News

Fight over handling of puppy Libre case shows no signs of ending

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jul 20, 2016 12:09 PM
libre_july19.jpg

Photo by Dililsburg Veterinary Center

The puppy Libre is shown in this picture posted July 19th

(Lancaster) -- The fight over how the executive director of a midstate animal welfare handled a suspected abuse case shows no signs of ending soon.

Advocates want Susan Martin of Lancaster County SPCA to resign.

Martin is defending her work on the Libre case that was first reported July 1st.

She hasn't recommended charges for the puppy's owner, even as advocates have pointed to graphic pictures that show an emaciated Libre with very little fur.

libre_july5.jpg

Photo by Dililsburg Veterinary Center

The puppy Libre is shown in this picture posted on July 5th.

Martin says mange can be an ugly disease, and she tried to investigate claims of a maggot infestation, but couldn't find any hard evidence.

"Unfortunately, with the way that the facts played out in this case and the unclarification of a true maggot infestation, that kinda stopped that investigation right there," says Martin.

She adds: "A judge in his mind is going to say, well where are the pictures to support this evidence because he's saying this and he's saying this, so you've got he said she said. Now you as the investigator, where's the evidence to prove which story is correct?" 

Animal welfare advocates are skeptical.

Jessica Blough says while Martin is right that state law doesn't go far enough to stop animal neglect, she thinks this situation is extraordinary.

"This was an extreme case. I don't think that the limitations in the law would have prevented her from filing charges against this person."

She wants the focus on the mange: "The presence or the absence of maggots doesn't really change anything. Doesn't change his condition. Just looking at him, you can look at his medical records. This puppy couldn't even pick his head up."

Libre, who wasn't expected to live more than a couple of days, is being cared for at the Dillsburg Veterinary Center in York County.

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