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Woman Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty for Having Dogs ‘Debarked’

Discussion in 'Canine News/Informative Articles' started by JanS, May 25, 2019.

  1. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    A woman in Pennsylvania faces two years on probation after pleading guilty to six counts of animal cruelty charges for debarking her dogs.

    Annie Beiler, 47, is also required to surrender almost all of her dogs to the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, according to the plea accepted by Judge Howard Knisely on Thursday, May 24, via Lancaster Online.

    The exception is one indoor dog that Beiler owns. However, that dog is required to receive welfare checks by the PSPCA, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

    Additionally, Beiler is prohibited from owning, possessing, or having any dogs in her control or custody, and is not allowed to perform any work involving the care of dogs, according to the authorities.

    Beiler had obtained the services of formerly licensed Iowa veterinarian, Denise Felling, to debark the dogs, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

    The debarking process involves “shoving a rod-like object into the dogs’ vocal chambers,” according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office. The manner in which Felling did the “debarking procedures was illegal,” according to authorities.
    Felling was also charged and pleaded guilty, officials said. Felling was sentenced up to 23 months in prison and released on credit for time served, according to Lancaster Online. Authorities said Felling told Beiler she was a veterinarian but never obtained a license in Pennsylvania. According to officials, her license in Iowa was revoked.

    Previously, authorities seized 15 dogs from Beiler’s Quarryville property in May 2018, according to Fox 43 News. Three of those dogs had also been illegally debarked. One was an adult husky while two were Doberman pinschers, according to the criminal complaint filed by the Pennsylvania SPCA officer.
    Beiler pleaded guilty to 14 counts of animal cruelty and one count of neglect at the time.

    Beiler paid Felling $60 per dog to perform the procedure, according to the criminal complaint. Beiler admitted that she tried to have the procedure done at an animal hospital, but was told it was illegal.

    File image of a husky dog. (Joe007/Pixabay)
    Later, Felling was also charged in the case, and pleaded guilty to eight counts of aggravated cruelty to animals in January.

    Additionally, Beiler was accused of improperly docking the tails of nine Doberman pinscher puppies by using rubber bands on their tails when they were just three days old. Because the process was improperly done, the tails became infected and required professional treatment.

    Three of the puppies had been kept inside an “improper hutch-like shelter with a wire floor that was spaced too widely,” according to the complaint. As a result, the puppies’ legs fell through the wire.

    Another puppy developed hyphemia in its left eye. It was left untreated, and as a result, the puppy’s eye became permanently damaged and had to be removed, according to the complaint.

    File image of a Doberman puppy sleeping. (Yama Zsuzsanna Márkus/Pixabay)

    A pregnant German shepherd dog, an adult Doberman pinscher with 10 puppies, seven 4-week-old Dobermans, two 6-week old Dobermans, and a 3-month-old husky were also all removed from the property.

    On Thursday, judge Knisely asked Beiler if she wanted to make a comment after pleading guilty to misdemeanor and cruelty to animals.

    “No, your honor,” she said, according to Lancaster Online.

    Beiler was ordered to pay a $25 fine for each of the four offenses and sentenced to two years of probation.

    Original source: Woman Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty for Having Dogs 'Debarked'
    • Wow x 3
  2. crypticintent

    crypticintent Hot Topics Subscriber

    After all that she only gets two years probation and $100 fine?!
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • I was wondering about that too! I was wondering about that too! x 1
  3. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Hot Topics Subscriber

    Words fail me really. Have to wonder why some people have animals. They obviously have no feeling for them!!! :down:
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Antman408

    Antman408 $ Forum Donor $

    Way too lenient. That woman deserves prison time and a boot to her teeth.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. crypticintent

    crypticintent Hot Topics Subscriber

    Maybe even a debarking...
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. Firestar Dobe

    Firestar Dobe $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    There is a well known Norwegian Elkhound breeder in Illinois that breeds for Conformation. All of her Elkies have been debarked. I hated seeing her dogs at the Conformation ring because they had this dry hacking whisper when they would try to bark. It made me sick to my stomach. People think C/D is cruel, no it's not, but debarking? That is one of the ways dogs communicate. If you don't like dogs barking then don't get a dog or get a Basengi!
    • Agree Agree x 5
  7. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Words fail me, this is awful :(

    The punishment is nowhere near enough :nono:
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Why? Hasn't she proven she shouldn't be near an animal? Poor dog, I hope he doesn't fall through the cracks and get lost in the system.

    We have a neighbor that has a rescue pup that was debarked before it was taken from his previous owner. OMG! that sound is just horrible. Every single time I hear it I envision the procedure and what that poor dog went through before he came to the home he should of had from the beginning.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 2
  9. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    My Mom adopted a Poodle that had been debarked before she got him and I agree that the sound is horrible. It's not that hard to train them not to constantly yap and I'd much rather hear a real bark than that terrible noise.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I had a good friend whose dog had been debarked somehow. I don't know if he had it done, but I don't think so. Yes, the bark is a sort of coughing-like noise, and she made it a lot. I didn't realize it was such an apparently harsh procedure. I figured it was something like snipping the vocal cords or something.
  11. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    i just cannot imagine anyone doing this although we have had a few dogs in the practice that had that procedure done back in the 70’s.
    We have also had a client inquire about it because her Irish Setters were excessive barkers. I wanted to smack her and tell her to get her hearing disabled so she couldn’t hear them.
    I must tell Bogie 50 times a day to pipe down the barking but never once would debarking come to my mind. It’s plain out and out cruel. He gets a raspy bark from his high bark days. Lol
    If you can’t deal with a barking dog then don’t have a dog. Same with screeching birds, if you can’t handle the noise, don’t get a bird!
    She needs a year in jail for every dog debarked or improper tail docked!! It’s people like her that make it difficult for the passionate owners of Dobermans to get a C/D for their dobes.
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Of course I would not de-bark a dog. I was just saying this morning that I think Oji is starting to ignore my command to be silent because I have to say it so freaking much. So far today, he disobeyed the command to not bark (saw another dog being walked) then disobeyed the command to move away from the windows. Need to remember to set the e-collar charging for its 12 hours.

    For us, it's more than just an annoyance at the massively loud barking explosions. It's that in our relatively small house, it jolts everyone awake. It jolts the baby off the breast and starts her crying. It'll blast your ear drums if you're too close. So forth.

    Still, I'd not de-bark him. Reminds me of how my wife I think actually wants me to put Oji on anxiety meds 24-7. I refuse of course, as it just seems cruel.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Antman408

    Antman408 $ Forum Donor $

    @Tropicalbri's completely agree with everything you said and it blows my mind that people would want to do this. It’s the same as “oh my son talks and screams to much so I removed his voice-box.” And it baffles me even more how some people would associate with someone who thinks this practice is ok. Not even sure how people like this have friends.

    If your dog excessively barks, that’s the owners fault for not doing a proper job of training.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  14. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I agree! Speaking of kids, there were a few at the airport today and they hollered and screamed running up and down the halls for a couple hours before the flight and the parents said nothing. When they came through the checkpoint I was on x-ray and I just about stopped the belt until they got through there because they were so distracting to me.
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 1
  15. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Oh, I despise it when parents don't control their kids!!
    • Agree Agree x 5
  16. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Unruly kids piss me off way more than any barking dog or screeching bird. They can legally be put in a cage and legal to put them in a muzzle. :D (Dogs that is) :p not Birds with a muzzle.

    My parents drilled into us that kids are to be seen but NOT heard when in public.
    I don’t have kids so don’t worry, I don’t have any hidden away in a crate. :rofl:
    • Funny Funny x 7
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Ravenbird

    Ravenbird Notable member

    I agree with this, but what about the neighbors? I'm NOT agreeing with de-barking, but I have lived near nuisance barkers, backyard dogs while owners are at work barking incessantly 8 to 10 hours a day due to boredom, separation anxiety etc etc. It is hell. I'm sure this person de-barked those dogs due to complaints from neighbors about her {puppy-mill} dogs barking all day & all night. If there were no puppy mills there would be a lot less cruelty. The fine should have been much more severe and a lifetime ban of owning any animals. In my humble opinion.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Where I live there is a bark law. If dogs bark longer than 15mins at a time and a complaint is filed about the barking, animal control will come and investigate and you will get a written warning, 2nd offense is a ticket with a fine. 3rd time and you will get a 2nd ticket with a substantial fine. 4th time they will remove the dog.
    I always give out the dog trainer’s business cards at the clinic to people that have unruly barking dogs. Owners have boarded dogs that bark non stop. We will give them homeopathic anti anxiety meds and do exercise with them to tire them out. If that doesn’t work then we go with Sileo which we always discuss with owners first. If dogs continue barking and chewing after trying the safe method then we discuss heavier meds or antidepressants and recommend an in home pet sitter because we can’t have incessant barking at the vet clinic. There are houses around the clinic, most have dogs but they don’t want to hear a barking dog all night.
    It’s tough but the owners have to train and seek the help of a behaviorist to correct the problem through training.
    Something like you are dealing with, with your neighbors would not be allowed down here.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. Ravenbird

    Ravenbird Notable member

    Totally agree, and thankfully I'm no longer dealing with that neighborhood. I was really referring to the thread here - the owner of all these de-barked dogs was probably doing it in desperation to prevent being reported. As usual, the dogs suffer because of irresponsible owners. The description of this case makes me think this is not so much an "owner", but a puppy mill breeder or a hoarder trying to hide the evidence of way too many dogs. And good for your area to actually DO something to work on dog responsibility!
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I assumed this was a "breeder" of Huskies, Dobermans and I forget the other breed.

    Bri, I am so jealous of how your officials will take action on excessive barking.

    Here, the cops don't do squat about just about anything. They can always fall back on the "understaffed/underfunded" excuse.

    Where we lived before here, near Seattle, it was almost as bad. There was a process you had to go through, keeping a log of the barking duration and frequency. It had to meet a certain standard which was pretty ridiculous. Then you could report it. Then county (nothing local existed) animal control would maybe come out and issue a warning. I mean, basically there was no recourse against dog owners allowing excessive barking. We had a lot of it. One day I was in my driveway and I had a woman slowly drive down our private lane. I talked to her and it turned out she was driving around searching for the source of the especially bad barking. Our house was significantly closer to the source than hers.

    So, yes, barking problems are terrible and seriously degrade quality of life. I try my darndest to not be a nuisance neighbor with Oji's huge yapper. I assure my neighbors that while he is extremely vocal, I will not let it go on for more than like 30 seconds or so and I don't just leave him in the yard without checking on him frequently.

    But yeah, Oji is my first Doberman that is a senseless, incessant barker. He would just basically get going and not stop if I let him.

    Still, no de-barking in his future.
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 2
    • Like Like x 1

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