The state has refused to renew the commercial kennel license of the Spring City dog breeder who sold Vice President Joe Biden a German shepherd puppy.
Linda Brown, owner of Wolf Den Kennel, was notified by the state Agriculture Department’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement in November that her 2010 license was refused for violations of kennel laws.
In the Nov. 19 order, the agency listed violations, including dirty kennels, dead rodents, chewed wood, food and water with debris, insufficient ventilation and lighting, and dogs in cages with fewer than six inches of headroom.
“It’s so bogus, it’s ridiculous,” Brown said of the violations. “I’ve built my business on my good reputation.”
Brown said she found herself under the gun after she sold a German shepherd puppy in late 2008 to Biden, then vice president-elect. Once the story ran in the news, the state agriculture inspectors descended on the kennel, she said.
Brown’s kennel was inspected in March, May, July and September in 2010 according to the agency’s November order.
“We kept telling her what she had to do to pass, we’d go back, and she didn’t do it,” said Jessie Smith, special deputy secretary of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.
As a result, Wolf Den did not pass any inspection in 2010 and no license was issued, Smith said.
Brown has appealed the order and is operating under a suspended license until the appeal is heard on May 24, Smith said.
Brown said she did try to comply with the agency’s regulations.
“I made changes in the kennel to suit the wardens but nothing suited them,” Brown said.
When she was cited for rodents on the property she said she called a pest control company. They put out poison, Brown said. When the inspectors returned, they found one of the rats that was poisoned and she said she was then written up for dead rodents.
Brown disputes the charge that her cages are too small.
“My pens are huge, 20-by-20,” Brown said. “My dogs are not stacked in little cages.”
Brown said she would do nothing to jeopardize her dogs and that she has a cleaning crew that comes in daily to make sure her 41 dogs are in clean cages.
“They are my life, my breath,” Brown said of her shepherds.
Brown said her dogs are known for their good dispositions and that she has customers from around the country. She said she has donated puppies to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting returning veterans and their families, and to search and rescue teams and to disable children needing companion dogs.
If the order is finalized at the May hearing, Brown she must reduce the number of dogs in the kennel to no more than 25 dogs in a year, Smith explained.
If that happens, Brown said she will move out of Pennsylvania to a farm in the South.
“Nobody can handle this,” Brown said of her current situation.