PETA Demands Jail Time, Ban on Owning Animals in Severe Dog-Neglect Case

Moosic Man—a Repeat Offender—Faces Cruelty Charges for Allegedly Harboring Emaciated and Diseased Dogs

For Immediate Release:
May 2, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Moosic, Penn. – Moosic resident John Tanis faces cruelty-to-animals charges stemming from the reported October 2012 discovery of four emaciated dogs at his Main Street home. Veterinary records show that one of the dogs was infested with internal parasites and had Lyme disease and that another had wood chips in her stool, suggesting that she was eating what she could in order to try to stay alive. That’s why PETA sent an urgent plea to Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola this morning calling on him to seek jail time for Tanis—who has been convicted of cruelty to animals before—as well as other punishment. Tanis is scheduled to face these charges in court on May 5.

“Based on his history, John Tanis is either unable or unwilling to care for animals in accordance with the law,” says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “To force or allow animals to starve to the point that they become emaciated is illegal, so if Tanis is convicted, all the dogs currently in his possession must be seized and he must be banned from harboring any animals for as long as possible.”

In 2003, Tanis was convicted of cruelty to animals in Wyoming County, Pa., after 46 malnourished dogs and two cats were discovered on his property. News reports state that he was convicted of cruelty to animals in Monmouth County, N.J., that same year, and court records show that he was convicted in Lackawanna County in 1996 in cases involving his dogs.

For more information, please visit PETA.org. To view PETA’s anti-violence public service announcement featuring Inglourious Basterds star and Hostel director Eli Roth, please visit http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=eli_roth_violence_link_psa_peta.

 

PETA’s letter to Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola follows.

 

May 2, 2014

 

The Honorable Andrew Jarbola
District Attorney
Office of the District Attorney, Lackawanna County
200 N. Washington Ave.
Scranton, PA 18503

 

Dear Mr. Jarbola:

Your attention is urgently requested.

PETA is an international animal-protection organization with more than 3 million members and supporters. This letter concerns a recent case that your office is handling involving Moosic resident John Tanis of 816 Main St. We understand that he is facing cruelty-to-animals charges stemming from the discovery of four severely neglected dogs at his home on October 31, 2012. Reportedly, a veterinarian found the animals to be emaciated. One was diagnosed with internal parasites and Lyme disease, and another was found to have wood chips in her stool, suggesting that she was eating what she could to stay alive. Tanis is apparently a repeat offender, convicted in 2003 of cruelty to animals in Wyoming County, Pa., following a raid on his property during which 46 malnourished dogs and two cats were discovered. News reports also state that in 2003, he was convicted of cruelty to animals in Monmouth County, N.J., where his numerous breeding dogs were found languishing in deplorable conditions. And according to court records, he was convicted in Lackawanna County in 1996 in cases involving his dogs. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 5.

It would seem that Tanis is either unable or simply unwilling to meet the basic duties of guardianship and that being “in the system” has failed to instill in him any true (or lasting) sense of compassion or responsibility. Given what appears to be a chronicdisregard for the animals in his custody and the laws protecting them and considering that repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers, we respectfully ask that if convicted—as part of sentencing and in addition to incarceration—Tanis be prohibited from owning or harboring animals for as long as possible (a common provision in such cases) and that the animals currently in his custody be confiscated.

On behalf of our thousands of members and supporters in Pennsylvania, thank you for your time and consideration and for the difficult work that you do.

Sincerely yours,

Melissa Lewis
Cruelty Caseworker
Cruelty Investigations Department

 

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind