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Friday, Jan 13, 2012

County: Cumberland

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Lisa Craven

A Wheat Road woman, who has been trying since 2008 to obtain a dog kennel license, was the focus of a three-agency investigation Friday morning.

Lisa Craven, who resides on a horse farm that goes by the names Craven's Haven and Craven Acres, was visited by the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a Vineland police animal control officer and the city's Department of Health.

Craven was cited on cruelty charges alleging unsanitary conditions and failure to provide adequate shelter by the SPCA, according to Bev Greco, the agency's executive director. This is not the first time SPCA agents have been at the property, she said.

Greco said the city's animal control officer on Friday wrote a summons noting Craven was over the legal limit of dogs allowed for her property. Animal Control Officer Diane Starn, who was at Craven's Acres on Friday, did not return phone calls.

Greco said agents found 19 dogs and two puppies on the farm in the 900 block of East Wheat Road. Municipal law sets the number of dogs a homeowner may have at six, she said.

However Craven went before the city's Zoning Board in 2008 and was awarded bulk variances to operate a horse farm and kennel on her property, pending her obtaining the required license. At that hearing, Craven, a breeder of English bulldogs, testified she would not have more than 18 dogs on the site.

Since then, Craven said, she has not been able to secure a kennel license.

When contacted Friday, Craven said she has been unable to get a checklist of the criteria from city officials. Each time she thinks she has met the requirements, Craven said, city officials make another demand - and that is crippling her financially.

Craven noted she is an "ethical breeder" and said she currently is not breeding at her farm. A notice posted on her website notes she does not have pups at this time. However, Craven adds, she does sometimes get a pick of the litter from her clients in lieu of them paying the stud fee, and she would list what was available when she had it.

Health Department Director Dale Jones said his department did not issue any violations Friday but the matter remains under investigation.

Craven has a Jan. 24 hearing in Vineland Municipal Court.


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