The Bucks County SPCA announces the addition of two new Humane Society Police Officers to its cruelty investigation department. Katherine Hogan and Sean Reifsnyder were sworn in on August 3rd, 2018 at the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown. Both have been staff members of the BCSPCA for more than two years. Additionally, the pair completed the state-mandated certification classes in Harrisburg and State College and have had extensive on-the-job training with BCSPCA Chief Humane Society Police Officer, Nikki Thompson. Katherine has a degree in Criminal Justice and Sean brings years of experience in animal behavior and training. Private donors and a grant from Upper Bucks Sertoma Club made their advanced training and certification possible.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure for me working with the Bucks County SPCA over the past three years. Having two new humane officers in the county will greatly enhance our collective goal to prevent cruelty to animals and prosecute those who abuse animals in Bucks County,” Robert James, Assistant District Attorney.
So far this year, the BCSPCA team has investigated 275 cruelty and neglect complaints for all types of animals throughout Bucks County. Officer Thompson estimates that they will investigate more than 500 complaints by year’s end, an increase of 20% over 2017.
“We were founded 106 years ago to prevent animal suffering specifically in Bucks County,” explained Linda Reider, BCSPCA Executive Director. “Our team spends every day either on the road or in the courtroom, righting wrongs and helping animals live better lives.”
Pennsylvania Law protects animals from neglect and cruelty. These laws may be enforced by local SPCAs, which bear all expenses of training, investigating, county proceedings, and animals’ treatment and care.
Please report any suspicions of animal abuse or neglect within Bucks County seven days a week by calling 215-794-7425.
On November 16, 2017, the Bucks County SPCA’s Chief Humane Officer, Nikki Thompson, obtained a search warrant in response to a report of animal hoarding and neglect. After finding 31 cats and 5 parrots in unsafe and unsanitary conditions in a two-bedroom apartment in Bristol Township, Officer Thompson removed the animals and transported them to the BCSPCA’s shelter for medical evaluation. A number of the animals were ill, and two cats required emergency surgery for serious medical conditions. Criminal charges were filed against the owners, who refused to surrender the animals.
Kittens born while in the care of the Bucks County SPCA brought the total number of animals to 42 that were held in protective custody pending the criminal trial, currently scheduled for August 2018. This put a tremendous strain on the BCSPCA, both in terms of space and resources, and kept the animals, who were not eligible for adoption, in limbo seven months.
On May 22, 2018, Joann Lytle and Ashley Turner of McCarter & English filed a Petition in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County under Pennsylvania’s recently-enacted Costs of Care of Seized Animals Act. Just 15 days after filing the petition, the Honorable Robert J. Mellon entered judgment in favor of the BCSPCA in the amount of $53,031.50, representing a portion of the BCSPCA’s out-of-pocket costs to house and provide medical care to the animals. When the owners failed to pay that amount as required by the Costs of Care Act, ownership of the seized animals automatically transferred to the BCSPCA.
After seven months in the care of the BCSPCA, these animals can now be neutered/spayed and adopted into loving homes. “We are grateful for the excellent legal representation that expedited this victory for the animals. And we’re eager to see these animals adopted into good homes as quickly as possible,” said Linda Reider, BCSPCA Executive Director. “BCSPCA has been investigating animal cruelty in Bucks County for 112 years. Our deep roots here make this kind of investigation, rescue and recovery possible. Please call 215-794-7425 if you suspect animal cruelty anywhere in Bucks County.”
Adopters can see the animals by visiting BCSPCA shelters in Lahaska and Quakertown and online here. Cats will be available for same-day adoptions. People interested in adopting one of the birds can request an application by calling 267-347-4674. Donations made this fiscal year will help defray the significant cost of caring for these animals for the past seven months. You can give securely online or send your gift to BCSPCA, PO Box 277, Lahaska, PA 18931. Thank you!
Doreen Stoia of Elite Purrs cattery in Doylestown has been found guilty on 11 counts of animal cruelty. The judge ordered the forfeiture of all 11 Persian cats to the Bucks County SPCA (BCSPCA). “This is a major victory in what has been a lengthy legal case,” said Chief Humane Officer Nikki Thompson following the verdict.
The animals were rescued from the breeder’s home in March after an investigation revealed that the cats were living in extremely unsanitary conditions and suffering from flea infestations and matted coats. On May 1, 2017 Ms. Stoia plead guilty to animal cruelty charges, but later appealed the case.
On September 1, 2017, the judge ordered the surrender of the cats to the BCSPCA, where they have been housed and cared for since being removed from the home. The owner will not have an opportunity to appeal the case, therefore the cats can be made available for adoption once they are cleared medically by the BCSPCA’s veterinarian. Ms. Stoia, a former member of the Cat Fancier’s Association, will no longer be allowed to register cats with the organization.
“I’m proud of the excellent care these beautiful animals have received from BCSPCA staff and volunteers over the last six months,” said Executive Director Linda Reider. “Persians require daily grooming and attention to keep them healthy and their coats free from matts. We would especially like to thank our dedicated volunteers who gave their time to groom and socialize these playful cats. We are thrilled to have a definitive victory against this owner, and, most of all, we are looking forward to placing the cats into responsible, qualified homes.”
Potential adopters are being screened carefully by the BCSPCA to ensure these animals avoid future suffering. Those who previously applied to the BCSPCA to adopt one of the Persians will be contacted to expedite adoptions as each cat is made available. An announcement will be made on the BCSPCA website and Facebook page when we are able to accept additional applications.
UPDATE, May 24, 2017:
Ms. Stoia has appealed her guilty plea and we are awaiting a new court date. Therefore, the adoption application process is on hold until further notice. Our thanks to everyone who has expressed concern for the welfare of these animals.
If you would like to contribute to the ongoing cost of caring for these cats, please designate your gift for “Persian Cats.” Any funds raised in excess of their care will be used toward other BCSPCA animals and services. Donate here.
Doreen Stoia of Elite Purrs cattery in Doylestown has surrendered 11 Persian cats to the Bucks County SPCA as part of a plea deal in District Court on May 1, 2017. The cats were rescued from the breeder’s home by Bucks County SPCA humane officers in March following a tip from the community. The cats were found to be living in extremely unsanitary conditions and suffering from flea infestations and matted coats.
Ms. Stoia pled guilty to one count of animal cruelty and as part of the plea deal, all 11 cats were surrendered to the BCSPCA. A prohibition of animal ownership was ordered, as well as a fine of $300.00 plus court costs.
Apply to Adopt a Persian Cat
BCSPCA humane officer Nikki Thompson remarked, “This is a victory for these cats. We are happy to have played a part in helping them recover and will make sure they are adopted by responsible owners who will give them the proper care they deserve. We look forward to seeing these animals begin new lives in loving homes.”
Now that the BCSPCA has ownership of the animals, they can be spayed or neutered by our shelter veterinarian and readied for adoption soon. Anyone interested in adopting one of the eleven Persian cats from this case must submit an application. Applications can be requested in person at our Lahaska or Quakertown shelters, or by emailing email@example.com. Completed applications must be received no later than 5:00 PM on May 15, 2017.
If you suspect animal cruelty in Bucks County, call the BCSPCA’s cruelty hotline at 215-794-7425 x107. One call can make a difference.
04/27/17 UPDATE: Thanks to the generosity of animal lovers in our community, the reward has been increased to $1,250. Please call our cruelty hotline at 215-794-7425 x107 if you have information about the shooting of Scooby the cat.
Any funds raised toward the reward will be directed to the care of animals at the BCSPCA in the event that the reward goes uncollected.
– Original Post –
The Bucks County SPCA is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person(s) responsible for shooting and killing a well-loved cat named Scooby.
Scooby was shot with a gun on Monday, April 10 between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM in the area of Creekside Apartments on Knights Road, Bensalem, PA. Scooby was an adult male, orange tiger stripe, short-haired cat who regularly came and went from his apartment home. His owner reports that Scooby was friendly and played with all the children in the apartment complex. She and her neighbors are distraught over the loss of Scooby.
When Scooby’s owner found him injured, she took him to the veterinary clinic of the Women’s Humane Society in Bensalem. They determined that the source of his injuries was a projectile. “The Women’s Humane Society is deeply concerned about this situation,” said CEO Cathy Malkemes. “Despite our veterinarian’s best efforts, a pet owner has lost her beloved cat due to someone’s cruel actions. We are determined to work closely with the Bucks County SPCA Cruelty Investigations Division to resolve this matter.”
Bucks County SPCA Humane Officer Nikki Thompson is investigating the shooting and awaiting results of a necropsy exam. Tips and inquiries about the case should be directed to Officer Thompson at our cruelty hotline, 215-794-7425 x107.
“This kind of cruelty inflicted upon an innocent animal is completely unacceptable and clearly against PA anti-cruelty laws,” said Linda Reider, Executive Director of the Bucks County SPCA. “We are asking members of the community to contact us immediately with any information about this tragic shooting so that the responsible person(s) can be held accountable for Scooby’s death.”
The Bucks County SPCA is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for killing and injuring five Chinese Geese in Solebury Township on Thursday, February 9, 2017.
Four Chinese Geese were killed and one injured during the mid-morning hours on Thursday while in a retention pond located at the intersection of Aquetong Road and Woods End Drive. The birds appeared to have been shot with a firearm; necropsy is still pending. A community member notified Bucks County SPCA and Solebury Township Police after hearing shots being fired and finding the birds deceased in the pond and on the snow bank. The suspect(s) was witnessed leaving the scene in a large SUV.
“No domestic animal deserves to have their life ended in such a heinous manner. We would like to see the person(s) responsible for this act brought to justice.” says Nikki Thompson, Chief Humane Officer for Bucks County SPCA. “We ask any members of our community with information about this situation to please contact us so that we can be sure that the person(s) responsible are held accountable.”
Please report relevant information to Chief Humane Officer Nikki Thompson at 215.794-7425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the Bucks County SPCA’s efforts to prevent and investigate animal cruelty.
Update August 3, 2016: All but one of these beautiful birds have been adopted by people experienced with caring for exotic birds. One last male Illiger remains in foster care with Dr. Clark, the avian specialist who has overseen their care. Thanks to the donations and support of so many people in Bucks County, these birds are living much better lives!
The owner/breeder of 35 exotic and rare birds seized in April from a Kintnersville garage by the Bucks County SPCA, today plead guilty to animal cruelty charges and was ordered to pay the maximum fine and all court costs. In addition, the birds are now the property of the BCSPCA.
“This is a victory for the animals,” stated Nikki Thompson, BCSPCA Chief Cruelty Investigator. “The birds came to us suffering with multiple health issues caused by chronic neglect. Now, with daily care overseen by an expert in avian medicine, they are thriving, recovering, eating appropriate diets, and engaging with their caregivers. It’s a compete turn-around for them.”
Linda Reider, BCSPCA Executive Director, is thrilled. “We couldn’t have done it without the community of caring people who provided roomy cages, bird-appropriate toys and perches, daily fresh fruits and vegetables, bags of pelleted food, and funds; all so that we could provide excellent conditions for the birds’ recovery. Staff members from both of our animal care centers together with our amazing volunteers have put in hours of care each day in the ‘bird room’ at our Quakertown location. Dr. Clark, an avian specialist from Quakertown Veterinary Clinic, has been overseeing their care, and for that we are also truly grateful.”
People and organizations from within Pennsylvania were joined by donors from other states as the case drew national attention. The majority of the birds will become available for adoption in June. Interested parties with large exotic bird-
owning experience and the ability to provide lifelong care and housing may apply to adopt by filling out a special adoption questionnaire available from the BCSPCA at email@example.com Adoption fees will apply, and birds will be placed in homes deemed suitable on a first-come basis.
“Considering the life these magnificent creatures led in dark filthy cages, they deserve to have homes where there is no question that their needs will be fully met,” explains Ms. Reider. “It has been an honor for us to be the organization that stepped in to rescue these birds, and shepherd them back to health for this amazing happy ending. We are grateful that citizens trust us, evidenced by this case and the nearly 500 other calls we receive each year to investigate animal cruelty complaints across the entire Bucks County.”
The BCSPCA’s Cruelty Hotline is (215) 794-7425. Tips can be left anonymously.
Alerted by a concerned citizen, the BCSPCA yesterday removed 35 parrots and other large exotic birds from a garage at a residence in Kitnersville. Requests by humane agents to visit and view the condition of the birds on Thursday were declined by the apparent owner of the property, so a warrant was used to enter the location on Friday. The level of unsanitary conditions caused the BCSPCA team to take immediate action by removing the birds, most of whom are in breeding pairs. The birds are now housed at the BCSPCA’s Quakertown animal care facility, where they will receive exams and treatment oversight by a veterinarian specializing in avian medicine from the Quakertown Veterinary Clinic. “We have an urgent need for parrot-type bird supplies including ZuPreem Fruit Blend bagged food, and parrot toys and perches for appropriate housing of these animals,” says Linda Reider, Executive Director of the Bucks County SPCA. “We are asking members of the public to drop off these items at either of our locations in Lahaska or Quakertown. Donations of fruits and vegetables would also be appreciated, along with monetary donations to help pay for the specialized care of these magnificent creatures.” “The unsanitary conditions we witnessed inside the garage included two-foot high piles of excrement,” remarked Chief Cruelty Investigator Nikki Thompson. The birds will remain in the care of the BCSPCA until they are surrendered by the owner, or through the adjudication of the case, at which time they may be available for adoption or to rescue organizations. They are not available for viewing at this time. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this case, or other cases involving animal cruelty in Bucks County, should call the BCSPCA’s Cruelty Hotline at (215) 794-7425. Tips can be left anonymously.
The $1,000 reward offered by the Bucks County SPCA for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for injuring an orange tiger-striped cat found in Doylestown Township has been tripled by gifts and pledges from the community.
The reward is being offered in the case of a cat that appeared to have been shot four times with a nail gun. “Once people heard about how this cat suffered, residents all over Bucks County reached out to us offering to contribute to the reward,” says Linda Reider, Executive Director of the Bucks County SPCA. “With their support, we are able to triple the original award and offer $3,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. Every gift, no matter what size, sends the clear message that Bucks County cares deeply about animals and will not stand idly by when they are abused.”
The Bucks County SPCA continues to investigate and asks that anyone with information contact BCSPCA Chief Cruelty Investigator Nikki Thompson at 215.794.7425, with relevant information. For more information see www.bcspca.org.
Download the flyer and help post it in the Doylestown area.
The Bucks County SPCA is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for injuring an orange tiger-striped cat found in Doylestown Township.
The cat, an unneutered adult male, appears to have been shot by a nail gun. The large, framing-style nails were found in the top of the cat’s head, just over his right eye, in one cheek, and just over the right hip. A community member found the cat in an open chest outside their home on Sunday January 3, 2016 and called the Bucks County SPCA. BCSPCA Emergency Response picked up the cat and took him to the Lahaska Animal Care Center where he was stabilized and examined by a veterinarian. The extent of his injuries was so great that the cat was humanely euthanized on the veterinarian’s advice.
“The amount of suffering this cat endured at the hands of a human is completely unacceptable, and clearly against PA anti-cruelty laws” says Linda Reider, Executive Director of the Bucks County SPCA. “We are asking members of the public to contact us immediately with any information about this situation. With help from the community we can make sure the person or people responsible are held accountable. Please contact Chief Cruelty Investigator Nikki Thompson at the Bucks County SPCA, 215.794.7425, with any relevant information.”
Download the flyer and help post it in the Doylestown area.