MOOSIC — John Tanis of Moosic said he has been harassed for years.
Tanis is awaiting trial on animal cruelty charges.
His arrest record includes more than 300 charges including weapons and animal cruelty.
Now there is a new investigation.
Moosic Police and a cruelty officer showed up to Tanis’ Moosic home Wednesday afternoon after complaints of mistreatment of dogs on the property.
The cruelty officer asked Tanis to surrender the animals.
He refused and said he has never abused an animal.
“No, never. I’ve stopped my car in the middle of the road to pick up a turtle and bring a turtle to the side of the road,” said Tanis.
Some people showed up to Tanis’ home while investigators were there, concerned about the animals.
“I heard puppies crying, I mean not what you’d normally hear a puppy sounding like, and I walked over to see what was going on, and I counted eight puppies, a Lab/Golden Retriever mix it looked like and a mom and dad tied to a tree. I looked around, no sign of food, no sign of water,” said one man who did not want to be identified.
Tanis said he has done nothing wrong.
He showed Newswatch 16 records including dog licenses and vaccinations for the adult dogs on his property.
Tanis said he is a member of the Saints of Beersheba, a church and humane society based in Tunkhannock, and he said the dogs actually belong to the church and are being trained to be therapy dogs.
“The dogs are being kept in the best conditions that they can possibly be kept in, that they’re all healthy, if they’re not healthy, we’re trying to get it help. If they seize the dogs, they’re going to have a fight, they’re going to have a fight in the courts, because we’re going to fight them tooth and nail. We don’t believe these dogs are being abused,” said Tanis.