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SPCA investigators bust alleged illegal puppy cropping event at Lockport home, woman charged with animal cruelty

Posted at 11:27 AM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 11:27:58-04

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Pennsylvania woman is charged with animal cruelty and may face additional charges in New York State following an incident at a Cottage Street home in Lockport.

The Niagara SPCA announced on Monday that two SPCA Humane Law Enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the home on Saturday morning, after receiving an anonymous tip that 10 to 15 puppies were going to have their ears cropped there on that day.

The SPCA says when officers arrived, one puppy was already under sedation for the procedure. A woman at the home, Bethany Suess, 38, of York, Pennsylvania, claimed to be conducting a "puppy photo shoot." However, officers also found scalpels, syringes and controlled substances, and ear cropping forms in the home.

Investigators say the owner of the home accepted money in exchange for setting up ear cropping appointments with Suess. The homeowner is also charged with animal cruelty. The homeowner and the owner of the puppies are cooperating with the investigation. Both say Suess told them she was a "licensed cropper."

It is illegal in New York State to perform ear cropping without a license to practice veterinary medicine.

In addition to the animal cruelty charge, Suess could potentially be charged with possession of controlled substances and and unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine. The SPCA investigators did not file those charges because they fall outside of New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.

The owner of the puppies is not facing charges because no puppies' ears were cropped.