Mark D. & Valorie Miller

32 dogs and puppies rescued from puppy mill

Lancaster, OH

July 25, 2006

Mark D. Miller, 27, of Lancaster, PA was arrested on Tuesday, July 25th for cruelty to animals, neglect of companion animals and harboring a wild or exotic animal.† He is accused of running a puppy mill out of his home on Garfield Avenue.† If convicted of all charges, Miller could be sentenced to up to 590 days in jail.

32 dogs and puppies and one skunk were rescued from the home.† City Prosecutor Randall Ullom described the operation as a puppy mill.† The animals were discovered after the Fairfield Area Humane Society received a complaint.† When Lancaster Police Officers, Lancaster Code Enforcement Division and officers from the Humane Society entered the home, there was feces everywhere. There was no ventilation and no windows open.† The stench was unbearable. Ullam stated that it was deplorable and unbearable, thus the building was temporarily condemned by Lancaster Code Enforcement Officer Sean Fowler. All of the animals taken from the home required medical attention at the SPCA Shelter.

Condemnation Notice was posted on the home on Thursday, July 27th.† Miller has 20 days to show some improvement in the home though it appears that it will take longer to make the home habitable.

Millerís wife Valorie, 54, became so despondent over the animals being taken away that she threatened to harm herself and was taken to Fairfield Medical Center.† When released from the hospital, Valorie Miller will also face animal cruelty charges.

Miller pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, July 26th. His bond was set at $5,000 cash with a $2,500 recognizance bond.† He was ordered not to have any animals until the case is settled and to stay away from the home until it is cleaned up.

The animals will remain at the Humane Society and will not be available for adoption until their legal status is settled and medical conditions improve.

Update August 8, 2006:

Valorie Miller, age 54 was arraigned in Fairfield County Municipal Court, charged with three counts of cruelty to animals, three counts of neglect of companion animals and one count of harboring an exotic animal at her home at 528 Garfield Avenue. Fairfield County Municipal Court Judge David Trimmer released Miler on a $2,500 recognizance bond. Miller requested a court-appointed attorney. Judge Trimmer also ordered Miller not to possess any animals until the case is settled and ordered her to have a mental health evaluation. Miller stated that she had just been released from Fairfield Medical Center.

Valorie Miller agreed that the conditions at the home were pretty bad. She stated that when she opened the door, she wanted to hide. She further stated that she was appalled at the conditions the dogs were in. She maintains that she is a respected breeder who has placed animals in six states.

Update August 16, 2006:

Mark Miller reached a plea bargain with the city prosecutors and will not be able to on animals for 5 years.


The Eagle Gazette