Allegations Of Animal Neglect Reported At The Carnival In Beaver Borough

Photo of a "carnival rabbit" © Elizabeth Zahn via Facebook

Photo of a “carnival rabbit” © Elizabeth Zahn / published with permission

Fair goers in Beaver Borough have filed complaints alleging an amusement company has been neglecting animals which were being given away as carnival prizes.

Calls began coming into the Beaver County Humane Society after Elizabeth Zahn of Beaver Falls posted a photo of a rabbit she won at the fair to her Facebook Page. Zahn alleged the animals were being mistreated.

“I won this bunny today at the Beaver carnival. There was a tiny cage of about twenty bunnies jumping all over each other. They had no food or water and were covered in each other’s waste. When I won the bunny I took it to Petsmart and bought it food and it drank an extreme amount of water because he was so dehydrated,” wrote Zahn. “I also bought a bag of food and took it back to the carnival which I fed the bunnies myself because the man in charge of the game didn’t want to. The food bowl was completely empty and the bunnies were fighting each other to get to the food [...] It’s so sad how animals are horribly mistreated like this.”

The festival in Beaver is being operated by the Wellsville, Ohio based Deshler Amusements Inc. under an agreement with Beaver Borough.

Susan Salyards, Executive Director of the Beaver County Humane Society, said her organization received numerous complaints from concerned citizens. “We have been contacted by many people and I can tell you there is an open and ongoing investigation.”

Senior Beaver County Humane Officer Jak McGown said the organization took immediate action on behalf of the rabbits. “My agent did approach the owner’s son at the fair and told him it is an illegal practice. According to Pennsylvania state law you can not give away any animals as prizes except fish,” said McGown. “We told them the cages the rabbits were in were too crowded and that they needed to make sure the animals had food and water.”

Pennsylvania law states that “No person shall give or offer to give away any live animal, except fish, as a prize in any drawing, lottery, contest, sweepstakes or other game” (18 Pa.C.S. § 5511.1). Violations of the statute constitute a summary offense punishable by a fine of up to $250.

Humane Officer Lois Cummins said she will continue to check in on the fair to make sure the rabbits, which are still in the amusement company’s custody, aren’t used as carnival prizes and to ensure the animals are being cared for properly.

Elizabeth Zahn told the Beaver Countian it was “great news” to hear the Humane Society became involved to help the rabbits.

“Until yesterday we hadn’t heard anything about rabbits,” said Beaver Councilman Lauson Cashdollar. “We had no idea they were giving away rabbits. [Beaver Borough] didn’t know about the rabbits or about how they were being treated [...] I’m glad to hear this matter was taken care of.”

Beaver Borough Manager Adam Rathbun emphasized the carnival games are owned and operated solely by Deshler Amusements. “The only involvement we have day to day is we provide volunteers who man the ticket booths. The Borough gets a portion of those proceeds from Deshler in return for using our parks, and we split our share of those funds with the Chamber of Commerce. That is the extent of our involvement.”

Deshler Amusements Inc. did not return a detailed voicemail message seeking comment left on a cellphone number listed on their site.

 

91 comments

  1. Our Humane Society does such a wonderful job for animals in the county!

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  2. Well that’s just another thing g beaver will take away. No more carnivals. Anytime there is any issue it goes away. Remember sled riding at the water lot on 5th?

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    • How do you equate the mistreatment of animals, and the laws broken by using them as “prizes” and the ban on sled riding? From what I understand, they discontinued allowing sled riding due to insurance costs, and the too high of a risk of injury.

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  3. I guess you would rather see animals being abused just so you can have a night of fun.?????

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  4. “Off with their heads!”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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  5. Carnivals are disgusting in general. No concern for the health and safety of humans or animals! These bunnies could be diseased or rabid. I don’t trust the food or rides. No more carnivals could be a good thing. Take the kids to play kickball at Brady’s Run and pack a picnic instead!

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    • I have to disagree with your food comment. The funnel cakes and rabbit stew were out of this world! …sorry, I just had to.

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  6. While I am glad that the BCHS stepped in, and informed the company of PA law, and gave them guidelines on how the rabbits should be taken care of, I believe that they should have just seized the rabbits. They are not going to take care of them, and I have a feeling that they’re going to mysteriously “disappear”……

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  7. My daughter reported this also!! Happenes every year..

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  8. What happens to the rabbits now?

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  9. Why weren’t these poor, abused rabbits confiscated and the man fined for each one!

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  10. These traveling carnivals are horrible period.

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  11. What I don’t understand isbhow the town can claim that they had no clue bunnies were being given away. No one monitors the carnival? Everyone knows about the bunnies, they have been given out for years. The humane society should have taken the bunnies away, immediately. They won’t be cared for. They will be killed or set free.

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  12. These carnivals are regulated but since they travel state to state their violations must be reported by locals. They are heavily fined when caught. Bravo Beaver Co.

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  13. Gabby Nero let’s go win all these furballs!

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  14. :( so sad I wish I could Emily Roland

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  15. I believe we can lol meet me at the fair it’s going down Gabby Nero! what’s a few more rabbits going to hurt the more the merrier

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  16. Deshler Amusements is disgusting! They always have been & just keep getting worse!

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  17. Thank you for doing this story!! Problem is they will be in Chester next week and it will be the same there. We need to do something permanent!!

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  18. I am so glad that they were busted for this. I did report it to the Humane Society and also called the Beaver Police. I am so glad other people also called. Good Job! Remember we are their voice. If you see an animal being treated unfairly you have to speak up or you are just as guilty.

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  19. Most of the time these “prizes” are under 8 weeks old. It is not only disgusting the conditions of these “bunny mill” bunnies but totally irresponsible that they are generally around 4 weeks old… and never should have been taken away from their mother. And most of the time they are sick to begin with and die within days…. absolutely disgusting!

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  20. Barbara, not at all. I think it’s a shame what they are doing to the rabbits. Also tho, you know beaver won’t be having a carnival after this. I hate carnivals and don’t go to them so no I’m not worried about a night of fun.

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  21. Elizabeth Zahn is a Junior in High School. It’s great to see we have such strong teenagers in our County that will stand up and do the right thing!!

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  22. 250$ as a fine that is fucking pathetic…

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  23. Councilman, Lauson Cashdollar – The matter wasn’t resolved. The Humane Society dropped the ball when they didn’t seize these rabbits. Immediate Action?? was humane society agent approaching the son and reciting state laws??. Lot of good that did. Checking back on these poor animals by humane society isn’t the solution. Getting the animals out of the clutches the neglectful traveling carnival people is the first step. The second step is to inform Beaver’s local government they are responsible for this and if it happens again, arrest these moron carnival people and bring charges against Beaver officials the other morons that let this continue through the years.

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  24. I stopped down for a gyro and thought I was going to get robbed and/or stabbed by either the workers or the trashy people there. Get rid of it for good before something else bad happens

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  25. Who will come and save us when the frackers come?

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  26. I am all for the safety of these bunny rabbits and all, but to those commenting that the HS should have taken them away because they are going to die in the care of those A-holes, when nobody adopts them from the HS all these bunnies are going to be euthanized anyways. Not at all saying what they were doing is right at all, but who is going to take care of these animals? They are wild animals and should be set free to do as they please. I am not sure if the HS is privately funded or if its our tax dollars running the place but most would surely die there too, just in a more humane way. My personal opinion, take these pieces-of-poo and cram all of them in the smallest cell BCJ has, take out the toilet and sink and not feed them so they know what it is like to be treated so poorly. Sorry for the rant but i am a tree hugging animal loving EM-EFFER!

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    • If they had seized them, and just “set them free”, they would be dead within the hour. You CANNOT take a caged or domestic animal, toss it to the wilderness, and think for half of a second that they will survive. Also, you seem to be a bit uninformed about the CURRENT STATE of the BCHS. They do NOT put down animals due to lack of space. I’m not claiming that they are a “no kill” shelter, because those TRULY don’t exist. They do whatever they can to find the animals either permanent or temporary foster homes. From my understanding is that the BCHS is privately funded, and runs a lot off of donations. I could be wrong, but this is my understanding. Have you been to the new facility? If not, you should. It’s NOTHING like the old one. At least there, the bunnies would have a fighting chance at life, unlike whatever fate awaits them with the carnies.

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      • “I could be wrong” nikki. Indeed you’re wrong. Sorry it is what it is! Good day

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      • @Mungo: if you’re going to tell me that I am wrong in something, at least have the courtesy to tell me WHAT you believe me to be wrong about. Thank you.

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  27. Adrienne Wooley

    The Humane Society is nearly useless. I called them to report that a person I know abandoned a cat in a vacant apartment and never went back. They were astonished that I would call them. We santos do anything unless the owner calls us, the woman told me. Pathetic.

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  28. Only in Beeeeeaver. Good lord!

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  29. Story has been updated to correct the spelling of Beaver County Humane Officer Jak McGown’s name.

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    • but it still says Beaver County Human Society in paragraph 2. Maybe we can put the three stooges ( commissioners) there? 

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  30. Will never go to this carnival again! Contacted bc humane society yest. And they responded that it was already being investigated! This inhumane crap needs to end!

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  31. Patti Dominici

    Shame on Beaver Borough for not being more involved with the carnival that comes to their town every year. Isn’t it the borough’s responsibility to know what gies on at this carnival………games, ride safety, food vendors, etc. The rides are old & disgusting. You buy a ride pass for $15 & then have to pay $2.00 to go down a blow up slide one time, they also offer a real deal, $5.00 to go down the slide 3 times!!! It costs more for a day at this 2 bit carnival than a day at Kennywood.

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  32. This article is bullshit!! Btw bet this individual said nothing to management either!! Ppl like this need to keep their noses on their own faces!!!

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  33. Oh. My. God. Who cares?

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    • The Great and Powerful Beaver County Oz Cares, Beaver Countians care, and God cares, that’s who cares. You, annoying,
      aggressive,
      arrogant,
      awful,
      atrocious,
      abnormal
      absorbed, alcoholic, animal hater you! Be gone!! JustAnAnimal!

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  34. They had rabbits last year too but there were only 3 or 4 in a cage. They had food and water or I would have complained.

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  35. I love how Beaver deflects having to enforce anything. They issued a permit? The permit says they have to follow all prevailing laws? And Beaver doesn’t have to enforce what was signed. What a pompous statement. We just collect money from them, that’s all the association we have. Hmmm, just like the tax department. Sorry Beaver, you do have a responsibility to enforce your permits. Anyone that is part of Beaver that permitted the Carnival to be there should be fired. How lame can you get!

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  36. Are the bunnies still there?

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  37. Shake and bake

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  38. Maybe send the sheriff down there to bust some heads and call them counts, maybe rack his shotgun a few times. That’ll get em going, oh darn, that’s right , the sheriff isn’t allowed to have a gun. Oh well, I’m sure the commissioners will be more than happy to care of this debacle fir the fine people of beaver and those poor rabbits . Only in Beaver county.

    All joking aside, good call there Ms.Zahn, we need more people like you in this county, maybe when you finish high school you could run for office there in Beaver, wait a minute,nah,forget that, don’t tarnish your image like that, stick to another plan.

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  39. Quiet!! I am the great and powerful Beaver County Oz!    Ca$hdollar, rumors are circulating in the merry, merry, land of Beaver County; you’re leaving your law practice and sitting council seat in Beaver behind and joined the Deshler Amusements carnival.Is it true Lauson, you and Beaver Borough manager Adam Rathbun formed a partnership called B-, b-, b-, b-, b-, b-, b-, Beaver Bunny Bluffers llc.?  How dare you be running a underground bunny trafficking business!

    You two, barbaric, blacklisted, belligerent, barbed, bullying, bunny, beaters, you. The Beaver County Oz is commanding Mr. Ca$hdollar and Mr. Rathbun to leave at once for Aliquippa.I’ve ordered Tollydiggle, to unshackle Sheriff David. It is there,the Sheriff will guard the two of you while you clean the flying monkey cages for 30 days.This will keep our Sheriff busy while on house-arrest and at the same time Beaver Bunny Bluffers llc. will dissolve!

    Beaver Countians can resume happiness once again, knowing future devious deeds against bunnies will not be tolerated in the merry, merry, land of Beaver County.

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    • @oz”Flying monkey cages” ha ha ha Mungo sees what you did there! Well played sir!

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    • You were doing good up until the “flying” part, unless you mean being “high” all the time. But the monkey part still applies..

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      • beavercountyoz

        cracker, You must be illiterate. In the Wizard of Oz, the Witch sends the flying monkeys out to apprehend Dorothy and her companions, but they only get Dorothy and Toto and scatter the Scarecrow’s straw. They disappear after the Witch has been melted. Most likely just like the Winkie gaurds, they were all finally sent to Beaver County. Know your history before numskull comments please. – Beaver County Oz 

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      • Really? This coming from a douche nozzle who can only relate to a fantasy world. Numskull, time to look in the mirror.

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  40. I find it astonishing that not one resident of Beaver noticed this and took action.  It’s even more astonishing that the powers that be in Beaver (Council and what not) NEVER noticed or  took action either!!

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  41. IRS; Benghazi; Immigration; Health Care; VA Hospitals; Etc.; Etc……And THIS is what gets people up in arms! PEOPLE are dying under this administration because of the total incompetence of the Odumbo clan, but rabbits got your feathers all roughed up. Un-freaking believable!

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    • Oh shut the hell up already. We hear it EVERY SINGLE DAY, from every possible angle and news source. After a while, hearing the same tired diatribe becomes numbing. And once that happens, PEOPLE STOP PAYING ATTENTION. Something like this, is a break in the monotony of life.

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      • You go Nikki. I totally agree with you! When we stop caring about these type of things, we’ve become a shallow society.

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  42. @ Nobama

    So we like rabbits more than Obama, I personally don’t see the problem, really.

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  43. Willing to wager that 95% of y’all getting worked up about these rabbits, have eaten factory farmed meat in the last week.

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  44. Shocked that such a thing could happen in Mayberry.

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  45. Oh and btw the carnies have everyone of you by the balls!! Slander liable and defamation of character!! Sucks when the lawsuit is brought forth for you deranged and derogatory fucking comments! Wow it is 2014 and illiterate jackasses still use the word carnie wtf??

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    • Lemme guess…..You’re one of the carnies in question? Good luck with that whole “slander/liable bullshit, and as for defamation of character…..THAT would be entertaining as hell to watch you try to prove. Take your carnie ass, and go elsewhere, if you don’t fucking like it.

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      • The wicked bitch, I mean witch, of the Land of Beaver County Oz has spoken!

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      • I cannot take any responsibility for whatever Mr. Oz speaks about, so sorry. I only speak for me. But yes, you DO have the title of the Wicked Bitch correct. Thank you for the compliment!

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  46. Nikki first off a have a fucking degree bitch and what I do in my spare time is no ones business. However, it can be proven the rabbits where well taken care of. Secondly I will say wtf I want it is a free country!! Don’t like it oh fucking well pretty sure I didn’t ask for ur fucking input any damn ways.. not a single one of u can prove shit and all of u are talking out ur damn asses!

    (0)
    • Wow. That was so enlightening. Please, tell us more about your life, we really wanna know.
      Oh, wait. Maybe I should put it in terms your alcohol soaked brain might understand: COOL STORY BRO! TELL IT AGAIN! hurrr duuurrr

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    • Oh, and I’m not entirely sure if you caught this or not, but, it didn’t matter if the rabbits were being taken care of properly, BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL IN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA TO GIVE THEM AWAY AS “PRIZES” IN GAMES. You must have missed that part. Or maybe, did you miss the other umpteen comments about how others saw how they were being treated and kept? Must have….It’s all about reading comprehension, you fucking Neanderthal.
      For shits and giggles, what the hell is your “degree” in? You do know that they give degrees away online for a fee, right? Just because you possess a piece of paper with your name written on it in fancy ink and script, doesn’t make you any smarter than those around you.

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  47. Nikki actually my degree is in the medical field and PA changes their laws every damn week maybe they should start writing it down so ppl know. The rabbits were there before and nothing was said so sit down and stfu

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    • yep law has not changed since 1994  § 5511.1. Live animals as prizes prohibited

      (a) General rule.–No person shall give or offer to give away any live animal, except fish, as a prize in any drawing, lottery, contest, sweepstakes or other game. No person operating any drawing, lottery, contest, sweepstake or other game shall sell or offer to sell any live animal, except fish, in conjunction with the operation of a drawing, lottery, contest, sweepstakes or other game.

      (b) Exception.–

      (1) This section shall not apply to any domestic animal given away or sold in connection with any agricultural, educational or vocational program sponsored or sanctioned by the Department of Agriculture.

      (2) The Department of Agriculture shall promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to provide the conditions and requirements of live animal offerings under this subsection.

      (c) Construction of section.–The provisions of this section shall not supersede the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L. 784, No. 225), [FN1] known as the Dog Law.

      (d) Penalty.–A violation of this section constitutes a summary offense punishable by a fine of not more than $250.

      CREDIT(S)

      1994, April 29, P.L. 146, No. 24, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 1998, Dec. 21, P.L. 1240, No. 157, § 2, effective in 60 days.

      [FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq.

      (0)
    • Well, I see that @Jeff has already beaten me to it. So, maybe YOU should sit down, and shut the fuck up already, before you show the rest of the class how much you DON’T know.
      Also, just because they were there at the fair before, doesn’t make it any less illegal. It just means that people turned a blind eye to it.

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      • thanks god they dont have farm animals  § 3129. Sexual intercourse with animal

        A person who engages in any form of sexual intercourse with an animal commits a misdemeanor of the second degree.

        CREDIT(S)

        1999, June 18, P.L. 67, No. 8, § 1, effective in 60 days.

        (0)
    • Degree? Medical field? No way. “…PA changes their laws every damn week…” — that has been said here before by one particular person. And committing or condoning animal cruelty? Along with fire-starting, that is one of the surest signs of significant, deep, pervasive mental illness. 

      (0)
  48. § 5511.1. Live animals as prizes prohibited

    (a) General rule.–No person shall give or offer to give away any live animal, except fish, as a prize in any drawing, lottery, contest, sweepstakes or other game. No person operating any drawing, lottery, contest, sweepstake or other game shall sell or offer to sell any live animal, except fish, in conjunction with the operation of a drawing, lottery, contest, sweepstakes or other game.

    (b) Exception.–

    (1) This section shall not apply to any domestic animal given away or sold in connection with any agricultural, educational or vocational program sponsored or sanctioned by the Department of Agriculture.

    (2) The Department of Agriculture shall promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to provide the conditions and requirements of live animal offerings under this subsection.

    (c) Construction of section.–The provisions of this section shall not supersede the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L. 784, No. 225), [FN1] known as the Dog Law.

    (d) Penalty.–A violation of this section constitutes a summary offense punishable by a fine of not more than $250.

    CREDIT(S)

    1994, April 29, P.L. 146, No. 24, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 1998, Dec. 21, P.L. 1240, No. 157, § 2, effective in 60 days.

    [FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq.

    (0)
  49. Wasn’t mentioned in the contract either therefore still Beavers problem they should make non locals aware of the law period. Now that the law has been brought to the attention of the right people bet it don’t happen again!! So take your smartass comments somewhere else. Those animals were fed and watered constantly and that was the issue not the law! So, why don’t you learn to read too!!

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    • how is it beavers fault that they should make non locals aware  Phuck wellsville is local you operate in 3 states and should be aware of the laws pertaining to carnivals.  Maybe the state should pass a law that all carnivals should have  signs placed throughout listing how many of them are reg. sex offenders and ex cons  I am sure the general public would be interested to know this

      (0)
    • Ignorance of the law, is NOT a valid defense in any courtroom, anywhere. If you are operating a business in any city or town, it is the BUSINESS OWNER OR OPERATORS responsibility to know the laws, and conduct their business within them.

      (0)
  50. Also, no way in hell was there twenty rabbits in the cage because twenty rabbits would have never fit.. There was only 7 rabbits at the most. So, again there you all go taking the word of one misinformed individual. She also lied about speaking with a female that worked in that area. So, my point is this if you were not there and did not see it for yourself then you have no right to say a damn thing!! Have a blessed rest of your life!!

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  51. Well you are more than welcome to look up my stuff you will find nothing except a few misdemeanors period. Not everyone that works is ex cons or registered sex offenders. Some of us are working cause it was the only job available in this piss poor economy.. so boycott away. We are keeping all this for our records too. So, please keep it coming. May God Bless all of you and yours. Later

    (0)
    • Sooooo in one of your comments you mention the filing of frivolous lawsuits against people posting their opinions here, but then in a later comment you exclaim to another poster:

      “I will say wtf I want it is a free country!! Don’t like it oh fucking well pretty sure I didn’t ask for ur fucking input any damn ways…”

      Hypocrite much?

      I work hard to make sure this site is a place where people can express their thoughts no matter which side of an issue they may fall. I don’t appreciate someone who makes frivolous legal threats in an attempt to censor public discourse.

      As such, consider your posting privileges on the Beaver Countian terminated.

      You can go ahead and put this comment in your records now too. Thanks.

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      • BOOM!! That was the best thing I’ve read in a while! He gave himself away as an employee from basically his first comment. Thank you.

        (0)
      • Good job, Nikki and John Paul. I thought something about “unknown” was “fishy” from the beginning, and you managed to sniff him out. 

        (0)
      • Should have left Unknown go JP, as he was getting his ass kicked by everyone.

        (0)
  52. signedepstiensmother

    Damn it! i wanted more babbling idiotic responses from the dirty carnie that goes by “unknown”. Damn it! I find it equally sad and hilarious that there are people like this who have not fallen to the demise of using the blowdryer in the bathtub. Natural selection is getting picky all of a sudden? Threatening a lawsuit? This fool wouldn’t even know how to file his/her nails. damn i found it painfully entertaining.

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  53. signedepstiensmother

    and my favorite………you are more than welcome to look up my stuff and you will find nothing except “A FEW MISDEMEANORS” period. what a dumbass.

    (0)
  54. This carnival is awful has been for years. Does Beaver have a 100 year contract with this company? Half the employees have ankle bands on and the cost is an outrage!!!! Time for a change…… please!!!!!!

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  55. seriously time to bring in a better company!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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