Jeffrey Paladina, a prosecutor in Beaver County, Pa., is the state’s first special prosecutor for dog-law enforcement, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He expects to be involved in the state’s proposed crackdown on unlicensed kennels. Paladina, 34, has heard the jokes about his career “going to the dogs,” and he’s OK with that because he does have a sense of humor and he does own and love dogs.
Now, many animal cruelty violations are summary offenses handled by judges at the local level. Gov. Ed Rendell would like to see stiffer criminal penalties for violations of state dog law and cruelty cases. Fifty-three dog wardens of the state Department of Agriculture inspect breeding and boarding kennels and have the power to bring charges against operators who are not providing adequate shelter and care. Dog wardens prosecute cases though they are not lawyers, which puts them at a disadvantage when going up against attorneys for large commercial breeders. Rendell has created a special enforcement team with four kennel compliance specialists.