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Mennonite... Puppy Mills?


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I took a trip to Holmes County, Ohio in 2011. Unfortunately, a lot of the attractions I went to (one that stands out is a sort of petting zoo type deal with supposedly the world's largest horse--spoiler alert, it is not the world's largest horse) had puppies for sale that were purebred. It was pretty upsetting, because they were in an uncomfortably hot room. They were also selling live stock medication that should be dispensed only by a veterinarian as well. Overall, it was a weird trip that we now refer to in my family as "the Amish voyage of the damned."

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I live in an area of Canada with a large old order Mennonite population and about every farm has a small puppy mill operation. Right now they tend to breed doodle mixes as those are popular. I have visited one of the farms with these types of dogs and the conditions are ok, not terrible, but the dogs get no love or attention, they are money makers pure and simple. The Mennonite population here in Ontario are masters at making money.

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Well, that just makes me sad! I had no idea - I'm in Minnesota and we have a few Mennonite/Amish communities here, but not many, so this was new to me. Poor puppies :cry:

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Oh, yes. The Amish and Mennonite puppy mills are notorious in the dog world. Dog breeding was also pushed as an easy way to make money on off gridder Gabe Anast's (Michael Pearl's SIL) old websites 7XSunday and Urban Exodus. Cruelty to animals is defended because Dominion. Genesis 1:28.

The Sabin family (Lydia of Purple) also had a puppy mill, and I think the oldest daughter is still a puppy broker. Daddy Dale deserted his family and ran off with a mail order bride after Coleen died from a brain tumor. The youngest sons commented on yuku a couple of times very illiterately, and one of them ended up incarcerated. They had no way to make a living. Here's an excerpt from a piece written in 1999 by a naïve dog lover about a Sabin dog auction. It gives an idea of how the Sabin children grew up and how puppy mills function:

The Sabin auction went much as I expected. A few things I didn't expect...

such as Dale Sabin leading us all in prayer before they started selling the dogs.

I can't recall the exact words but it went something like this...

"...If more people in our Country had better morals, from our President

to the dog breeders, the Nation would be a much better place to live."

Hmmmm, food for thought huh?

Well, his place was also much as I expected. Converted chicken houses

and mobile homes were the only homes these dogs knew. The stench was

incredible. It appeared that someone (probably his 9 kids) tried to clean the

place before the sale. The large dog pens that had concrete had attempted

to be washed. Although there were still many piles of feces, you can tell that it

had been much worse. The pores of the concrete were feces filled and instead

of a white or gray color that the concrete should have been, it was brown.

The dogs that had white paws were a clear indicator of the filth that they lived in.

Their paws were feces and urine covered about half way up.

The smaller cages were stacked 2 story buildings and they wouldn't let me in

them. Here I thought I was doing a pretty good undercover job....NOT!

Comments were made about me when I entered the tent and I couldn't go

anywhere without an armed escort. Yes, an ARMED escort!

Sabin had hired security and you couldn't enter his property without filling

out a release form and showing I.D. They even wrote down your license plate

numbers. Well, thank goodness for fake I.D. and a borrowed car. (I had just

got a load of wood and didn't have time to unload it so I borrowed a friends

car to drive down there in).

Every dog pen and dog house had a Sabin child stationed at it. One of the

saddest things I witnessed was the younger boys (I am assuming they were

Sabin's kids) who were about 8-10 years old. They walked around with 10 ft.

pipes and poked at the dogs in the cages. The purpose of this was to get the

dogs to the inside of the cages so they could be grabbed and taken to the

auction table. These dogs were so terrified of their owners that they

would run to the outside cage when the owners tried to grab them. I guess it was even

more terrifying to be poked with a pipe so they would run to the inside of the

cage, only to be grabbed and taken to the tent

all-creatures.org/aro/nl-19990307-pup.html

It is really buyer beware when it comes to puppy mill dogs. Don't support puppy mills by buying from pet stores, out of car trunks, off Craig's List -- or without researching a breeder carefully. However cute the puppy. That is your PSA for today .

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Oh yes. A few years back Missouri passed a ballot measure regulating dog breeding operations and I remember some discussion about whether the Amish communities might decide to vote (they're usually prohibited from involvement in government) because that's a big source of income for them

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Oh, yes. The Amish and Mennonite puppy mills are notorious in the dog world. Dog breeding was also pushed as an easy way to make money on off gridder Gabe Anast's (Michael Pearl's SIL) old websites 7XSunday and Urban Exodus. Cruelty to animals is defended because Dominion. Genesis 1:28.

The Sabin family (Lydia of Purple) also had a puppy mill, and I think the oldest daughter is still a puppy broker. Daddy Dale deserted his family and ran off with a mail order bride after Coleen died from a brain tumor. The youngest sons commented on yuku a couple of times very illiterately, and one of them ended up incarcerated. They had no way to make a living. Here's an excerpt from a piece written in 1999 by a naïve dog lover about a Sabin dog auction. It gives an idea of how the Sabin children grew up and how puppy mills function:

all-creatures.org/aro/nl-19990307-pup.html

It is really buyer beware when it comes to puppy mill dogs. Don't support puppy mills by buying from pet stores, out of car trunks, off Craig's List -- or without researching a breeder carefully. However cute the puppy. That is your PSA for today .

Oh my word, how awful. I just can't fathom how people think it's OK to treat animals like that. I'm going to give my two rescue doggies some extra chewies and snuggles tonight.

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OH GOD YES. An aunt of mine got her mastiff on an impulse because, when she was driving through Pennsylvania, she stopped at a small market, and overheard some talk about culling out a pup that had a bad underbite. She asked to see the pup, and ended up cutting her road trip short since they told her she could take the dog for free. Purebred mastiff puppy for free because the mill had enough dogs that they could just kill off the pups not to their liking.

It's really, really gross.

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Dog breeding was also pushed as an easy way to make money on off gridder Gabe Anast's (Michael Pearl's SIL) old websites 7XSunday and Urban Exodus. Cruelty to animals is defended because Dominion. Genesis 1:28.

There's a fundie family near Burnet, TX that breeds golden retrievers. I posted about them in a DPIAT thread last year, but here it is again:

you could run over to Burnet to hear Stephen Hopkins preach at Sunday services, at the Friendly™ Burnet Bible Church, Texas, founded in the summer of 1996.

BBC embraces the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. He [stephen] and his wife, Sandra, have sixteen children and live on a small farm in the Texas hill country. Steve operates a small business with his sons, buying and selling government pre-owned vehicles. His wife and daughters add to the family income by raising and selling champion bred Golden Retrievers from home...His passions are family worship, open air preaching, and defense of preborn children.

These people sound like so much fun. And they are so into breeding -- dogs, children -- and who knows what else.

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shame we have certified breeders here and hobby breeders but tjey still nred to adhere to strictvrules like genetic testing and vaccinations. east europe/russia apparently has some illegal puppy mills.

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There's a fundie family near Burnet, TX that breeds golden retrievers. I posted about them in a DPIAT thread last year, but here it is again:

you could run over to Burnet to hear Stephen Hopkins preach at Sunday services, at the Friendly™ Burnet Bible Church, Texas, founded in the summer of 1996.

These people sound like so much fun. And they are so into breeding -- dogs, children -- and who knows what else.

Wow. Thanks. That guy a snarkfest all on his own with a quick google. Very FCFIC. I'm amazed that he can take time away from breeding all those babies, running for the US Senate, selling government surplus vehicles, preaching on the radio, defending the preborn and picketing abortion clinics, pastoring his congregation and preaching on Sundays and Wednesdays, long enough to show his dogs at AKC events! :lol: Probably the dogs are champions at breeding rather than AKC Champions. Back yard breeders or true puppy mill?

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Any dog breeder who makes a point of telling you they are a Christian, that's a great big fat red flag.

Look for one who is at dog shows or agility trials on sunday instead ;)

(That said? I think it's very strong to call the Hopkins family a puppy mill. They're just average-run BYBs - they own like 2-3 dogs and they have a litter every once in a while. Thre's no evidence the dogs aren't just family pets. They're not doing any health testing I can find based on a search of the OFA database, but well... yeah.With a litter or two every year of 11 puppies at say, $600-800 a puppy- yeah, they're making some money. But it's not the industrial scale evil that the stereotypical puppy mill participates in. That said, one of the big problems with animal breeding today is that laws put in place have favored this level of breeder- who is breeding on SUCH a small scale that it's very easy for them to be uneducated about what they should be doing and why- and puppy mills, and hurt the good hobby breeders the most.

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I am ashamed to say that with the benefit of hindsight, I think my beautiful labrador who is nearly 13, was from a type of puppy mill. The conditions weren't bad, but after getting our cat from a breeder who kept all her cats in the family home where they mixed with and were loved on by family etc, and bred her cats infrequently, the puppy place now just didn't seem right. Fortunately, it's no longer around.

Puppy mills are nothing but a scourge and the people who run them should be prosecuted.

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The Amish don't see animals as having souls, and follow the part of the Bible that gave man dominion over all the animals.

The way it was explained to me was that it used to be that a father would divide his farm to give to each of his sons so they could start out. Well, now there isn't enough land for everyone to farm successfully, so they've moved on to other money making sources. Dogs can be stacked one on top of the other, so they take up way less room the a field with crops in it. Plus, if you don't do any of the heath testing/proper feeding/shots breeding can be very lucrative.

Please note that I do not condone this, nor am I anti-breeder (that would be a little hypocritical, considering I picked my new pup up at the breeders less then two weeks ago :lol: ), but that's the reason why.

We see it as animal abuse, they see dogs as no different then tables or chairs. Furniture has no rights and neither do the animals.

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It is really sad. The Pearls FB over a year ago posted a photo of a little boy with a stick and said something like, he was learning well by first "training" a puppy. :cry2: i looked for it but it's been deleted i guess.

facebook.com/NoGreaterJoyMinistries?fref=ts

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Any dog breeder who makes a point of telling you they are a Christian, that's a great big fat red flag.

Look for one who is at dog shows or agility trials on sunday instead ;)

(That said? I think it's very strong to call the Hopkins family a puppy mill. They're just average-run BYBs - they own like 2-3 dogs and they have a litter every once in a while. Thre's no evidence the dogs aren't just family pets. They're not doing any health testing I can find based on a search of the OFA database, but well... yeah.With a litter or two every year of 11 puppies at say, $600-800 a puppy- yeah, they're making some money. But it's not the industrial scale evil that the stereotypical puppy mill participates in. That said, one of the big problems with animal breeding today is that laws put in place have favored this level of breeder- who is breeding on SUCH a small scale that it's very easy for them to be uneducated about what they should be doing and why- and puppy mills, and hurt the good hobby breeders the most.

I would never have though of checking OFA database! Do CERF results show there too?

Yes, I'd call this family BYBs too, not a puppy mill. I used to frequent a dog forum that had a fair number of responsible hobby breeder members. They claimed that with dog show expenses, stud fees, OFA and CERF testing, vet bills, special puppy and mama food, etc. they barely broke even on a litter of pups. I suppose BYBs who don't bother with all that stuff and breed too frequently do make a profit.

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The Amish are notorious for their animal abuse. Unwanted animals are beaten to death. What else can you expect?

The Amish are notorious for their cruelty to animals. I won't go into details into what I've read, but it was fairly horrifying.

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The Amish don't see animals as having souls, and follow the part of the Bible that gave man dominion over all the animals.

...

We see it as animal abuse, they see dogs as no different then tables or chairs. Furniture has no rights and neither do the animals.

Intellectually I know what you're saying, but emotionally I don't even see how that's possible. Not that they would let a dog do this, but from the moment my dog crawled onto my chest when I was sobbing and quite literally licked my tears, there was no doubt that she knows and understands more than I could ever imagine.

Gosh, now I miss my dog...and I just saw her this morning!

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The Amish don't see animals as having souls, and follow the part of the Bible that gave man dominion over all the animals.

The way it was explained to me was that it used to be that a father would divide his farm to give to each of his sons so they could start out. Well, now there isn't enough land for everyone to farm successfully, so they've moved on to other money making sources. Dogs can be stacked one on top of the other, so they take up way less room the a field with crops in it. Plus, if you don't do any of the heath testing/proper feeding/shots breeding can be very lucrative.

Please note that I do not condone this, nor am I anti-breeder (that would be a little hypocritical, considering I picked my new pup up at the breeders less then two weeks ago ), but that's the reason why.

We see it as animal abuse, they see dogs as no different then tables or chairs. Furniture has no rights and neither do the animals.

Lol what is wrong with being anti-breeder? Honestly pro-breeders are scum beneath my feet.

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Trigger warning for self harm:

Sometimes when I used to cut, my dog would sit there and wine at me. She knew what I was doing. And she hated it. Dogs are intelligent.

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[

I would never have though of checking OFA database! Do CERF results show there too?

Yes, I'd call this family BYBs too, not a puppy mill. I used to frequent a dog forum that had a fair number of responsible hobby breeder members. They claimed that with dog show expenses, stud fees, OFA and CERF testing, vet bills, special puppy and mama food, etc. they barely broke even on a litter of pups. I suppose BYBs who don't bother with all that stuff and breed too frequently do make a profit.

OFA absorbed the CERF database as of... this spring? Last spring? I can't remember. The results are in there if you've paid to have them included, which is the norm in golden retrievers. (In other breeds, things vary- my breed, for example, most people get eyes checked regularly but don't bother to pay the fee to have it sent in, just share a copy of the exam result sheet with anyone who needs to know/is interested.) They could, in theory, be doing PennHip, as that database isn't public, but I'd still expect to see SOMETHING in OFA. (Their page does say her hips have been done, but they don't give her registered name. I searched their last name, got 40 pages of results for golden retriever + molly, limited that to the last 5 years and got it down to 2 pages, and no dice on 'bethal farms' either. She could very well be in there, but they've not given any way to verify it, either- they could also have missed checking the box to include the results in the public data search. Hopefully she is. Calypso is not mentioned as being OFA'd. I couldn't find either one in K9Data (a very large golden retriever pedigree database), either, searching under owner's name and separately under 'bethel farms'. I MAY BE WRONG ON ALL THIS. But they also might not be doing it.

I don't think it's totally impossible for someone to breed responsibly and make a profit, but it's very unusual, and needs to be looked at very carefully to make sure they are making the decisions based on the dogs' welfare and the welfare of their breed as a whole, not their pocketbook. (I also think the 'who can breed fewer litters' chest thumping is bad for dogs, but that gets into my population genetics rants and... yeah. Happy to discuss via PM if anyone wants though, because it is my pet (hah) topic.)

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Lol what is wrong with being anti-breeder? Honestly pro-breeders are scum beneath my feet.

I think anti-breeders are usually people against all breeding. There's responsible breeding, and breeds have a very important purpose in helping families try to match energy and temperament needs to their families. The problems are people who don't care shit and breed random animals because they're cute, for solely profit, and people who pick breeds because they like how it looks (I'm thinking very specifically about a couple families at an old apartment complex where I lived who got a couple huskies, and the other got a couple great danes, because both families thought their choices looked pretty, even though we weren't near dog parks or enclosed areas for the dogs to exercise, and it did end with both families being forced to give the dogs up because they were getting destructive) or think the designer-breed name is trendy. I'm anti-irresponsible-breeding, anti-career-breeding, and anti-irresponsible-dog-getting. Those people are the problems.

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(I also think the 'who can breed fewer litters' chest thumping is bad for dogs, but that gets into my population genetics rants and... yeah. Happy to discuss via PM if anyone wants though, because it is my pet (hah) topic.)

I don't understand how breeding fewer litters is a bad thing.

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