Case Snapshot
Case ID: 16515
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Prosecutor(s): Abby Silverman
Judge(s): Maurice Saylor

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Monday, Aug 23, 2010

County: Montgomery

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Kevin Zimmer

The operator of a dog sale operation at Zern’s Market has been cited with animal cruelty for displaying five dogs under conditions they suffered “heat stress.”

Kevin Zimmer, 47, of Montgomery Avenue, New Berlinville, was convicted this week of a summary charge of animal cruelty after a hearing before District Court Judge Maurice Saylor, according to court documents. Zimmer was fined and will likely lose his license to operate a kennel facility as a result of the conviction, according to prosecutors.

A summary offense is comparable to a non-traffic citation.

Prosecutors alleged that about 4 p.m. July 23, state dog warden officials and members of the Montgomery County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received anonymous complaints from the public regarding the treatment of five puppies kept at Zimmer’s stand at the market, which is located in the 1100 block of East Philadelphia Avenue in the Gilbertsville section of Douglass (Mont.).

“When the state veterinarian and the dog warden got there they found five puppies, 8 to 12 weeks old, that were in Plexiglas enclosures. He wantonly neglected the puppies to which he had a duty of care and he did that by leaving them in a very hot display case on a very hot day with inadequate drinking water and no ventilation to the point where the puppies went into heat stress and were very close to going into heat stroke,” alleged Assistant District Attorney Abby Silverman, adding the outside temperature that day was in the upper 90s, making the enclosures even hotter.

“All the dogs were in heat stress when the veterinarians got there. Some of them were listless, non-responsive,” Silverman alleged.

Officials seized the dogs and the dogs were taken to a veterinarian to receive treatment for heat-related issues. The dogs did recover, Silverman said.

By convicting Zimmer of animal cruelty, authorities found that Zimmer “wantonly neglected five puppies to which he had the duty of care,” according to the citation lodged against Zimmer by state officials and the SPCA.

During the hearing, Zimmer denied the cruelty allegations and claimed he treated the dogs like his own.

Attempts to reach Zimmer for comment on Friday were unsuccessful. Zimmer has 90 days to appeal the summary conviction.

“In speaking with the state dog warden, it seems as though with a conviction for animal cruelty (Zimmer) will lose his kennel license, which means he will no longer be able to sell dogs at his pet stores,” Silverman claimed. “It’s my understanding that as soon as the state gets the information that he’s been convicted of the cruelty to animals, that the wheels start turning in the process to revoke his license.”

In addition to the Zern’s Market booth, Zimmer operates a pet store in Boyertown. There was no allegation of animal cruelty at the Boyertown store.


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