Pennsylvania SPCA hires veteran investigator Keith Mohler

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  May/June 2013:

LANCASTER––The Pennsylvania SPCA on April 30,  2013 announced the hiring of veteran cruelty investigator Keith Mohler to cover Lancaster County.  Mohler will work from an office provided by Lancaster County district attorney Craig Stedman.  His hiring expands the Pennsylvania SPCA humane law enforcement team to 13 officers in 17 counties.

“With numerous commercial breeding operations in the county,  it is vital that Lancaster County has an active humane law enforcement presence,” Pennsylvania SPCA chief executive Jerry Buckley told Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer Amy Worden.

“In addition to having the largest concentration of dog breeders, Lancaster County is home to New Holland Stables, the largest livestock auction east of the Mississippi,  and the nation’s largest Amish and Mennonite population,  many of whom use buggy and plow horses and raise dairy cows and other farm animals,”  Worden noted.

Mohler,  a cruelty investigator by day and regionally noted professional jazz musician by night,  was for 18 years the cruelty investigator for the Humane League of Lancaster County,   after earlier service as cruelty investigator and president of Farm Sanctuary of Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1917 as the Woman’s Humane League of Lancaster County,   and endowed by the estate of founder Maud Haldeman (1874-1931),  the organization was created to “enforce all laws enacted by the Pennsylvania legislature or by Congress for the protection of the children, girls, aged persons and animals.”  Initially it sheltered mainly abused women. Opening an animal shelter in 1937,  it refocused on animal welfare in 1947.

In January 2013,  after nearly a decade of financial difficulty,  the Humane League of Lancaster County laid off 12 of 36 personnel,  withdrew from housing animals from local animal control agencies,  quit doing cruelty investigations,  and became a selective admission agency emphasizing animal adoptions.  The newly formed Lancaster SPCA became the primary open admission shelter serving Lancaster.

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