New Pennsylvania dog law chief is Michael Pechert

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2012:

Michael Pechert,  previously Pennsylvania executive deputy secretary for agriculture,  on July 31,  2012 succeeded Lynn Diehl as director of the Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Office. Philadelphia Inquirer animal beat blogger Amy Worden described Diehl, a former bank manager, as “a Republican Party volunteer who had no prior experience in animal welfare or law enforcement.”

Transferred to a post at the Department of Corrections, Diehl “will be making $44,675 as an administrative officer,” Pennsylvania Office of Administration spokesperson Dan Egan told Worden.

“Diehl’s salary as director of the Dog Law Enforcement Office was $80,000,” Worden noted.

“Under Diehl’s supervision no commercial kennels were inspected between July 1, 2011 when the canine health regulations were to go into effect, and early 2012,”  Worden added, “leaving thousands of dogs in the largest kennels in the state with no oversight for well over seven months, through the coldest months of the year. In April, at the first meeting of the Dog Law Advisory Board since Governor Tom Corbett took office in January 2011,” appointing Diehl soon afterward, “Diehl admitted that only 17 of 52 commercial kennels were in compliance with regulations that required ventilation systems, improved lighting, and monitoring for temperature, humidity and ammonia levels. Also during Deihl’s term the office granted a kennel license to the wife of Lancaster County breeder Martin Zimmerman, of Silver Hill Kennel, who was unable to get his license renewed because of an animal cruelty conviction.”

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