PA: Steve Mohr busted by PGC

Lancaster, Pa. – Former Pennsylvania Game commissioner, and
current president of Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania, Steve Mohr
admitted in July to illegally buying six puppies that were
determined to be part wolf.

Mohr, 61, of Bainbridge, Lancaster County, pleaded guilty before a
Mount Joy district judge to two summary counts of importing an
exotic animal without a permit, and he paid $2,162 in fines.

Mohr said he did not know the puppies were part wolf, and he called
his prosecution – and media outlets being informed of it –
“payback” for his staunch opposition to the Game Commission’s
deer-management program.

“They didn’t come at me like it was payback, but I got a tip that
it was, and so I think it probably was,” he said. “If it was
payback, I’ll just say I took one for the team.”

Mohr declined to say who provided the tip.

Game Commission spokes man Jerry Feaser denied Mohr’s
allegation.

“Mr. Mohr was treated the same as anyone else in violation of the
law,” Feaser wrote in an email.

According to Mohr, he bought six puppies in June from a breeder in
Ohio, thinking they were husky/malamute hybrids. Mohr said he paid
$200 apiece for the pups.

As soon as he got the puppies, Mohr said, he turned them over to a
woman who lives near him, whom he declined to name.

“There’s no need to drag her name into this,” Mohr said. “I’ll take
the heat.”

The woman frequently sells husky pups “to earn a little extra
money,” Mohr said. Mohr expected to be paid back for purchasing the
dogs as the woman sold them.

Mohr received no paperwork on the pups’ bloodlines when he received
them. He said the woman who was going to sell them contacted the
Ohio breeder for that information.

“That’s when the breeder told her they had some wolf blood in
them,” Mohr said.

A wolf is considered an exotic animal in Pennsylvania, and state
residents need an exotic wildlife dealer permit to import, possess,
buy, sell or give away more than one exotic animal in a given year,
according to state wildlife law.

At some point, Mohr said, the Game Commission was tipped off about
the puppies. Mohr said they seized three, after the woman had sold
the others.

He said he heard the puppies were tested to determine that they
were part wolf, and his citation indicates laboratory services were
used in the Game Commission’s investigation.

Feaser declined to comment on details of the investigation,
including identifying the woman.

Mohr said he heard the confiscated pups were taken to a wolf
sanctuary. Feaser did not comment on their whereabouts.

When contacted by Game Commission officers about the puppies, Mohr
said he told them what happened.

“I thought they were animals I was allowed to have,” he said. “When
they told me I wasn’t, I didn’t fight it. I pleaded guilty and paid
my fines.”

Mohr actually was charged with six counts of importing an exotic
animal without a permit, according to court documents. Four of
those charges were dropped on July 12, which is the day Mohr
pleaded guilty to the remaining two counts.

After serving as a member of the Pennsylvania Board of Game
Commissioners from 1998 to 2006, Mohr has become one of the state’s
leading critics of the agency’s deer-management program.

Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania sued the Game Commission twice
over the program, claiming the agency is mismanaging the herd. Both
lawsuits were thrown out of court.

Mohr alleged that someone within the Game Commission told media
outlets about his guilty pleas, “to try to stir the pot, I
guess.”

The Game Commission did not notify this reporter about the case.
Feaser provided information about it only when asked by a
reporter.

This reporter learned of the case via e-mail from another news
outlet.

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