A Christian school in Dauphin County withdrew an item from a fundraising auction after drawing criticism from residents upset over its plan to accept bids for a puppy later this month.
A flyer advertising the Northern Dauphin Christian School's annual benefit auction and dinner April 26 listed scores of items that would up for bids, including ergonomic keyboards, a yoga package, gift certificates to local businesses and even a balloon ride, but the flyer's inclusion of a beagle puppy was at the heart of the blowback.
Irate people quickly took to the school's Facebook page where a photo of the puppy was posted to promote the auction criticizing the move and demanding the school pull the animal from the auction.
The photo and the Facebook post were removed by 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and Brian LaBone, a volunteer school board member, confirmed the dog would not be bid on at the auction.
"I was a little disappointed by the attacks and angry statements on Facebook, we were all kind of taken off-guard," LaBone said, explaining that the school was approached by a breeder willing to donate the proceeds from the sale of the puppy to the school.
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Samantha Krepps explained that state law prohibits the auctioning of dogs by any person or group other than a kennel or other group sponsored by a recognized breed or kennel association, which would have technically made the auction illegal.
"It's in a section of the dog law that not everyone is familiar with, so it was probably just a mistake," Krepps said. "We're looking into it and we're going to go talk to them, but it is illegal to auction off a dog."
LaBone also attributed the decision to include the dog in the auction as an unfortunate oversight on behalf of the school, which never intended to break the law.
"The school regrets anyone who was caused concern over this issue, it won't be happening, and the bottom line is we didn't know it was illegal even to accept the proceeds," LaBone said.An explanation of the change to the auction and statement from the school will be posted on the school's website soon, LaBone added.
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