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Homes found for 37 dogs removed from Franklin home

Published November 20. 2010 09:00AM

More than 30 of the 101 Labrador Retrievers removed from a Franklin Township kennel after the owner was arrested in September have found permanent homes.

During the Carbon County Commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Donna Crum, the Carbon County Animal Response Team coordinator, provided an update of the incident that occurred at Musket Labradors in Franklin Township, a breeding kennel owned by Patricia E. Gadaleta.

Crum said during the nine days the dogs were on the property after Gadaleta was arrested, a total of 40 volunteers, which included members of the Carbon, Schuylkill and Lehigh CART teams; area veterinarians Betsy Squires and Mary Lombardo; the Tamaqua Area Animal Rescue; and other agencies, put in 12-hour shifts.

She also noted that a total of 37 of the rescued dogs have found forever homes through adoption.

She said that the CART team responded effectively to the situation at hand.

Crum then stated that this situation is something that is not uncommon in the county.

"This is just another example of how Carbon County needs to be proactive rather than reactive," she said. "I am hoping that the commissioners and county realize that we need to make something proactively set in the county to stop these situations because there are many more in the county."

Commissioner Charles Getz thanked Crum and the CART team for their dedication to the animals.

"You've done a great job. Thank you," he said.

The incident at Musket Labradors began in September, after Cheri Conway of Klamath Falls, Oregon, owner of Thornwood Labrador Retrievers, contacted authorities because she received two bad checks from a private buyer, Meg Kippler, later identified as Gadaleta, for two dogs she sold to the individual.

A search warrant of Gadaleta's property was issued on Sept. 23 and Lehighton State Police discovered Conway's two dogs; as well as dozens of purebred Labradors.

Gadaleta was arrested and placed in Carbon County Prison, where she remains, and has been charged in a total of five cases involving her purchasing a dog using a false name and failing to make proper payment for the animals.

Charges include theft by deception, deceptive business practices, deceptive and fraudulent business practices, and receiving stolen property.

Gadaleta had her first preliminary hearing earlier this month and is now awaiting trial on the charges brought against her from Conway's case.

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