Thursday, July 11, 2013

Do the Amish run puppy mills?

A reader told me she didn’t like the Amish because they ran puppy mills…out in Ohio somewhere. She was sincere, a lover of boxers and pugs. I also am a dog lover so when I go up to Smicksburg, Troutville or Volant to Amish farms, I notice dogs. They all seem well fed to me and well, pacifists, like their owners. Not a one has scared me, making me not get out of the car for fear of an attack.

Back to the question. I paid good money years ago for a little silk terrier from a puppy mill run by Englishers, non-Amish. The place was pitiful and reported. The place was filthy and housed 50 plus dogs. It was appalling. I literally shook as I talked to the owner, paid for Penny, and got her out of there. As I left, the roar of the dogs was deafening. “Help me,” they seemed to say. “Take me too.”

I've never had this experience in all the Amish communities I've visited, which have been many. Living in rural Pennsylvania, I have suspicions about a few people, non-Amish. I've reported, but folks are given a warning before inspection. If the animals are in semi-clean condition, fed etc. they don’t rescue the dogs.
It’s so frustrating; I have rescue dogs in my Amish Knitting Circle Series, especially Amish Knit Lit Circle. Granny takes in a Pomeranian, (as we did…I use my dog’s real name…Beatrix Potter;) Another dog is rescued and is given to a woman in the circle dealing with depression, and Angel, the little black dog, is the only one Mona can talk to, bringing her healing.

I always say I write from facts, and yes, the Amish I know do care for all creatures great and small. They breed hunting dogs in the Smicksburg area, and sell them dirt cheap, mostly to other Amish. They also have dogs that help shepherd, especially Australian Shepherds. These dogs are made to herd, and we rescued one that did just that. Ran. Ran away from us so often, the best place for Leah was Amish country. I trusted the Amish to take care of my dog, giving her up. I also had a cat that went haywire on us and needed to be an outside cat. I took him up to Lydia’s, crying as I entered her house full of Amish women seated around a quilt frame. They were all sympathetic, saying how hard it was to give up an animal. Lydia’s dad even took me to the barn where my cat would receive “fresh cream from the cows” twice a day.

I just got done reading a book about a man who left the Amish. It was so stereotypical, making them all mean as spit. I don’t understand this. It’s like saying all Italians talk with their hands and all Irish have bad tempers. Haven’t we outgrown these stereotypes? Prejudices?

I do appreciate people concerned about puppy mills, but this pigeonholing all Amish as animal abusers, or not attached to animals since they’re not humans, really needs to end. So does the myth that Amish kill virgin forests, but that’s for another post.

Amish Knit Lit Circle, an 8 part serial, will soon be compiled into a novel. Notice the dog & cat on the cover?
In the series, they are rescued and adopted by Amish and Englishers. 


  1. Sadley puppy mills are ran by many english as well as amish and others I find it disgusting in either case it !
    is very sad

  2. As in any group, there are exceptions within the community. All you have to do is google "Amish man arrested for puppy mill" and you will find the news stories where some have been arrested for this.
    Is it common? I don't know. Is it unique to the Amish? Definitely not. It is happening in some places though.

  3. I have been around some Mennonites that breeded and sold puppies- and they were very good to the dogs- I had teased them that the dogs were treated almost as good as people are- they just laughed at me. However I have seen some "englisher" puppy mills that had horrible conditions- and the cages etc were not kept clean- it smelled to high heaven!!!

  4. I'm sure that there are bad puppy mills that give bad names to those who are doing the right thing when they raise their dogs. It is very sad that the dogs have to be put into small cages and have babies every six months and then be gotten rid of when they are 5 years old, because they are too old and worn out to produce good babies any more. I have one of the rescue dogs that we took in and we are giving her a lot of love. She is a precious little Maltese with some bad legs from having o walk on the wired cages she was in all those years.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. The Amish are NOTORIOUS for puppy mills!

    Google "Amish puppy mills" and you'll find a lot more.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. How can you even ask this? Amish puppy millers are among the worst, the most offensive, the most despicable millers in our country. One search of "Amish and puppy mills" will produce 1000s of pictures and proof. Shame on you for defending these animal abusers.

  13. Petula,
    I appreciate your heart for dogs. I decided to post about puppy mills for many reasons. First of all, I know many Amish in Western PA and Western NY over the past 30 years. I've never seen a puppy mill. I know 3 in PA who have a breeding pair and we may buy one someday. Happy with our little Pom right now.
    What I have seen living in rural PA is non-Amish running mills. They drop off the purebred adult dogs in front of our house. Such a shame. It's all hush-hush as to who owns this mill, but we all know who it is. What gets me is the Amish won't defend themselves, but I will. I'm saying in this post that from my own personal experience, I've never seen an Amish or Mennonite puppy mill.
    Thank you for your comment. We both are disturbed by animal cruelty.

  14. When summertime arrives it is time for pool parties and days at the beach. It is also the time of the year where many Cat names come in contact with backyard pools, beaches, streams, lakes, and ponds. While we all want to have fun playing in the water with our pets, but everyone needs to be aware that over exertion and the very real danger of pet drowning can occur. It is estimated that thousands of pets die annually from drowning though actual number are not know since most go unreported. Tragedy can be avoided by implementing a few simple safety measures.

  15. I am thankful to you for sharing this plethora of useful information. I found this resource utmost beneficial for me. Thanks a lot for hard work. havanese puppies for sale

  16. You go up to Smicksburg and have NO idea that all the Pet store puppies were milled in Smicksburg?

    Ofc you dont. They are the Amish's best kept secret.

    Stop and listen on a far off the main road next time you're up there. You can't miss the barking if you are in the right area. On a good quiet day Im sure you can hear it from where ever you're standing.

    You really have no clue and you shouldn't be writing about things you think you know. You have no researched facts from the Dept of Ag. Indiana Co has some of the highest numbers of Puppy Mill kennels, next to Lancaster, in Pa.

    They use the "shell game" trick when the state starts cracking down on them. They move the business to another family member at another location.

    KDKA just did a news article on Amish mills in the SWPA area selling dogs to pet stores.

    To the Amish animals are a tool. All animals are working livestock and have no soul. There is no reason to for them no to use them as a commodity.

  17. Instead of scouring the neighborhood for batches of old newspapers, there are certain virtues that you need to develop if you want to housetrain your puppy properly, namely commitment, vigilance, consistency and patience. With these virtues - as well as following the guidelines that we will discuss below - you will be able to lessen and even totally eliminate incidents of soiling accidents inside your home. Always remember that when it comes to dogs, especially puppies, you need to be prepared for several accidents to occur. This comes with the territory of pet ownership. Chihuahua puppies for sale in Pa