Accused Animal Abuser Remains Free On Bail After Hearing

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SCRANTON -- An accused animal abuser was back in court Friday morning.

The saga of John Tanis' animal cruelty case continued in Lackawanna County court. At issue now is Tanis' bail and whether or not he violated it by keeping more than one dog at his home in Moosic.

"You were there yesterday. You saw the animals that came out of there yesterday. They are beautiful animals. This is harassment from the system, but my lawyer tells me I can't say anything else," Tanis said.

Moosic police went to Tanis' home on Main Street Thursday and took four Labrador puppies that prosecutors said violated the terms of Tanis' bail. Tanis said in court under oath that the one dog he was allowed to keep was pregnant but he didn't know.

That's a story that prosecutors don't necessarily buy.

"Being that he surrendered them immediately, maybe not, but I can't say for sure whether that was his public way of challenging Judge Geroulo," said Lackawanna County A.D.A. Michael Ossont.

In the end, Lackawanna County Judge Vito Geroulo said Tanis did violate his bail but since he willingly surrendered those Labrador pups, all he got was a warning.

"I know what 1371 North Washington Avenue is like, and it's not the Hilton. So I am very grateful that the judge was able to look at this objectively," Tanis said.

Tanis is referring to the Lackawanna County Prison, a punishment the judge said he will consider if more dogs are found at Tanis' home.

"All you need to remember are two three-letter words, 'one dog.' Or the next time you see me, you will go to jail," Judge Geroulo said in court.

Tanis was charged with animal cruelty last year after neighbors in Moosic and animal rights groups accused him of abusing more than a dozen dogs on his property.

Tanis is scheduled for trial on those charges next month.


  • disabled taxpayer

    I for one LOVE dog’s .BUT know I cant have one i’m disabled an have a low income & no place for a dog to RUN / PLAY .So i know not to have A dog . RE-RIGHT the LAWS AN SAVE A LIFE / SAVE A PET

  • Marianne Lynott

    Can someone please explain how this man has gotten away with this for so long? This is far from his first offense. Who does he know and why are they covering for him?

  • Paul

    Apparently his lawyer should tell him that NO MORE THAN ONE DOG doesnt mean 4….. what a nut job… if I was the judge I would have said NO PETS….PERIOD……..

  • Marisagram

    Nothing surprises me with NEPA’s so-called justice. Too many child abusers and animal abusers are let go with a limp slap on the wrist. I don’t know how that judgecoukdlook himself in the mirror.

  • jay

    He kept the litter a secret from the courts for at least 2 months n he doesn’t go to jail…..courts r letting him continue to over breed the dogs n sell them…. everyone knows he has more than the 4 puppies n the mother

  • Cathi

    Why would a judge even let him have 1 animal? He shouldn’t be allowed to have any animals. If someone is convicted of animal abuse it should be one and done and they should never be able to have another animal. Animal abuse laws need to change!!!

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