Amish Puppy Mills Exposed
Courtesy of The Citizens Against Puppy Mills
Inside Holmes County,
Many people visit Holmes and Lancaster Counties because they are lured by the appeal of the country of the past. Perhaps they are looking for a slower more peaceful pace. Lancaster County and Holmes County Tourism use the Amish and Mennonite community as a tourist attraction.
They advertise scenes like these -->
But drive down any country road in Lancaster or Holmes County and you will often see puppies for sale signs. Dogs are viewed as a cash crop. Ads in the news papers often state cash only. Amish and Mennonite farmers have publically stated that dogs are livestock.
The Amish and Mennonite community are known as "The Gentle People". Amish Country is known for its wonderful restaurants, craft shops and well-kept Amish farms. Beautiful fields where bearded men in wide-brimmed hats lead teams of shaggy plow horses tilling the soil. Hay fields dot the rolling hills of Amish country, and the fields that sustain the simple lifestyle are mostly bare. But one crop the most important crop to some remains: Puppies.
An overwhelming number of puppy mill operators are Amish. Inside the picturesque barns and wooden fences of Amish country in New York State and in all Amish communities throughout the US, "purebred" puppies are bred by the tens of thousands, many living in a hellish world of filthy, crowded cages. They are puppy mill puppies, and they bring in $4 million a year for the over 100 Amish and Mennonite farmers who supply pet stores, boutique dog-shop markets, and at least two
These "dog farmers" sell 20,000 puppies a year to wholesalers for an average $223 a pup, government records show. And it's making some of these quaint farmers quite rich. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documents show that one Amish dog farmer sold 1,293 puppies last year for an estimated $290,000 though federal inspectors have cited his farm for numerous violations since 1992 including overcrowded cages and inadequate sanitation, pest control, feeding and watering of animals. Then these sickly, genetic nightmares are delivered to the upscale pet shops. They given them a bath and blow dry them and fluff them up and pray they don't die before they're sold, often for $1,000 or more each.
The Amish don't say much about their involvement. They never do. No one at the local seed store would talk about puppy breeding last week. Or at the buggy maker's. Or at the lumber yard or the pet store. Not even at the corner restaurant. It's their dirty little secret.
Be warned though- the Amish life that is depicted for tourist is nothing like the reality. A simple Google search for Amish puppy mills will return thousands of hits. For farmers, a big crop of dogs can gross up to $500,000 annually, with successful operations netting six figures. For critics, the men in the suspenders and bushy beards are masking a cruel form of factory farming behind the quaint and pure image of the Amish culture.
According to Baker, even shipping a pup a week later, at eight weeks of age, is not a good idea. "Immune systems aren't developed by then and all kinds of health issues could arise."
In areas of the U.S. where Amish dwell, there is a high number of puppy mills. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement lists 243 kennels in Lancaster County.
One cannot throw all the Amish into the same category. Actions of some might sound rash. The puppy-mill breeders might be just a small fraction or a very small percent of the Amish population, but the majority of the population have chosen to ignore what is going on in their own backyards.
The Amish have been allowed to continue their inhumane treatment of animals without pressure from the rest of the population because of the money that tourism brings to Amish businesses. Most people who visit Lancaster County,
The Amish continually breed poor quality puppies and keep their breeding dogs in a state that defies decency. They should be barred from dog breeding as they breed poor quality dogs. They get away with it because people think that religious people wold never do anything inhumane.
The following pictures were taken with permission of the Amish owner. All these dogs have been in wire cages all their lives, live totally confined to these spaces, receive no vet care and have deformed paws.
From Elam Zook,
The cruelty is not limited to
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