Lancaster puppy breeder pleads guilty to 13 counts of animal cruelty

·2 min read

Sep. 24—The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced Thursday that Lancaster County puppy breeder Daniel Esh, 62, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of animal cruelty involving neglect to provide veterinary care and sustenance/water.

Esh also was charged with operating a kennel without a license.

As part of his plea in front of District Judge Raymond S. Sheller on Sept. 2, Esh was sentenced to 90 days of jail time and 90 days house arrest.

He also is prohibited from the ownership, contact, control, possession, care, custody or employment with dogs for 90 days to run consecutively with an imposed penalty on each case for a total of three years and three months, the PSPCA said.

Esh's wife, Verna, 60, pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty for failing to provide veterinary care. Their son, Omar, 21, is scheduled to appear Dec. 1 in front of Sheller on nine counts of animal cruelty.

The Pennsylvania SPCA's Humane Law Enforcement team visited the Esh property in Ronks, Leacock Township, on June 4 and removed 13 dogs.

"When officers went to the property, they found numerous dogs, including poodle, Havanese and German shepherd-type dogs," the statement from the PSPCA said. "Several were found to have matting of their fur and other medical concerns, including ear infections, overgrown nails, conjunctivitis and severe dental disease.

"The 13 dogs were removed from the property and brought to the PSPCA's Philadelphia headquarters, where they received medical care. All have found placement in adoptive homes or with rescue organizations."

Esh was under a dog ownership prohibition order as the result of a previous guilty plea to animal cruelty charges in October. The PSPCA had been granted inspection rights as a part of that order.

Esh has long been under scrutiny for his dog breeding practices. His Scarlet-Maple Farm Kennel was the target of a 2009 undercover operation by Main Line Animal Rescue of Phoenixville to expose poor living conditions at what it called a puppy mill.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting