QUARRYVILLE, Pa. — An Iowa woman has been arrested after she allegedly traveled to Pennsylvania to perform an illegal “debarking” procedure on four dogs earlier this year.
Fifty-five-year-old Denise Felling is accused of debarking a husky, a Doberman, a beagle mix and a Spaniel mix by shoving a rod-like object into the animals’ vocal chambers, according to WPMT.
Felling faces eight charges of animal cruelty.
The Pennsylvania SPCA’s humane law enforcement team became aware of Felling after rescuing 15 dogs from an unlicensed breeder in May, according to WTXF.
“The idea that a woman who was formerly entrusted by the state of Iowa to provide medical care and treatment of animals would turn her back on that to torture dogs in this way is disheartening to say the least,” Nicole Wilson, PSPCA director of humane law enforcement, told WTXF. “We intend to get justice for these dogs who were victims of such horrific cruelty and ensure that not one more dog is subjected to such a procedure.”
Felling, who formerly had a veterinarian license in Iowa (which has since been revoked), represented herself as a vet to a Lancaster County woman who owned the four dogs, despite not having a license in Pennsylvania, according to WPMT.
The four dogs have since found loving homes.
“Debarking” is illegal in the state of Pennsylvania for any dog or reason unless the procedure is performed by a licensed veterinarian.