Amish puppy mills
Alfonso De La Vega

Harrisburg, PA

#1 Jul 28, 2012
The Amish:

Allegations of neglect in Amish puppy mills


A visitor to this web site warned us about animal abuse among Amish in the form of puppy mills. We were unaware of the problem and were surprised to find that a Google search with the search string Amish puppy mills returned over 7,000 hits.

In some areas of the U.S. where Amish have settled, there is a high concentration of "puppy mills." The Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement lists 243 kennels in Lancaster County. PA. 1 Holmes County, OH, has 470 kennels -- more than any other county in the nation. 2

WTAE-TV Investigative report:

WTAE in Pittsburgh, PA, broadcasted an investigative report on puppy mills on 2006-MAY-04. 3 Reporter Sheldon Ingram wrote, in part:

"For those who have never heard of a puppy mill, it's equivalent to solitary confinement for young dogs, with substandard conditions. As a result, some of the dogs that emerge from puppy mills look either malnourished or in overall bad health. Channel 4 Action News went undercover to investigate dogs pulled from puppy mills.

Fed and bred. That's it. No walks. No interaction with humans. That means the dogs eat and relieve themselves in the same 2-by-2-foot cage for about eight years until their breeding days are done....

U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum,(R-PA), introduced legislation to crack down on puppy mills and has fought for changes for 10 years.'People who are breeding large quantities of dogs now but selling them directly have an exemption under the Animal Welfare Act. 4 And that has to change,' Santorum said.'Unfortunately, a lot of folks -- including the ones you've been investigating -- are exempted under the law."

"Many animal rescuers said dogs coming from puppy mills end up in common pet stores. So when purchasing a dog from a pet store, ask about its history."

Santorum and animal rescuers said an overwhelming number of puppy mill operators are Amish. Why the Amish? Why is it so prevalent in their community?" Ingram asked. I don't know. Maybe it's a different mindset in regards to animals," Santorum said. Channel 4 Action News tried to ask some Amish breeders, but they wouldn't talk.

Letter to the Intelligencer newspaper in Intercourse, PA:

Arleen Rooney visited Lancaster County, PA,-- often called Amish country -- and was appalled by the conditions at an Amish-run puppy breeding kennels. She suggests that there are hundreds of Amish "puppy mills" operating legally and illegally in the area. She described one mill that she visited in a letter to the editor. She wrote, in part:

"I visited one commercial kennel in Ronks that had over 20 breeds housed in an old dilapidated barn. The puppy I saw as a potential buyer was filthy, had evidence of eye infection at only eight weeks of age and lacked any puppy animation whatsoever. The breeding dog, namely the bitches, are bred twice a year and all breeding and sales stock are forced to spend day in and day out on wire cage bottoms with little or no water."

"I saw evidence at two Amish run kennels where I could see the breeding stock as well as the puppies on a 95 degree day that none of the dogs had water and two that did had about one inch of dirty water in a green slime plastic container."

"There is little or no ventilation, exercise, medical or grooming attention. Long haired breeds such as Shih Tzus, Maltese, Lahsa Apso and Pekingese are never groomed and their hair coats become matted with feces and urine and they are subject to terrible eye infections." 5

The letter was apparently never published.

Trial of an Amish man for operating a "factory for dogs:"

Aaron Lapp in Washington County, PA, was sentenced to 145 days in prison and over $4,500 in restitution and fines for operating what country Judge NancyL. Butts called "a factory for dogs....

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