SHowing Animals Respect and KindnessSHARK
Humane Society officer files cruelty citation against gun club
June 18, 2010
A court-appointed Humane Society officer from Dauphin County filed an animal cruelty citation Thursday against Philadelphia Gun Club in Bensalem.
Johnna Seeton of the Pennsylvania Legislative Animal Network said she believes pigeon shoots at the Philadelphia Gun Club violate state animal cruelty laws. Yet pigeon shoots are legal in Pennsylvania.
Seeton received permission in February from Bucks County Court to operate here. She made the request to the court specifically to deal with Philadelphia Gun Club, she said. The animal rights activist has a history of legal actions against pigeon shoots held in Berks and Dauphin counties.
In 2004, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused to hear her case against the Pike Township Sportsmen's Association in Berks County.
Seeton's non-traffic citation against the Philadelphia Gun Club was filed in Bensalem District Court. District Judge Len Brown will decide what to do with the summary offense citation when he returns to court Monday, staff there said.
Philadelphia Gun Club attorney Sean Corr doesn't dispute Seeton's ability to file such a complaint. But the Bucks County District Attorney's Office will ultimately decide whether to prosecute, he added. Corr declined further comment Thursday.
The newspaper was unable to reach District Attorney David Heckler for comment Thursday.
Seeton said she's cautiously optimistic Brown will hear the case.
"It's just my opinion (that) pigeon shoots are just wrong," she said. "But nobody will let me prove that."
The Philadelphia Gun Club has been a fixture on the Delaware River in Bensalem since 1877.
The club recently sued its neighbors as well as a waterfront development firm, alleging they were engaging in a "concerted campaign" to interfere with its pigeon shoots.
After several attempts, Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran last month said the township will no longer try to stop the shoots.
They are legal, but considered barbaric by animal rights activists, who vow continued protests outside the club on State Road.
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