Last January, we got our dear Kady, f/k/a Lady, from Sixth Angel Shepherd Rescue, based in Marcus Hook, PA, and from a foster out on Long Island.


She’s adjusting well to life here, right now she’s in her usual spot under my desk, and though she had a rough time when her canine sister Kenya died in May, she’s recovered and now is doing very well with our new Sadie dog, our unlikely but adorable adoption addition last month.   That’s quite a change for her, because she didn’t usually like other dogs, and was pretty aggressive with one at her foster home, they didn’t think she’d get along with Ken at all, but Kady knew… and just jumped right in the van ready to go home.  Since then, she has learned that many dogs are her friends and that she gives and receives from her sisters.

Anyway, someone had been searching “Sixth Angel Shepherd Rescue complaints” and so I did too to see what I could see, and it looks like a couple of months ago there was a bit of a ruckus, and Terry Silva, head of Sixth Angel Shepherd Rescue, prevailed.

Here’s the judge’s order, returning the dogs:

Memorandum – Sixth Angel Shepherd Rescue and Terry Silva v.George Bengal, Nicole Wilson and Pennsylvania SPCA

And an article from the Daily Times in Delaware County, PA:

Owner is Hoping to Have Her Dogs Returned

By:  Timothy Logue, Delco Times

Terry Silva wants her dogs back.

The Marcus Hook attorney claims she did not purchase two shepherd mixes and a cross-eyed chocolate Lab named Herbie from a North Carolina woman at the Market Street McDonald’s in Upper Chichester April 10.

“The dogs were mine from the time they left,” said Silva, founder of Sixth Angels Shepherd Rescue, Inc., Tuesday. “The only thing I paid her for was the transport and the boarding.”

Wardens from the state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement disagreed and cited the former Chichester School District solicitor for violating the Pennsylvania Dog Law, which prohibits the purchase of dogs in public places.

“Defendant did pay for transfer of dogs” reads the citation, which comes with a $267 fine.

Anne-Marie Wessel of Lillington, N.C., was cited with five transport conditions violations, failure to have health certificates as required for interstate transports, and for selling a dog in a public place when she was confronted by wardens some time after 10:30 p.m. in the McDonald’s lot.

Silva’s dogs were among 17 turned over to Pennsylvania SPCA officers. Dog wardens said Wessel’s van contained no food, water, leashes, bowls or bedding when she exited off I-95 in Delaware County to deliver dogs to Silva and other individuals.

Silva said she had the dogs “pulled” from kill shelters by animal rescue volunteer in North Carolina so they would not be euthanized. “Once removed, they are vetted, given any shots they need and checked to make sure they don’t have any kind of serious medical condition.”

Though she had never dealt with her before, Silva said she made arrangements for Wessel to transport the dogs “because she came highly recommended” and because paid transporters are “typically more reliable and responsible.”

Even so, Silva admitted the conditions in Wessel’s van were not up to par.

“I know I saw two 80-pound dogs in the same crate and that’s not right,” she said, “and the (wardens) very concerned about the lack of ventilation.”

Just before the state dog wardens swooped in, Silva said she paid Wessel about $135 in boarding fees and a transport fee. “The price is based on the size of the crate,” she said. “In this case it was $100 per crate.”

Unlike Wessel and others who came to meet her, Silva said wardens did not take her keys and drivers license.

“It was clear they were going to cite the transporter but Joe Loughlin is a warden who covers Delaware County that I deal with all the time and there was no indication that I would be cited.

“He said, ‘Hey, Ter, how ya doing?’ and I just waited in the parking lot until 1:15 in the morning because we were told the Pennsylvania SPCA officers were going to come out and they also wanted a vet to come take look at the dogs.”

Silva said she eventually agreed to let the PSPCA officers take the dogs, “with the assurance that I could pick them up in a day or two after a vet looked at them.”

When she attempted to pick up her dogs Monday, April 12, Silva said workers there told her she wasn’t an approved rescuer and her name was not on the paperwork for the dogs.

“I said ‘I am an approved rescuer’ and when they pulled out two of the health certificates, they could see my name was on them,” Silva said. “But they wouldn’t even give me copies of the certificates and they wouldn’t let me see my dogs.”

Silva said other rescuers have since picked up their dogs.

“There’s something going on here,” she said, “but I’m not exactly sure what.”

Wessel is listed as the director of “Camp Cupcake for Critters” in Lillington, a business that specializes in in-home pet care. Wessel is listed as the director on the company’s Web site.

Silva acknowledged that her story and Wessel’s did not line up on the night the animal’s were confiscated. “She told them the dogs were hers and that she was selling them to me,” Silva said. “I told (PSPCA Director of Law Enforcement) George Bengal, ‘She’s lying.’”

Bengal refused comment when contacted by the Daily Times on Monday, citing pending litigation.

On Tuesday, PSPCA spokesman Gail Luciani would only confirm that the dogs picked up in the Upper Chichester raid “are all still alive” but would not say where they were being kept or if some had been returned to their owners.

A message left for Loughlin was not immediately returned.

Silva has filed a federal complaint and motion for an injunction, citing Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment infringements. “The government is not allowed to take property without due process of law and they are not allowed to treat similar individuals differently,” she said.

Though the Sixth Angels Web site says a $250 donation is requested with every adoption, Silva said profit is not a motive and the business of rescuing animals “is a huge money loss and a huge time loss” for everyone involved.

“We work really hard and we save hundreds and hundreds of dogs,” she said. “I think state wardens have a right to stop a van and assess conditions to see if there’s a violation of standards but I don’t think it is appropriate to bar people from their animals or try to intimidate people who are trying to save dogs from out of state.

“We are not trying to get over on somebody.”

Leave a Reply