Hot horses and Amish animal cruelty

Amish found guilty of abuse

Two Amish horse owners have been fined $300 each for leaving their beasts in the heat at a Lancaster Costco.

You hear a lot of stories of Amish treating horses poorly.  These cases bring out strong reactions to the Amish as a whole (if you can stomach pure bigotry, check the Facebook comments on this story).

amish horse abuse
Taking some heat

That noted I think it’s another area where it’s easy to paint a “the Amish” type of scenario (ie, “the Amish abuse their animals”).

Well, I am sure some Amish do.  But whenever someone starts to unload on the Amish for being animal abusers, I stop and ponder a second.

Commodity–and friend?

First, if you treat a horse badly and it dies, you have no horse.  New horses aren’t cheap.

In other words, when horses are such an important part of your life, mistreating them seems kind of stupid.  Kind of like never changing the oil or rotating the tires.

It’s never made sense to me, but maybe some Amish really do have a “use-them-up-and-dump-them” attitude.  Amish are economically practical people.  It seems more economically practical to put a little care into what you own, but what do I know.

Second, yes, Amish own horses mainly for practical purposes.  And it’s safe to say–Amish view animals differently than your average suburbanite.  The relationship is a little different.  A greater distance, perhaps–more typical of farmers and folks of a rural background.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t develop affection for their beasts.

One example: a Lancaster Amish friend recently shared word of the death of an old horse, one he’d had since courting days.  I wouldn’t say he was in mourning–but there was a heavy heart there.  Like he’d lost an old pal.

A farmer friend speaks warmly of Randy, a work mule who obviously enjoys being petted (unlike his buddies).  Amish have been criticized for dog breeding practices, but also keep dogs that are not only expensive but become a “part of the family” (or nearly that).

Hating the Amish

So you see what I just did there.  Just like people with horse horror stories, I can share warm examples of Amish and animals getting along just dandy.  Great.  I suppose that doesn’t prove much either, other than you can find examples of good and bad among Amish.  Which I’d guess to be the case among other groups of people as well.

hot amish horses

Do we see more cases of abuse among Amish though?  Or maybe–do we just notice them more since, a) the Amish get more attention in general, and b) they are among the few peoples whose day-to-day lives are still closely tied to animals?

I really don’t know the answer.  All questions to ponder though.  I’ll just say I am continually amazed at how much some people openly hate the Amish (again, if you feel you need to, see those Facebook comments).  I don’t know how you’d get away with saying the same so brazenly–and again, these are Facebook comments, so real names are attached to the commenters–about any other group of people.

Really, I am almost embarrassed for some of these people.  Animal cruelty is terrible, and I can understand people getting mad about that.  But can’t they see what they sound like?  The internet is forever, guys.

I started this post off as a straight-up what-do-you-think-on-this-issue post, but seeing these responses took me off on a little tangent here.  Now back to the Costco case.

Banged-up and panting

The details to the Costco story present a picture of horses in serious distress–“panting and swaying”, “near passing out” and with “banged-up” legs to boot.

I don’t know the mechanics of a horse well enough, but I know a lot of you do.  How well do they take heat?  99 degrees seems warm whatever way you slice it.  I’m a human (yes, I know I had to point that out), but sun exposure like that sure beats me up, even after a short time.

amish horse shelter wal-mart
An Amish horse shelter in a Wal-Mart parking lot

I don’t know how long the owners were inside shopping.  Maybe they got stuck in a long line.  But if you’ve got visible signs like that, it seems like a hot lot is the last place to stick your horse.

Which brings up a third element–no horse shelter.  You typically see them at businesses in Amish areas. Costco did not have one installed (which surprised me a bit, as big retailers usually do).

So: is this abuse?

Are Costco and others to blame for not having horse shelters?

Should the Amish and other horse-and-buggy folks just stay home on hot days?

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    1. We drove through Berlin, OH after Thanksgiving. The weather was chilly, not cold, but I saw several horses tied up at hitching posts, wearing blankets.

    2. Katie Troyer

      Thank you for posting this article. Most of the Amish have a complete different mindset than the city people when it comes to animals. We had a horse for transportation but we never abused her. And when she was no longer able to transport us, we let her live out her days on the farm until one morning we found her dead of old age. We mourned our loss. We had a cow for milk, that we took good care of. We had a few dogs but they were farm dogs. We had a few barn cats because they kept the mice population from exploding. We were never permitted to misuse or abuse our animals. In fact it didn’t cross our minds to mistreat them. I am speaking for most of the Amish that I knew while growning up, with the exception of one neighbor. And boy did Mom ever give them a piece of her mind. Those neighbor boys couldn’t look Mom in the eye for ages to come…

      1. Voiceless animals

        I appreciate you sharing this Katie. And I think your point about mindset is a good one. Animals should never be abused, but sometimes I think we non-Amish take it a little far. Also, it seems some people feel more strongly about animal welfare than that of people.

        I suppose that might result from the fact that animals don’t have a voice of their own. So I can see how people would instinctively feel drawn to defend them. I just think some can get over-zealous about it–and sometimes it’s not a pretty thing.

        1. Diane


          A few years ago I had the misfortune of witnessing horrendous
          Amish abuse of animals on a roadside farm and the stores in which they were selling their products.

          The horses were drooling when I passed them to go into the stores, and when I came out much later they were desperate for water. The temperature was in the 90’s and very humid. I was drinking water one bottle after another. I was told by a non-amish parking lot attendant, “these poor horses are always left there all day without water….it’s the way the Amish always treat their animals…as things”. The man also told me he was always asked about this by the tourists after seeing these poor horses….but that the government doesn’t consider farm animals in need of being protected.

          I wrote to the governor of Ohio after getting home and received a letter from him. He was aware of the abuse and made a ridiculous excuse as to why nothing is done stating “they didn’t have the man power to check on the abuse”.

          As far as your comment that some people go to the extreme to protect animals here are some quotes you should be aware of:

          …..The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

          …..Atroities are no less atrocities when they are against animals.
          George Bernard Shaw

          …..How hard does an animal have to work for man and die of those labors before this is called murder?
          Carl Sagan

          …..If we do nothing to help protect God’s creatures against abuse and negligence then we make a mockery of the whole concept of justice.
          Jane Goodall

          …..Even the Bible teaches that man should protect and treasure his beasts of burden.

          I cannot believe that anyone who “claims” they are living a Godly life could treat animals the way the Amish and Mennonites do. I saw first hand on an Amish farm on that trip, goats and a baby calf in a fenced area with no shade and no water out in the 90 degree heat and sun. I asked the farmer to give them some water and he was nasty and just rudely dismissed me. I also saw a baby kitten in such horrendous shape…with crusted over eyes and other obvious infections all over her body. I gave her some water as I did to a duck in a metal cage with no sturdy flooring and damaged feet from trying to stand up on the wire bottom of the cage. I went into the hot barn and there was a horse swaying from the heat in that barn that must have been 120 degrees….AGAIN…NO WATER.

          I was so disgusted and would never forget the atrocities I saw that day. If a person has God in their life, they could never commit the barbarity the Amish and Mennonites so easily do for financial gain because their love and knowledge of God and his Word wouldn’t allow them to commit these sinful and barbaric acts.

          How the states who have communities of these sects allow them to get away with these acts of cruelty can justify it is beyone all human sensibility. I will never visit any state where they live every again. I just couldn’t bear seeing such violence against animals again as I saw while visiting Ohio.

          1. Lance

            Can we assume that a person without any animal would treat it perfectly just because they are not Amish, assuming that they acquired a pet or service animal? We cannot. Maybe we could look at their car? Does it smoke? Is it in perfect repair?

            Before a Holy God, should we make these judgements? Mt 7:1 says we should not.

            Abusers of animals have to answer to God for their sins, just like anyone else. Calling all Amish animal abusers is just ridiculous, not all do that. Some do. Some do not. If we turned the clock back 150 years, I doubt you find much difference between the Amish treatment of animals and the non-Amish treatment of animals. Today’s Amish are the same or a little better at the treatment of all things than their ancestors, so I believe that the way they are handling their horses is not much different the world’s normal way back then.

            While I do not excuse bad treatment, and I have seen several instances of it in the Amish world, I also do not condone the application of human attributes on animals, which I have seen much more often in the english world. Animals are of their kind, and humans are of their kind, they are not equals.

          2. They are FARM animals

            Farm animals only have one purpose

            I’ll bet you the Amish folks knew exactly what was up with their horse. Who are you to decide how they should handle their animals when you most likely DO NOT OWN ONE OR EVEN HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH THEM. I may be the minority here but farm animals only have a certain purpose and that is to work.

            Have you ever seen a picture of a beef farm? Enjoy your steak tonight! Cheers.

            1. Penny Sumner


              My husband and I rescued an Amish produce cart horse. He doesn’t seem to have been abused, but it will take a year or more to put the weight his large frame requires back on him (about 200 + lbs). He was getting older, sell him before his usefulness goes. They probably took the money to buy a younger horse. The boy we bought has no idea what attention is, treats, or why we keep checking on him. He was headed to the slaughter house. So we saved him and he will be loved and spoiled like he never was!

              1. Deb Smith


                The Amish people are cruel and Inhuman towards their animals. I have been watching Dr Pol and I can’t believe the continued the Amish people keep their animals in. They are not Godly people. If that is what they are trying to show the world they are it’s a big lie. They are evil people. Their animals need to be taken away from them. I can’t stand it.

          3. Rosario

            I do think Amish mistreat their horses

            I had never seen Amish people before. In fact, I am not even from the United States. Just recently I visited Berlin, OH with the purpose of getting to know more about them, just as a tourist. I was not happy to see they way how they left their horses “parked” under the strong sun of those days as if they were an object as a car… I saw this repeatedly in many places. My heart hurt because I wonder for how long they would be standing like this in such a hot weather. It was not one or two, but a lot of them, everywhere. So I was also wondering if they were not protected by law because for me, that is animal abuse. My heart keeps hurting thinking of how the Winter is for them… I told my husband I do not ever want to visit any other Amish country again. I do not want to see horses suffering like that. I wish I could do something… It is very frustrating. Now that I know more about the Amish (in general, and not only for horses), I won’t ever want to buy any product made by them. >_<. My way to protest. But I really wish the government in Ohio soon can do something for those horses at least!!!

      2. Sabina


        As much as I’d like to have a reasonable conversation about this, I see too many pictures of beautiful, helpless and innocent animals who come from Amish people who are merely a ghost of a living being anymore after they were discarded. I would love to show you photos of former Amish buggy horses that arrive weekly at various kill pens. They make me cry. NO animal should be beaten across the face, kicked when already down, a broken down horse in the street being allowed to die a slow death because ‘they have no soul anyway and euthanasia is a waste of money’ (this truly happened!!) arrive at a kill pen skin and bones, with dead eyes. Seriously, where in your bible is it written that you are welcome to cause an animal (also a creature of God I might remind) should be misused, kicked, beaten not fed, disregarded, used, treated like garbage? I cannot find that page at the moment.

        Most people never go to these kill pens so have to decide which website to believe. I believe my own eyes.

        It’s astonishing to read in above Amish comments that ‘Amish do not treat their horses like the average suburban folk/city folk’. What it should say is ‘many Amish do not treat their horses like the average decent human’ but abuse them in ways that surely no God of any religion would condone. Should Amish stay home when the weather is 99 degrees? Maybe! Stay home, or walk. Feel what it’s like. Or read some current news and look at the scientific evidence that animals have indeed feelings – they feel pain, fear, depression, terror. Isn’t it time you updated your outdated rules and values? I hope one day your children will change this immense suffering. If there is a hell, i hope all those who are abusers of animals end up there. Maybe put in front of a cart?

    3. Farm Animals and Neglect

      Farming people in general do seem to see animals as commodities, not members of the family. And there are certainly lots of animal lovers who end up making mistakes or becoming obsessive and cause harm to their animals. I had a neighbour for a short while who had “rescued” dozens of dogs and cats and left them at a house she owned way out in the country. Most of them died from neglect, disease and starvation. She really loved animals, but in trying to rescue them, she became overwhelmed. There wasn’t much use in fining her as she had no money, but she was forbidden to own animals again.

      My guess about the Costco case is that a judge decided to put a reasonable fine on a couple of people to remind the others that they shouldn’t lose track of how long they are in a big store when they have animals outside. It’s like people who leave dogs in cars while they “run” into Walmart; it is too easy to forget how long you have been there. They care about the animal, certainly; but they are being absent-minded or distracted. If the horses were swaying and sweating while still, and had banged their legs from falling, it was because they had heat stroke, a dangerous condition. I have to watch my goats in the summer because they are often out for a couple of hours in the sun.

      Generally, I have found that Old Order people who have horses and other animals treat them well. I have not found evidence lately of puppy mills – that seems to be a story at least a decade old and has been exaggerated.

    4. Marilyn from NY

      I think there are good Amish regarding animals and bad people regarding animals just like in the English world. In our area there have been newspaper articles of Englishers people who have abused their dogs, cats, horses and more. You can’t label all Amish just like you can’t label all Englishers. My dog is 11 years old, I got him as a puppy and he has been spoiled from the day I got him, but not all animals owners are like myself. All the Amish nor the all the Englishers should be blamed for the animal abuse a few people do. I agree those Amish should have been fined-I would have taken the horses away from them if I had to make decision-but I don’t. Just like Englishers should get the same treatment for the terrible treatment of their animals.

    5. Allen King

      There is a fact about some so-called animal abuse often overlooked by pet owners who do not have knowledge of animal husbandry. Animals require different food, shelter and environment than do humans. They typically judge animal abuse by how far from normal American human food/habitat/behavior it deviates. Some animals, such as house cats are very adapted to the humans scale of things but even some small dogs display stress behavior from being treated as if they were humans. This could be considered abuse even though it is done by people who believe they are loving and careful of their pets. One such abuse I often consider is that of dogs and cats left at home with the TV on. If I were unable to control the volume and duration of the noise in my home, I would go crazy.

      The disneyfication of animals has done little good to inform the average American on the nature of animals. It reduces all animals to the same small set of human emotions and characteristics necessary to tell a good love story. Nature shows often do the same, with the scope of coverage limited to birth, sex, and death. Little attention is paid to the hours, weeks and years of “doing nothing but being an animal,” without the aid of media or anti-depressants. Of course humans would be very unhappy if their main task in life was to pull a buggy. Many horses like doing that, and their intelligence is optimized for such tasks.

      For the record, I have no captive animals. 😉

      1. Really well said. Thanks Allen.

    6. Stephen B.

      The Boston Globe ran some articles on the Maine Amish some time ago – we’ve discussed that here too – and one of the things that stood out in my mind was that the reader comments on The Globe’s website to that story quickly switched the subject and brought up Amish “puppy mills.” In those comments I witnessed quite a bit of disdain for the Amish around New England (excepting, most notably, those Maine towns where the Amish actually have settled. There, they are held in high regard.)

      I think one thing the Amish have going against them in the Boston area anyhow is that the Amish are white and tend to be conservative on things regarding government, raising of children, not supporting public schools, along with being considered rather backwards when it comes to women’s rights, and that goes very much against the liberal, and dare I say feminist thinking that weighs very heavily in the Boston area. Many of the puppy mill comments in the story I mentioned seemed to be authored by females and I can’t say I was surprised. Animal rights movements and organizations such as PETA, are disproportionately female to my eye, and thus, the more liberal, feminist folk in these parts have trouble accepting the Amish for that. Of course, Amish’ anti-war, anti-violence stances would probably be something the typical, “progressive” MA citizen would be for, but these latter elements of Amish life and thinking seem to take a back seat to the animal and women’s issues.

    7. Stephen B.

      I think Allen’s comment also rings true with the more urban, liberal population of which I just spoke about in southern New England. The people of which I spoke, objecting to puppy mills, have very little appreciation for things such as horses. It would amaze many people of Northhampton, Ma, for example, to learn that a horse often wants to get hitched up to the wagon or plow after a day of being in the barn as much as a house dog grabs its leash and stands before its master, leash in mouth, asking and hoping for its morning walk.

      These people are hopelessly out of touch with animals, with rural life, with many, basic ways of simpler living quite frankly.

      (And yes, I too, am a born and bred MA citizen. I’m just saying that it takes some doing when one lives such a sheltered, urban/suburban life, to understand others lives such as the Amish from the Amish viewpoint, rather than a typical suburbanite’s.)

      1. Animal standards

        Why is it such a leap for us city/suburb folk to realize the same standards don’t, and can’t, apply outside our leisure class lives?

        Some otherwise very intelligent people don’t seem to get that feeding your animals Finicky Feast and dressing them in knitted sweaters is a late 20th/21st century luxury.

        When your livelihood depends on animals, you do what makes sense, but you keep realistic standards. It just seems lazy or ignorant to assume that one set of standards (human, or those meant for pampered animal A) would or should apply to animal B.

        1. PhelanVelvel


          So basic necessities for survival, i.e. water and shelter, should be withheld from working animals because they’re seen as tools? No one is asking farmers to put sweaters on their animals or set aside $5,000 to build them an air-conditioned suite. Why hyperbolise?

          People here complained about animals being kept in terrible conditions and praised the people who keep animals being kept with respect and basic care. At least afford working animals food, water, medical care, and adequate treatment. Treat them with respect. Or is respect for “God’s creatures” not part of their religion? I’m not saying all Amish treat their animals badly, but you seem to want to justify animal cruelty due to their lifestyle, but doesn’t animal cruelty go against what they espouse spiritually?

          Many people, myself included, want to see truly humane conditions even for animals raised for food. Just because their death is certain doesn’t mean their lives have to be full of pain and suffering. And just because animals raised for food suffer now doesn’t mean we can’t try and reduce the suffering and improve conditions for them going forward.

          1. Why straw man

            “So basic necessities for survival, i.e. water and shelter, should be withheld from working animals because they’re seen as tools? No one is asking farmers to put sweaters on their animals or set aside $5,000 to build them an air-conditioned suite. Why hyperbolise?”

            PhelanVelvel, no doubt true, but I don’t know where you got the idea that anyone is arguing either of these things. Sweaters comment was about pets not work horses.

        2. Asla

          Is the opposite of ‘disneyfying animals” making them suffer? I would love to show you photos of former Amish buggy horses that arrive weekly at various kill pens. They make me cry and I can never understand why any human has the audacity to make another creature suffer so much. Most people never go to these kill pens so they have to decide which websites to believe. I believe my own eyes. If a religion says that animals have no souls, no feelings, and are to be used like a dead thing – i would never join such a religion. NO animal should be beaten across the face, made to run fast, never walk, all the time on hard pavement (which no other horse person in the world does because it leads to injury and irreparable damage of the horse) No animal should be kicked when already down, or a broken down horse in the street being allowed to die a slow death because ‘they have no soul anyway and euthanasia is a waste of money’ (this truly happened!!) When you see their poor faces when they arrive at a kill pen, skin and bones, with dead eyes it will haunt you for the rest of your life if you have any human sensitivities. Seriously, where in the bible is it written that you are welcome to cause an animal (also a creature of God I might remind) so much suffering, to be so misused and disregarded, treated like garbage? I cannot find that page in any bible at the moment.

    8. John Stoltzfus

      Amish Animal Husbandry

      Allen –

      Your perception of stories to the one that Eric posted here is a typical Amish response. We are anti – “anti animal rights groups”, because they typically can make life difficult for us. I will tell you there are a lot of instances where there should be more of this brought to light, I don’t sympathize with the people that were charged, and unfortunately this could have been myself.

      The Animal Husbandry that you talk about is getting to be more extinct and the biggest reason is our people are getting away from agriculture and therefore there are lot of people in our communities that really don’t take care of the animals like our forefathers have done. You may say that isn’t the case in your area, which may be true, however all you need to do is talk to Mel Hoover or a Horse Dealer and they will tell you there are a lot of people driving a horse and buggy that aren’t horsemen.

      I’m not a good horseman myself, but reading this I will try to do better in teaching the importance of horse care to our sons and hopefully every Amish that reads the Lancaster Paper.

      To understand a person that reports this type of case may be hard for most to understand, but the way I look at is this;

      Animals such as house pets have opened up peoples hearts for centuries, however as the 1,900’s have progressed, the pet industry has grown to an amazing heights. With that has brought a huge concern for the well being of pets and there are a lot of stories where pets have been almost human with the concern of their owners.



      1. Not all Amish are farm and horse experts

        John, thanks for this insight. I think a lot of us assume that if someone is Amish they are automatically going to be an expert at managing a farm, handling animals, etc.

        You know from seeing this within your own community this is not necessarily the case. Especially with the 2nd and 3rd generation now being raised off the farm.

      2. Allen King

        Mr. John Stoltzfus

        Thank you for your thoughtful response. I should clarify my frame of reference for you; I was never Amish and know few of them personally.


        Allen King

      3. Linda


        Hi John,

        Can you tell me the basic perception of the Amish population regarding New Holland Sales Stable? I am an animal professional myself, with an extensive equine as well as agriculture background. Spent time being raised within a Mennonite family, as well as living in the Lebanon/Lancaster area.

        So I understand an auction operating as a place of commodity (getting rid of unwanted animals instead of the financing the cost of maintaining them, or perhaps shopping for a new one, etc). And naturally there are the social aspects of regularly gathering with peers, friends, and colleagues.

        But I am interested in learning about how Amish view English people who also shop at New Holland? Especially those who take notice of ongoing intentional animal abuse (such as not providing water after days of traveling on trucks, or hiding or beating animals with broken legs, or ignoring distressed, dying, or downed animals, etc. I do not mean any activities that might be construed by “Animal Activists” to be anything less than these more serious items).

        I personally have seen a substantial amount of criminal behavior occurring there. This has been ongoing, over many decades. So it is not “just an occasional thing.” Poor behavior has been rampant, with excess arrogance the norm. There is much enjoyment derived by those getting away with any type of abuse. It is to a point gleeful. They know there is not going to be any penalty, even by social norms, for their behavior and attitude. To outsiders, there seems to be no other Amish (such as Bishops, or perhaps those who are respected and leading the Amish community) ever putting pressure on the Amish and counterparts at New Holland to improve.

        Can you tell me then, if that is just how Amish normally act? Or perhaps as a community, do they simply host no concerns towards animals in general (or even care about an aware public), utilizing the belief that “animals are here just for our work needs and so to be used any way we want, without us having a responsibility of providing basic and humane care?” Or is that attitude just a way to dodge financial responsibility? Or is New Holland perhaps more just a gathering place for people of questionable ethics, and the Amish community knows — that but chooses to look the other way?

        Thanks for your insight, I am very appreciative that you have a willingness to address people’s comments and provide your thoughts.


    9. George

      Cooling a hot horse

      I doubt very much that those Amish people were intentionally cruel to their horses. Too much of an investment in dollars.

      I have seen pleasure horses perform in competition on hot days at country fairs. The owners would hose them down.

      In this case I am wondering what was done to remedy the situation beyond the issuance of tickets.

      Did anybody step up with a bucket of water to sponge the horses down?

      Letting horses drink too much before they are sufficiently cooled down is not advisable as this may result in foundering the animal.

    10. Rachel


      Erik. I 100% agree with you when you said that people seem to notice more what the Amish do because they stick out like a sore thumb. People need to relize that this happens EVERYWHERE! Not just the Amish. And not to just horses. All animals are included. I do want to mention that on sever hot days. Groups that use horse for their transprotation should take a little pride in their animals. I’m not saying all because I’ve seen some that I would say they treat their animals like babies 😉 Amish are wonderful people but they need to relize in this day and age they are a BIG attraction and people are going to notice EVERYTHING they do. The worst part is. Now days you can’t get away with what you do as easily as back in the day. My sayin is if you can’t take care of an animal properly then you should’nt have them at all.

      Thanks Erik for posting this. Sounds like Amish are starting to get spyed on now days.

      A Friend

      1. You are right Rachel, for better or worse Amish are a bit under the microscope! And I doubt that will change.

    11. Gordon


      As an owner of Belgian Draft, Halfligner/Belgian cross and Saddle Bred horses. I feel that with the little bit of information that this story gives us we, are to “un-informed” to make a decision on any type of animal well being.
      There are many horse owners that un-intentionally mistreat the animals by overfeeding/overweight, lack of exercise etc… They baby them to the point of causing harm to thier well being.
      Erik, to answer your question (my opinion);
      “Are Costco and others to blame for not having horse shelters?” No, they are not to blame. Sometimes on the hotest of days my horses will stand in the sun and sweat while doing nothing. This is while shelter and shade is available.
      “Should the Amish and other horse-and-buggy folks just stay home on hot days?” No, horse-and-bugy folks should not stay home on hot days. With that being said, they do need to change thier driving habits on those days. (walk instead of trot, more frequent rest stops, carry water for rehydration of the horses).
      As for the bleeding heart suburbanite’s, please become informed before passing judgement on rural life, whether it be Amish or English.

      With Respect for all,


      1. Not Costco's fault

        Gordon I’d also agree Costco is not to blame. Though it would probably be wise from a business standpoint to have the shelters.

        I’ve never been to this Costco, but thought I knew the location, and checked the map to be sure. Even though this is located in Lancaster, the nearest Amish homes are within a mile or two away, so I am certain there are a number of Amish customers.

        Convenient horse facilities are only going to encourage them to come, especially after this incident. Being such a big place and basically at ground zero for Amish, I was surprised they lacked shelters to begin with. I guess they’ve fixed that now.

        1. Just to clarify, Costco apparently added a horse shelter sometime after this occurred.

    12. Bonne Campbell

      Pretty shocking to read the comments to the original article. I agree with the comments posted here. My mother was a child in the 1920’s, and although she wasn’t raised on a farm, both her parents were brought up rural. Upon asking for a dog that she could keep in the house, the response by her dad was, “animals belong in the barn”. End of discussion~that was rural life & how he was raised~German descent farmers,not Amish either.

    13. Lattice

      I agree with you, Gordon. Our horses will stand out in the blazing sun in 100 degree temperatures. They only seem bothered by the flies. In fact, I’ll bet these particular horses were well pleased with having a break from pulling for a while. No, those weren’t ideal circumstances, but I think that most Americans are so far removed from the realities of farm life and work animals that they have an unrealistic idea of what it is like. We love our animals, but they are treated like animals, which brings me to a very important point. The Amish are completely perplexed by how the people in society tend to treat their pets better than their fellow man.

    14. Forest

      I grew up, and still live, in farm country, altho this is slowly changing due to the urban sprawl in central NC. I currently keep chickens, and have worked with bees and done a little horse work. My father farmed with horses and mules.

      His attitude, which I suppose I learned from him, is that farm animals are not pets. Their main purpose is not to entertain us or serve as companions. I take care of my chickens, and provide them with shelter, food water, etc. They in turn lay eggs and provide meat for my family. They are not our pets, nor were my father’s working mules. Not that he was not fond of some of them, more than likely.

      I think for some people, they see animals as furry humans, with the same feelings and abilities to think and reason, and as equals. This is only true in cartoons and Walt Disney movies. God intended man to have dominion over animals; not to mistreat them, but still to have dominion over them. When some people raise dogs for sale, they are raised as livestock to be sold as such, which doesn’t set well with some city people who think that they should be raised as pets and showered with affection. Country people tend to be more pragmatic about animals, since you spend more time around them.

      I’ve seen folks raise more fuss over an animal that was mistreated than a 3 year old who was abused. To me, something is wrong there.

    15. Shawn

      Biblically speaking...

      Well, the Bible says that righteous people treat their beasts well, while even the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Since my recent trip to Amish country (New Wilmington), I’ve come to discover that the Amish, are like everyone else in so far as that just because they’re Amish, does not necessarily mean that every single one of them is a saint. We are all born into sin. Every single one of us. So, I’ve discovered that there is good and bad in all walks of life. That being said, I would not say that I now necessarily hate the Amish. I still respect their intentions, at least originally speaking. I see that creating a culture that shuns worldly ideas, focusing primarily on the Bible, church, and family, and foregoing an organized secular government is an excellent idea! I was quite disappointed to find that some Amish, although they “appear” to be Amish by outward appearances, their hearts, like everyone else, can be another story. But I do not have a grudge against them, and I will not categorize all of them simply based on the foolishness of a few. I still uphold the Bible as the ultimate authority. I do know of regular people who despise the Amish, for whatever reason, I don’t know. But considering the type of people I discovered them also to be, really, it shouldn’t surprise me. Churchgoers, yes, in fact. But hypocrits, nonetheless. So, hypocrits come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. And their clothing style can’t be relied upon!

    16. Angel


      First of all, I don’t have a Facebook account. But, From what’s been said about the postings on it, I wouldn’t be interested in their opinions any ways. It does not matter how knowledgeable you are if you talk ugly I don’t want to hear it. People are quick to judge the Amish and measure them according to what THEY think when it’s something like this. They should look further and bring out the measuring stick again. Measure there daily life and activities as a whole against theirs. Recently while in Tn. My husband and I went to Muddy Pond and we turned around to get pics of a beautifull horse. We were stunned by his stance while still.And when he ran….. it was breathtaking to watch. The Amish live good lives setting good examples. Nobody’s perfect.

    17. SharonR

      Hot Horses and the Amish

      Yes, sad to say there is good and bad in the Amish community and in some of their families regarding how they treat their animals. I believe for the most part, that their work animals (horses, etc) tend to be just that, and not pets. BUT as a work animal, it needs to be taken care of, if you want it to be of service to you, and I would think the Amish know this, and the largest percentage of them, DO TAKE CARE OF THEM. It’s just that “few” who make it look bad for the rest of them.

      It would be the same way, for a modern farmer if he didn’t take care of his tractors or harvesters — if he doesn’t, then it’s a pile of junk, and he must go purchase another tractor or harvester–which then cuts into his “profits”. I remember spending summers in the country, with one of my friends, in the neighboring city — Being I was a “suburban” girl, I didn’t know that the herd of beef cattle didn’t all have names!! I learned quite a lot each summer, and looked forward to those weeks, on the farm! Her father forbade my little friend to only have ONE COW, and she gave it a name, but as soon as some more calves were born, she would want to “name” them all, and her father would forbid it — I think he must have gone through this with her, many times! He would say that these calves are a source of income for later (Beef), and they are not PETS!! They provide meat and an income source for the farm. SO, my little friend, was happy to have the ONE cow, as her “Pet” and it was allowed to stay on the farm without it ever going to market! Those were the fun days, where we would chase the cow all over the pasture, feed it, brush it, and play with it!

      So, yes, there are “work” or “income” animals on a farm or ranch, but for them to be “profitable” for the farmer, he knows he must treat it good….or else he has “NOTHING”! I’m sure there is that small minority of any farmer/rancher, being Amish, or other cultures that are heartless in the treatment of animals…..and we as a society need to be mindful of those. We have the laws and ordinances in place for just such as this, and on occasion we do have to enforce the law, Amish or not.

      Lastly, I think very highly of the Amish, and admire them in their way of life, and respect them. Just because an “Amish” horse suffered this type of abuse, doesn’t mean that ALL AMISH do this.
      Thanks goes to the person who reported this. Maybe like one blogger mentioned — they might have not intended to stay as long as they did, in the store, etc…..only they know why this happened.

      Again, it’s a sad day when any animal or child, is abused. Think we are loosing our compassion for living things, lately! What is on the horizon?

    18. Laura

      Interestingly, a few years back we were looking at a rental house, and it was next-door to the owner, who we ended up visiting with for several hours. She was an undercover investigator for the Humane Society of America, and she said that the worst puppy mills she’s seen have been run by the Amish in Pennsylvania. She said they were very nice people, and she felt bad being invited into their homes for hospitality when she was really there to investigate their puppy mills, but they were keeping dogs in just horrible conditions.

      I was shocked because I’ve always assumed that people whose livelihood and transportation depends on animals would take better care of the creatures in their charge, but of course, if dogs are a profit-making business, I guess some people can look the other way.

      Are Amish-run puppy mills now a thing of the past, as Magdalena said above? I sincerely hope so.

      1. Laura

        Let me add that I’m not a bleeding heart; I have pets, but I don’t go to the extremes of some people. And I don’t blame all Amish for the actions of a few. I realize that Amish come in all shapes and sizes and types, just like us English. I was just reporting on what one investigator told me — who, unfortunately, was in a position to know what was a real puppy mill and what was just a not-very-well-run kennel.

    19. Ed

      "Animals rights" folks are wacko

      Most “animal rights” and “animal rescue” folks I’ve run into appear to a greater or lesser degree to be plain nuts. To be clear, I oppose any form of animal cruelty…but some of the PETA and humane society types seem to relate better to the furry ones than to human beings. And the REALLY wacko ones are guilty of animal cruelty themselves…for example, an animal hoarder pretending to run a “rescue” operation.

      The horse shelter at Costco is a new concept for me. Living mostly in big cities my whole life, I never realized that there is both a demand for this and big-name retailers who provide it. Given the expense and acreage that retailers expend on parking lots for cars, providing a little space for horses seems entirely appropriate.

    20. elliott

      HOLY COW!

      I have just read the facebook comments left after the news story. LORDY they are shooting of some crazy stuff. It hacked me off so much that I showed myself and had to comment on their comments. This is what I wrote.

      “NEVER before have I seen such ill informed ignorance coming from such a large group as this. I would have to say that if one wishes to comment on a subject, that person should at a minimum educate themselves on that subject. Saying “All amish are puppy mill running, animal abusing, hypocrital, tax evaders.” is the same as saying “All muslims are terrorists, all jews are stingy, and catholics worship Mary.” If you think the Amish do not pay taxes then you are seriously mistaken, the amish pay taxes just like any other American and to top it off they pay taxes for things they do not use, say for instance school taxes (even though they do not send their children to public school), social security even though they do not accept government handouts of any kind (Yes, I said hand outs.) and the like. How do I know this? I have picked up a book. Judging by the mass ignorance shown here, I would highly recommend this. There is an old saying, “It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you know what you are talking about, than to open it and reveal that you have no clue.”

      Ok maybe I went a little overboard, but it just put a burr under my hat. Blessings and keep up the good work.

    21. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      I want to thank Erik for bringing to our attention this aspect of Amish people’s lives, and thank everyone for their insightful replies.

      Although I don’t have a solution for the “problem”, I think business should provide shelter and water to their customer’s animals as a courtesy, as an incentive for them to shop at their business if there is a large Amish population in the community at large. It makes sense to me. Not that I’m saying that Costco should hire a person to attend to the horses, but if there is a need and the customers require it, why not; its sort of like every mall in North America has a family bathroom and a baby changing area, not everyone uses it, but it’s a courtesy and its there. Another way of putting it is it is serving the needs of the customer.

      My two red Canadian cents worth anway.

    22. Annmarie

      Just wanted to add that I read all those (hateful) comments about the Amish. While animal cruelty of any sort is horrible. To paint all Amish with the same brush is just as horrendous. To HATE all Amish b/c some may be cruel is just plain ridiculous. You might as well HATE all of HUMANITY b/c everyday something BAD is carried out by the human race..such as murder, rape, pedophilia, starving kids, caging kids, etc. If we followed those facebook commenters philosphy..We would just HATE everyone based on the actions of a few.

      1. SharonR

        Hot horses

        I think the vast majority of American’s do not hate the Amish; It’s the few that are the “bad” apples in their communities, which spoils it for them, and the media gets wind of those that are doing these bad deeds. In all of the United States’ various mix of cultures, there is bad in every one of them and they will pay the price for their misdeeds.

        There is also “good” in all people, and it’s just not published by the media enough. The media profits from “sensationalism” these days! We hear much more about the “bad” stuff, because that’s what “sells”, unfortunately. Yes, I also believe the Amish have been “mis-understood” in a lot of what they do and believe, and they are not all “bad”.

    23. Susan F

      my two cents to the article

      The hate filled comments are vile and full of loathing. They are probable PETA people commenting. My sister has a proper, animal rescue operation and has nothing nice to say about PETA. The real PETA is a sham and does not love or care about the well being of animals.

      I posted the following:

      Not only do they pay taxes for everything, just as most other people do, they don’t accept government handouts like welfare and social security, but they still pay the medicare and Social Security taxes as do any other working people. They also pay school taxes, and most do not send their children to public school. They support themselves and their elderly without any help, and without throwing them into nursing homes. They pay their hospital and doctor bills without any help from insurance companies or government handouts. Think about that next time you take an unemployment check. As for the puppy mills, yes some have been accused of operating puppy mills. Also, non-Amish dog and cat breeders also operate puppy mills. Just because the Amish have been targeted and their mills are more exposed doesn’t mean they are the only ones who do this. The others are just not noticed or targeted. And just because a few have done this, they are by far and wide a very small minority.


      Not only do they pay taxes for everything, just as most other people do, they don’t accept government handouts like welfare and social security, but they still pay the medicare and Social Security taxes as do any other working people. They also pay school taxes, and most do not send their children to public school. They support themselves and their elderly without any help, and without throwing them into nursing homes. They pay their hospital and doctor bills without any help from insurance companies or government handouts. Think about that next time you take an unemployment check. As for the puppy mills, yes some have been accused of operating puppy mills. Also, non-Amish dog and cat breeders also operate puppy mills. Just because the Amish have been targeted and their mills are more exposed doesn’t mean they are the only ones who do this. The others are just not noticed or targeted. And just because a few have done this, they are by far and wide a very small minority.

      1. SharonR

        2 cents worth re Amish etc

        Yes, agree with you all the way! All of what you said is true!

    24. Elam Zook

      “First, if you treat a horse badly and it dies, you have no horse. New horses aren’t cheap.

      In other words, when horses are such an important part of your life, mistreating them seems kind of stupid. Kind of like never changing the oil or rotating the tires.”

      Isn’t this a disingenuous argument? In a marriage, one partner is dependent on the other for basic cooperation towards mutual goals, does that mean one can assume that marriage relationships are all sun and light?

      What about a business person who is dependent on workers to achieve his business goals? Can we assume that through out all of history that the relationship between labor and management has been hunky dory because hiring and training new workers is expensive?

      Through out the history of the combustion engine, how many motors have seized up from lack of oil, due to negligence on the part of the operator?
      Are we to take comfort that it may’ve been only a small percentage?

      Has there ever been a traffic accident fatality caused by a car that spun out of control due to a worn tire? Do you think grieving family members of the deceased take comfort in knowing that a nice percentage of car drivers rotate their tires before they wear down too far?

      I’m all for keeping criticism of the Amish legitimate and honest, but if you use bogus arguments to defend them, neither of you come out looking good.

      1. Tom

        I do not agree that Erik’s argument is disingenuous. The example Erik gives is ample to the situation. An Old Order Amish depends on their horse for transportation and work therefore it would be wise to take care of the animal. But the counter analogy you generated is a relevance fallacy. While the example given by Erick demonstrates the reasoning in providing maintenance/care for personal transportation, the example you give about a husband and wife have no bearing on transportation or the practical usage of animals. If your point is to establish that some marriages are not good, and some car owners do not take care of their vehicle and that some people have caused fatalities because of poor tire tread, then I would agree that you provided some good examples for this, but then again I can state that some marriages are good and some management treat their employees well and that some people do maintain their vehicles and have never caused an accident. But let me cut to the chase your main objective was to criticize Erik for using an argument that you believed to be fallacious or misleading. You then list other analogies to try and prove that the argument presented by Erik is not valid. However, you utilized a relevance fallacy with your example, and appeals to emotion. If you would read the first paragraph in the post under the heading “Hating the Amish” perhaps some confusion would be cleared up.

        1. Elam Zook

          Eric trots out the commodity argument every time the issue of animal welfare comes up with the Amish. It seems like a defense mechanism. Like an alcoholic saying, “oh but, I’m a good person. Please don’t make me stop drinking!”. The good element of the Amish isn’t in question. It doesn’t matter how real and wonderful the “good” Amish are, they aren’t the issue. Are we to assume because some Amish take good care of their animals, that they all do? If we gloss over the issue of animal welfare among the Amish, then we are like the enabling spouse of the alcoholic.

          One would assume, after reading these comment threads, that the puppy mill issue is something that exists only in the rabid imaginations of a hallucinating animal rights activist. The reason the Amish are targeted is because, over the years, thousands of maimed, genetically deformed, and diseased, animals have been showing up at veterinary clinics and animal shelters in the metropolitan areas around lancaster county. Good people tried to minister to these animals which were largely being abandoned to shelters because of the overwhelming cost of their care. Naturally, at some point, someone realized that it might be more effective to staunch the flow of these animals at the source of their origin.
          In the beginning, when the scope of the problem first became apparent, the Amish had a choice of assuming responsibility for their role in the problem and taking corrective measures. Had they done so, in a manner consistent with their values, they would’ve been the heros in this saga. History tells a different tale though, in part because of sniveling weasels who aided and abetted them in their obtuseness. In my opinion, all it would’ve taken is some gentle honesty, asking them to take responsibility for their impact on the larger community, and they would’ve complied. A lot of you put on airs about admiring and respecting the Amish. You should take a hard look at yourselves and question the role of your relationship with the Amish. Are you good partners or are you a part of the problem?

          1. John Stoltzfus

            Do you need help

            Elam –
            There is no need to throw Eric under the bus, this is his blog and his right to publish whatever he wants to publish. I’ve seen enough of Eric’s material that in “my” view; this article is not in the context that you would like us to believe. For whatever reason you have decided to rant and go beyond what the story line is, which to me shows your ignorance and a typical “Amish” PETA conspiracy. Yes PETA has given some people an undue stress and that was because of a few instances were nationalized, therefore the Amish were stereotyped, which is ok, however it is not ok for us to ruffle our feathers, while we would readily say we practice the Anabaptist Beliefs . Personally this article is shameful for our community and it should wake us up and again is a feeling of shame.
            The Rest –
            The Amish population has drastically increased over the last 20 – 30 years and the amount of people working on farms has decreased, therefore we are seeing two things that are directly contributed to this story and the animal husbandry care is starting to show.
            As long as we choose to remain in the “Amish” faith we will be subject to those issues, which in my mind is exactly as it should be, because we are to be a light to the world and that includes caring for our animals.

    25. Elam Zook

      The Amish shoppers at Costco may have been out of their element. I’m not saying everything was perfect back in the day, but when man and beast worked side by side in the sun there’s greater sensitivity about just how sweltering hot it is. Also, the fields can be hot, but they’re an oasis compared to a wide expanse of black top with the sun beating down.
      With todays Amish population becoming less familiar with farm culture, they lose their connection with animal husbandry and horsemanship. I’ve been there and done that. It’s actually sad and tragic, when you’re forced to use a horse while simultaneously adopting a 7 to 5 work schedule which takes you away from the horse. Instead of having one on one time with an animal, hour after hour, your time is extremely constrained, which makes you less sensitive to what’s practical and humane.

    26. Jessica

      I wonder if those same people, reading an article about an urbanite leaving his dog in a closed vehicle on that same parking lot, would attack all urban Americans with the same viciousness?

      Some people are inconsiderate of animals. They may be Amish, or anyone else. It does not prove that all Amish are cruel and abusive to animals.

      Also like others have said, country people in general tend to have a different view of animals. I grew up in the city, but raised by a family that used to live on a farm, so I have inherited some of that. I don’t think it’s horrible to kill a chicken if it no longer lays, like the one commenter said… it is still good to eat!

      So while I find the story of these two horses sad, I am just glad that a shelter has been built now, so that those and other horse owners will not have to leave their animals out on a hot parking lot while they shop.

      1. linda

        animal abuse

        If you cannot look after your animals properly, you should not have them. End of story.

    27. Susan F

      Agreed, Jessica!

      I agree with your comment Jessica. Good points.

      And about the chickens who no longer lay, I suppose they might be vegetarians, but if not, they don’t understand or think things through very well when it comes to food. A relative of ours operates a chicken farm in Arkansas. They raise 50,000 chickens at a time. They grow from chicks into young hens who lay for, I believe they said about a year, then guess where they go? They go to the Campbell’s soup company and into their soup products. Like I said, they don’t think about where their food really comes from.

    28. Tina

      What temp. is considered too hot for a horse?Body temp? And did anybody report any overheated dogs or overworked Costco workers that day?And wouldanyone have noticed those horses if they weren’ hitched to Amish buggies?Want to help animals?Tell people to stop shaving their longhaired dogs since the hair protects the animals skin? Or slaughterhouses that poison our food with horrible sanitation and the cruelty to huma ns and anim als alike?

    29. Micheal

      Jaci Rae Jackson

      The same sort of rabid hatred is shown towards Jaci Rae Jackson, an 18 yr old Southern Arkansas University student who is charged with 5 counts of horse theft and implicated in the death and mutilation of one of the horses.

      Here is the Facebook page, it is rather violent in it’s attitude.

      Here is an article about the thefts:

      And this legal blog which debunks the “you can hang in Texas for horse theft” myth:

      There is also a rather rabid campaign to ban horses in New York City, primarily carriages. Granted, I wouldn’t want my horses to deal with NYC traffic or pollution.

      So it shows that the hate isn’t just aimed at the Amish.

    30. bhigh

      Buggy horses are cheap for the Amish. They don’t breed, raise, or train them. They buy off-the-track Standardbreds at auction for very little money, use them up, then dump them at auctions where they are sold to kill buyers. Lather, rinse, repeat. I blame the racing industry and the Amish equally, just as I blame pet-store customers and Amish puppy-millers equally.

    31. Red

      Amish puppy mills - they do exist.

      For those wondering if Amish puppy mills exist please Google Amish puppy mills. It will open your eyes to the cruel puppy mill business in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Amish breed for volume and not to improve the breed thus the pups are substandard with physical and mental abnormalities that show as they mature. Those expansive and neatly manicured farms hold a dark secret within. Dogs are kept in barns and rarely see the light of day. They live out their lives in wire cages stacked two or three deep and most have never touched foot to ground. They are not given attention other than food and water and are considered a cash crop like corn or wheat. When their breeding life is finished, because they can no longer produce a litter twice a year, they are shot or sold at Amish auctions for the cycle to repeat itself, if the dogs are not too broken down. Some are debarked using homemade means so no outsider will realize that hundreds of dogs are kept on the property. The plain people are shy, shun the English ways and keep to themselves. Maybe this is one of the reasons.

      1. You don't know poop

        Talk Talk Talk
        You don’t know What The Heck you’re talking About.
        Judge Not lest thine Own Self
        Be Judged!

        Boy I never thought someone would be so DUMB!

      2. Linda Wobeck

        Kudos to all humans( Amish and non Amish ) who take care of and are loyal to their horses.
        However I dont understand and find it unconscionable those that send those animals to slaughter after they have toiled their whole lives for them.. i find tat behavior traitorous I don’t understand how they can live with themselves, let alone feel they are a kind , good person. It is the antithesis of what a good Christian or any empathetic persom would do in my opinion.
        Also the puppy mills are horrendously cruel.

    32. Deb

      You wrote, “First, if you treat a horse badly and it dies, you have no horse. New horses aren’t cheap.” — Being involved in horse rescue, can honestly say, “Yes, in fact they ARE cheap. There are so many excess horses that they are practically being given away all over the place.

    33. Sam

      It needs looked into

      Plain and simple. It needs looked into.

      You are right about one thing: Amish are not the only ones who abuse their animals. There are many people who do, Amish or not.

      However. Many people do not look into it as they don’t think there is anything wrong with the way the animals are being treated.

      Horses aren’t cheap? No. Horses that are WELL CARED FOR are not cheap. Horses that are required to have all their shots and bloodwork and treated well and taken cared for- they are expensive. But The Amish are not made to have the same shots and bloodwork done because of “Their Religion and Way Of Life”. I owned horses for several years. If you transport them off of your property- you have to have a coggins test. Its mandatory and against the law to transport your horse without a negative coggins test- due to it being spreadable. Why is it fair that horse owners have to do this, but Amish, who use their horses to go everywhere- do not have to do this? They are transporting them. They could be infecting other people’s horses.

      They breed their horses often- so they have plenty of horses- same with all of their animals. Have you ever really paid attention to Amish carts or Amish horses? The average life span for an Amish horse is 6 years old. The average lifespan of horses that are taken care of? 25-30 years old. 4-5 times as long as Amish horses. Why is this? Because they don’t take care of their horses. Most (not all but most) Amish work their horses so hard they work them to death.

      I live in an area with a lot of Amish around. And unless they are turning or getting ready to stop- I have NEVER seen an Amish person walking their horse. They force them to go in a pace for miles and miles on end with no breaks until they get where they want to be. This should NOT be legal. And I bet if someone saw someone who wasn’t Amish doing this, they would be more concerned and open to look into it.

      Have you ever noticed their animals? Unless they are being fattened up to butcher/eat/sell-they are almost always skinny. The one year we stopped to get some veggies from an Amish stand, and there was a kitten laying under the table. I am an avid animal lover. We have several cats and dogs of our own- as well as chickens, ducks, fish, and we use to own horses. When we saw the kitten I went to pet it- and the Amish lady told us we could have it. My mom said no- until I picked it up and handed it to her.

      This kitten was SO emaciated- you could see every single bone in its body. Ribs, hip bones, tail bone, everything was just sticking out. Very sweet and friendly, but very lethargic and sickly. Of course we weren’t going to leave her there- so we agreed to take her home. The lady told us “It had lice but we took care of that.” It did not have lice. It had fleas. And to “take care” of the fleas, they literally soaked this kitten in kerosene. We immediately took it to the vet, where it was anemic from the fleas but couldn’t give it medication for that because of the poisoning it had from the kerosene. We had to give this kitten daily baths in dawn dish soap for a week and a half. To be honest I’m surprised she survived. But we did rescue her.

      Again. I am not saying that ALL Amish do this. I am not saying that ONLY Amish do this. But the Amish are secluded and often times not punished for things because it’s just ‘their way of life’. Animal abuse is animal abuse. They do not consider animals as having feelings but they do. They are not machines- they have feelings, they get sick, they need care. Its when we don’t listen and take care of them that they live 1/5 of the life they should. They need to be treated like any other citizen and made to follow rules. And quite frankly they need to have it looked into. There’s a reason that Amish animals do not live long lives.

    34. Bobby Strong

      The Amish and Horses

      That animals have no souls and were put on earth to serve man in any capacity, is a basic tenet of Amish/Mennonite belief and practice. I live in an area where this conduct is played out to an appalling degree.

      Horses are routinely dumped at auctions notorious for kill buyers, men who ship them to be butchered alive in Canada or Mexico. No peaceful retirement for horses who have served for a lifetime. No humane euthanasia. Instead, they are dropped off with the sure knowledge they will not be purchased by a kind person. They are too worn out, lame, gray muzzled. Often, they are dumped with gaping wounds, broken limbs, even in the agony of colic.

      Puppy, rabbit and kitten mills are rife. Rarely are animals neutered. Instead, they live their lives in abject misery in filthy cages. They are rarely vaccinated, and so a virus wipes out populations in pain, and spreads disease through the community. These sad, genetically defective animals are sold to “outsiders”, who then have an abundance of health and behavioral issues to deal with.

      I am an equine professional and dog trainer, so not at all opposed to the concept of creating working animals. But this is sheer abuse. Animals are truly treated as mechanical objects, and not God’s creation whatsoever. This also goes directly against the Bible, which commands the utmost kindness towards animals. Kosher law, in fact, was developed to acknowledge that animal not only have souls, but may be reincarnated loved ones. The Anabaptist faith ignores its own Good Book, in order to exploit animals in the most painful ways possible.