Lehigh Valley

Pennsylvania SPCA removes animals from Lehigh County farm

VIDEO: Authorities raid farm in New...

NEW TRIPOLI, Pa. - The Pennsylvania SPCA descended on a residence in New Tripoli Friday acting on a tip of animal mistreatment and a name associated with the farm is well known in the Lehigh Valley.

The farm, called Hidden Hill Farm and located in the 6500 block of Central Road, is connected with Derbe "Skip" Eckhart, the former owner of Almost Heaven Kennel in Upper Milford Township who was convicted of animal cruelty in 2010 and sentenced to months in jail.

Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Officers executed a search warrant after a tipster reported numerous animals being kept in unsanitary conditions, and concerns of animals in need of veterinary care being left untreated.

Ultimately, seven dogs and puppies, 35 cats and kittens, and five horses were removed.

The majority of the animals were transported to the PSPCA’s Philadelphia headquarters to be evaluated by staff and receive any necessary medical treatment.

Three of the horses were diverted to the PSPCA’s Central PA Center at Danville where they will also receive further medical evaluation and care.

“Our team of Humane Law Enforcement officers is familiar with this location,” said Nicole Wilson, Director of Humane Law Enforcement at the Pennsylvania SPCA. “It is our hope that we can make a difference in the lives of the animals we rescued.”

The PSPCA says the animals have not been surrendered and will remain in the agency's care until a court case is resolved, or until the animals are signed over by the owner.

The investigation is ongoing, and charges are pending the conclusion of the investigation. 

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