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Derbe Eckhart put on probation for two more years

Published On: Oct 28 2013 02:50:16 PM CDT

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Ruling that former kennel owner Derbe Eckhart of Upper Milford Township violated his probation, a Lehigh County judge has extended that probation for two more years.

The ruling was made by Judge Robert Steinberg at a hearing Monday.

As part of his probation, Eckhart is limited to only keeping personal pets. If he keeps more, said the judge, he will go back to jail.

Eckhart will be subjected to monthly inspections of the property along Route 29 -- Chestnut Street -- in the township.

Eckhart, who served prison time in 2010 on animal cruelty charges, was accused of violating his probation in September because he was keeping more animals than allowed.

Officials found dozens of animals living in poor conditions, including 22 horses, three monkeys, 138 birds and more cats and kittens than they could count.

Eckhart is the former owner of the Almost Heaven Kennel in Upper Milford, which was raided in 2008. Eckhart spent nine months in jail after a 2010 conviction for animal cruelty.

In addition to the jail time, he was placed on three years' probation with a condition that limits his ownership, possession, control or custody of animals or employment with the care of animals.