Study finds breakdown in enforcement of Pa. dog laws

The head of Pennsylvania’s Dog Law Enforcement Office has been transferred amid allegations that she wasn’t qualified for the job. Lynn Diehl, reportedly a former bank manager, led the office for more than a year.

As a member of the Pennsylvania Dog Law Advisory Board, Tom Hickey helps advise the state on issues related to conditions in commercial kennels. Hickey said a study of the Dog Law Enforcement Office’s work over the last two years raises some questions.


“We didn’t see any citations being issued and that raised great concerns,” he said. “Because, either all of a sudden everybody started following the law and it was a perfect place, or they weren’t enforcing the law. We have made the determination that there seemed to have been a lack of will to want to go out and enforce the laws in Pennsylvania.”

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He says a study by the board’s enforcement committee found that the office did not revoke or suspend a single license in 2011. The office also failed to inspect most kennels twice — as required by law.

“I think it’s estimated the two-thirds of Pennsylvanians own a dog — at least one — so when you go to get your dog, it’s important that the dog you’re getting was raised in a healthy environment,” Hickey said. “We want to make sure that dogs that are born in this state are cared for.”

Hickey said, within about a month, a board committee plans to release its review of the state’s Dog Law Enforcement Office.

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