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Herbert Weich


Sprakers dog breeder facing misdemeanor

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - Updated: 8:18 PM


For the C-S-E

SPRAKERS -- A week after officials seized dogs from a controversial breeding facility for the second time this month, state troopers Tuesday charged the owner with a second animal neglect charge.

Herbert Weich, who owns Flat Creek Border Collies at 569 Rappa Road, was arrested and charged with failure to provide proper sustenance under the state Agriculture & Markets Law.

The law says any person who harms, tortures or kills any wild or domesticated animal, deprives any animal of necessary food or drink, neglects or refuses it sustenance or any other act producing such cruelty, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

State police spokesman Mark J. Cepiel said any misdemeanor could mean a fine or jail time, and it depends on the case.

Weich was released on an appearance ticket and will return to Root town court Feb. 3.

Repeated attempts to reach Weich have been unsuccessful.

The latest charge comes a week after a rescue facility released a detailed report of the health and welfare of 35 dogs seized from the property earlier this month.

Thirteen additional dogs were removed from his property by volunteers and authorities Jan. 22.

The 36-page report shed light on a range of medical issues including severe malnourishment, feral behavioral conditions, and ear and teeth infections.

More specifically, several of the dogs were emaciated, had yeast infections of the ear, ear mites, infected teeth, urinary tract infections, tick-borne diseases, and missing nose and ear pieces.

On Jan. 7, Weich was charged with failing to provide adequate shelter for his dogs when temperatures fell below zero. The dogs were kept outside in a fenced-in pen outfitted with plastic barrels for shelter.

The conditions prompted public outcry and calls for criminal action.

Cepiel said the most recent charge was based on everything "in total."

After the initial investigation earlier this month, State Police issued a news release that said the conditions were adequate.

That prompted a lawsuit against Weich and the State Police by a local animal rescuer and the Lexus Project, a legal organization for dogs.

The lawsuit led to an agreement in which Weich agreed to temporarily give up some of his dogs to the Montgomery County SPCA and Glen Highland Farms, an expert border collie rescue, until he could construct adequate shelter.

Weich was expected to return to court Jan. 21 to determine if he could get his dogs back, but the hearing was adjourned until Feb. 5.

Cepiel said it is up to the attorneys and the judge to decide if they will merge the hearings.


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