Almost two dozen animal cruelty charges pressed against Mercersburg woman

21 February 2024- Multiple animals have been taken from the home of a Mercersburg woman accused of not providing food, water, vet care, and more for her pets. Rhonda Lee Reed is charged with four misdemeanor counts of neglect of animals lack of sustenance/water, four misdemeanor counts of neglect of shelter/protection, four misdemeanor counts of neglect of vet care, three summary counts of failure to show rabies vaccination, and three summary counts of unlicensed dogs. The affected animals have been removed from the home and Reed is awaiting a preliminary hearing.

Pennsylvania State Police were originally dispatched to the home of Rhonda Reed on Pine Road in Montgomery Township all the way back in August of 2023. It should be noted that charges have just been filed this week. Troopers had been responding to an anonymous complaint of multiple dogs in poor health on the property.

When police approached the home, they announced their presence and spoke to Reed, the sole occupant of the home and caretaker for the animals. During their survey of the property, Troopers found an Australian Shepherd dog tethered to the side of the home. The dog, they say, was visibly underweight with prominent hip bones but a thick fur coat covering up its body. There was no potable water or food available to the dog, police say, and the dog was licking empty preserved food cans from a nearby overflowing garbage can.

Dog #2, according to PSP, was a tan and black hound dog tethered to the rear of the property by chain. This dog was allegedly severely underweight as well, showing ribs, lumbar, and hip bones. Officers, using the Purina body score chart, estimated that the dog was at a #1 out of 1-9. This means that the dog could be at risk of serious bodily injury and/or death.

A black Great Dane was found inside of the home and police say it was healthy and cared for.

After this initial survey, Troopers applied for and were granted a search warrant of the property. During this second search, Troopers found a previously unknown dog, a chihuahua mix, and a kitten in addition to the previously known canines. Those recent finds, as well as the hound and Australian Shephard, were taken by PSP for immediate veterinary treatment. The Great Dane was left because it was determined to be healthy.

On January 24, 2024, officers from PSP’s Dog Law division provided Troopers with a report of the veterinary treatment for the seized animals. Troopers reportedly learned that all animals showed various stages of parasites inside of them, including multiple forms of worms. The animals seized, the Dog Law Officer reported, were all at serious risk of bodily injury or death.

Rhonda Reed is awaiting a preliminary hearing date of March 19th.

Sources: Docket Number: MJ-39306-CR-0000038-2024, Incident No.: PA 2023-1100126