of the animals are friendly and are wagging their tails.
"These dogs are amazing. Considering what they have gone through, they are full of
life. That makes us very hopeful for their recovery. Hopefully we will have
some beautiful animals in six months or more."
Weaver said the shelter is in desperate need of blankets for the rescued
"We can only let them use a blanket for a day or two - then we burn them.
With the amount of parasites, we can't just wash them and use them again."
Anyone who wants to donate a blanket to the humane society may drop it off at
The New Age-Examiner office, 16 E. Tioga St., Tunkhannock.
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