28 responses to The abuse issue
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    Adam VT dairyman
    The abuse issue (August 5th, 2007 at 06:01)

    I have been farming and around farming all of my life. We now are farming in VT. I know many Amish and OOM as well as swiss brethern, which i have been chain lettering over the years. Factory farms, feedlots and mega dairys are all over the country, conditions in these facilities are shameful and unconparable to Amish farms. Mega dairys (1-2 thousand cows) milk around the clock, by Mexicans only stoping for one hour to clean manure build-up in parlor. The Amishmen practice subsistance farming, crop rotations, small dairies usually under 80 cows milked in 1940s style stantion or tie stall barn, where close interaction and good husbantry is a MUST for succuss. Ave life of cattle in factory conditions is ONE lactation… ONE. I just heard from an OOM who was sadend to sell a 14 year old black jersey that wouldnt breed back. Thats 12 Lactations! Yes there might be a few singular Amish cases, but lets look at the rest of the countrys farms as well!! Lancaster Co sets the national trend for much of the country for prices on beef, pork, dairy, vegs, etc…. Because the quality is so high!! Of all my years working on farms, visiting farms, and now farming on my own… have never seen conditions on Amish farms that are remotely close to some Englisher factory farms. These simple, diversified, highly productive farms are what is holding the countrys rural working landscape together… lets take a closer look.. God bless!

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      Laura
      Amish Puppy Mills (May 9th, 2014 at 03:56)

      Amish Puppy Mills

      I dont care who it is who is creating this problem of horrible cruelty that goes on in puppy mills. I just know if you are a Godly person in anyway you should respect all creatures, especially those that would give up their life for you.Dogs also have the ability to find missing people & children, help the handicapped & the blind.I dont know if Amish culture allows for a blind person to have a service dog but if they did they should recognize that dogs can and have helped humankind not just physically but mentally. When you pet a dog or cat your heart rate goes down and you go into a more relaxed state. Ive seen videos where Amish have been excessively cruel to dogs and other animals. They are humans and like any other human some are evil and put monetary gain before morals and ethics and bingo you’ve got cruel intentions and a cruel or greedy soul. I like the Amish and bear them no ill will but there are bad apples in all cultures and societies. If you wouldn’t like to be cramped in a cage with other dogs peeing on you and never see the light of day or get to run around then dont do it to puppies or dogs. Finally the mother dogs bred and bred her whole life then either euthanized or who knows what happens to most of them. Its a horrible life and no heat in winter or air in these horrible places they put the cages in that make them hotter in summer and colder in winter. I hope humankind opens our hearts and that means double for the English and I am English but I have respect for all religions unless they preach hatred and violence. I believe we are judged by how well we treat from the people and animals that have the least power to the ones who have the most power. I pray for everyone’s soul God knows I need it as well.

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    Emma
    The abuse issue (August 5th, 2007 at 11:12)

    Of course, abuse cases happen everywhere. It’s disgusting everywhere, whoever commits it. It seems human beings (Amish or not) have a knack for abusing helpless beings (children, older peoples, wives, animals, you name it…).
    I remember reading a concerned article about this problem, and condemning it, in Family Life (an Amish family magazine). So I guess the Amish community is more conscious about animal cares than we think….

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    Amish milking and dairy practices (August 5th, 2007 at 11:42)

    Amish milking and dairy practices

    I was curious about the lifespan of the typical milking cow and asked an Amish dairyman a couple days ago–he said they expected about 8 years, maybe more–was referring to Holsteins, I believe. Do not know if he meant age or years lactating.

    Thanks for your comments on that Adam, as it sounds like you have a lot of experience in that area.

    On the dairy topic, this week I did run into the unusual situation of one dairyman who milks on a 10-hour schedule–I guess that would mean higher production? His brother up the road told me he sometimes hears the engines on in the middle of the night. Sounds like a killer schedule–he also runs a thriving woodshop as well!

    Emma if there is one thing I’ve learned during my time spent among the Amish it’s that there is such variety among the people–as with any people as you pointed out.

    Reading Family Life gives great insight into the ‘Amish mentality’ if there could be said to be such a thing–I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read of that publication.

    As to the dog issue, on Thursday I talked to a puppy breeder who I believe specialized in Yorkies who proudly stated that his pups were ‘family raised’…cared for in smaller lots by the family rather than in large anonymous pens, I guess the kind that get implicated by the puppy-mill accusers. He also mentioned that there is a higher demand for such pups, which doesn’t surprise.

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    The abuse issue (August 8th, 2007 at 14:53)

    Considering Amish people just as normal people with Amish education no wonder that exist good and bad people between them. From my experiences with Mennonites I concluded that people with what we could call “bad instincts” is more repressed that in the outside world because they have fear of God. I know about few Mennonite farmers in Bolivia who have leopard puppies in really small cages just for the curiosity of having them. I found a lot of coarse people between them due their lack of education, but I also found very nice people.

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    Boo
    The abuse issue (August 9th, 2007 at 05:34)

    There are bad people in every society. Hind sight is 20/20 and it’s easy to say what you “should” have done but I do think that you should have called the police. I don’t know what good it would have done but at least the poor animal would have had a little hope in his pitiful life.

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    Connie
    The abuse issue (August 10th, 2007 at 07:34)

    I live in Gladwin County here in Michigan. I have had many opportunities to interact and do business with the Amish in this area. I have found them to be respectful and helpful….our farrier is an Amish Gentleman that we would gladly call family….His sense of humor sharp and common sense in animal care welcomed. I have had Amish come to yard sales and their children are always very well behaved unlike many English shoppers who’s children are unsupervised and left to get into mishchief. I have never seen an Amish child throw a fit, or be disrespectful to their parents unlike many of our English counterparts….It was a shame that those young Amish men felt compelled to abuse their horse…I believe this incident was more of an exception than the rule. That was a very foolish decision to treat their horse in that manner…it would be like my car refusing to start so I take a ball bat to it and knock out the windows…How foolish….
    At the same time I feel it is quite unfair to put All Amish in this catagory and I would state that this one incident or even if there were several, to be so vindictive toward the Amish as a whole because of seeing this is an Abuse in itself toward mankind…to promote discrimination toward the Amish….I think that is an Abuse and shame as well…..There are none of us perfect and we all need to learn to be better people in many areas of our lives….we need to judge ourselves first for some of us need to take the log out of our own eye before we attempt to take the splinter out of anothers eye….

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    Amish children-behavior around strangers (August 12th, 2007 at 14:25)

    Amish children-behavior around strangers

    As to Amish children, most are super well-behaved. They’ll often just gather around the table and stare at me. Nine pairs of eyes locked in on your head as you talk to mom and dad. It’s an interesting feeling.

    And they really never talk out of turn or interrupt when dad’s talking with a visitor. Generally pretty shy.

    There are some more outgoing ones though, and I’ve also seen some pretty poorly behaved ones however, really getting out of hand. That always puzzles me, but it could be a case of spare the rod…I’m not even a father myself so definitely witholding judgment on that!

    Connie, great points and especially on Amish kids.

    Jordi interesting observations…always love to hear about your experiences in South America. I wonder what they do with those leopard puppies when they’re not puppies anymore?

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    Sara
    The abuse issue (September 19th, 2007 at 09:49)

    I was appalled and sickened, as I believe anyone with an ounce of compassion would have been, at the scene that greeted me in the night of Sunday of September 2007 at about 10:30pm.as I was driving the back way of Pine Creek Rd. I saw an Amish buggy stopped alongside the road, the horse clearly in distress. An Amish man was beating the horse’s hindquarters forcefully with a large object like a pipe or something like it. The horse was terrified still attached to the buggy, finding it very difficult to move. I am a new resident of Penns Valley, so I am adjusting to Country leaving. I have never witness anything like this in my life. I was terrified, shaking and I got sick in my tummy. In the middle of nowhere in the dark I seemed to have little choice but to drive away. As I looked in the rear-view mirror the round of blows continued. Perhaps I should have tried to do more; perhaps making this incident public is the best I can do. As I said before I am new to Country leaving and I was told that the Amish are peaceful people of God. I don’t see how God would look down on this scene with approval.

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    Stephanie
    The abuse issue (October 17th, 2007 at 14:03)

    While I know that not all Amish are cruel or treat their animals badly, I have seen too much in the past 10 years to believe that they do not know the wrongs of over-breeding and of puppy mills. 10 years ago I moved from a small city to a part of PA the has numerous Amish. I was unfamiliar with the group and only knew what wonderful stories I had read in books and in Lancaster County propaganda. Not knowing that I was supporting a negative and unkind business I responded to a newspapr ad that said they had Chihuahua puppies. When I got to the farm I was sad to see the puppies and “Breeder” dogs were forced to live in a poorly lighted barn and that some of the puppies I had come to see had significant disformities. By this point I was emotionally invested and went on to adopt one of the pups. My little girl lived for three weeks before we had to bury her from “unknown causes”. She died in my hands- I had to watch her eyes roll back into her head as she took her last breath.

    When I contacted Mr. Yoder I was told the rest of the litter had died too. A coworker of mine aquired a dog from this mill also. They were planning to euthanize her since she did not have hips big enough to bear pups. She was forced to try to give birth to her first litter. When the pups all died in the birth canal, because no doctor was ever called, they had no use for her. Luckily fate intervened and she got a chance to live. When she first came to their house she was about 1, had never seen the inside of a home or grass, and was afraid of everything. So, even though she was given food and water, was she really treated well? Could we not say that all a child needs is food, water, and clothes? Of course not. Life is more than those simple basics.

    Hoping that this was just one bad breeding mill, I began to research the area. I found numerous other Amish mills in Newville and Newburg, PA. I also uncovered that many of the Amish, who shunned electricity, etc. had what looked like traditional lights that were powered by hidden propane tanks. They had no answering machinges, but paid for a voice mailbox. This is not subscribing to the beliefs they so readily tout.

    Once I learned of the sad lives lived by these dogs I began to volunteer with a group who helps to earn freedom for these mill dogs. One specific rescue event was haertbreaking. Every dog who arrived was matted, covered in feces and urine, was afraid of people, and some had had their vocal cords cut. Their nails were curling and many had become blind from the stench and ammonia of the urine. If anyone ever doubts the “problem” of mass breeding or doubts that “puppymills” are really bad- participate in one of these events. You will never forget the pain they must have endured to produce the puppy you see in the pet store.

    Based on my decade of becoming jaded, I must say I am sure that many animals die and are mistreated by this group. When will the public step up and say that the abuse is wrong?

    Again, as I stated before, this I am sure does not apply to all Amish- many are wondeful people, but to more than we would like to think.

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    Michelle
    The abuse issue (January 10th, 2008 at 00:03)

    I would like to say that I personally would not like to be classified in any class, religion, race or creed. I was raised Catholic and am currently Methodist. I am an individual with my own will!
    I just found out about and what a puppy mill is tonight!
    People of all walks of life across our nation are creating horrendous acts of abuse to animals, spouses and children! Please fight for the abused and let the law and God take care of the abusers!
    We all need to let our government officials know whats going on and what laws we as a nation need changed!
    We all need to say prayers for all the abused and help them in any way we can!
    God Bless,
    Michelle

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    animalsaver
    The abuse issue (January 31st, 2008 at 09:30)

    I have seen my fair share of all kinds of animal abuse, i work in the enforcement side of abuse. I have to wonder WHY people choose to do nothing about the abuse they witness? To me thats just as bad as inflicting the abuse yourself. If you feel this strong about helping, then SPEAK UP< make a complaint, follow through with it, take it to court, but do something constructive! the animals need our help, not our pity, they need us to take a stand and say enough is enough.Where are the authorities in these counties? does everyone turn a blind eye becuase they are animals? YOU can make the difference, start support groups, start rescue groups, start neighboourhood watch groups, just stop complaining and SPEAK UP!Do something

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    sharon J
    The abuse issue (April 6th, 2008 at 15:15)

    I have to say I don’t care who you are or what religion. Inhumane treatment of an animal is abuse and the person(s) should be held accountable! It seems the amish have been the biggest offenders with the puppy mill inhumane treatment. That fact is this world does not need mass breeding of any animal humane treatment or
    not. I am so puzzled as to why the inspectors cannot stop this practice the second they walk on their property and see the horrific conditions. There are plenty of people that would show up and take the animals to safety. What deals does the amish have with the inspectors to allow this?
    I dont mean to classify all the amish in the same group, but they seem to think they are above the law and yes I do feel that most are hypocrites and not as nieve as they would like us to believe.I am from the southern part of Pa and they have a market near me. I am sure some of the puppymillers have their little stand of goods for sale. After seeing the film of the conditions of their mills, I am going to have to rethink buying any of their goods!

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    BONNIE GORHAM
    The abuse issue (July 26th, 2008 at 14:22)

    THIS IS NOW JULY 2008. I AM READING ABOUT THE AMISH HISTORY, AS I LOVE THE BIBLE. SEVERAL MO-NTHS BACK, I MET A LOVELY FAMILY OF AMISH FROM MN. IN MY OPINION, ABOUT THE MIS USE, IT IS A HORRA, AND BELIVEABLE, AS AMISH, BAPTIST, CATHOLICS AND SO ON, THERE ARE AND ALWAYS WILL BE EVEIL FOLKS. TO ME, THE WRITTER IS AS BAD AS THE HORSE ABUSEOR, BECAUSE, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN REPORTED. THIS WAY, MORE TRUE ISSUES LIKE THAT HORRA ARE FILLED AND ON RECORD. HE HAD NO RIGHT IN OUR PRECIOUS LORDS EYE’S TO PROTECT THOSE BOYS, YOUNG OR OLD. MAYBE IF REPORTED, THEY WOULD GET SERIOUS COUNLISING, OR WHAT EVER THEIR PARENTS WOULD DO. PLEASE, NEVER LET ANYTHING LIKE THAT GO UNREPORTED AGAIN, BONNIE

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    Martha Lytton
    The abuse issue (August 23rd, 2008 at 12:05)

    My son and his fiance just bought a mixed breed puppy (yorkshire terrier/bichon frise) puppy from an Amish family in the Lancaster area. I’ve had dogs all my life. Never have I seen a healthier, happier, more intelligent little dog. I personnally spoke on the phone to the woman who was raising the pups. Not only was she knowledgeable about animals but was friendly and interested in learning about my family and the family that the puppy was going to be living with.

    There are abusive people everywhere. Being Amish (or Catholic or Jewish or Muslim or Methodist or Athiest or Wiccan) has nothing to do with it.

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    Animal Lover
    The abuse issue (September 28th, 2008 at 07:45)

    I DESPISE ALL PUPPY MILLS!!!! I LIVE IN SE MO. AND THOUGHT THAT OUR TRAILER PART TRASH WAS THE STANDARD FOR THIS TYPE OF SOCIAL DISEASE.NOW I FIND OUT THAT THE CLEAN, SIMPLE,CARRIAGE RIDING BEARDED SAINTS ARE THE SAME. THE AMISH ABUSERS ALONG WITH ANYONE WHO CONDONES OR TOLERATES THEM SHOULD BURN IN HELL AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED.—ATTN.LANCASTER CO.—–CLEAN UP YOUR ACT—- P.S. YES! I DO FEEL THE SAME WAY ABOUT HUMAN SUFFERING.AND I DO PUT MY MONEY WHERE MY MOUTH IS.

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    The abuse issue (January 1st, 2009 at 15:42)

    If the Amish are “unenlightened” about how to treat animals, then we can enlighten them.

    Puppy mills should be illegalized, and in the meanwhile we can cause them to dry up by not buying in petstores.

    Join the fight to convince Petland to quit selling dogs, the result of a 8 month investigation into their sources.

    http://apps.facebook.com/causes/petitions/31?m=17faf1ec

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    ashley
    The abuse issue (March 27th, 2009 at 21:38)

    why would they do something like this!? how would they feel if someone locked them up there whole lives in cages! its cruel and disgusting! i am deeply hurt by this. i just want to go save all them dogs! god have mercy on their soul!

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    Bill
    The abuse issue (July 20th, 2009 at 14:39)

    I don’t own any pets, have never been to a breeder or “mill” but I will add this comment as an aside to this thread.

    I’ve stopped in at a pretty fair amount of Amish homes, just about all of which had a dog about, and I’ve never in my life met friendlier dogs than I have there.

    I stopped at one home where a dog was sitting on the porch. As I got out of my car and approached the house he stood up and bared his teeth to me. He pretty much scared me at first. Then he started walking slowly toward me and I realized he was just a very old dog and he was coming over to say hello. Most people probably would have such an old dog put to sleep, but this “guy” came right over for a greeting, some petting, and to see who I was what was going on.

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    The abuse issue (July 21st, 2009 at 21:55)

    I, too, believe that a lot of Amish people don`t take very good care of their animals. I live here in Pennsylvania. When I was a child, my Uncle bought a palimino stallion from a Amish man. That horse was STARVED! All skin and bone! But my Uncle fed him and got some meat on his bones and he became a BEAUTIFUL horse! Oh, his tail hung almost to the ground, he was so gorgeous! I`ve also seen where horses with buggys are tied for hours on end in the heat while the owners do their shopping. Some look well cared for and some look pretty skinny. I know that some puppy mills have been closed in this area also. I`m an animal lover. If I would see anything or even suspect anything, you can bet I`d report it. There just isn`t ANY reason why any animal should suffer. NONE!…Linda

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    The abuse issue (July 21st, 2009 at 22:32)

    First off, let me explain that I`m not against Amish people. I`ve lived around them a good part of my life. But I do think they believe our laws are not for them. As we pay road tax and take out our vehicles, they don`t pay anything and take their horses` and buggys` on the same road that we`re paying for. Just think…no tags, license insurance…maybe WE better get horses and buggys`, huh? :O) And so I believe they think our animal law violations, they probably think they`re not for them, either. I think they feed them the minimal amount of food to get by on. Penny pinching. And I`ll tell you what, that comment I read about those Amish guys kicking that horse in the head, I would NOT have just drove away from that, I would have called the POLICE! I would NOT have let that horse suffer like that!!! That person could have helped that horse! That upsets me. And not EVERY Amish man is so cruel with his animals but there`s a lot of them that are. When you see something like that, you need to call for help. How can you walk away while they`re still kicking him in the head? Oh, for God`s sake!!! That person has to live with themself….Linda

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    C. U. Later
    The abuse issue (July 25th, 2009 at 15:49)

    > we pay road tax … they don`t pay anything

    Actually they pay all taxes except for social security, as they support themselves in old age.

    Not to excuse real cases of abuse, but it can take a swat with a 2×4 to get the attention of a 1,000-2,000 pound animal that MUST obey, or YOU and the horse might die in an auto accident.

    > SHOULD BURN IN HELL

    May I make a suggestion? Could the moderator please put a stop to the comments in this topic? Many of the comments seem to fit the category of “coffee shop” talk or emotional outbursts. You will not come to anything close to truth by allowing this to continue.

    From an ex-farmer that knows something about large animals, coffee shops, the Amish, bad information and faulty logic.

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    J.Harris
    The abuse issue (August 30th, 2009 at 16:12)

    I have a broken heart feeling that I have abandoned a beautiful little dog in a Pet Store — now six mo. old, because I needed other arrangements for living before giving him a home and also I needed to be sure he was healthy. He is now outgrowing the cage, when not groomed his eyes drip, but he seems to know if he even hears my voice that I am there. I cannot afford a sick dog as I am disabled and wanted to have the dog trained to assist and to love (this one didn’t need to learn that. He came from Mo. and hence with the breeder name I found this site. I am sick for what will happen to him….the store keeps the price at nearly l000. knowing it is not going to sell anyway. It is from a MO. breeder of the name mentioned here. I’d like to see that not all with this name are abusive—how do you rescue and housetrain a 7 mo old dog? My last dog was from a mill we closed but, I got him young and he was precious.
    I will say there were medical bills! I’ve been told NOT to buy this dog as it will perpetuate the practice and yet NOONE is rescuing these dogs from the stores at malls etc. WHY? I am hoping this is not a part of Amish tradition. The name is the same and he now shows depression and lethargy. Does anyone know what happens to these unsold Amish dogs?

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    What the???
    The abuse issue (September 5th, 2009 at 17:52)

    Good Lord! I’m now beginning to be convinced the Amish do not feel about animals the way we English do. Today we went to the Amish Quilt Auction in Cannelburg, IN and there was a very matted Pomeranian running around outside and in the building (no collar), and seemed to me to be in some distress. I thought it was looking for its mom, though, and didn’t worry too much as it was running in and out like it was looking for someone. We left and went to some shops for a couple of hours and came back & it came right up to us at our car and followed my husband for awhile as we were entering the facility. My husband did not want to believe it was a stray (still doesn’t), but I was worried, so when we left the facility, I took a cup of water to give to the dog. When we got outside, I couldn’t find the dog, but there was a small group of Amish boys together who were flirting with a group of girls. I asked the boys if they’d seen the dog and they said they thought it was in the field where other boys were playing ball. I said I brought it some water and I’d leave the water there in the shade by the building in case the dog came up to them. They just laughed and we left. The strange thing was that nobody seemed to notice the dog, and after reading these posts, I think perhaps this lackluster approach may be more common in Amish communities.

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    christinad’arcy
    The abuse issue (September 14th, 2009 at 09:30)

    the amish wouldn’t do such a horrible thing! they love animals!

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    Jim
    The abuse issue (December 7th, 2009 at 21:09)

    I believe people that are saying these things about the plain people are one of two things. Mad because they have all modern coveniences and still have there cart in front of the horse or they wish they could be amish and are ashamed to admit it. I for one know that abuse does happen with all types and cultures but I believe that in the englishmans way there is more life stress so it shows as more abuse. If this types of abuse are going on with them we as people and if your a christian God has commanded we take care of his animals he has lent to us for a short time so my question would be Why did you not try to stop it? Either it didnt happen or you dont care. Sorry that just the way I see it with hear say.

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    Stacey
    The abuse issue (January 3rd, 2010 at 02:02)

    Not all Amish are breeders, but a frightening amount are. A puppy mill is a horrible place for a living being. And Christinad’arcy…please, please educate yourself!!!! Jim, you don’t seem like a man who’s mind can be changed… But please, before you post; before you take a stand, do your research. These dogs in puppy mills need help, and its the ignorant population that allow this kind of sick behavior to continue. Do your research. The Amish people are the largest perpetrators of puppy mills. Look at what a puppy mill IS. Look at how the animals are treated. Imagine treating a dog like that yourself. Could you? If you couldn’t…please help. Speak out against Amish puppy mills.

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    The abuse issue (August 8th, 2010 at 16:41)

    someone who uses the word ” illegalized’ shouldn’t be trying to enlighten anyone. where is the blog to protest the stupid people who buy these puppies and discard them when they have to “relocate”

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