A Franklin Township kennel owner has been charged with stealing a pair of purebred Labrador Retrievers, and could face more charges as a result of an ongoing investigation.
According to a police report from the State Police at Lehighton, officers charged Patricia E. Gadaleta, 51, of 974 Pohopoco Drive, Franklin Township, the owner of Musket Labradors, after she used two bad checks to purchase a pair of Labrador Retrievers from Cheri Conway of Klamath Falls, Oregon, the owner of Thornwood Labrador Retrievers.
Officers state that Gadaleta purchased the purebred dogs as a private owner, but she then kept them in her commercial breeding kennel.
Conway notified authorities after she learned that the checks she received from Gadaleta were not good.
A search warrant on Gadaleta's property was executed on Sept. 23, and she was found to be in possession of the stolen Labrador Retrievers, as well as dozens of other purebred Labs, including a litter of puppies.
As a result of the conditions observed at Gadaleta's commercial dog kennel, the Franklin Township Police Department has begun an investigation.
Gadaleta was taken into custody and jailed after she was unable to post bail. Charges against her include theft by deception and writing bad checks.
In the meantime, the Carbon County Animal Response Team, as well as area veterinarians and other animal organizations have begun procedures to care for and identify the dogs.
Mark Nalesnik, Carbon County Emergency Management Agency coordinator, explained that there is an ongoing investigation at the Franklin Township kennel.
"The Carbon County CART Team is attending to the needs and well-being of the dogs," he said. "No other information is available at this time due to the ongoing investigation by the appropriate agencies."
Donna Crum, the county CART coordinator, confirmed that full details of the animal rescue could not be released until all the proper measures have been taken.
This is not the first time Gadaleta has been in trouble with the law.
According to previous articles published in the TIMES NEWS, Gadaleta served numerous sentences for thefts by deception and forgery.
Most recently, Gadaleta served state prison time for taking two checks that belonged to a foreign exchange student who was staying at her home and cashed them for her own use. Prior to that, she served a sentence for using another person's name to secure credit cards, which she then used to purchase items in the amount of $2,600.
More details on the Labrador rescue will be published in the TIMES NEWS as information becomes available.