Fulton County kennel owners hit with charges for letting dogs run off property, unsanitary conditions

31 January 2024- The owner/operators of a Waterfall, PA dog kennel are facing numerous violations of the state’s dog law after a series of escapes and incidents in 2023. Stephen C. Berkstresser and Tina M. Berkstresser are both charged with four counts of misdemeanor violation of confinement of dogs. Tina Berkstresser is also charged with four counts of misdemeanor failure to keep kennel in sanitary and humane conditions. Both Berkstressers are set to be arraigned on February 28th.

State Dog Wardens were originally notified of potential violations of the law at Mountain Hideaway Kennel, located on Mountain House Road in Waterfall, PA. The Berkstressers are listed by Dog Wardens as having been co-owners of multiple dogs residing at that residence as well as these dogs being part of the previously mentioned licensed kennel.

Wardens specify that the kennel typically houses between 27 and 50 dogs at one time, with ages ranging from puppies to adults. They are mostly yellow Labradors and some dachshunds.

According to court filings, PA State Dog Wardens allege that on November 15th, December 2nd, December 5th, and December 14th, all of 2023, multiple yellow Labs were found running at large on the property and out of their designated areas. As for charges of failure to keep sanitary conditions, court documents have not been released as to the cleanliness of those areas.

Wardens do, however, mention that Stephen Berkstresser has previously pleaded guilty to a non-traffic citation for this same violation on April 28th of 2023. Since both violations occurred within less than one year of each other, that citation offense was graded as a misdemeanor.

Stephen and Tina Berkstresser are free and awaiting arraignment by MDJ Devin Horne of Hustontown.

Sources: Docket Number: MJ-39401-CR-0000004-2024, Docket Number: MJ-39401-CR-0000005-2024, Incident No.: 288250A