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Forums » Misc » About the Amish puppy mills. Also nonPG
Zenrider24 December 2011 at 8:53pmPosts: 3538 (0 today)Status: offline
Didn't want to put this in your happy puppy thread, but just had to get this off my chest.
As for your well meaning friend Pat. Giving them any money for the dogs will just keep the puppy mills going. The only way to end them is to not give them one dime for a puppy. Until then, they will keep breeding them and treating them horribly. They are masters of hiding what they are doing. If you go to their farm you'd never know the horrors of what was going on in the barn. They may even bring out a couple of well kept dogs to keep the illusion going. They will even go to the point of debarking the dogs by pushing a screwdriver down their throat to damage the vocal cords. Who knows how many dogs they have killed that way, but way cheaper then a vet and well, they can always breed more.
Your friend may think she's helping these dogs by giving him and his friends a few dollars for the ones they don't sell for a few hundred dollars, but it's really just helping keep the problem going. She's become basically a dealer for them, more then a rescuer by purchasing these puppies. Much as starting horse slaughter in the States again will not stop people from starving horses and will just get some breeders breeding like crazy again, because now they will have a more profitable way of throwing away the rejects and ones damaged by bad training methods. The Amish and Mennonites are some of the biggest hypocrites out there and won't they be surprised if they find out that their God has the animals do the judging of their souls. Anyway off my high horse.
Zenrider3 January 2012 at 5:15amPosts: 3538 (0 today)Status: offline
BTW, Non PG, I do not believe the Amish or Mennonites are anymore evil then any other human. Meaning, buy their tack, buy their furniture, buy their jams, jelly's and cheeses and such. Just don't buy their dogs. Rescue them with the right rescue and police department to be sure, but if you have seen the horror or know anyone that has seen the horror of their puppy mills, don't buy their puppies/dogs. If you have the opportunity, rescue their horses at auction, at slaughter prices if you have the heart and finances to do so too. OK, Non PG again, but can't help myself here, largely because of a friend of mine who has seen and been effected by this first hand.
Pat Parker1 February 2012 at 11:13pmPosts: 2683 (0 today)Status: offline
I apologize that I am just now reading this thread -- on Feb 1st, so I hope you realize that I was not ignoring your comments and thoughts and beliefs, I wasn't. (In fact, I'm not sure what "happy puppy" thread you're referring to, but I'm assuming you're commenting on the story that I told regarding the rescuer (yes, she's a rescuer, not a "dog dealer" as you have judged her) who a long time ago, while shopping for Amish Furniture saw a dog that looked in bad shape. She took that dog from the farmer and paid $25 for it -- gave her card (she is very actively involved in animal rescue -- so much so that she's gotten herself in trouble with the law sometimes, as many over-zealous people do). She gave that farmer her card and told him if there were ever any animals that any one of the puppy mill farmers were going to abandon or simply kill, to get in touch with her organization.
I will clarify for you the circumstances surrounding Harry Pawter's ADOPTION and although I really do not owe you or anyone an explanation (I do not recall asking anyone here to pay for Harry's adoption), I want to explain in great detail the information that I KNOW about him and the puppy mills of Lancaster, PA, the information that I KNOW about the shelter/rescue from whom I adopted him, and my own personal standing on rescues, adoptions, animal welfare and puppy mills of PA. All of this is not necessary, I'm sure, but I wish to clarify it because I think you're a reasonable person and as you've mentioned above, your comments from your "high horse" warrants an explanation from me, way down here on the ground.
I adopted Harry Pawter from a reputable, animal shelter -- Finding Shelter Animal Rescue -- www.findingshelter.org -- It is a legitimate rescue, founded only two years ago by a phenomenonal woman and her husband. If you care to learn more about the shelter, I recommend you go to their site -- you'll find lots of information about them.
Finding Shelter rescues animals, but not unless they can provide that animal (mostly dogs, but there have been cats, pigs, horses) with a foster home. Many times these animals are taken from a bad situation from various places -- be it, kennels, streets, abandonment, homes, puppy mills, etc. -- however, as much as Finding Shelter wants to rescue every single animal they hear about, they cannot and do not until they have established a foster home for it.
Finding Shelter takes great steps and a long process to find the "rescued" dog a forever home. Every single one of their dogs has a lifetime contact with a professional trainer -- who works with them for @ 1 week when they first are brought into the shelter.
Many, many places "say" they will check references, etc. (I know, because while I was searching pet finders, I had many places who stated that, but didn't follow it through), but Finding Shelter truly checks personal references, vet references, home visits, etc. -- the whole nine yards plus some. I actually live outside of their required 30-miles from their shelter but the only reason they made an exception for me is because one of my friends whom I used to work with at Electric Factory Concerts volunteers for Finding Shelter and she was able to vouch for me. Again, if you're interested in being educated about my situation with Harry, rather than just making blanket statements about puppy mills, Amish/Mennonites in general, then I really do suggest that you visit Finding Shelter's site.
Harry's situation was a bit different in the sense that one of the volunteers for Finding Shelter (not my friend) is the person who does animal rescues for Finding Shelter as well as other rescues. She is the one who had left her business card a few years back and often gets phone calls from people (mostly the Amish/Mennonite Puppy Mill people) and she takes the animals from them. In Harry's case, he was one of a few pups that didn't quite make the cut for the farmer (and I'm so glad of that), so the farmer just let him go (along with the other pups from other litters). Finally, after a year of still having these pups run around on the farm (they just never knew where else to go), he called and asked her to take them away.
Regarding the puppy mill situation -- I totally get where you're coming from -- and trust me, PA is working very actively on getting these puppy mills closed down. Finally, the public is aware of where their beautiful $1,000 pups came from and most pet shops no longer can easily sell their pups. However, the latest, greatest situation is the internet -- online puppy sales -- that's where the puppy mills are selling their pups now. (Harry's brothers/sisters were online sales). There are a few of the sites that I know are puppy mills and I would not "buy" an animal from them.
One thing I learned when ADOPTING Harry from Finding Shelter is this: The puppy mills have a "showcase" house, which they use to sell their puppies and make the transaction. So, if a person finds a pup online, they contact the farmer -- it's all real information. When the day comes to go and see and pick up the pup -- the buyer is given the address of the farm. The farm house is gorgeous, spacious and the pups are all running around free and happy. Little does the buyer know that this is just the "showcase" house/farm. -- Well, that was all news to me and I am appalled by it. I have since began to educate people about the situation just so they know before they shop around for a dog.
The Finding Shelter Rescue also explained this to me: Not EVERY Amish/Mennonite Farmer is a puppy mill, but EVERY puppy mill in PA is owned/operated by an Amish/Mennonite Farmer. It is a very sad, dreadful situation. The fact that the Amish/Mennonites do not look at dogs as "pets", but rather as livestock does not help with trying to educate them on the subject. These farmers work hard, they work their animals hard (to the point of abuse) and none of their dogs are their "pets" -- they are kept outside, just as the horses and cows are -- again, this is a generalization and not true of every single farmer here in Lancaster, PA, but it is a very good majority of them who do this.
FYI -- Many of the Amish/Mennonites who run puppy mills are now moving to NY State because they are being forced out of business by so many activists, shelters, rescuers, etc. I'm glad to know that in PA they are trying to pass laws that would require any breeder to have adequate space, give adequate exercise, etc. for any of their dogs. It's a very slow process.
I also understand where you're coming from regarding people buying these animals helping to keep it going, but I must say that there is not much anyone can do about that -- people are always going to want to do what they want to do -- you cannot force someone/anyone to understand your point of view just because you want them to and your point of view is correct. If a person wants to buy a full-bred whatever and he/she does not take the time to research the breeder, etc., it will just continue to help these puppy mills exist. Sad, but true.
I have always been of the mindset that unless you want a specific breed of dog to do what that specific breed of dog does -- border collie to herd sheep, husky to do dog sledding, german shepherd to work as a shepherd, etc., than I do not see the need to seek out a specific breed, pay loads of money for, just to say, I have a _________. (Here is where I might sound as if I'm getting on my high horse, but I'm not, I'm just saying that people like certain things, certain breeds of dogs for whatever reason, but there really is no need to go way out for them).
Lastly (or almost), I have had dogs all of my life, since I was @ 6 years old. Every single one of my dogs was an All-American Mutt! The first pup that I had was from my friend's dog who had a litter. Every one after that I ADOPTED from the SPCA in Philly, the Morris Refuge Center in Philly and Dustydog -- I rescued her from an incredibly horrendous situation (afterwards, the woman was cited by the SPCA for the conditions she had her animals in) and now Harry has been adopted.
Although I read your comments and understand exactly where you are coming from, I am highly offended by some of the presumptions you made as well as some of the condescending comments you made toward the Amish/Mennonite community -- trust me, I'm not defending them by any means of the word. I, too, have seen an incredibly bad side of these people and it is quite disappointing. I do not think it was necessary to assume that because someone is rescuing animals from the Amish/Mennonite puppy mills that they are not just as zealous as you are in trying to help the animals, not put money in the pockets of the Plain People (as they're known).
Lastly, lastly (I think ), here is where I step up on the soap box for a bit. I am always glad to know that there are people out there in the world who will stand up, speak up, act up for a good cause -- I am one of those very same people for many different causes. However, just like everything else -- sometimes our self-righteous attitude gets in the way of getting a point across. Also, very many folks become so over-zealous in their "right" to speak up, stand up, act up, that they forget about other issues. Surely, animal rescue is a most wonderful concept and ideal, but those who are involved cannot assume that every animal in every situation is in need of rescue, nor can they assume that others who are also trying to help aren't helping as much as they are. We are all the same in the end.
Okay, I lied -- but this really is "lastly" -- I'm not sure you've seen/heard about the documentary that was on HBO (and is now available on DVD) -- "Madonna of the Mills" -- it is about the woman (whom helped rescue Harry, by the way!) who is working to expose these puppy mills in Lancaster, PA. Although Harry is not in the documentary (thank heavens!), his fellow puppies with whom he roamed for one year were rescued by her and her organization. If you have a chance, you should try to see it. It's good stuff.
That's all for now. I'm not sure if any of what I wrote above will help to clarify things for you, nor if it'll change your opinion as to my situation (because that's essentially what you were criticizing -- lady gets dog from puppy mill, I adopt dog from rescue who took the puppy from the mill, etc.), but I did want to have my piece in your sermon.
Zenrider5 February 2012 at 6:49amPosts: 3538 (0 today)Status: offline
Not really worried about the late reply. I spoke my mind and will stick to it. I'm sure your friend is fine, but I do worry that if she pays them for the dogs she is contributing the the problem. Even if her intentions are good and well meaning. Putting them out of business will do more good for the dogs in the long run.
I know quite a bit about the rescue world and some of the problems in it. Not all rescues are created equally. Much of what I know are from friends actively involved in different rescues. If I had the time, I likely would be too. Though one is taking a respite from rescuing. She still aids when asked and is able, but after a rescue she founded was overtaken hostilely by people she had thought to be trusted friends, it has soured her a bit. They in fact took a viable small rescue and turned it into an outlet for puppy mills from several states away from where she lives. Apparently they thought the rescue should be more profitable then it was. Silly her for thinking it was about helping at risk puppies and dogs find good forever homes by getting them good veterinary care and the basic training they needed to succeed in a new home. Most of the dogs/puppies she rescued were on death row at the shelters they were picked up at. In fact she's the one that first brought to my attention the horrible way many of the Amish/Mennonites treat their breeding dogs. BTW, I'm slightly vague in some of this due to legal issues involved in her situation.
As for the Amish and Mennonites, don't take my word for it.
Enjoy your adopted friend and best of luck to your friend who is trying to help dogs find good homes.
Pat Parker6 February 2012 at 12:17amPosts: 2683 (0 today)Status: offline
Thanks Zen! I'm also one of those people who would love to devote more time and energy into the rescue of animals. It's certainly something I'd be more involved in if I had the money and time. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend -- that is terrible and it's a good example of how easily people can be misguided by money, amongst other things,I guess.
Meanwhile, I continue to enjoy Harry and all his antics -- he's quite the character and he definitely is "top" dog regardless of what anyone else (human or canine) might think -- I actually think it's the way he survived his first year out on his own -- quite savvy, he is and he can outsmart me sometimes.
Zenrider16 February 2012 at 12:48pmPosts: 3538 (0 today)Status: offline
BTW, I don't really blame your friend for the problem, it's those looking for a quick buck as cheap as possible that I blame. They may call themselves plain, but many to sadly most of them in the dog breeding business are just as bad as a flashy dressed thug for what they put their breeding dogs through.
I really do love your Harry's happy smiley face in your avatar.
Pat Parker16 February 2012 at 2:04pmPosts: 2683 (0 today)Status: offline
I'm with you 100% on the whole money-making process (and you're correct, sadly enough, although these folks are considered "plain" and don't want to live the lives of the "English" as they refer to everyone else, they have some of the nastiest, ugliest secrets (well, not-so-secret any more) within their culture.
Quite honestly, I must say that it has been one of my most disappointing awakenings here -- although, I must admit, I probably always knew it existed (the many strange ways, that is) -- it's given me a whole new outlook on the society here in Lancaster County, PA. Sure, it's still really cute and quaint to see the horse and buggy travel the road and all of the family dressed in their "plain clothes" ("Plain clothes policeman" will never mean the same thing to me ), but when I learn about some things, well, it's just not so "cute" any more.
My friend and the various rescues that she works with are doing what they can to prevent people from buying their animals from these puppy mills -- they are constantly out in the public (getting themselves in trouble some times) trying to educate people. The biggest problem they face nowadays is the internet -- there are several places who act as the go-between for the Amish breeders. They sell these puppies -- for quite a price, mind you -- and the internet company has a whole disclaimer -- "we are not breeders, we have nothing to do with the puppies, blah, blah, blah" -- No, they only make a small fortune by advertising for the Amish puppy mills and setting up the advertisement so that the person looking to buy unknowingly is buying a puppy mill pup, but thinks he/she is buying it from a reputable place. Sad, really.
Harry's been such a pleasure for me. Over the past few months, I have seen him become so comfortable here and he is so lively -- he is still a pup and I'm having so much fun with him. After having lived outside for a year, he definitely has traits that he may not ever lose -- he is a survivor after all, so he's very "savvy" and very alert in his surroundings. I jokingly told the property manager that Harry should be our community's designated guard dog -- not that he is aggressive or guarding, but he sees (and looks for) everything that is going on and everyone in the area. Our walks take long sometimes simply because Harry has to stop and check out every car that drives by, every person who is going to/from their homes, every person who might be doing work (landscaping, etc.). And of course, he knows exactly which houses have dogs, cats or both!
Well, speaking of Harry, I must take him out for a walk . . . he's very patiently waiting for me to check my morning mail