Holmes County in the dog house? Action group says so

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(Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a two-part series on dog auctions in Ohio, and a recent campaign to ban them. Next week, an inside look at Ohio’s dog auction and the nature of a breeding facility.)

MILLERSBURG, Ohio — Home owned … home grown … Holmes County.

That’s how residents in this rural community describe family-owned businesses and services that go back generations — some as old as the county.

Lumber and furniture mills are everywhere, and from most places, there’s a cheese factory or bulk goods store within walking distance.

Walking — in fact — is what many here do, especially the Amish, who give up vehicles and modern amenities in favor of the simple life, and to focus on community and religion.

It’s a quiet community, aside from the clippedy-clop of horseshoes on roads, and the passing of motor vehicles.

Dog fight

But in recent months there’s been a bit of a dog fight, literally, and it’s making noise.

Over the past couple months, the political action committee Ban Ohio Dog Auctions has tried unsuccessfully to hold a meeting in Holmes County.

Nearly a half-dozen attempts have been made, beginning with a meeting in March at the Holmes County Public Library. That meeting was canceled shortly after its members convened, due to resistance from opponents of the campaign. Arguments broke out, lawsuits were threatened, police were called, and the meeting was never held.

Only auction

Holmes County operates what is reported to be one of the only dog auctions east of the Mississippi River, and Ban Ohio Dog Auctions wants to do just that — put an end to the auctioning of dogs.

Mary O’Connor-Shaver, the Ohioan from Lima leading the group, says “dog auctions are a symptom of the puppy mill industry,” which is what the group is ultimately opposed to.

“We believe breeders who participate in these auctions are raising large numbers of dogs and puppies with profit as the primary motive for existence.”
Ban Ohio Dog Auctions is seeking more than 120,000 signatures to its auction ban to put the legislation on the Ohio ballot in 2011. So far, about 15 percent have been obtained.

At least four more attempts were made to hold a meeting this spring in Holmes County, at four private businesses. But those meetings also were canceled, after owners weighed the challenges they would likely face from BODA’s opposition.

The action group says that dogs at auctions “are found to be unhealthy, not screened for genetic diseases, do not show resemblance to the breed standard and lack good temperament.”

But dog owners like Polly Britton, legislative agent for Ohio Association of Animal Owners, disagree.

Fully inspected

Britton said the auction is staffed by USDA inspectors, as well as veterinarians, and that dogs with noticeable defects are not to be sold.

“That auction is regulated very similarly to the livestock auctions,” she said. “There are veterinarians there that check every animal that comes in.”

Livestock is one of the top concerns Britton and other animal owners have.

If selling dogs at an auction is banned, will livestock be next?

Britton thinks so.

“I don’t doubt for a minute that they’ll go after the livestock auctions next,” she said, and she’s not alone.

Ervin Raber, board member for Ohio Professional Dog Breeders Association, said he talked with O’Connor-Shaver, and she told him livestock auctions will be their next focus.

“What they (BODA) are is basically an animal rights activist group wanting to completely shut the thing down,” Raber said. “(BODA) thinks animals should not be controlled by human beings.”

But O’Connor-Shaver insists BODA’s focus is on companion animals, not livestock.

“We focus solely on dogs and that’s it,” she said. “We don’t even take a position (on livestock).”

O’Connor-Shaver said BODA supports “responsible dog breeding,” which it defines as owners who have “a breed, or two, or even three,” a breeding plan to preserve each breed, a limited number of litters, proper human stimulation and breeders who do not breed dogs with profit as the primary motive.

Concerned with livestock

However, some of BODA’s supporters do focus on livestock. They include Animals’ Angels, and Ohioans for Humane Farms — the Humane Society of the United States’ group that is raising signatures to specify “certain minimum standards” to the newly created Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

One of BODA’s most outspoken board members, Veronica Dickey, insists BODA act is not about livestock.

“That’s (livestock) totally different,” she said. “What we’re dealing with is companion animals. … That’s fine to auction off livestock, but the problem is that dogs are companion animals and what’s happened is they’re confusing dogs to be livestock.”

However, she has commented critically about how livestock are raised and slaughtered, on multiple animal welfare websites.

Dickey was an avid opponent to Ohio’s Issue 2 legislation, which created the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

In an Internet blog entry about Issue 2, Dickey wrote the issue is about “safeguarding the factory farmers and the puppy millers” and “control and greed.”

She’s also commented critically on the U.S. meat industry, writing the “meat industry is a dirty secret that most of us want to keep hidden,” and added “meat equals violence” and eating meat “somehow diminishes us all.”

Persistent

Despite BODA’s failures to secure a meeting grounds within Holmes County, its board is determined not to give up. In fact, they’re using the refusals as leverage against the county, and its business owners.

Dickey told Farm and Dairy she is now “conflicted” about shopping in the county, as long as dogs are sold at auctions, and she questions the “moral responsibility” of the community.

According to her, BODA “thought it would be a good idea if people would let the chamber of commerce and the Holmes County tourism board know that this has the potential of harming the tourism industry.”

Its plea to the Chamber and Holmes County businesses? As printed in the petition: “Issue (your) immediate full endorsement and support for the Ohio Dog Auctions Act.”

The Holmes County Chamber of Commerce declined to comment on this matter, or how BODA has been perceived in the community.

Consumer boycott

Petitions have been written, and one is scheduled to be presented to the Chamber, as well as county businesses. In an e-mail sent on April 16, O’ Connor-Shaver encouraged “companion pet lovers” to write a letter to businesses who refused to hold BODA meetings, telling them they (letter writers) would not do business with them.

The letter accuses the businesses of “blatant discrimination” against BODA and says that “Because of this, please be rest assured I will not visit nor purchase any products and services from your establishment, and I will be asking the same from all my friends, family and co-workers.”

“We feel that remaining silent makes you as guilty as committing the crime itself,” she told Farm and Dairy.

She said a boycott would be a last tool, but one the group is willing to use.

“I don’t want to see anybody boycott any part of our state, but if that’s what it’s going to take the stop the dog auctions (stopped),” she said BODA will do it.

Outsider voices

Ohio dog auctions are an issue “Ohio should decide,” O’Connor-Shaver said, adding BODA will not seek national support for its initiative.

“It’s going to be Ohio citizens, because we feel that’s important.”

But at least one BODA petition is signed with signatures that are not all Ohioans, much less Holmes County. In fact, some of the signees are from other states, and other nations.

Canada, Israel, Italy, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Greece, Guatemala … all are part of the 500-plus who have signed the Internet-based petition to tell Holmes County to ban dog auctions.

That’s a concern to people like Donna Norfolk, president of Holmes County Humane Society. While her interests are in caring for animals, and humane treatment, she’s concerned those on the “outside” may be “looking in” with blurred vision.

“They are coming from an outside looking (in) at the way business is being done in Holmes County,” she said. “I haven’t spoken to anyone from their organization who is from Holmes County.”

Norfolk told Farm and Dairy she can “guarantee I have not found any resistance from business people (or) breeders. … Most of them are doing everything they can to provide quality animals for people.”

Limited resources

Norfolk is concerned when outside organizations impose a new standard or rule, because they often do not pass along the resources to enforce it.
“Where are you guys when I need help?” she asked rhetorically.

Norfolk said by law, the Holmes County Humane Society cannot offer financial support for any political activity.

But the local humane society is listening to BODA’s concerns, she said, and is weighing carefully its initiative and what its long-term goals could mean.

About the Author

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties. More Stories by Chris Kick

171 Comments

  1. Mary O'Connor-Shaver says:

    As an individual whose family members include farmers and breeders, it is unfortunate and disheartening that Chris Kick found it necessary to appeal to the emotions and prejudices of his readers as a means in which to boost circulation for Farm and Dairy:

    (1) The Coalition is not an “animal rights activist group which thinks animals should not be controlled by humans.” We are a group comprised of over 12,000 supporters, many who are breeders, farmers and residents of Holmes County, who believe the Ohio dog auctions are a symptom of the puppy mill industry. The group includes voters and taxpayers from 72 counties who support causes and issues impacting the welfare of both people and animals. Many of them stood in partnership with the Ohio Farmer’s Union in opposition to Issue 2, for reasons outlined in OFU’s official position statement on this ballot initiative.
    (2) At no time have I or any Committee Member or supporter of the Coalition state that livestock auctions will be our next focus! The Coalition was formed as a Political Action Committee (PAC) specifically for our ballot initiative, the Ohio Dog Auctions Act. We have no plans now or in the future to address livestock auctions.
    (3) The Coalition is a grass-root, Ohio citizens driven campaign and will remain as such for the duration of our efforts in bringing the Ohio Dog Auctions Act to a ballot vote in November 2011. The Petition (Ohio Dog Auctions Act) does not include signatures from other states and nations! We are represented by Don McTigue, one of the most highly respected and experienced election and campaign finance lawyers in Ohio.
    (4) The Coalition firmly believes, based on a review of dozens of USDA reports issued on the current owner of the Ohio Dog Auction, past owner of the Ohio Dog Auction and breeders who have consigned and purchased dogs at this auction, that these events serve as a major distribution channel for buyers and sellers who have multiple USDA violations of the Animal Welfare Act and have been convicted of animal cruelty. These breeders include, but are not limited to, Wanda (McDuffee) Kretzman and Kathy Jo Bauck of Minnesota; Ervin Raber, Harold Neuhart and Lanzie “Junior” Horton of Ohio and Daniel P. Esh of Pennsylvania (whose licensed was revoked March 19, 2010 by the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement).
    (5) The Coalition fully supports the strategy adopted by the business and political leaders of Geauga County, which included the county commissioners, dog warden Matt Granito and Senator Tim Grendell R-18, in addressing the Buckeye Dog Auction following its sale to Middlefield Township-based Bylerville Enterprises LLC in March 2007. Following tremendous pressure from voters of Geauga County, which included concerns of an economic threat to local commerce, the Buckeye Dog Auction was sold back to Holmes County within 120 days following its initial sale.
    (6) A meeting on May 18 with the Holmes County Humane Society Board of Directors does not substantiate any remarks or opinions expressed by its Board Member President, Donna Norfolk. The presentation by the Coalition, which included a review of the goals, mission statement and objectives of our ballot initiative, was well received by all attendees of the Society and included a request for Petitions in support of our signature drive.

    In a recent poll conducted by the Times-Recorder, a paper whose circulation includes hundreds of readers from Holmes and surrounding counties, the question was asked, “Do you feel dog auctions should be allowed to continue to operate?,” A resounding 92% of respondents voted “No”.

    Sadly, it is my firm belief Mr. Kick has chosen to ignore the legitimate concerns expressed by Ohio voters and taxpayers, and the perspectives and expertise of respected animal welfare scientists and veterinary experts, to further his own personal agenda.

  2. Katie M. says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the first comment. It is truly unfortunate that Mr. Kick has ignored the legitimate voices in Ohio exposing the ugly truth behind Amish Puppy Mills. There’s a reason why they feel the need to conceal their operations. It’s only a matter of time before these horrid practices are public common knowledge.

  3. Kathie Kyle Long says:

    I totally agree with the above post. Unfortunately, I will no longer be spending my leisure time and monies in Holmes County. I have seen for myself and heard from others too many stories of lack of compassion for animals in Amish country. It is sad to me that the Amish community is supposed to stand for Christian values far above the norm of the American people as a whole, and that they can treat animals as nothing more than a money making commodity. I have spent much money in Amish country over the years. That will no longer be the case until at least the puppy mill and auction issues are resolved.

  4. Chris Adams says:

    I am a member of BODA. We in no way are trying to shut down all auctions.

    I grew up on a farm in NW Ohio and my own father raised both cattle and swine. Auctions for livestock are/were the livelihood for him and many other farmers.

    Our “point” in this whole campaign is that dogs are NOT livestock. They are “companion animals” and to be treated as such.

    To me, it’s such a shame that in 2010 we have people who are so inhumane and behind the times.

    Money is what it’s all about. No dedicated dog breeder would sell their dogs at a dog auction. It’s as simple as that.

    The claims of the dogs being healthy sickens me. Dogs from the last auction have been diagnosed with diseases. The vet that is there gives a 20 second physical. Gee, wonder how thorough THAT physical is???

    I am just so sorry that Chris Kick misrepresented himself to gain his own “victory” with his readers. Guess it all really DOES boil down to money, doesn’t it?

  5. Brandy Pace says:

    I am really surprised that anyone would NOT want to support a measure to ban these dog auctions which feed the puppy mill machine. Puppy mills are huge drains on humane societies as they struggle with pet overpopulation and the fallout from commercial breeding facilities. These facilities often operate at below even a minimum standard of care because it is so costly to shut them down. What do you do with hundreds of unsocialized dogs, many requiring veterinary care? It is a huge, unreasonable drain on state and county resources. It is NOT just Ohio’s problem as your puppy mill dogs end up in countless pet stores across the country. The mass breeding of companion animals, forcing them to live a life in a cage is a cruelty that we as a civilized society have a duty to end.
    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it’s animals are treated”-Ghandi
    So who’s the real animal here?

  6. Linda Swanson says:

    As a person that was born on a working farm I highly resent Mr. Kicks comments lumping real farmers in with what is happening in OH. This weeks revelations on the dairy farm attests to why Oh needs laws protecting animals in this state and making cruelty a felony.
    At last weeks dog auction a Louisville KY TV station was there and Erwin Raber assaulted the camera man and it was all on tape. Mr Raber has the nerve to call his low class group the Professional Dog Breeders Association. They are anything but professional. Real professional dog breeders abhor being lumped in with the millers of Holmes County. As far as having veterinarians there, those persons obviously are bought and paid for, as many dogs coming out of the auction were very ill and those vets had given them all of a 15 second exam. Some of the dogs were so sick when taken to an honest vet some of them had to be euthanized. Obviously they cannot tell a sick dog from a stone. Several had brucelosis. I wonder if they even know what that is.
    My family has already began boycotting anything grown or made in Holmes County. I refuse to purchase anything made there nor will I spend any money when going through the county. I encourage all my friends and family to do the same. I also encourage anyone coming to OH to stay out of Holmes County. As long as businesses there continue to support the atrocities going on out on the farms then they deserve to lose the money of the tourists.

    Linda Swanson
    Cleveland, OH

  7. ResponsiBill says:

    If anyone has an agenda it’s Chris. To try and twist the truth is a typical journalistic cheap tactic.
    Anyone who is interested in this issue should research for themselves what BODA is about. Livestock is not mentioned by them except when it’s pointed out that “puppies/dogs are not livestock, nor should they be treated as such”.
    Maybe Chris’ reading comprehension needs to be refreshed.

  8. I am with a couple of different rescues. The dogs coming from puppy mills located in Holmes county are so afraid of everything. They have so many problems including mental. I have been in Holmes county to rescue a couple of dogs, and an Amish lady said you want a couple more, if not my son will just hit them in the head with a shovel. We don’t want them anymore.
    I have bought a few dogs from the sale,because I knew if I did not I was afraid of what would happen to the poor little things. I just can not believe a vet could say these dogs are healthy when clearly they are not.
    No breeder who wants to better the breed would sell their dogs at an auction.
    YES it down all boil down to money. I am a proud member of BODA

  9. ResponsiBill says:

    I was at the last auction. I saw a yorkie that was sold and had green goo coming out of it’s left eye. Not a sign of “healthy”.
    Does Chris ever get out from under his rock? Does he not know that dogs tested POSITIVE FOR BRUCELLOSIS at this auction and a previous one? Venture out once in a while kid.

  10. Tammy Hopper says:

    I live in near by Coshocton County. I have seen first hand these so called vet checked dogs. I worked at the Coshocton County Animal Shelter and witnessed dogs that were bought at the auction and then dropped off at the pound. One such dog had been sold as bred. The puppies were dead inside the dog. Vet checked? Dogs came in with the metal collars and their numbers still attached. Dogs brought in that were purchased and then couldn’t be socialized. Many dogs that had never been outside of a cage, that didn’t know how to walk on grass. This is a terrible thing to put a dog through. My family and I do not shop in Holmes County because of the dog auctions. The businesses that won’t allow a meeting should be ashamed of theirselves. Is Holmes County afraid of hearing the truth about the auctions? I think so.

  11. Diane Bender says:

    I personally have received 4 of these Holmes Co. mill breeders, the ones who no one wants so a rescue bought them to save their lives.

    Maybe Mr Kick should have been there to see the confused mama beagle, her puppies ripped away from her the day she was thrown into the sale while she is still dripping with milk. The poor little male beagle who had to be put out while his imbedded nails were removed from his pads. The skinny scared female beagle who spent months trying to hide under beds and behind doors and who would cower down and pee all over when a human walked by. Riiiigghhtt. They’ve all recieved humane treatment.

    By the way, Mr Kick, I also come from a farming background and never saw my father mistreat an animal. I am not a member of BODA but get the emails and have never read one word regarding any animals except dogs. Get your facts straight.

  12. Brenda Russell says:

    As always it amazes me how people can spin things, ignore the truth, and make up things to try and make their agenda look good. All anyone has to do is spend 15 minutes on the internet by doing a search on Puppy Mills. In that short amount of time they will find many websites that contain proof of the allegations that BODA is making. THey are backed up by video, photos, USDA Inspection Reports, etc. I myself purchased one of these dogs over 10 years ago from a pet store and he still has issues that I fear will never be resolved. I love him dearly, have spent more money on him than I care to admit to, but will gladly continue to care for and love him.
    I have long ago quit spending money and time in the Amish Community. I have encouraged all my friends, relatives, co-workers, and cquaintances to do the same.
    Everyone in Holmes County who turns a blind eye to what is going on and does nothing to help these poor helpless animals wlll one day be answering to the Highest Authority. Good Luck with explaining to HIM how and why you did not feel HIS Creatures were worth any compassion or support on your part.
    I Pray that God will Soften your Heart.

  13. MIA says:

    As a dog lover and livestock person I find it disheartening that Ohio doesn’t see the difference between the two. It it scientifically proven that dogs need more than livestock emotionally to survive. Dogs are NOT stock they are NOT just breeding animals to be used in your amish mills and it’s a North American wide issue as many of those mill dogs end up in pet stores across North America, including Canada.

    It’s about time Ohio and the rest of the US stop with the auctions and mills.

  14. BuckeyeBuggyBabies says:

    Long time reader of Farm & Dairy and find reporting to be in depth and fair, even if one side or the other doesn’t want to hear it…

    Mary O’Connor-Shaver says “auctions are a symptom of the puppy mill industry”. Well, Mary, if you are going to use my quote, you should complete the thought and give me attribution.

    I would ask, ask I should have started asking months ago…What is the disease, if the auctions are a symptom? Does a medical doctor not treat the underlying disease as well as the symptoms? A diabetic patient gets treated for the disease as well as care for the symptoms (such as removal of a limb). In this case, it is the awful conditions in so many mass breeder facilities that needs treated!

    It is from the bad high volume breeders that you all FIND sad dogs at auction. I wish to simply say (again, and again) that if the energy being used on this ballot initiative were used at the Statehouse in Columbus, why, I believe that we might by this time have a comprehensive “puppy mill bill” ready to go out to the floor for a vote! Probably something the vast majority of OH citizens (and rescuers and good breeders) could support. The current proposed bill contains a phase-out of the auctions, as you know.

    In the mean time, yes, many of us DO actually save many of those dogs and get them away from ‘life in a box’. It is one of VERY few ‘portals’ through which these dogs can pass to freedom. And if you all think the dogs would not otherwise be sold, traded, conveyed or killed, you are wrong.

    On the other hand, we can all take delight in the ‘show’ being provided by the auction owner, enjoy reading the USDA reports from some of these ‘illustrious’ spokesmen for the ‘professional dog breeding community’, and reports of conditions of dogs purchased at auction!

  15. Chris Kick says:

    Mary points out that “The Petition (Ohio Dog Auctions Act) does not include signatures from other states and nations!”

    That is correct.

    But the petition I refer to calls for sanctions against Holmes County businesses that do not support the work of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act, or refuse to hold their meetings.

    I updated story with an active link, if readers want to see who has signed it, where they’re from, or the language contained.

    The petition lists reasons businesses turned down the meetings (inadequate security, fear over controversy, etc.) and then faults them for the decisions they made.

  16. In response to Polly Britton’s comment under “FULL INSPECTED”, which was: “Dogs with noticeable defects are not to be sold (at auction).”, I’d like to let everyone know that this is a complete FALSEHOOD. I beg Polly to come forward and so state publicy this matter further!!!! All the while, I will be holding the little poodle auctioned off recently at Farmerstown. Her “auction block” number was #275. Her mouth is totally deformed. She sold for one dollar!!! I have her securely in foster care at this very moment. I will be bringing this little poodle girl to EVERYONE’S attention Polly Britton! Mark my words. And before any more fall out of your mouth, be sure that they are words of truth. Not just words that you want people who are “still unaware” of these “little doggie shops of horror” to hear. See you soon. Julie Tripodi/Operation Warm & Cozy Inc.

  17. This is for Chris Kick. Submitting an article in a publication requires much research and fact finding strategies. In your article,I noticed SEVERAL inadequacies. First of all,these are little innocent lives you are discussing here! Second of all, there are WRITTEN laws in place to protect them. I suggest that you study some of these laws. I have passed my training as a Humane Agent and know, for a FACT, that these laws are being broken by puppymillers, dog breeders and the like. END OF STORY

  18. I’d like to meet this Amish woman who allows her son to beat puppies to death with a shovel. If anyone would like to send me her name and address, feel free to e-mail me on my website: http://www.operationwarmncozy.com. Your name will remain anonymous. This is the kind of thing that should be, and WILL be exposed. I wonder if this is how the recent farm animal abusers started out. Practicing their swing on tiny little puppies first. Nice little butcher shop they have, out that way. They should start advertising on the billboards for all to see. Hmmmmmmmm.

  19. Jenny Stephens says:

    Fully inspected? That, apparently, is nothing to brag about, at least according to a May, 2010 report issued by the office of the U.S. inspector general and calls into question the integrity of USDA/APHIS inspectors. Readers may view this report here: http://tinyurl.com/365mjd4

    And let’s be clear and not muddy the waters: while the ballot initiative IS an Ohio issue, Kick’s column is not confined to the Buckeye state. The true intention of Kick’s article is to incite fear via henny-penny tactics and his insinuation that the ballot initiative is but a first step toward ending livestock auctions is unfounded and without merit.

    Dogs are companion animals – not livestock – and it’s not entirely clear as to why this article is appearing in “Farm and Dairy” unless Mr. Kick is confirming his own belief that, via the auction house, quasi-farmers have been exploiting dogs for decades because they’re a cheap “cash crop.”

  20. Linda Goldstein says:

    I work for a bichon rescue. We used to go to the auctions and purchase bichons to free them from the awful conditions they lived in, Then we realized that by doing this we were simply supporting dog auctions.
    Most of the dogs we got had horrific problems. Sores which had not been addressed,teeth which needed to be pulled because they were rotten as they never were allowed water from a bowl, food guarding issues, heart murmers, socialization issues…the list goes on and on.
    I own one of these rescued dogs…and although Nikki was adopted at 11 weeks he is still head shy from being grabbed (probably) and thrown from cage to cage.
    These practices and these auctions must be stopped. The evidence is clear. Many of these breeders have numerous counts against them from the USDA which were never addressed and are allowed to slip under the law because our govermnent inspectors don’t have enough financial resources or staff to keep after them.
    If the dog auctions were illegal maybe this would put a stop to the breeding as well.
    As for the auctions themselves….I saw a pregnant Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lifted by her front paws and held above the table while the auctioneer said, “The bitch is ready to deliver and make you all some big money. What am I offered for this LOT!!!”
    These auctions MUST be stopped!!!

  21. Jill Kirsch says:

    Just as the “farming community” is defending the recent abuse shown from Conklin Farms, they are defending the puppy mill industry. I find it sickening that anyone can support an industry that perpetuates such greed and insensitivity.
    The reporter is obviously defending his neighbors in Wayne/Holmes county. Take care of “your own”.

  22. You don’t even have to attend a dog auction to realize these animals are abused. Watch the news; educate yourself. The animals suffer ear infections, eye infections, are enclosed in tiny cramped cages and forced to breed for profit. Many states have legislation against these puppy mills with good reason, yet Ohio continues to be among the worst offenders. Thank goodness for people like Mary O’Conner-Shaver who stand up for these defenseless animals. It constantly amazes me that ANYONE, much less people who claim to follow the teachings of the Bible, are involved in these abusive practices.

  23. Aurora Cooney says:

    I have not supported anything Amish since I learned about Puppymills almost 10 years ago. And I make it a point to let everyone know. I also know first hand that the Amish treat their horses just as badly. They are tools to be used and disposed of. I spend most of my spare time now working with rescue groups. Also, the article makes it seem as if there is not much support on this issue based on the number of signatures. This is NOT true.

  24. Sharon H. says:

    buckeyebuggybaby quit hiding behind a phony screen name. we all know you are judy byrd of shaggy dog rescue. known by many as a broker for puppy mill dogs and someone who breeds her mill dog rescues. everyone knows mary shaver would never use any quote from you so please stop the lies. i have rescued dogs from many of these auctions. the may 22 had dogs which tested positive for brucellosis. and the march auctiom had dogs sold with broken legs and infected gums. i do not support the ohio puppy mill bill and many rescues and breeders do not support this legislation. rescues should not be included in this bill. you are wrong and your opinion doesn’t hold water with people who care about the dogs coming from these amish puppy mills. i and many who care about these dogs support boda. they have worked hard to expose the dirty little secret in holmes county.

  25. Helene Gaidelis says:

    Of course the Amish puppy mills are going to defend their practices. This is a Mega Million Dollar business and they are exempt from paying Social Security. They are also exempt from fighting in the military. However, it’s fine for them to profit from such an abusive industry. The Amish have turned into greedy capitalists and are pocketing huge sums of $’s at the expense of companion animals. Not to mention kennels are already overcrowed with dogs including pure breeds. Chris take your rose colored glasses off.

  26. Karen Slough says:

    The main reason there are dog pounds in every county is because there are simply TOO MANY DOGS. For the puppy millers to continue breeding dogs by the hundreds is simply a lame excuse to make money off the backs of these companion animals. The solution is to save a life by adopting a homeless dog. People, if there is no market for these puppy mill pups, their business would dry up! DO NOT breed or buy while homeless dogs continue to die.

  27. Kathy Kearns says:

    Cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens – these have been the staple of farms, farm life and the basis of much of the foods we buy and eat. No where have I seen “DOG” as part of an American human’s diet!! It is not a livestock animal, we have raised dogs to be our companion’s, to depend on us to care for them and they rely on us – unconditionally – to do that. The auctions are only for money and greed – and anything based on that premise cannot be good, nor will good come of it.
    Kathy Kearns, Akron,OH (registered voter!)

  28. tell the truth 101 says:

    I applaude Chris for his article to expose the truth about this group……I also want to say it is about time we start cleaning up the rescues…I see so many of the come to auction and have the dogs listed on the net by Monday morning amazing that they had all of the needed vet care (because you want to say they are in such horrible conditions) and such re-training skills.

    You can go to a pound and get a dog or puppy and have more issues (health and mental) than you can even imagine….Why don’t you try to stop the ir-responsible owner that lets his female outside and it gets caught by another ir-responsible owners male and has puppies….Who know what breeds temperments, health, gentics. No noone wants to talk about that the fact the pounds are filled with those type of dogs. I really wish you would clean up all the rescues (Trumbell County)… Human Society (Akron)….

    We have a world class come into the area last week for a breeders seminar and he said on more than 5 different times. It is bettere to breed you dogs everytime……He said if the dog was in the wild she would be breed her first cycle and every cylce then after that…..He is used by all the big show people all over the world……

    Every one wants to complain about Puppymills lets talk about show breeders most of the show dogs are left in crates all day…..The will have house loaded with dogs yes but they are all in crates…..Just the same as USDA breeders.

    The rescue that went under cover with reporter just look at her pics…of dogs available with stacks of crates behind them…….Wake up people you want double standards and to say the least I am so tired of it. Clean up your acts and then try to clean up someone else problems…..

    THANKS YOU CHRIS FOR THE ARTICLE…I WENT TO A MEETING HEARD HER LIES….I KNOW MOST OF HER PEOPLE ARE ALSO PART OF STOP LIVESTOCK……THERE ARE ALSO DIRECT LINKS IN BETWEEN THEM AND HSUS…..

  29. Christine Ramsey says:

    I am a dog lover, and a volunteer at a shelter, and a dog rescue transport driver. We simply do not need breeding of more dogs – we need HOMES for the ones that are already born.

    I am sickened and disheartened by the videos I have seen of dog auctions, particularly the local-to-Ohio ones. I am familiar with human cruelty toward animals, but not immune to the sense of outrage that this is allowed to happen.

    At a recent viewing of one of these videos, the fact that startled me the most, was the visible appearance of members of the Amish community. I am an “outsider”, but my impression of this community had always been one of respect for their traditions and their application of their Christian values. I am afraid I need some interpretation why this community feels it is appropriate to their Christian tradition to “traffic” in the sale of terried, mass-produced companion animals … how does this reflect respect for creation and human stewardship of the life of the earth???? help me understand!!!!!!!????????

  30. MR KICK IS ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL THAT TALKS A GOOD STORY ; HOWEVER DOES NOT FOCUS ON THE MAIN ISSUE. DOG AUCTIONS AND PUPPY MILLS DO , AND WILL CONTINUE TO ABUSE AND MISTREAT DOGS AND PUPPIES UNTILL PEOPLE LIKE CHRIS OPEN THEIR EYES TO REALITY.MR KICK SHOULD EXPLAIN HOW DOGS AND PUPPIES ARE PART OF THE FOOD CHAIN PROCESS AND WHY THEY ARE PART OF THE LACK LUSTER OHIO AGRICULTURAL GROUP.. DOG FARMS ARE WHAT THEY ARE AND THE MOST HIGHLY INTELLEGENT PERSON CAN NOT JUSTIFY THIS WITH HOG FARMS, DAIRY FARMS, ETC.

  31. Theresa T says:

    It’s not just the Amish in Holmes County, it’s everyone that lives in Holmes County. I purchased a Shih Tzu from a so called “breeder”. After 2 weeks I had to put her in the hospital and spend $4000 to keep her alive. The so called “breeeder” wouldn’t even refund me my $350. BETH DYE was her name! I also have visited and protested these auctions. It was amazing these dogs had no water in the water bowls. After we made a scene with the USDA she finally told the young Amish boys to fill the water bowls. The dogs were so thristy and fighting to get to the water that some actually knocked the water bowl over and didn’t get any. After I asked to have them refill it, the USDA inspector said that the law is that dogs only need water every 8 hours. 8 HOURS!!! If they aren’t giving them the water while I am standing watching I am sure they aren’t when they are in the barns at the mills. The vet is a joke at the auction as was the police officer that was witnessing all this and the USDA inspector. The horrible things I saw at the auctions keeps me up at night and make me sick at how humans could careless and think this is right. Great job to everyone that has put the time and efforts into making a difference.

  32. bostonlover says:

    The comments above clearly come from two groups of people. The first group are compassionate dog lovers who support efforts to ban dog auctions and to shut down puppy mills. The second group are motivated by money and profit. I think most can figure out who is who.

    I have never been to a dog auction. My feet do hit the ground running every morning as I work with the cast aways of the puppy mill industry. You don’t need to go to an auction as the shelters are full and overflowing with dogs from the millers. Bitches with prolapsed rectums from free whelping too many litters of puppies. Horrendous deformities, mange, heart murmurs, deafness and on and on and on. It is exhausting physically and mentally to deal with the issues produced by these unscrupulous, greedy and uncaring people. It is a work which I one day hope that I do not have to do. The people who participate and support the dog mill/auction industry are the lowest form of humanity. Nothing that they do or say can justify what they do!

    Chris Keck, spend one month caring for some of these dogs and find loving homes for them. Then write your article.

  33. Jessica says:

    If there were no demand for these puppies, the Amish and others that choose to operate large scale breeding wouldn’t do it. If you were trying to support your large family and a ‘puppy broker’ came to you offering $200+/a pup….you’d do the math and it wouldn’t sound so bad. The pet stores that sell puppies and the large puppy brokers that supply these pet stores are TRULY the issue. Auctions are part of the culture, and thus a natural progression to the epidemic that is fueled by demand of the pet stores and brokers. The REAL enemy here is the pet stores that sell these puppies and the brokers that make it tempting to produce large numbers of pups without careful breeding to get the profit. A lot (not all) of these breeders see this as a way to supplement their family in an ‘easy’ way. Efforts and money from these organizations would be better served to address education in lager cities and suburbs so that people DO NOT seek their puppies from PET STORES but rather shelters and responsible breeders.
    A friend that is moving to Florida recently had her dog neutered (she didn’t want to before…) Because she is moving to a county that charges $250/calendar year to license an intact dog. It is $8/3 years if your dog is spayed or neutered. Perhaps this type of legislation is also another way to curb this industry without misunderstanding a culture and way of life.

  34. Kim says:

    Wow, how sad to read the article above and think that Mr. Kick doesn’t see the need for someone, anyone to stand up for the dogs sold at these auctions and raised in puppy mills. We all shouldn’t fool ourselves into believing that any one group holds all the answers, but that one group can start a process that makes change happen. Mr. Kick haven’t you seen conditions at puppy mills, don’t you think that something needs to happen that things need to change? I can’t imagine that in this day and age we are still letting people get away with treating animals of any kind inhumanly, that we haven’t all stood up for change. Companion animals are loyal to the end when made part of a family that loves and cares for them. I ask everyone how can we not stand up for that loyality, how can we not speak for those that can not speak for themselves? Sensible breeding practices help all involved and as far as the comment on using resources I am sure that the fallout from puppy mill breeding has taxed our resources due to over population and people abadoning animals with health issues. Discussing will effect change and that is what we need no matter who is leading the charge.

  35. O.K. Tell The Truth 101. I run The Warm & Cozy Sanctuary in New Phila, and all of our dogs are currently healthy. They all do not come IN that way, but we apply the proper veterinary care when needed, and it costs us a FORTUNE. But,you see, it IS also the law. Mass breeders cannot afford to care for the 1,000+ dogs they might have at any given time. This is why they choose to “attempt” veterinary procedures themselves, without anesthesia, right there in the cages. This is SUPPOSED to be punishable, by law. I’d like to compare “rescue shelters” V.S. “puppy mills” as far as the conditions on the inside, and the welfare of the animals. Also, the sizes of the cages. By the way, Rescuers do it for the animals. Breeders do it for themselves

  36. Amy Hunt says:

    @ Tell the truth 101 – it is funny how everyone else can leave their name but you!

    And yes there are plenty of dogs in shelters b/c of stupid people letting their dogs breed but let me ask you this where did the stupid people get their dogs? Hmmm maybe the pet store that sells the puppy mill dogs!

    There are many battles that need to be fought but for now we choose to fight the battle that affects the dogs the most and that is the dog auctions.

    And I would like to point out, that yes as a rescue person we do get the dogs up on the net ASAP! We need donations and to get them seen so they can be adopted AFTER (key word) they are fully vetted. And many times people who are interested in adopting will foster the dog until all medical care issues are taken care of by the rescue and then will legally adopt. You are clearly not involved in rescue so please don’t comment on things you know nothing about.

    And any responsible LEGITIMATE breeder knows that just b/c a dog comes into heat doesn’t meant it is ready to be a mom. yes, wild animals / dogs may breed on their first heat but how long do they live? I am sure not to their full life expectancy. People in 3rd world countries have children as teenagers, believe the more kids you have the higher your social status… does that mean we should do that too?

    I encourage you to “foster” a puppy mill dog and “foster” a pound dog for a local rescue group. Then please come back and tell me which is worse.

  37. Lydia Falk says:

    Mr. Kick:

    As the news reports regarding proven, and inhumane dairy cattle mistreatment in recent days proves, the days of hiding the mistreatment of animals in Ohio is coming to an end. Thank heavens for the animals, and for those of us who have suffered mental anquish for this unnecessary abuse.

    There are ways to humanely raise animals that can be cost effective. Unless those instigating the abuse enjoy abuse for its own sake and some sick personal gratification, there are ways to farm humanely.

    It has been proven, through psychological profiles and studies, that people who mistreat animals very often commit abuse against people. In fact, the accused in the dairy cattle situation fits some alarming profiles regarding serial killers: abuse of animals, interest in law enforcement; failure to see anything wrong with his behavior… He was concerned about getting out of jail to take his law enforcement office examinations! Now, wouldn’t the public just love that 25 year old seeming sociopath pulling over our daughers or neices? His disinterest in the matter in court, proves his disdain. He showed no remorse, just in a hurry to continue with his own personal agenda.

    I guess what I am looking at is if the Conklin Farm is Amish? Unfortunately, a link with Amish keeps coming up in these situations. That is so distressing. It makes me wonder what else goes on behind some of those clean white farm house walls? What else is being hidden? I wonder if Ohio Tourism to Amish areas would be so popular when/if other unseemly situations are brought to light? Bucolic or bizarre?

    Anyway for now – we will concentrate on getting rid of dog auctions and farm animal mistreatment… One major injustice at a time!

    Lydia Falk
    Columbus, Ohio

  38. Tim S. says:

    My neighbor and I, who are not commercial breeders nor do we affiliate ourselves with any animal rights group, attended the coalition meetings in Geauga and Medina counties. They were well attended and the packet of information given to attendees was very informative. There was no reference to BODA supporting a ban on livestock auctions. In fact, the facilitators of the meeting made it very clear that no national animal welfare groups would lead this campaign, and they specifically referenced HSUS. I found it very interesting that the American Kennel Club has a legislative position statement which does not consider dog auctions and raffles to be appropriate and reasonable means in which to transfer or purchase dogs. The Geauga meeting included comments by Senator Tim Grendell in which he shared that he opposed these auctions in Geauga. He also gave an interview with a Fox 8 Cleveland reporter expressing support of modeling legislation similar to that of Pennsylvania which prohibits public dog auctions in the Commonwealth.

    I’ve talked with many breeders and professionals who work with dogs on this ballot initiative. They all agree socialization is key to a dog’s development and is something severely lacking in commercial breeding operations. The have all shared that when selecting dogs, trainers tend to use trusted breeders or have their own breeding program to avoid the problems often associated with puppy mills where the motive is profit rather than improvement of the breed. I personally feel that when you’re breeding 200 to 300 puppies at a time they’re not getting the proper attention to be a good companion pet.

    Holmes county officials need to start addressing these dog auctions more seriously, just like they did in Geauga county, or I suspect they will face some damage to their tourism industry. Perhaps our new governor should have a discussion with Governor Ed Rendell to see what can be done for Ohio.

  39. Sue Drombetta says:

    Chris Kick is just another example of those who want to shove dirty little secrets under the table. Dogs at these auctions are provided from puppy mills. The money received from the sales help to finance puppy mills. Dogs and puppies who come out of these puppy mills are often diseased or will fall victim to diseases as a result of their environment. Just one example is a friend’s dog who was rescued when she could not breed any longer due to a ruptured uterus. Oh, by the way, her uterus ruptured because she was too young to breed. Throughout eight years of loving care, this little one has been diagnosed with Cushings, diabetes, high blood pressure, pancreatitis and premature blindness. And that was after she was treated for her rupture, infected eyes and feet, and tooth decay. Facts, Mr. Kick, can be found only when you look for them. My husband and I used to travel to Holmes County every year for shopping and scenery. We would make purchases, stay in your inns and hotels, and eat in your restaurants. Not anymore, and not until your county government, businesses and residents admit that these mills and auctions are not good for your reputation. If the Chamber of Commerce calculates how much money is lost because folks like me choose not to come back, I think you will find that the income as a result of dog auctions and puppy mills just doesn’t match up. Maybe then your county government will tell the auctions and puppy mills that they are not wanted.

  40. Laurie Harwich says:

    I no longer shop in “Amish Country” either and make a point of telling everyone why. My friends are tired of me telling complete strangers about the Amish and their puppy mills but I will continue to let everyone know what is being done to defensless puppies and dogs. I carry a picture of my puppy mill dog from the first day I got him to show people how he came to me. Everyone is shocked he is still alive. If the puppy mills and auctions have nothing to hide – why are you not allowed to take any pictures? That speaks volumes!!!

  41. Tim S. says:

    One question for To Tell The Truth 101 – which meeting did you attend in which you reference Mrs. Shaver and her group that want to stop livestock? I’ve been told by a few people who have read articles about BODA and their ballot campaign that you are also posting comments on several message boards under the name puppylover. Thank you.

  42. Robin McClelland says:

    RE: “Home owned … home grown …”

    I doubt all residents of Holmes County want to be credited or even associated with the operation of this horrid dog auction operated by a few indiviuals. While a few enjoy thick pockets as a result, the rest of the community suffers shame and embarrassment. It is a plague on the community, created by “home owned” that has reached a national level.

    As for “home grown”, many of these animals are not “home grown”… they are trucked to Holmes County from individuals from other states, as far away as Minnesota. They live in states that ban this practice. Dogs are loaded up in crates sky high and make the journey to Holmes County.

    The advocates, like myself, wishing to see this practice stopped in Ohio did not create the practice, but are merely responding because it exists. It is in your county. If the practice existed in a different county, we would be there instead. It is not about your county, but about the dog auction operation, period.

    Residents of Holmes County, please do not let one business continue to darken the nations perspective on your entire community. Work with us to get this out of your own back yard.

    The only thing the law does for a dog in Ohio right now is call it a “companion animal”. This declaration sets it apart from “livestock”. The animals that fall victim to the puppy mills and this auction are far from being treated as “companion animals”.

    Join with us to see it shut down, through changes in the law. Show some humanity, please.

    Robin McClelland
    Executive Director
    Appalachian Ohio SPCA

  43. tell the truth 101 says:

    I am amazed every one wnts to throw stones….But no one want to address the issues I stated….

    Rescues with cages stacked higher than a person not secure…

    Akron’s dirty little secret the people HELPING the animals RIGHT??????

    The rescue in Trumbell County??????????HELPING ANIMALS

    So you and your ten thousand supporters will not shop Holmes county OH SO SAD…..go to Berlin or anywhere in Holmes county on a weekend….GOOD LUCK GETTING THROUGH A TWO STOP LIGHT TOWN IN LESS THAN 10 MINUTES……If ever you wanted to see a little piece of heaven her it is…..

    As far as Amy Hunt comments a lot of the pound adopt out dogs not fixed the people came come up with 20-40 dollars to get a dog and get coupon to get it fixed but are not required to….LIKE I SAID FIX YOUR PROBLEMS FIRST BEFORE YOU FIX OTHERS…

    As far as Senator Tim Grendell he was a breeders meeting not supporting you in any way…..NOW WHAT ITS ELECTION YEAR…HELLO

    Oh yea Linda Swanson it was Harold Neuhart not Ervin…..Maybe watch it again and see the blogs after the new segmant most KY people see it in a different way than your group….They see the reporter in the wrong…….

  44. Molly S says:

    It is quite evident in this article that the author holds a degree in Creative Writing! I know that the media has a great way of spinning issues, but to try and paint Dog Auctions and Puppy Mills as positive industries takes a lot more creativity than I have.

  45. Becky Chatelain says:

    Tell The Truth 101 – why can’t you state your name ? I’m proud to state my name and proud to NOT SUPPORT THIS DEPLORABLE “BUSINESS”. I currently have an 11 y/o foster who came from a backyard breeder in Columbiana County. It’s not just Holmes County but Holmes County is the WORST. This 13 lb pug was surrendered by her BACKYARD BREEDER because she wouldn’t eat. She didn’t surrender her right away either because she was extremely emaciated. Wanna know why ? Her teeth were SO FILTHY and ROTTED that she couldn’t chew her food ! That is INEXCUSABLE. When the vet went in to do her dental, her jaw completely crumbled and broke. They had to take some of her collar bone to fix it. He spine is extremely bowed from life confined in a crate and her back will never be straight. She is now, for the first time, experiencing the love and care she deserves and should’ve gotten from the beginning of her precious life. I DESPISE PUPPYMILLS and BACKYARD BREEDERS and I’ve seen what comes out of them FIRST HAND. Anyone who can’t see what’s going on here is completely blind or hiding the truth, as usual.

  46. Tim S. says:

    To Tell the Truth 101:

    I ask again, which meeting did you attend in which you reference Mrs. Shaver and her group that want to stop livestock? I’ve been told by a few people who have read articles about BODA and their ballot campaign that you are also posting comments on several message boards under the name puppylover. Are you by chance Teri Arnold from Baltic?

    Also, Senator Tim Grendell’s term expires December 2012 and he is not eligible to run for another four-year term. I feel certain he was not trying to win votes from the people who attended the Geauga meeting based on this fact.

  47. tell the truth 101 says:

    Nope but good try not Teri Arnold but what side is she on maybe I should give her a call and let her know about the article…

  48. tell the truth 101 says:

    By the way Senator Tim Grenall is running for House of Rep…….IS HE NOT……

  49. Tim S. says:

    To Tell the Truth 101:

    Last time I will ask the question, which meeting did you attend in which you reference Mrs. Shaver and her group that want to stop livestock? I’ve been told by a few people who have read articles about BODA and their ballot campaign that you are also posting comments on several message boards under the name puppylover.

    After re-reading Chris Kick’s article, re-visiting BODA’s website and reviewing all the comments posted to this forum, I have made the decision to help gather signatures in support of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act.

  50. tell the truth 101 says:

    Mary said in her meeting she put this on hold due to ISSUE 2 last year is that a lie???????

    Is this not on BODA website??????????????????
    MAYBE I READ IT WRONG AND ITS NOT LIVESTOCK????????????

    Monday, March 29, 2010 – Ohio Humane Farms Volunteer Meeting
    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Community Recreation Center – 701 East State Street, Athens, OH 45701
    R.S.V.P. by Saturday, March 27 to info@banohiodogauctions.com

    Learn about the campaign to reduce the suffering of millions of farm animals in Ohio and prevent some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty in our state! Ohio Humane Farms has extended supporters a great opportunity to volunteer as an individual, as a family, or as a group and help raise awareness and collect signatures supporting our ballot campaign to end dog auctions in Ohio!

    Monday, March 29, 2010 – Ohio Humane Farms Volunteer Meeting
    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    LCNB Bank – 30 West Park Place, Oxford, OH 45056
    R.S.V.P. by Saturday, March 27 to info@banohiodogauctions.com

    Learn about the campaign to reduce the suffering of millions of farm animals in Ohio and prevent some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty in our state! Ohio Humane Farms has extended supporters a great opportunity to volunteer as an individual, as a family, or as a group and help raise awareness and collect signatures supporting our ballot campaign to end dog auctions in Ohio!

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010 – Ohio Humane Farms Volunteer Meeting
    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Carver Community Center – 165 West 4th Street, Chillicothe, OH 45601
    R.S.V.P. by Sunday, March 28 to info@banohiodogauctions.com

    Learn about the campaign to reduce the suffering of millions of farm animals in Ohio and prevent some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty in our state! Ohio Humane Farms has extended supporters a great opportunity to volunteer as an individual, as a family, or as a group and help raise awareness and collect signatures supporting our ballot campaign to end dog auctions in Ohio!

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010 – Ohio Humane Farms Volunteer Meeting
    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Kettering Moraine Branch Library – 3496 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton, OH 45429
    R.S.V.P. by Sunday, March 28 to info@banohiodogauctions.com

    Learn about the campaign to reduce the suffering of millions of farm animals in Ohio and prevent some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty in our state! Ohio Humane Farms has extended supporters a great opportunity to volunteer as an individual, as a family, or as a group and help raise awareness and collect signatures supporting our ballot campaign to end dog auctions in Ohio!

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010 – Ohio Humane Farms Volunteer Meeting
    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Canton Main Library – 715 Market Avenue North, Canton, OH 44702
    R.S.V.P. by Monday, March 29 to info@banohiodogauctions.com

    Learn about the campaign to reduce the suffering of millions of farm animals in Ohio and prevent some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty in our state! Ohio Humane Farms has extended supporters a great opportunity to volunteer as an individual, as a family, or as a group and help raise awareness and collect signatures supporting our ballot campaign to end dog auctions in Ohio!

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010 – Ohio Humane Farms Volunteer Meeting
    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    The Meeting Place on Market – 220 West Market Street, Lima, OH 45801
    R.S.V.P. by Monday, March 29 to info@banohiodogauctions.com

    Learn about the campaign to reduce the suffering of millions of farm animals in Ohio and prevent some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty in our state! Ohio Humane Farms has extended supporters a great opportunity to volunteer as an individual, as a family, or as a group and help raise awareness and collect signatures supporting our ballot campaign to end dog auctions in Ohio!

    Thursday, April 1, 2010 – Ohio Humane Farms Volunteer Meeting
    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Mansfield Public Library, Main Branch (Community Room, 1st Floor) – 43 West Third Street, Mansfield, OH 44902
    R.S.V.P. by Tuesday, March 30 to info@banohiodogauctions.com

    Learn about the campaign to reduce the suffering of millions of farm animals in Ohio and prevent some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty in our state! Ohio Humane Farms has extended supporters a great opportunity to volunteer as an individual, as a family, or as a group and help raise awareness and collect signatures supporting our ballot campaign to end dog auctions in Ohio!

    Thursday, April 1, 2010 – Ohio Humane Farms Volunteer Meeting
    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    YMCA – 1150 Charles Lane, Marysville, OH 43040
    R.S.V.P. by Tuesday, March 30 to info@banohiodogauctions.com

    Learn about the campaign to reduce the suffering of millions of farm animals in Ohio and prevent some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty in our state! Ohio Humane Farms has extended supporters a great opportunity to volunteer as an individual, as a family, or as a group and help raise awareness and collect signatures supporting our ballot campaign to end dog auctions in Ohio!

    YOU DONT SUPPORT IT BUT YOU ADVERTISE IT WAKE UP………

  51. CC Coltrain says:

    Mr. Kick: Your reference to “the petition [you] referred to” in your article is disingenuous at best. Your article CLEARLY tries to convince people that the petition to put this whole issue on the ballot is signed by people from Canada and other non-Ohio locales. You are being purposely misleading in this whole article.

    The puppy mill problem is multifaceted. This is one of the facets — the supply. Yes, the pet stores buy the puppies and the customers buy them from the pet stores. Every facet is being addressed, just not all by this petition. Stopping the auctions puts a big obstacle in the puppy millers’ way. THAT’S why I support it!

  52. tell the truth 101 says:

    Last time you will ask the questions address my questions and concerns I posted OH YA THATS RIGHT BODA JUST WANTS TO BE ONE SIDED……..JUST LIKE ADVERTISING TOWN HALL MEETING ……BUT ONLY ONE SIDED…..

  53. Chris Adams says:

    Tell the Truth 101. . . How about you say who you are. You never ever come out and say who you really are. I wonder why that is? All of the BODA supporters (me included) have our name front and center because WE have NOTHING to HIDE.

    Your comments make me smile because they are the proof we need to shut you all down and we WILL. We WILL.

    Enough said. YOU aren’t worth my time or energy but the DOGS are.

  54. tell the truth 101 says:

    Shut down what the dog auction OH NO THATS NOT YOUR GOAL dog breeding…….right?

  55. Jennifer says:

    Mr. Kick, were you writing an opinion piece? If so, that’s fine, everyone is entitled to an opinion. Unfortunately, you are a member of the media, and as such, have a responsibility to report information correctly. I’m guessing you’re fresh out of school as no experienced journalist would write such a piece. If this was supposed to be a journalistic article (read “balanced reporting of facts”), please go back and complete your education.

  56. People in Glass House says:

    Hi Crist. Thanks for your Hard work !! it all ways get’s my Att, when people go to Dif, state or county to voice there opinion, where people don’t No them . If we read these coment it sound like they no what they are doing.the question I have why dont the people in there county vote them in to help in there state or county to make it a better place to live ?????????? just stop and think.It is a reason….. why is the puppy market so big in ohio? just stop think.. do you think it come’s from raiseing a bad puppy ?????? No i herd the guy work hard to raise healty puppy. I was reading 1 of the coment where it said its A Mega Million Dallor Biss. I dont think That is True.But why are we so consert how the Amish make there money ?? They have USDA. Dog warren. Vet. One of coment said the Dog were scare at the auction Didnt want come out of there cages I under Stand ..How do our kid’s repone the first time we drop them of at ( day Care )so we can work 2 job’s and have nice big car’s big house’s and too injoy our vac. on the beach. I was told about May 22 dog aution . I went to see how it was you could Pick out the people that were not breeder’s but i am telling you the rescues people were haveing A great time they brought there blanket in for a soft Seat. they were injoying the good food. one lady bought a dog and was careing it around.Trust me it not all Bad. I seen one of those’s couple’s were impress how the vet. was checking every dog be for it was sold. it just so sad how some people no so little but say so much! ! ! ! ! ! I was told at one meeting a lady ask a question to one of the breeder you mean you just run the dog together and they can breed when every they one. alot of those people don”t no any Better . a Dog come in Heat 1 or 2 time’s a year . the reason i am saying this it sound like the dog’s are haveing puppy ever week. Well what I seen on may 22 those rescuse people would miss the auction. This is what upset me they point how a lady that broke the dog lege’s and wrote in paper that she bought dog at the auction with broking legs now that is cruel. Remmber it was vet, check just be for it was sold these rescues are puting 4&5 dog in a cages, and the breeder’s get the blame .Hello. Well i am sure there are plase to improve lets help them maybe those people want A Vac,to. Don’t see why they have to go out of biss? Do you no where that puppy will spent her day when ever one is at work ??? MAKING BIG MONEY Weil our Kid’s are at day care in a (cage ) ( Commonsense )

  57. Karen Slough says:

    There would be no need for pounds or rescues if everyone would open their heart and home to a shelter dog. Instead, so many spend their money on pet shop pups not realizing they are encouraging more breeding. It is a vicious cycle.

    Also, how many people devote themselves to the entire life of the dog? Countless owners will “get rid” of an animal as soon as it becomes inconvenient. Then it becomes another statistic as well.

  58. Mary S. says:

    You know I find alot of humor in reading these blogs. I guess only on person disagrues with you this Teri Arnold so that is how you come to the conclusion she is Tell the Truth 101?

    I must say that after reading the blogs and how they discredit the reporter and attack fellow bloggers, it makes my decision easy. I will not be supporting the group.

    You seem to be attacking a group of people the Amish. What about the gentleman down the road from me that has about 6 dogs and alsways seem to have puppies for sale? He doesn’t matter only the Amish. I must say I agree with Tell the Truth it seems like you are more interested in stopping a lot of things besides dog auctions.

  59. Morgan says:

    I am amazed at the amount of untrue or misleading information in this article. It seems that the reporter does not understand the process of what is going on at all.

    The fact that it is said that there is a petition with signatures from “Canada, Israel, Italy, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Greece, Guatemala … all are part of the 500-plus who have signed the Internet-based petition to tell Holmes County to ban dog auctions.” shows the lack of understanding.

    YES there is an online petition showing SUPPORT for banning dog auctions in Ohio, but this is not the ACTUAL petition. It is simply to show support. The actual petition has to be signed IN PERSON not online. The signatures are then checked to make sure everyone are VOTERS FROM OHIO.

    Maybe the reporter doesn’t know the rules of putting something on the ballot, but I feel like the information should have been checked before being printed.

    There are many other misleading things in the article, but I specifically wanted to point this issue out.

  60. mary gibson says:

    Good for Mary Shaver, for telling it like it is. I for many years transported dogs from the dog aucitons to Rescue. The leftovers, that is. It sure opened my eyes on thia issue. These breeders are never inspected in my opinion, not by the county nor the ODA, What chance do the animals have?

    These breeders are mainly Amish amd have no concerns for animal care other than the money they will bring. How sad is that concept. One would have to question their religious belief.The same God that created man created the animals and for his sake they deserve the care he entrusted to man. I recall one of the Amish a few years ago allowing her horse to drown and the comment made it was just an animal and had no soul. In my opinion, the Amish have no souls.

    Several years ago, I was asked by a rescue group to to pick up some of the dogs left over from this auction. One of them was particularly needy a tea cup poodle very weak with maggots coming from its rear end. It was being taken to Pennyslvania by a rescue who assured me they had seen worse. What a sad commentary on man!

    Exploitation of animals seems to be rampant in Ohio look at the dairy farm recently om the news the Conklin Farn in Plain county. Nothing advertizes better the greed that Ohio has adopted than these types of stories.

    Ohio can and should do better than to promote greed in the animal industry.

  61. Tim S. says:

    I believe BODA has clearly stated that this is a ballot initiative to end Ohio dog auctions. It is a smart strategy to “piggyback” any opportunities that will allow their supporters to gather signatures of registered voters.

    I believe Mrs. Shaver also issued a ststement that mentioned supporters of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act are also involved with other causes impacting the welfare of people and animals. The Ohioans for Humane Farms ballot petition does not have any verbiage relating to livestock auctions, therefore it is not only prudent but smart of BODA to take advantage of any opportunities where people will be collecting signatures for the Ohioans for Humane Farms petition.

    As a voter, I decide which petition I will sign and which ballot initiative will receive my vote. Just as the Ohio Farmer’s Union was in opposition to Issue 2, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their members are partners with HSUS.

    As I mentioned previously, my neighbor and I are not commercial breeders nor do we affiliate ourselves with any animal rights group. We vote based on the facts presented with each ballot initiative. Right now, I am one of those voters who will support the signature drive for the Ohio Dog Auctions Act but I am still very much undecided about the Ohioans for Humane Farms ballot.

  62. Just a gentle reminder from the editor: Passionate commentaries are fine, but we will not tolerate profanity or personal attacks on other commenters. We encourage you to police each other in civil discourse.

  63. Tim S. says:

    Tell the Truth 101:

    If you could please discontinue screaming at everyone who is sharing comments on this article, we would be most appreciative. Thank you.

    Have a wonderful weekend everyone and don’t forget to exercise your right to vote!

  64. Dog Psych says:

    Mr. Kick,

    You fit right in with the mass media. Don’t bother with facts. What a beautiful picture you paint of a nasty place with dirty little secrets they want to keep all to themselves. The Amish and their lack of compassion for the animals who put bread in their mouths is notorious. I’m thinking the bias and skewed vision isn’t so much a problem from without. Looks like the inside needs to get some glasses. You are a bit near-sighted, Mr. Kick.

    First of all, do you even know why the auction exists? Let me give you a lesson in basic economics (because that’s all your innocent Amish are concerned with). It’s all about supply, demand, and profit. The ones who cannot be sold for top dollar must go somewhere, and, since there is still some money to be made, they take them to auction, instead of drowning them. (That is almost certainly the fate of any who are not sold. Why not follow their paths and see how their lives turn out? There’s a story for you!)

    Harold Neuhart, the owner of the auction, is a Neanderthal, threatening violence and assaulting people. Where was that in your story? He mugged the cameraman! Is that typical Amish behavior, accepted in a community that wants to live in the 1800′s? Why do you use the internet, if you so highly value a “simple life”, Mr. Kick?

    The next time you decide to do a story, I suggest you take an unbiased approach, do some research, and pull your head out of the darkness. Go look at those pathetic faces, Mr. Kick. I dare you. Go stand and stare, and then put yourself in the position of the caged and forgotten. Pretend you are an abandoned 3 year old, stuffed in a cage, surrounded by strangers, staring and pointing at you all day. Now, pretend, as that same 3 year old, you are snatched out of that cage and handed to someone who takes you home and puts you outside on a chain. (That is what “simple” folk do with their dogs most of the time.) You linger there, mostly alone, and then you die. Finally, Mr. Kick, reach out and touch, and feel the immediate connection that amazing creature who has known nothing but a life of torture and terror, makes with you. You mistake the innocent, Mr. Kick. The innocence is sitting, shivering in fear and pain, in that cage. He is not the man dressed all in black.

    That is the story you should have told, if you wanted to tell the TRUTH, but then, telling the TRUTH is not the role of the media. You should hang your head in shame. As a reporter, you should feel a sense of ethics to dig up and expose the truth, not use your pen to reinforce evil. The Amish resistance to decent values that require compassionate handling of animals and children is hardly admirable. Instead, it is a Capitalistic rationale for continued abuse that results in personal profit and gain, and, ultimately, will be the death of their “community”.

  65. Kris says:

    Let’s let cameras inside the auction house and a team of veterinarians come in and assess the condition and health of these dogs…I’m pretty sure that would resolve the issue…Can anyone explain why cameras are not allowed in the auction? Must be something going on that they don’t want Ohioans to know about…
    We can see how well that turned out for Conklin dairy farm….

  66. Dog Psych says:

    To Mary S.:

    Since you find so much humor reading these blogs, here’s another laugh for ya:

    Re: The breeder down the road. . . Mary, have you ever engaged in political battle? I ask, because your response to Mary Shaver’s group’s actions sounds a bit naive. Mary, I am quite certain, would wave her magic wand and cart those puppies, and their parents, to responsible humans who would not make anymore.

    As, however, her wand has not yet been activated, she has only the Amish to put out of business. You see, Mary S., when you play politics, it’s a numbers game. Harold Neuhart and the Amish community who use his auction to dump unwanted puppies and dogs, are lower hanging fruit that will generate a much bigger impact in puppy production, if they can only be stopped. Why does Ohio insist on being a state that not only tolerates, but actually promotes, animal torture? Why don’t we just legalize dog fighting? (Would that also entertain you, Ms. S.?)

    This is so frustrating, because it is not Rocket Science. All it takes are some basic values, the stuff you learn in kindergarten. We do NOT teach our Kindergartners to be inhumane to animals, do we? Do we tell them it’s okay to take a life and lock it in a cage without companionship or the slightest concern for its physical well being? (I guess we do, if we are AMISH.)

    Just some thoughts for you to chuckle over. Have a good laugh, and then, engage your brain.

  67. Veronica Dickey says:

    As a person who holds dual degrees, a B.S. in Agriculture from The Ohio State University, and an ADN in Nursing from Kent State University, knowledge which Chris is fully aware of, but failed to mention, I question the journalistic integrity of what Mr. Kick has written about me.

    The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions is working on the Ohio Dog Auctions Act which would enact Section 955.54 of the Ohio Revised Code to make it unlawful for any person to auction, or raffle a dog within Ohio for any purpose, it would also prohibit bringing into the state for purposes of sale or trade a dog acquired through an auction or raffle in another jurisdiction. The Ohio Dog Auctions Act is about banning dog auctions period, nothing else!

    Chris, might I suggest you actually go to a dog auction at the livestock barn in Farmerstown on route 557. I sat on a hard bench on October 7, 2009 for over 10 hours as 385, frightened, many pregnant, in-heat, sickly looking, dogs with umbilical hernias, underbites, cherry eyes, and even brucellosis were sold. Not one mention about the breed standard, screening for genetic diseases and friendly disposition; qualities a reputable breeder considers important when buying and selling a dog and their puppies. You can see and read about many of the dogs rescued from this auction by visiting the Investigations page of the BanOhioDogAuctions website.

    Besides much discussion on the reproductive status of the dogs-pregnant, in-heat, due in-heat, aggressive male breeders-money was a huge topic. An auctioneer stated in the middle of the auction as the bidding was starting to slow, “Harold Neuhart, the auction owner, has agreed to take credit cards, we got a lot of dogs to sell, so get out your credit cards!” That evening $110,000.00 was earned with Mr. Neuhart taking home $14,850.00 (10% off the top, plus $10.00 per dog).

    Auctioning dogs is about making lots of money and has nothing to do with improving the standards of the breed.

    Chris,your attempt to discredit me in an effort to undermine the credibility of the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions will only create more publicity in support of our campaign.

  68. Chele E. says:

    Shame on you, Mr. Kick. I do wonder who you are actually working for in this article.

    “I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

    The dogs at these auctions are Companion Animals NOT livestock and to treat them as such is morally reprehensible and to believe they deserve the dastardly treatment they receive buy either Amish or English is disgusting. In fact I wonder at the upbringing or emotional bankruptcy of someone who can look at the majority of these animals and think any of it is alright.

    As someone who took a mill dog out of her situation, a female who in 2 years of life had already had 4 litters of pups, it’s taken me a year of constant work and love to keep her from cowering behind the furniture every time the doorbell rings or a stranger comes within 10 feet.

    You, Mr. Kick need to spend some quality time with a rescue group picking up the pieces of the cast-a-ways left over after one of these Dog Auctions you seem to support. If you can still support these people after a year or even 6 months trying to rebuild a shattered animal physically and emotionally then I weep for the direction society as a whole is headed.

  69. tell the truth 101 says:

    If I was not getting personall attacked it might be easier. But you guys want to come at me with everything you got but don’t want to address my questions. The last time I checked I live in the USA and have the right to free speach. Just because you don’t agree with me you want to try to discredit me… You want to accuse me of being someone. I just hope Teri Arnold is as nice as I am.

  70. animale lover says:

    Hi Chele you need to open your eye’s . and tak a toure . these rescuse people are leaveing bad track 4 & 5 Dog in one cage hauling them around at night so no one would see them ,it is sad it is bad , than they come back Blame the Breeder i am sorry the rescue don’t no how to care for a dog they terr the dog out of the cagse break there legs and Blame the Breeder. I am telling you take toure go to there house’s to there garage check the dumper see how many dead dog’s you fine

  71. Anne Huddleston says:

    I have fostered (and ended up keeping) two puppy mill rescues. The last one came from Holmes county. This dog has been in my care for almost 1.5 years now and she is still terrified of most things. The entire group she was rescued with was the most damaged group of dogs I have ever encountered. Psychologically terrifed of people (especially men) and constantly expecting abuse to come their way.
    This little girl has made incredible progress but was pitifully thin when I received her, had massive tooth decay at the tender age of 3.5 and had already bred multiple litters. She also was bleeding internally and was vomiting blood which is probably why they sold her. If she had remained with them I am sure she would have been inhumanely killed.
    She is only motivated by safety, a hard thing to always assure her of. She is slowly coming around but it breaks my heart to watch how scared she still is after all this time. Almost all the animals saved from these places are severely traumatized, malnourished and have multiple medical issues that have been left to deteriorate.

    Wake up and smell the coffee! These places are abusive and inhumane and should be forced to adhere to some basic humane standards at the very least. I will never visit that part of Ohio to spend my discretionary income and I am sure to let everyone I can know about the amish and puppy mills/auctions.

  72. Mary S. says:

    Dog Psych:

    In response to your blog. First of all after looking for a dog for about a month, I can tell you I have not seen a pure breed that actually looks like one. What I have seen was several Lab crosses, Shepard crosses and pit crosses. I did see several dogs that they claimed where pure breeds but you could tell they where not.

    What I was amazed at was how many of the pound adopt dogs that are not fixed. Do you see the problem here?

    I tried to go through a few rescues but can tell you I was asked less questions and went through less interviews than what I did to be a foster parent to a child. Do you see a problem here?

    Maybe if we all look at the big picture here which is they type of dogs which you see in a pound is put strict laws as far as higher fees for un-altered pets. Start there I bet you would be amazed at how the numbers dropped in the pound if there where rules for the averge Joe out there.

    I take great offense in the fact you think I should engage my brain. I am a college grad have a full-time job and a foster parent. I must have so clue for the state to allow me to take care of someone else kids. By the way just a note every notice how there are no Amish in foster care just a thought they must be going something right. Maybe if we focused on kids as much as what you do on dogs we would not have hundreds or thousand in each county of the state.

  73. All I know is…… I’ve gotta go to work. It’s very obvious who is in the wrong, here. Read it and weep. You just DON’T CREATE lives for monetary gain. PERIOD. Puppymillers, please get “real” jobs, and end the suffering of these severely OVERPOPULATED, abused, and tortured dogs. It is an innate knowledge (or supposed to be) that it is WRONG to induce the unnecessary suffering of living, breathing, feeling creatures. No amount of arguing will change that! Good Day!

  74. Chele E. says:

    To animale lover:

    I was an Amish driver for 10 years. I’ve seen how they treat their animals, their families and their drivers. I wasn’t impressed. When the RV Industry went belly up was when you got a real first hand view of how bad it was going to get. When the big money started going south they turned to what would make the biggest profit and the puppy mill industry has exploded in Indiana and Michigan. Where have they gotten a large portion of their stock? the Ohio Dog Auction. In fact I’ve driven to 2 not knowing what they were. When I finally did find out I quit. I refused to be party to the trade they were involved in. I also no longer buy any pets from pet stores.

    The Amish are just like everyone else. Some are nice some are not. The one’s who own puppy mills are motivated by money with animals they view as livestock. Just as they treat their horse, cow or chickens they treat their companion animals. They are some good breeders who turn a decent profit but still maintain a decent life for their animals and then there are the millers who chase after money and leave their animals to pay for the cutting of corners with their bodies and minds drinking rancid water and eating rotted food.

    And to Mary S.

    Unfortunately you are incorrect in the statement that there are no Amish children in foster care. There are also Amish adults in jail and rehab. I’ve driven their families to visit them. They drink, they smoke and they have teen pregnancies. The reason you don’t know about this is they do NOT advertise that they are in fact just like everyone else, with the same problems as everyone else, the same failures as everyone else and give in to temptations like everyone else.

  75. Becky Chatelain says:

    This isn’t an article about kids, it’s about dogs, so why would we discuss how children are treated ?

  76. Emily J says:

    Dear Chris Kick:

    You are the most slanted, one-sided journalist I have ever read. Your story is either woefully misinformed or purposely misleading. The petition you are referring to is an INTERNET petition. It was started because SO many people from outside the state are concerned about the Buckeye Dog Auction. It has no legal force in terms of putting the initiative to ban this dog auction onto the Ohio ballot. What it DOES do is give the hundreds of people from around the country and around the world who have expressed concern about this auction a way to tell the Chamber of Commerce in Holmes County what they think. Do you understand that Ohio’s weak laws regarding animals are now in the world’s spotlight? The Mercy for Animals video showing abuse of livestock at Conklin Dairy Farm has gone viral. These people are now finding out about the Ohio Dog Auction, too. Your auction is a disgrace that tarnishes the image of our entire state in the eyes of the world, and the world is watching.

    Meanwhile, a few volunteers in the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions are bravely gathering signatures for their modest, limited ballot initiative that targets the dog auction only. It does not say anything about breeding or housing dogs, and it certainly does not say anything about livestock. Their initiative is in NO WAY connected to Mercy for Animals or the Humane Society of the United States. I challenge you to go to the MFA or HSUS websites and find any connection whatsoever. You will not. I personally have spoken with Wayne Pacelle about this initiative, which he declined to support because he believes it does not go far enough. So much for your conspiracy theories. The BALLOT INITIATIVE petition, which is NOT online but is paper only, as required by the Ohio secretary of state’s office, is being circulated and signed by OHIO VOTERS ONLY. Only we can put an initiative on the ballot, and only we can vote on it.

  77. Mary S. says:

    There are not Amish in Foster care their families step in and do the right thing they take the children. If they where in foster care they would not be able to hide it.

    To Becky what a shame you feel that dogs are more important than children.

  78. animale lover says:

    Hi Mary

    I agree what u just said it is ahame that dogs & puppy come befor the children .just lik i said the rescue dont no how to treat animal but the breeder gets the blame , I feel sorry for Mary O’conner that there people in her own county don’t need her for some think ?????????

  79. Becky Chatelain says:

    I never said that dogs are more important that children. I said “THIS IS AN ARTICLE ABOUT HOW DOGS ARE TREATED SO WHY WOULD WE BE DISCUSSING CHILDREN”

  80. Mary S. says:

    I totally agree animale lover.

    To Emily J:

    You say that BODA is not associated with HSUS I would have to questions that since right on your front page if you click see inside of a auction it goes right to HSUS. Am I wrong???

    You don’t support the Livestock issue but you are friends with them and collect signatures together??? That seems odd would you not say??

  81. Becky Chatelain says:

    I don’t think anyone is saying all breeders are bad. There are good breeders. Breeders who aren’t in it to make a profit and who only breed one or two litters per year to maintain the BREED STANDARD. There are good rescues and there are bad rescues. Just because a person calls themself a rescuer, doesn’t mean they do every legally either. I think we need to remember that we are talking about PUPPYMILLS and BACKYARD BREEDERS and not lump everyone into one group.

  82. animale lover says:

    Hi Diane

    I really think you rescuse people should go throuh training when you buy a dog. if your puppy ran under ne the bed behind door when he saw you . you prop yell at him or did some think bad , yes Blame the breeder

  83. Robin McClelland says:

    I rarely comment more than once on a subject, however… regarding the statement about children, I feel I must.

    Before becoming an activist, I had a career rescuing internationally abducted children, a career in which I was 100% sucessful in my endeavors.

    For the life of me, I will never understand why it is so much easier rescuing an internationally abducted child than a dog from my own back yard.

    There are agencies and activists for children. The children are not being ignored.

    Enough said.

  84. Mary S. says:

    Becky

    i wish you would go to some of the show breeders I have bought dogs off of. The have more than one or two litters a year. I can tell you there dogs are suppose to be so great and they are suppose to be the best in your groups mind. Well I have walked away for a show breeders with our buying a dog due to the way they where kepp in crates most of the day and never allowed to be a dog. But that is ok? One person taking care of over 20 dogs when a amish family is normally 4-8 kids and the family taking care of their dogs their bad in your eyes.

    I have never hear any thing on her about Backyard breeders just what you call a puppymiller

  85. animale lover says:

    hmmmmm what am i missing i thought the rescue people are the puppy millers they are in my book ( tak a toure ) Than they Blame the breeder’s

  86. Becky Chatelain says:

    AGAIN, there ARE bad rescues, but we are not all bad – I volunteer for two reputable rescues. There are also good and bad breeders. Why lump everything into one group ?

  87. tell the truth 101 says:

    Becky,

    That is what I am saying clean up your bad rescues before you start to clean up someone else problem, meaning what you think is a problem.

    Why does no one in you group start to clean up all those bad rescues??????

  88. Becky Chatelain says:

    I’m actually not a part of Mary’s group. I have just personally fostered some dogs taken out of mills and I’ve seen the damage done to them. I have also seen the damage some private owners have done to their dogs. I do not support ANYONE abusing dogs or any animal, no matter what they call themselves. I agree, the bad rescues need to be cleaned up too. A lot of times, they are just as good at hiding as the millers and backyard breeders, but I agree, they need to be stopped too.

  89. tell the truth 101 says:

    I totally agree and have 3 dogs that where rescues from the pound all have major issues and 2 dog bought at the auction and they are the sweetest dogs in the world….

    The rescues are the best hiders they can say they are doing the best for the anaimals and no one says anything…Just like the rescue in Trumbell County

  90. boxerlover says:

    While your focusing so hard on the Amish maybe you should watch your own people to. ITS NOT ALL THE AMISH! Yes maybe their are allot of puppy mills out their but every bushel of apples has a few rotten ones. Their are good people out their to! That raise their puppies with love and care! What you guys are doing are running every person down in Holmes county WELL THAT’S NOT RIGHT! To many people are just listening to people talk and they have no idea if its true or NOT!

  91. tell the truth 101 says:

    Boxerlover…YAYA I totally agree they want to throw every into a kettle and stir it up….There are a lot of very great kennels in Holmes county….

  92. Betty D says:

    When I read your Bio, Mr. Kick, that you have a degree in creative writing, I had to laugh. Your article seemed like a piece of creative fiction. Perhaps you need to do some research and get yourself into a puppy mill, visit the Ohio Dog Auction, and go inside one of those back barns at the “peaceful” Amish homesteads. It seems obvious to me that if you had ever done those things, you would not be writing the stuff you just did. And why do you insinuate that a member of BODA should not care about livestock. That is ridiculous. Are we not allowed to care for more than one type of animal? However, as it has been pointed out, BODA is only working on banning Ohio Dog Auctions. Also, you state a vet check dogs in these buisinesses. These vets are employees of the puppy mills, and the dog auctions. They are in their employers back pockets. Their exams mean nothing.

  93. BuckeyeBuggyBabies says:

    Sharon, it’s so good to hear from you, finally.

    Each time I post puppy mill shih tzus in need (which by the way isn’t brokering, simply posting dogs in need to Yahoo groups), Janet, Audrey, Kim, and/or Joan all ask me “Did you ask Sharon?” And for a year, my response has had to be “Sharon won’t answer my emails.”

    Because I/we could not find rescuers for a dozen female shih tzus, recently, aged 3 to 5 (free) the owner found another breeder to buy them for $150 each, and they are STILL in ‘the life’!

    Feel good? Justify this for me, would you?

  94. BuckeyeBuggyBabies says:

    Susan, Thank you.

    Yes…passionate discussion is one thing. Outright lies and slander are a different matter.

  95. Chris Kick says:

    Betty, I did visit both the auction and an alleged “puppy mill.” Reports from both will be in next week’s edition.

    I have a hard time calling local, reputable vets “employees of the puppy mills and dog auctions.” They are trained and licensed experts with degrees in that area.

    I have also been into various Amish homes and had meals with them. Some of the neatest and hardest working people I know.

    Could you share your own bio? Thank you.

  96. Tim S. says:

    It’s the end of a work week, so I just couldn’t resist adding one more comment before the start of my family’s Memorial Day vacation.

    Ms. McClelland, I agree with your comments regarding agencies and organizations that are addressing issues impacting children.

    BODA is focused on dog auctions. That’s their ballot initiative. It appears from all the information provided to me by BODA’s/USDA’s website, my state legislators and research on the internet that the majority of breeders who consign and buy dogs at the Ohio dog auctions are Amish. I believe many of the people who have posted comments on this website have had personal experience dealing with many of these Amish breeders, whether it be directly or through the Ohio Dog Auctions, and many of the puppies and dogs purchased or rescued have been in very bad shape.

    It also appears that some who have posted on this board feel rescues and backyard breeders need to be addressed through legislation. I understand there are two bills, SB 95 and HB 124, pending in House and Senate which would address these groups. Again from talking with many fanciers and animal activists, there are very mixed reviews on this piece of legislation, most of which that has been shared with me is not good. I also understand that the bills have been amended more than 15 times since originally introduced five years ago.

    If SB 95 and HB 124 aren’t something that you can support, I would suggest one or some of you consider creating a PAC and submit legislation in the form of a ballot initiative or amendment to the constitution. That’s what Mrs. Shaver’s group apparently did and they created BODA as part of their ballot campaign.

    Like I mentioned in a previous post, as a voter I decide which petition I will sign and which ballot initiative will receive my vote. I vote based on the facts presented with each ballot initiative. Based on all my research, I will support the signature drive and my vote for the Ohio Dog Auctions Act.

    God Bless America! Don’t forget to honor all those fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives to preserve our right to freedom of expression on these type of message boards!

  97. O.K. Here you people go again about the children. TUTORIAL: It is a proven fact, by statistic, that those who are abusing animals, are MORE LIKELY than not, ALSO abusing their own or someone else’s children. It goes hand in hand. That is why, during Humane Officer training classes, one MUST ALSO learn the signs of child abuse. In most instances, when on call for an animal abuse case, humane agents find that the children in the home, ALSO show signs of neglect, bodily harm or worse, sexual abuse. I just took, and passed the course in October, 2009. It is mandatory to report the abuse of the pet owner’s children, if signs are present, as well the pet’s. We save chidren when we save animals. Please get this straight. MANY CHILDREN HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM HOMES AND SAVED, BECAUSE THE PET IS OUTSIDE AND NEIGHBORS WITNESSED THE ABUSED PET, THANK GOD. CHILDREN ARE ABUSED BEHIND CLOSE DOORS. BY THE WAY, I HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS, 11 AND 4. GOOD LUCK IN YOUR LITIGATIONS

  98. Stephanie says:

    Not all commercial kennels / puppy mills in Holmes County are USDA. But would it matter even if they all were?
    Apparently, even the USDA can’t do their job and report their inspected kennels when they DO have infractions. Why is it that I have to obey the laws, and Holmes County’s own Ervin Raber and many others do not have to?

    http://acissearch.aphis.usda.gov/LPASearch/faces/pdfpage.jspx?custid=24536

    Month after month……..the same infractions, and NO REPERCUSSIONS! Ms Gavidia!!! We need to know why you continually go into these kennels and write these breeders up for the same thing time and time again and DO NOT do anything about it. Are you getting something in return?

    But it looks like the USDA WILL be stepping up soon as they are now under the magnifying glass.

    http://www.aspca. org/news/ national/ 05-28-10. html#1

  99. tell the truth 101 says:

    Yes kids are abused behind closed doors but the crime rate, divorces, domestic violence, rapes, and kids in foster care are extremely low in Holmes County.

    I just think that it is sad that 90 post and all about dogs. If people would spend half there time not onlythinking about children but also other humans we would be so much better off.

    The Holmes shopper just ran a article about all the money the amish raised and them down in Haiti building cabin for the people down there. MAYBE WE SHOULD TAKE NOTE AS TO HOW NUCH THEY DO FOR OTHER PEOPLE.

  100. The rate in Holmes County is low because no one complains about it. Look at all the animal abuse going on, and it is not documented on any roster!No one even bats an eye. The one woman mentioned above lets her son kill the family pets with a shovel, for God’s sake! Just like crimes against the children of Holmes county. How will anyone know if all the evidence is shoved under the rug. Believe me, there are rapes, domestic violence etc. in Holmes County. And the reason for the low rate of kids in foster care is simple….. They have all “jumped the fence” and moved to New Philadelphia!!!!!!! Happy Holiday all you dog lovers and caregivers!!!

  101. tell the truth 101 says:

    Wake up you really tink thats the way it is huh????

    They all jumped the fence huh????

    Have you been out through Holmes County lately?
    Every thing is neat as a pin and you can leave your car unlockede anywhere…..The business all leave there stuff out side at night and they don’t have thinks stolen. Try that in Tuscarwaas county better yet drive up and down some streets and look at how the house are kept.

    I bet you will be very proud.

    By the way I have donated to your group before at the park in Phila never again that is for sure after reading your post throwing judgement against so many people. By the way when dog breeding is stopped in Ohio where will you get your next pure breed dog????

  102. Animal lover,

    What training are you talking about under “ne” the bed?

    I’m very curious

  103. Michele M says:

    I work with a lab rescue group. We too have gotten dogs that were no longer “good for breeding” and some of these “healthy puppies” that we have had to spend lots of money on to make them adoptable. When they are healthy, we have to send them to our dog trainer/dog psychologist to socialize them and work through lots of problems.
    We need to strengthn all our animal cruelty laws also. These dogs do not deserve this!!

  104. Who needs a pure bred dog? Not I. I DO have one, but I bought him from a neglectful owner, because he would not treat him for his parvo. He was going to let him die. Pure bred or not, I still would have bought any dog to save it from suffering. Better watch OVER and IN breeding your PUREBREDS. Thanks for the donation.

  105. tell the truth 101 says:

    Yes th last donation you will get there are plenty of other groups out there tht deserve it over yours. I had thought you would be a group I would continue to donate to till I seen your post. I will donate to the HS of Tusc and Holmes county or any other rescue over your group. I guess Linada might have seen something not right with making you a HS officer HUH?

  106. Michele M says:

    Hey animal lover.

    I really do not know where you think you have gotten your information, (You can’t even talk properly using decent English.) Real animal rescue groups take in unwanted, homeless animals. They get them medical care and get them altered so they don’t produce more unwanted, homeless animals. We would love nothing better than to put themselves out of business. We do not do any of this to make a profit and usually we are drastcally in debt to at least one vet for all the needed medical care. We do charge an ADOPTION fee to help cover the vet bills. But we never make a profit. Any money we might make on this dog, we spend on the vet bills of another dog.
    We often are contacted by area vets to take pets with injuries because their owners can’t or won’t pay for the needed treatment.
    All of our dogs are current on their vaccinations, heart worm negative and on prevention, are microchipped so they can be returned to their owners if lost and spayed or nuetered. We guarantee that all our dogs are healthy. So DON’T lump us with those horrible people you claim to know who coomit autrocities against animals!!

  107. starkfarm says:

    To Mary Gibson and the rest of you bashing “the Amish” I am very disgraced in all of you for being RACISTS! If I were to say that just because an African American lived in a bad section of a town that the person is a thug or other degrading names (which I do not believe is true) I would be called out for being a racists and rightly so. So how is your GROUPING and LABELING ALL AMISH as animal abusers, puppy mill operators and mean people ANY DIFFERENT than my example its NOT!
    NOT ALL AMISH ABUSE THEIR ANIMALS NEITHER DO ALL OF THEM HAVE SO CALLED PUPPY MILLS!

    I know several Amish families and have been on several Amish farms. They are some of the most caring and talented people especially with animals!

    Since people are so concerned with Animal Rights why don’t you try practicing some HUMAN RIGHTS also?

    Go on discussing you’re puppymills and animal abusers but not all puppy mills are run by Amish, not all Amish are animal abusers. I bet there are puppy breeders, people that may abuse their animals that are not Amish.

    Stop beong prejudice against all because of some!

  108. tell the truth 101 says:

    I totally agree starkfarm….

    Calling a dog breeder is like calling a African American a n—. If someone would do that it would be crazy on here. But they can bash on dog breeders and Amish and it is fine. DOUBLE STANDARDS?????

    I have never seen a Amish ever ask for anything but always willing to go out of there way to help anyone anywhere. They are a amazing group of people and I think we could all learn for them.

  109. Chris Kick says:

    It is good to hear the respect raised by “stark farm” and “tell the truth 101″ for the Amish.

    There are some comments on here that clearly misrepresent them as a people and as humans.

  110. tell the truth 101 says:

    Thank you Chris for finally telling the true side to Ban Ohio Dog Auction. I can not wait to read the follow up to this story.

  111. Lovinglife says:

    No reputable dog breeder would put their dogs in an auction. The puppy mills churn them out and make their money. Then they end up at the pound where your tax dollars kill them.
    I will not be coming to Holmes County for ANYTHING until they get rid of the dog auctions.
    Ohio needs to strengthen their animal abuse laws.
    Come on Ohio, and specifically Holmes County.
    You should be ashamed of yourselves.
    Let’s do the right thing and fix this.

  112. ResponsiBill says:

    Nobody said “all amish” were bad. It’s just a fact that the majority of people buying and selling at some of these auctions are amish. Plus most amish view dogs as livestock.
    Boycotting Holmes county businesses is not about racism it is about dealing with the “majority” who show up at the dog auctions to buy and sell which are AMISH.
    For anyone who claims rescues are not reputable, then NAME THEM so they can be dealt with. For those who are reputable, I am sure they do not want to be mentioned in the same group.
    Not all reproduction specialists would agree that breeding every heat is a good idea. I spoke with one personally and asked that question directly. He said that breeding a dog before it is mature is not recommended. Translated: do not breed the first heat and wait until the dog is 18 mos old or older. Breeding back to back is not a good idea. He also said, reproduction specialists don’t agree with each other.
    Plain and simple truth is: mass producing of puppies is not healthy for the dogs, the people, and society. Dog auctions just perpetuate the problem. Yes pet stores too, but watch the story from Animal Planet regarding Petland that will be aired June 6 at 1pm.

  113. Sharon H. says:

    stephanie, i’ve been told that boda is requesting the details through foia of all the ohio kennels named in that recent usda audit. many of them are from millersburg. there’s even a picture of one of the kennels and it is sickening.

    betty d, there are reputable vets in holmes, tusc, wayne and coshocton counties who have signed boda’s petition and they have not been afraid to speak out against the dog auctions. i doubt chris kick has interviewed any of them. i also heard that two former employees of the east holmes veterinary clinic have contacted boda and provided some real horror stories to them. one came to speak with mary shaver at their protest held in millersburg. last i heard boda will be posting all of that information on their website very soon.

    emily j is right about you chris kick. all of your articles seem to be slanted and one sided and you don’t do a very good job of hiding your bias against “animal rights” peopple. how many homes and meals have you had with mary shaver and her family or veronica dickey and her family or any member of boda for that matter? they are also some of the most neatest and hard working people you will ever meet. but i doubt you really want to get to know them. it’s pretty obvious to me and many other people who have read your article that you went on a cyber fishing expedition on veronica dickey. that’s a shame because so many people will tell you she is a very compassionate and intelligent woman. she’s also a stage 3 breast cancer survivor who has volunteered much of her time to helping other cancer survivors. that’s also the same for mary shaver. she has volunteered many hours to help inner city youth and build dozens of homes with habitat for humanity and has built some of them on an indian reservation and in africa. and that’s on top of her working a full time job. both ladies have wonderful husbands and families and they are pretty well known in their counties for giving back. but i bet you didn’t spend much time trying to learn and report any of that. it seems you would rather spend more energy writing negative things about any person or group that doesn’t agree with your picture perfect description of holmes county.

    i don’t have any desire to read part two of your special report. as far as i’m concerned it will be anything but fair and balanced reporting.

  114. starkfarm says:

    ResponisBill- when refer to ” the Amish” or “Amish” you are implying the whole group of people. If someone refered to Jews that would imply ALL OF THEM. Have some descent common courtsey for humans because NOT ALL AMISH RAISE, BUY AND SELL DOGS AND NEITHER ARE ALL DOG BREEDERS BAD!

    Tell the truth and Chris- thank you.

    I got stuck this winter in Amish country in my truck and an Amish gentleman and his boys got their draft horses to pull me out. Prefect strangers.

  115. Tell the truth, I dont believe that you have EVER donated to a Rescue Organization. We have plenty of good people supporting the Warm & Cozy Sanctuary. We have saved 28 dogs since January. All in secure, loving homes instead of running homeless or euthanized. And we ARE reputable. Have you been there? We are State Certified and adopt to ALL parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania. There have been NO complaints. We are learning better ways to deal with certain issues every day. It’s a continual learning process. About RACISM, this is not an issue about racism. It’s about those who knowingly put animals in harms way, just to make a profit. It’s everywhere, not just the AMISH. Feeling guilty or what?

  116. Betty D says:

    OK, Mr. Kick, you want my Bio. I have worked in animal shelters and seen first hand the damaged, sick, frightened puppy mill dogs. I have cared for them, cleaned them, loved them, and tried to heal them. I have helped unload van loads of them from recued from puppy mills. The smell and heartbreak is something that sticks with you your entire life. I am helping gather signature for BODA because it is the right thing to do. These dog auctions are part of the puppy mill problem. Not all Amish are bad, we are talking about the ones who run puppy mills. I don’t care how nice they may seem to you as you eat with them. They aren’t going to let you into their filty, dank, dark barn full of mistreated dogs. And I fully expect another slanted article from you, I still contend the the vets hired by these puppy mill businesses and auctions are not truthful. I’m not talking about independent caring vets.

  117. tell the truth 101 says:

    Julie I do not feel guilty at all. My husband and I did donate to your group when you where collecting at the park in New Phila. So now you call me a liar? Nice. You have been Racist about the Amish and have made you feeling clear. That is fine Like I said Linda Kate will be getting a call on Monday thanking her for using her better judgement agian. YA

    My dogs are my kids I have purebreed s and rescues. I am not bias on way or another just don’t like to see people judgeing others like you have through out the article. That is why I had came own on you so hard. We donate through our the year and on the average holiday season NOV-DEC we will donate the least $1000-$1500 to rescues. We know there dogs in need from ir-responsible owners that just let there dogs run around and get breed by anything and everything those are 90-95% of the dogs you see in the pounds. We have been asked on several occasions by our vet to help with a dog and need and have always helped as much as we can. We have also foster dogs and found great homes but we don’t need the glorified thanks that most do. We have bought dogs out of bad situtations in backyard breeders areas and re-homed them to.

    I thank you for passing judgement like you have and wih you a great day I have better things to do than worry about someone that other people have seen the true side to before everyone else had the chance.

  118. Mary S. says:

    Betty D.

    I take great offense to the fact that you are passing judgement on such a highly qualified vet. We have used that vet clinic for years and she is by far the most ourstanding vet you will find. I would but her up against any vet our there.

    I know the only dogs and puppies with issues are from the Amish right??????????? Give me a break I have two dogs for pound up around the Cleveland area and they have more issues than the average person can deal with and they are not purebreeds they are MUTTS. (Heinz 57) Would I get rid of them no they are part of the family and we love them to death but they didn’t come for a puppymill. They came from irresponsible dog owners.

  119. Rusty says:

    I’d like to suggest that “tell the truth 101″ and “boxerlover” learn sentence structure and spelling. Maybe the Holmes county breeders and auctioneers are spending too much time breeding and marketing these pathetic dogs that education has been neglected. The ironic thing is that the “educated journalist” actually commends these commenters! The more well-researched and well-written comments, as well as truthful, are coming from the BODA people. And, I agree with the comment that we are allowed to be concerned with the well-being of more than one species.

  120. Donna Norfolk says:

    Wow! – And I thought that politics, religion, and salaries were the only subjects that were to be avoided in polite social gatherings! Let me state for the record, Mr. Kick contacted me as a representative of the Holmes County Humane Society 3 weeks ago, indicated that the article would be in two parts and that, no I couldn’t review the article prior to publication; their paper didn’t do that. I indicated that the Holmes County Humane Society had scheduled to have the Coalition present to the HCHS Board at a Board meeting May 18th and that after their presentation HCHS would decide if HCHS’ name would appear on their website, documentation, etc. in support of this Ballot Issue. I detailed to Mr. Kick that HCHS is working EVERY DAY with veterinarians and breeders to educate breeders about sanitary, psychological (the need for all animals to be exercised, played with, socialized), and health issues, including but not limited to vaccinations, times for breeding, hereditary line & breed purity issues, size of whelping boxes, etc. There have been great strides made in improving the conditions for all animals in Holmes County. Is it perfect, are the conditions ideal – NO. But, I can state unequivocally that HCHS receives and handles 85% more animals from ‘English’ pet owners than from the Amish communities. And, no, before you go there, the Amish communities DO call us, they do not sweep their animal concerns under the carpet.

    Secondly, Ms. Shaver, yes, my remarks are substantiated by our Board. Your Coalition’s presentation was politely received by our Board, but please, tell the whole story. We decided not to add the HCHS name to your efforts, in part, because of our 501-c-3 status and the current federal regulations regarding support of political groups whose websites support/disapprove of CANDIDATES or links to other political activities outside of their stated political goals; – but indicated each member of HCHS is allowed to act as an individual (OF COURSE) and that we would like petitions to go with the literature if any of them would like to become active with the group. We did not, as you imply, indicate that we would in any way, as an organization, work on this initiative. We thank your very presenters for taking time from their efforts to give us information and for the donation of dog & cat food.

    Before this posting gets all kinds of nasties from those persons who cannot in any way see how a Humane organization can be AGAINST supporting legislation to ban what ‘everyone knows is deplorable …’ I reiterate my accurate quote by Mr. Kick, “Where are you all when there are animals in need and HCHS needs help?” We receive at least 3 calls A DAY from animal owners who are surrending their animals to us – looking for safe havens for animals they can no longer care for. We have advertised for FIVE YEARS for persons who care to step up to the plate and become a foster home for an animal in need. We currently have 7 foster homes – so, everyone, step up to the plate – help us help these animals! Join the ranks of the people of action, not the people of complaint. Dig into your heart and be part of the solution, not part of the ‘why can’t we help them’? Volunteer your time working with these animals, climb into the ring and work with the organizations here, desparately WORKING everyday to give these animals a healthy, long life and a loving human to help them get that.

  121. Chris Kick says:

    Rusty,

    What I commended was their comments regarding their respect of the Amish people and also the upholding of human rights, in addition to animal welfare concerns.

  122. tell the truth 101 says:

    Rusty

    I didn’t realize I was still in school. That is my concern first its dog auctions then livestock.

    If Chris had backed your group you would be praising him like he was God.

    Your group also didn’t like Stacy from the Times Reporter because she seen the other side to the story.

    Everyone is a idiot if the don’t agree with BODA right!!!!!!!!!!

  123. Chris Kick says:

    Donna,

    Thank you for your comments and the work that you and your staff of local humane society officials do.

    Your comments from the second conversation, following your meeting with BODA, will be included in second part. They’re important and considerate comments.

  124. Donna Norfolk says:

    Thanks, Chris! And for the record, I appreciate the paper taking on this volatile issue.

  125. First of all, Tell The Truth, I am the furthest thing from racist that you can get. You have no clue about me. I actually stand up for equal rights diligently, and have done so since the 4th grade. Oh, so you donated to my rescue organization. Does that make you a humane individual. I think NOT. I think you just like to keep bringing it up over and over again to make yourself look good. Go back and re-read what you have written on this blog. It disgusts me. If the only way you and your husband know how to make money, is by creating more dogs and contributing to the amount that are homeless, SHAME on you. Like Karen Slough said, this is the only reason that Sanctuary’s and shelters need to be in existence. From people like you. People who think puppymills are just fine, as long as someone is making a buck, have no humanity in their SOUL AT ALL.IF THEY EVEN HAVE A SOUL. Don’t worry your pretty little head, I’ll keep taking in the dogs you create. The ones with no where else to go, but the euthanasia table. NICE!

  126. Oh, one more thing, Tell The Truth………..I am NOT “with” BODA. But you know what, THEY ARE RIGHT. I feel the exact same way as BODA. So do many individuals. YOU ARE DEAD WRONG, and this whole column shows that. Do me a favor, read it from the beginning to the end. Count your votes. YOU LOSE!
    Happy Memorial Day! I’m gonna drink to that!

  127. tell the truth 101 says:

    Julie

    First of all once again a reporter actually looked at both side to the story and reported the TRUTH. I will never worry about your rescue you are like alot of them look at me I’m perfect and everyone else is wrong. When did I ever said that I breed dogs?????????? Because I really would bet that I never said that. I have 3 rescues from a pound with several issues and the fartest thing from a puuppymill puppy. You do not have to worry I will never donate to your group again and will tell my friends and so-workers what you are like. My family is very well known in Tuscarawas County and my family owns several business. Don’t you worry your little head people will hear the truth about you.
    I will be the first phone call Linda Kate receives Tuesday morning showing my support for her decision. I will also be contacting Tuscarawas County HS where my aunt and cousin help out every week.

    By the way please read the post for the HS of Holmes County majority of their dogs come from ENGLISH people…….Then contact Tuscarawas, Coshocton and Wayne and see what they say…..I HAVE….. ENGLISH PEOPLE maybe we should start taking note of that.

    Its not about winning or losing its about getting the TRUTH out that’s what your side doesn’t want to hear. That why you have closed meeting, but advertise TOWN HALL MEETING. What a joke.

    Well my husband has my drink ready and we are going to sit by the pond with the dogs (our kids)
    Holmes County HS will be getting several donations from us for speaking the truth.

  128. Chris Kick says:

    Tell the truth 101,

    Thank you for recognizing that “a reporter actually looked at both side to the story and reported the TRUTH.”

    Believe me, not everyone believes there’s another side, or accepts the concerns of the other side.

  129. Dog Psych says:

    To Chris Kick, in regard to your EDITORIAL:

    If you want to read an un-biased, clearly accurate description of Amish society, check out Chele E.’s 5-28 post at 12:28pm. To Tell the Truth has no clue about anything so complex. S/he is too busy trying (but failing miserably) to think of clever insults and lies to discredit animal rescuers.

    I notice that you have not made a single attempt to address the multiple examples of disgusting animal abuse encountered and directly witnessed by various, entirely unconnected, individuals. As I suggested in an earlier comment, you need to reach out and feel the connection one of those tortured souls will make with you, despite knowing nothing but abuse in the hands of those black clad humans whose dirty little secret you are clearly motivated to keep hidden.

    I applaude Shaver and anyone who supports an end to the scum who use animals for financial gain but whose ethics’ accounts seem to be bankrupt. Sadly, our culture still differentiates humane treatment of farm animals and companion animals, but Ohio has made that distinction, so why are you, an ADVOCATE of CORPORATE FARMING, writing it? Shouldn’t you be reporting on the connection between human disease and anti-biotic-fed chickens, cows standing knee-deep in their own feces, or Ecoli poisoning brought to us by the beef industry?

    How about some real answers to the challenging questions, Mr. Kick, instead of stroking for the tiny minority expressing support for your biased, puppy-mill supporting words? There is no way you can stick to facts and justify your article, but I would sure like to see you try.

  130. Dog Psych says:

    Answers to factual representations of animal abuse repeatedly found at these auctions is what this audience begs for, Mr. Kick. I doubt that anyone particularly cares about your support and friendship for To Tell the Truth, particularly given his/her English/logic-challenged responses.

    So, rather than waste your white space applauding gibberish and ridiculous accusations of wide spread abuse by rescuers, what about some real answers? How do you justify writing the lies you printed? Clearly, there is plenty of evidence, available from various individuals willing to show you the disgusting neglect and abuse your article promotes. Why aren’t you willing to respond to any of those well-written, clear comments?

    Answers would be nice, but then, those of us supporting justice don’t really expect them from the pretenders. (You, Mr. Kick, are a pretender, and so are the Amish who engage in the puppy mill business. You hold up a shield in the name of religion and/or “wholesome, religion-based values”, and you use the shield to hide your dirty little secrets of abuse, thinking the rest of us are too stupid to see thru the obstacle.)

    Finally, to the few (of whom I believe To Tell the Truth is one), trying to justify ignoring the Holmes County Puppy Mill industry, because other abuses exist, please stop for just a minute to consider the idiocy of that argument. Since we have serial killers, we should ignore rapists, because they exist, too? What? Of course, anyone calling themself a rescuer who stacks dogs in crates, chains them outside, buys them from Holmes County’s puppy mill and immediately sells them in ill health, or otherwise abuses or neglects them, should be stopped.

    For those of you pointing the finger in that direction (pay attention, To Tell the Truth), two questions:

    1. WHY have YOU not taken action to stop the abuse incidents you claim to know of?

    2. If you are really concerned about them, why would you NOT be concerned about the devastated puppies brokered by Holmes County’s Amish?

    Holmes County is a bed of evil, and, as long as it continues to support Harold Neuhart’s disgusting auction barn. Harld Neuhart and his barn cast a long shadow (evidenced by worldwide support for the petition) that keeps Holmes County in the darkness, sends business to more ethical places, and promotes breeding of a species that over-fills our shelters in epidemic proportions.

    To ALL BREEDERS: If you claim to be responsible and care about dogs, as a species, or even a particular breed, please justify your actions, after considering this horrifying statistic:

    Every 6 years, ONE canine mother and her litter (assuming the pups are all female), can create 67,000 more. How can you breed one more litter, when you know that, and you know that hundreds of thousands are killed, just because you selfishly make more? (I’m not sure how people continue to have children, given the state of our shrinking resources, but that’s another story, one I hope Mr. Kick will not bother to tackle.)

  131. Dog Psych says:

    Mr. Kick,

    Do you plan to demonstrate any real concern for your readers who see another side and have evidence to back it up? Or are you only capable of congratulating To Tell the Truth on his/her ability to lie? And, which reporter, exactly, are the two of you talking about, when you say someone looked at both sides of a story. Surely, you are not discussing the story this blog is about. There was nothing unbiased about this reporting, clearly the opinion of the vast majority of bloggers here, wouldn’t you say, Mr. Kick?

  132. Dog Psych says:

    If anyone considers the owner of this auction to be an “upstanding citizen”, please think again. Harold Neuhart threatened to “kick (my) ass” when I called him one evening to inquire about his explanation for continuing to breed, given the over-population of dogs in the country. He became immediately violent in the face of calm, reasonable questions. At this last auction, the one where Mr. Kick claims not a single dog was unhealthy or treated cruelly in anyway, Neuhart attacked a cameraman. If Mr. Neuhart has nothing to hide, if his animals are all so healthy and happy, WHY, Mr. Kick, did he do this?

    More questions for you to answer. If you do your job, Mr. Kick, you are going to be a busy fella. Your readers have inquiring minds, and we want to know . . . how do you sleep at night?

  133. tell the truth 101 says:

    To Dog Psych,

    Since you feel the need to bash me:

    Let me ask you why will you not answer the questions I have ask through out theis blog? All yes that’s right your group advoids any questions they don’t want to answer.

    There are bad apples in every industry, including RESCUES and HS SOCIETIES, why doesn’t you group try to clean them up first or address them? Oh ya you don’t want to do that due to the fact that they would not support you then. Why are the rescues and HS not put through insections like they dog breeders?????? Once again no one wants to answer. I have seen several rescues by females ready to have puppies, why are they not required to be inspected?????

    I see rescues asking for donations non-stop and we try to donate as much as we can to help but the problem is there are so many I see at the dog auction EVERY SALE…. Why are there no rules for the rescues and you all thing that they are perfect and everyone else is a piece of shit?????

    I have seen almost every rescue put over 3-7 dogs in a crate and leave with the van or the back of a pickup truck and drive 2-8 hours….
    Let me as you the common sense dogs unaltered all put in crates together, males and females???????
    Do you know that when the USDA inspectors got on them about the way they where hauling the dogs they went running to Harold crying and NOT ONE OF THEM CHANGED THEY WAY THAT THEY WHERE HAULING THEM????? Do you see a problem??????
    Do you know a USDA breeder would be sited for that???? I know these fact since my friend is a USDA inspector and I attend the auction with her since it is a requirement that they are there from before the sale starts to the end of the sale.

    I have seen HS make animals that clearly would never be able to over come there injuries prolong the suffering of the animal to build cases against someone????Why make the animal suffer….I have heard the vet say the possibilities where next to none and they elect to treat it…Why make the animal suffer….This is why I no longer volunter at the HS it really makes me wonder who some people are in it for????

    I have seen both side to the story..But in your group opinion the only people in the wrong is the AMISH that is all you want to stop. I have ask about the ir-responsible peolpe that have one dog and let it out side and it has a litter every heat, because they will not get thier dogs altered. Just look on Craiglist puppies on their non-stop and rehoming fees are high as $150, WHY DON’T YOU START THERE?????? Your group doesn’t want to talk about that issues that is putting dogs in the shelters and pounds quickier than any thing. When I voluntered I can probably count ll the purebreeds on one hand and to count the mixed breeds you would be in the hundreds…..DO YOU NOT SEE THE PROBLEM????????

    Why is the Holmes county HS not supporting your group?????Why did they say that they breeders are more than willing to work with the HS to fix what they feel needs fixed and why does she say tat 95% of the dogs come from ENGLISH people?????????
    No one wants to talk about that….

    That is why I am so glad that Mr. Kick is going to talk about both side. Just like when the Times Reporter reported on both sides to the story your group said how wrong that reorter was. Are you seeing a pattern here???? If any one disagrees with your group they are wrong….I am so glad we will in USA so we can hear both sides to the story.

    I would have probably supported your group till I seen the website till I seen on the front page a link to a HSUS video. Now lets talk about a group that should be stopped collecting money only for the top of the group not for the animals. It should be 90% OF THE DONATIONS GOING FOR THE ANIMALS……

  134. starkfarm says:

    Dog Psych: ARE YOU KIDDING ME! UNBIASED?

    “To Chris Kick, in regard to your EDITORIAL: If you want to read an un-biased, clearly accurate description of Amish society, check out Chele E.’s 5-28 post at 12:28pm”

    How is that un-biased or clearly accurate?

    Okay so she resuced a female from an Amish breeder. So what your saying is that one breeder be it Amish breeder, represents ALL THE AMISH OF HOLMES COUNTY?

    One does not represent all! If in fact it one does represent all then which person on death row somewhere represents you. If you’re correct one is a clearly accurate account of all then which inmate?

    Incase you decide that okay more than one represents all then take into acount all the jails and prisoners all over the US and tell me which 5, 10, 15, 20, or 50 of those criminals represent you and your family’s society, race, or religous community?

    Well then by following your logic I can claim that because of Michael Vick’s abuse of dogs and dog fighting that ALL PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYERS ABUSE DOGS AND PROMOTE SECRET DOG FIGHTING RINGS. Ummmm I think not!

    Those of you that say there are only of few of us standing up against the rest of you, have you taken a second to realise the group you are bashing? The Amish and their religious community chooses to live without certain things the rest of us take for granted. So needless to say that most of the Amish DO NOT HAVE INTERNET AND COMPUTERS! So how are they to defend themselves against all your claims and comments?

    As for them mistreating their animals give me a break. I’m sure your next comment will be look how they work their animals. May I remind you that our ancestors at one time worked the land the same way with horse and plow. Let me inform you that the Amish and Amish country is some of the most substainable farming practices/land out there. They have working the same land for generations and yet they aren’t facing some of the problems modern farmers are having to face, one being soil compaction which tractors do and those tractors give off fumes and exhaust into the air.

    We could learn a lot from their way of life and values.

    THERE ARE BAD APPLES IN EVERY OCHARD, DOESN’T MEAN WE BURN THE ENTIRE OCHARD DOWN!

  135. starkfarm says:

    Also is anyone taking into account all the dogs that come from out of state? PA, MI, KY, WV, AND IN?

  136. Dog Psych says:

    Let’s start with you, To Tell the Truth.

    First, to any Amish who are NOT puppy producers and who treat your livestock with compassion (or who just make furniture and honey), I am sorry your culture, religion, and fellow-Amish are causing you inconvenience and a shattered reputation. Perhaps you should apply some internal pressure and help them understand the joys of making honey, a opposed to the soul-sacrificing job of raising, and drowning or shooting, puppies? Just a thought . . .

    Sorry you are feeling attacked. If your English was better, so that it was not such a struggle to dechipher your thoughts from the gibberish you put together, this would be a less tedious task. Please write intelligibly and PROOFREAD! (For the sake of the other readers, I am not going to give you any grammar lessons here; I assume you can find help on your own. Maybe Harold will proofread for you. Obviously, you’re good buds.)

    You commented that there are bad apples in every bunch. Touche. You found common ground. I could not agree more. I know of people calling themselves rescuers who are hoarders, abusers, and neglectors. Just because you say you are something does not mean you are. Those folks are no more rescuers or legitimately trying to help dogs than HAROLD NEUHART and the Amish who breed dogs for profit are compassionate to animals. (You did not the 67,000 every 6 years statistic, didn’t you? How is it compassionate to breed more?)

    I noticed that you did not reply to one single person who described the first hand suffering they witnessed of Neuhart’s puppy mill dogs. Any reason you can’t comment to them? Yes, because you know they speak the truth, and you can’t deny the suffering that puppy mills and the auctions they use promote. If you had read (and comprehended) the Chele post I referenced, you would have noted that s/he agreed with you. There are bad, and good, apples in every bunch, and the point s/he made was that INCLUDES THE AMISH.

    The problem with the Amish is, there are a significant number mass producing puppies to make a profit. You do believe that practice is wrong, don’t you, regardless of whether you agree many of the Amish are guilty of it?

    You also did not bother to note that I DID ADDRESS your comments/questions about individual dogs who suffer in backyards and other ways. Those people need to be stopped, too, but, politically, it makes more sense to stop larger numbers. Have you counted Neuhart’s numbers? They make me SICK! Harold Neuhart is a NEADERTHAL. He bullied me on the phone, sounding like some backwoods hick from Alabama. (Yes, there are plenty of backwoods hicks in AL, but that does not mean there is no one intelligent there, just to be clear. Even WY, ID, and MS have some intelligent folk, but they probably feel pretty isolated.)

    Now, you went on about the lack of rules for rescues. IF your descriptions are accurate – again, your credibility is in serious question in my book, simply because you have such difficulty clearly expressing yourself, and your perspective is clearly skewed in the direction of promoting and supporting puppy mills . . . you are against mass dog production, aren’t you? – then the people you describe are OBVIOUSLY not real rescuers. Were these animals being crated together dogs or puppies? Were they old enough to reproduce? Was there sufficient size in the crate? Who cares how long they travelled? They could easily have stopped along the way. The fact that you skimmed over the details I’m asking for indicates you are telling only part of the story. If you had interest in accuracy that the so-called “truth”, you would have included that information. 8 puppies in a crate is far different from 8 full-sized Labs together in a crate. The size of the crate is also relevant, another detail you missed.

    The bottom line is that anyone mistreating a dog should have the dog taken away and not be allowed to have another, until they can demonstrate canine handling competence AND compassion. Under that rule, neither Harold, nor his Amish puppy-producing bedfellows, would get near anything that barks. Wouldn’t you agree? The “rescuers” you describe would also be canine companion-less, as would the dude down the road who abuses his dogs (and who you apparently don’t report?)…

    In comment to your promotion of USDA inspectors, I refer you to another comment you ignored: Stephanie, 5/28, 8:42 pm. USDA inspectors are corrupt and clearly not doing their job, even for livestock. Why would you tout them as a functional solution to this disgusting mark on the community of Holmes County?

    In answer to your question about the Holmes County Humane Society not supporting those against puppy mills (I don’t have a group), how should I know why they are not on board? The answer has to be either ignorance or corruption. Take your pick. Any humane society who is NOT AGAINST puppy mills needs to be re-organized, there’s no doubt about that.

    Re-homing fees “as high as $150″? How much do you think it costs to physically and mentally rehab one of Neuhart’s (who, by-the-by could as more accurately be named “No-Heart” LOL) puppies? $150 doesn’t beging to cover it for a stray who may have had some basic care, let alone an abused, neglected, and tortured puppy from your Amish buddies.

    Yes, I do see the problem. It’s a combination of Capitalistic greed and ignorance. Do you see it? How do you think rescues should be the first group targeted, when they, generally speaking, are trying to STOP CANINE OVER-POPULATION? If you see abuse and neglect by someone saying they rescue, PLEASE REPORT IT! Let the rescue world know who they are and what they do wrong, so they can be avoided, shunned, if you will. Don’t generalize that behavior to every rescuer. When you do, you simply sound foolish, uninformed, and biased.

    Any unanswered questions, Truth?

  137. Dog Psych says:

    Now you, Stark:

    The point in the Chele comment I referred to was that some Amish are good and some are bad, the same as in every population. You took that and concluded that a single Amish breeder makes all Amish breeders? Did you READ the post I referred to?

    We are not talking about Amish farming practices, and, if you want to bring back the “good old days” the Amish want to wallow in, why not start pulling out birch rods to beat the children with? (Oh, you probably already have a batch in the closet, huh? Plenty of your Amish child-bearing buddies do, I have no doubt.)

    But we’re not talking about children, either (or how much your writing style resembles “To Tell the Truth”). We are talking about your inability to comprehend a point. You either read the wrong post or misunderstood the one I pointed you to. The author told of various experiences with the Amish, good and bad, and I agreed with him/her. How do you take that and say I think all football players are the disgusting excuse for a human that Michael Vick decided to become?

    Read, comprehend, reply, in that order, please.

  138. Dog Psych says:

    Again, to “Stark”:

    As soon as we figure out how to fix Ohio’s dog problems, we’ll export the report to the states you mentioned. Until then, how is your question even relevant?

  139. tell the truth 101 says:

    Dog Psych,

    First of all I am not one of Harold’s Buddies, I know him just through the sale. Second of all I bought a dog through the sle just because I fell in love with him. He is the best dog in the world so devote and loving. I have 3 dogs from pounds who all have issues (MAJOR) will I get rid of them no do I hate the ENGLISH people who allowed their dogs to get breed by what ever and now I am taking care of their problems??? YES

    Once again I did not realize we where in school and had to make sure everything was perfect in our blogs…..ONCE AGAIN THIS PROVES MY POINT YOUR GROUP IS PERFECT AND EVERYONE IS STUPID????right

    As for the rescues do you really think a USDA officer would complain about puppies in a crate????NO
    They where full grown dogs (un-altered) put into medium size crates. ONCE AGIAN YOU WANT TO MAKE EVERYONE LOOK LIKE THEY ARE BELOW YOUR GROUP…. Just like you degrading Harold, that is the problem in this world everyone thinks they are better than everyone else.

    I am not amish about the fartest thing from it. Do I know Amish families yes I do, do I think there is a lot of thinks we could learn from the way they stick together as families and communites??? YES

    I also am not Stark farm once agin you feel no two people or hundreds of people can feel the same way. BUT EVERYONE SHOULD AGREE WITH YOUR GROUP?????

    I am amazed that you accuse the amish of child abuse have you watched the news lately????????Every night there is something horrible on there about kids abused nd they are not amish last time I checked……

    You are like so many of the people in your group very self centered….Your way of thinking is the only correct one. No one elses opinion matter.

    Also for you to say that Holmes county HS not supporting your group just proves my point no one else opinion matter only yours…RIGHT

    THANKS MR.KICK FOR ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE…

  140. Joy Wagner says:

    I am at a loss to understand why Donna Norfolk and the Holmes County Humane Society have allowed themselves to be portrayed by Chris Kick and the Farm and Dairy as defenders of the Farmerstown dog auction and of Holmes County’s puppymills. Or, why the Humane Society is attacking Mary O’Connor Shaver and the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions, an organization whose sole purpose is to eliminate the thoughtless and heartless commercialism that is the linchpin of the Farmerstown auction and the misery of the dogs that are sold there.

    I do understand how difficult it must be to operate a Humane Society in Holmes County, with minimal support from the community and an overwhelming need. They have no paid staff, no shelter, and no investigative agent. They are in dire need of foster homes. According to their website, the Humane Society is “limited in what we can currently do to help you in your quest for finding safe homes for cats and dogs or stopping animal abuse.”

    What I cannot comprehend is why the Holmes County Humane Society would deny or even down play the existence of large scale commercial dog breeding operations in their County and how the Farmerstown dog auction feeds those operations and similar operations in other States. Has Ms. Norfolk not seen the many videos, photographs, government documents, and first hand accounts that expose the misery of the breeding dogs and their poorly bred offspring, many of whom are unhealthy and/or have genetic conditions.

    It is well established that the large operations, commonly called puppymills, do not let the cost of veterinary services, paid staff, and adequately sized, clean facilities cut into their profits. Just take a look at Ervin Raber’s (Golden View Kennels, Baltic, Ohio) May, 2009 USDA Inspection Report: “female cocker spaniel has a swollen, hot and puss leaking wound on its upper back,” “outdated drugs” and “unlabeled medications,” “mice nesting in one of the feeders,” “food in these feeders is molded over,” “excessive accumulation of fecal material around the main drain tubes,” “inadequate spacing for the dogs,” “an excessive accumulation of feces, fur, game and other organic material,” etc.

    I would like to know the “great strides” that the Holmes County Humane Society has made in
    “improving the conditions for” these animals. Based on the comments of Donna Norfolk, I do not believe the Humane Society even knows they exist. Or, if the Humane Society does not feel that it has the resources to confront the operators of this multimillion dollar enterprise, that is alright. But do not criticize an organization, like the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions, who wants to take them on. Please do not let a third rate “investigative reporter” like Chris Kick (and I am a Farm and Dairy subscriber) turn us against each other.

    In their heart of hearts, I know that members of the Humane Society support us. I was at the Holmes County Humane Society Board meeting with Veronica Dickey. We spoke, they listened and we expressed support for each other. Although hesitant to officially endorse the ballot initiative because of the conflict that it would cause with the community, the Board, including Ms. Norfolk, did tell us that they would pass our petition on to someone who would get us the required signatures (243). There was nothing in Mary O’Connor-Shaver’s comment that misstated what happened at that meeting.

    Whether Amish or English, whether 5% or 50% of the breeders in Holmes County, the puppymill operators and the Farmerstown auction are a blemish on the State of Ohio. That is something all Ohioans should care about.

    Joy Wagner
    Attorney at Law

  141. Veronica Dickey says:

    I volunteer with the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions because of my deep love and concern for the welfare of all dogs, especially the dogs living in breeding “kennels” that are represented at these sales. I agree with Donna that the Holmes County Humane Society has a tough job dealing with all the issues of pets, and that is why I purchased over fifty dollars worth of food and treats from my own personal funds as a way of demonstrating my support to them and the dogs and cats they serve. Joy and I met with the HCHS board on May 18th to inform them about the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions’ campaign, in the hopes that we could all collaborate together for the betterment of the dogs throughout Holmes County. It was not intended to gain the Board’s approval given that the HCHS’s lawyer, Jeff Holland, had not yet spoken to the Coalition’s lawyer, Don McTigue.

    It’s a shame that the reporter of this article is attempting to create a deep divide among people (especially between HCHS and the Coalition) who care deeply about what is taking place at these auctions. But in a way, it’s given us an even greater reason to work that much harder to pass the Ohio Dog Auctions Act.

  142. Mary O'Connor-Shaver says:

    As the Treasurer for the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions (CBODO), I would like to address several points referenced in Donna Norfolk’s posting.

    Donna, my apologies if my remarks were interpreted as an implication that Holmes County Humane Society (HCHS) would in any way, as an organization, work on this initiative. My comment was based soley on feedback received from Joy Wagner and Veronica Dickey following the May 18 meeting, and based on that feedback (which was all positive), I did not feel Chris Kick’s article substantiated any remarks or opinions expressed by you or any Holmes County Board member. We have been fortunate to connect with many Holmes county residents (includes former Holmes County Humane Society volunteers) who have expressed interest in becoming active with our group and attending an upcoming Coalition meeting scheduled to take place later next month.

    As shared with you by me, Veronica and Joy in our conversation on April 17, the majority of Coalition supporters endorse the efforts of their local humane societies to address issues impacting the welfare of animals, in particular those animals impacted by the Ohio Dog Auctions. The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions, however, is a PAC which was created specifically for the ballot initiative, Ohio Dog Auctions Act. For those 501(c)(3)s whose board has approved support of a ban on Ohio dog auctions, we have included a link to their organization on our Supporters page.

    The humane community stands united in its effort to address the Ohio dog auctions, a business which we believe is managed by documented cases of animal cruelty, corruption and consumer fraud. Based on the tremendous amount of support we have received through e-mails and voice mails following publication of this article, I am confident we will meet our signature goal by December 1, 2010.

    Again Donna, my apologies. Please know we fully welcome any and all support from the Holmes County Humane Society towards our ballot initiative. Also, please know that our lawyer, Don McTigue, has not yet received a call from your organization’s lawyer, Jeff Holland. He is very interested in speaking with Jeff on the issue regarding your 501(c) status relating to this campaign. It’s my understanding according to Don that 501(c)(3) organizations can, and often should, lobby at all levels of government. The right of citizens to petition their government is basic to our democratic way of life, and associations, including 501(c)(3)s, are one of the most effective vehicles for making use of citizen participation in shaping public policy. Fortunately, the legislation passed by Congress in 1976 makes it possible for 501(c)(3)s to lobby freely for the causes, communities and constituencies they serve.

    Everyone, some additional great news to start your week. USA Today will be printing an article about our campaign to ban Ohio dog auctions (with picture) in an upcoming issue next month! I believe the article will be referencing the recent undercover investigation by WHAS 11 of the May 22 auction. More details will be mailed this week as part of our May Update!

    (Sharon H, thanks in great part to you, I have been contacted by a group of farmers – yes, you all heard that right, FARMERS! – who are interested in helping to gather signatures for the Ohio Dog Auctions Act! I’m not sure who you are, but THANK YOU SO MUCH! I will be meeting with the leader of this group later this afternoon at her farm in Delaware county.)

  143. Dog Psych says:

    Dear Truth,

    Are we having a conversation and debate, or is this a Tea Party Townhall event? If you want to carry on a debate, it is necessary to address the concerns and issues of your opposition.

    The first thing you missed is that I am NOT part of a group. Got it? I am alone. Stop putting me in a group. What group are you in? You’re not one of the Amish. You’re not Harold’s relative. Who are you with, since you apparently presume everyone is in a group?

    Again, you are guilty of ignoring your opposition. I asked you to address the many voices who describe No-Heart’s abused and neglected animals. You have failed to even mention one of them, let alone spend time writing to respond to their words. I suppose, in your skewed world, they are all part of “my group”, so you only need to respond to one of “us”.

    I point out that your words are often gibberish, not because I care where, or if, you use a comma, but about clarity of meaning.

    I must disagree with your assessment of the problem with the world. Rather than people thinking they are above others, I see the problem as greed and the willingness to make a buck at the expense of innocence. What Harold does is not more ethically okay than what people selling children do, because they are all profiting from the innocent. Those puppies have no more ability to defend themselves against No-Heart than a child has to defend themselves against an abductor. (In fact, sometimes, the child can and does manage to take control and rescue themselves. Dogs rarely get that chance. When they do, they often bite, and then we kill them.)

    No legitimate rescuer would ever cram dogs together in a crate, and they certainly would not place unaltered dogs together. So, I can only conclude that either you are lying to support your case, or these people are in the same boat as Harold and the Amish puppy producers. (Note: The non-puppy-producing Amish have the responsibility of keeping their community ethical, so they are, indirectly, relevant to this discussion, but the lack of ethics of other sect members should not reflect poorly on them. I am certain that some Amish folk are as disgusted by Harold No-Heart and his Amish puppy-producers as other humans with compassion, which you seem to lack.)

    As Chele so eloquently pointed out, the Amish, along with every other group, have abusers, alcoholics, drug abusers, teen pregnancies, and other social problems to deal with. They also have intelligent, compassionate, caring people among them. Do we not agree on that point? (You don’t seem to want to admit you agree with me on anything. Unable to stand on common ground with someone you oppose? That shows a severe lack of maturity, fyi.)

    Why the Holmes Co. Humane Society, or any other Humane Society, would fail to support an effort to put Harold No-Heart and his Amish puppy-producers out of business is beyond me. The answer can only be ignorance, incompetence, or corruption. Which do you suppose is the correct option? You live there, so you must know. Please, tell.

    If your opinion doesn’t matter, why am I spending so much time writing and so carefully reading the gibbberish you spew to try and understand your meaning? Why am I addressing your exact words, when you continue to ignore any of mine that do not suit you? Why am I talking to you, if your opinion doesn’t matter?

    Yeah, thanks, Mr. Kick, for attempting to obscure the abuse of puppies and the evils that live in the Holmes County Amish community.

    Now, what questions did I leave unnanswered for you? Do you think you might be able to focus a bit less on personal attacks and address the multiple examples of specific abuse witnessed at No-Hearts Auction House of Horror? (PROOFREAD this time, PLEASE!)

  144. Dog Psych says:

    To Veronica, Joy, and Mary:

    Thank you all for your professionalism, dedication, and continued hard work to rescue more dogs and end the unspeakable horrors of puppy mills everywhere they exist.

    I couldn’t agree more that the group responsible is not the issue; it is the individuals, and the group of abusers they belong to, who need to have the spotlight shone upon them, until the blind finally see the “Truth”. Even though puppy mills have been publicized, they are not in in the face of the public everyday. If we had the funds to do a national campaign that depicted just the abuse No-Heart Harold subjects dogs to, and ran that footage with the frequency of, oh, say the oil spill or the Haitian storm, Harold would be out of business lickety-split. Because we have no such power, people like “Truth” and “Stark” and “Kick” are able to obscure reality and help humans who might otherwise show compassion to live in the false-comfort of denial. Sad that money makes the world go round, and it buys the opinions of the ignorant and complacent.

    Thank you for sharing the AWESOME news about the farmers joining in! Just goes to make the point I believe “Truth” has been trying to drive home: Every group has good and bad. We are all individuals. Farmers are such an important piece of the animal welfare puzzle, and the small ones are fighting the same battle as the rest of us: CAFO’s and the tainted food supply they bring us. (To me, when an animal has been tortured, that torture is part of the animal. I eat it, I take in some of that karma, and there ain’t nuthin’ good about it.) If CAFOs advertised their dirty little secrets (nothing little about them, actually), we would be a lot closer to resolving our food crisis, because farmers would need to re-think meat. Few would buy it, if they knew what the animals went thru to get to their plates and the conditions they were kept in, prior to roasting. People know, but they will be lazy and live in ignorance, until you put the facts in their faces.

    Finally, re: the local Holmes County Humane Society, it sounds like they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I imagine they rely upon local funds for help, and, if they are already struggling, why would they feel it is okay to bite the only hand feeding them? They have the good sense of dogs, it sounds like. Perhaps if they didn’t have people like No-Heart Harold, “Truth”, and “Stark” to deal with, they would feel less vulnerable in the effort to do what is just. Humane Societies are often victims of politics. Sounds like Holmes County is no different. (There’s your answer, “Truth”.)

    Again, thank you all for your awesome efforts!

  145. Karen Slough says:

    Thanks to everyone who cares so deeply for dogs that they are willing to speak for them so passionately. Dogs are special creatures that have qualities many could emulate and be the better for it. Loyalty and faithfulness to name just a few.

    I would also like to thank Mr. Kick for at least
    addressing this most important of issues.

    From many years of personal experience, there is nothing more heart-wrenching than having to put a
    beautiful dog to sleep for lack of space. That is what happens every day at most pounds. Such a waste of life. However, it will continue forever until we humans care enough to change the status quo. Please, look into your dogs eyes and realize that any dog anywhere could be yours.

  146. Starkfarm says:

    Dog Psych-

    1. To tell the truth and I are not the same individual nor am I Amish.

    2. Your comment: “If you want to read an un-biased, clearly accurate description of Amish society”

    Do you even know what the word society means? You are clearly labeling them all together, especially when you state “….description of Amish society.”

    The Michael Vick example was just that an example. You are labeling Amish Society as bad people and animal abusers. Some makes all bad- seems the feeling in this thread that all of the Amish are puppy mill breeders, animal abusers and bad people, thus the example.

    3. As for the owner of Farmerstown Auction- has always treated me with respect. The reason probably treated you so poorly is most likely because you went at him half loaded and disrespectful, demanding your way.

    Even the horse rescue groups that safe horses from auctions will tell you, that if one goes to an auction owner being disrespectful, demanding, and down right ignorant. Then that will be exactly what you get in return. However I have been informed through rescues if you go into to talk to the owner in a common manner they will treat you like a person and actually help you.

    4. “We are talking about your inability to comprehend a point. You either read the wrong post or misunderstood the one I pointed you to.”

    If I did not interrupt something the same way that you did does not mean that I am wrong, stupid, or have the inability to comprehend. It means WE HAVE DIFFERNET OPINIONS! Oh I’m sorry did I miss the rules about commenting on this article that say I HAVE TO INTERRUPT AND HAVE THE SAME OPINION AS YOU??? NOPE THAT RULE DOESN’T EXIST. However my response earlier clearly means that I have the ability to read, interrupt, and come to my own opinions.

    5. As far as your claim that the Amish beat their children is plain stupid. To tell the truth made a good point of that already, have you watched the news or read a paper where some “English” parent isn’t in trouble for abusing their children. How about the lady that kept her children in cages? She wasn’t Amish!

    “The farming practices the Amish want to wallow in”????????? Hello that is one of the most closed minded comments I’ve heard. I believe that I live in the USA where we are free to choose how we live, the religion we choose and for that matter how we farm! They chose to focus on their relationship with God more than the temptations of the modern world.
    —First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.—-

    As for the treasure HSUS- what an organization! Pretty soon if they have their way they’ll put all farmers out of business and outlaw meat or we’ll have to import it, but that is a whole other topic. I find it funny the HSUS big wigs run commercials on TV of sad shelter animals and people rush to donate and less than 1% of that money goes to the animals but instead into the pockets of the big wigs.

    Boston lover- “The second group are motivated by money and profit”.- I have nothing to gain if the dog auctions stay open and nothing to lose if they are shut down. I’m simply stating my opinion and trying to stand up for the people that can’t be on the internet to do it for themselves when people are bashing… how was it Dog Psych put it… Oh yes..”the Amish Society”.

    Jill Kirsch- “Just as the “farming community” is defending the recent abuse shown from Conklin Farms” the “farming community is not defending the recent abuse. Have you even read an article about it? Most of the farming community, myself included is disgusted and find it highly intolerable, that’s not defending the abuse.

    Aurora Cooney –“I have not supported anything Amish since I learned about Puppymills almost 10 years ago. And I make it a point to let everyone know. I also know first hand that the Amish treat their horses just as badly. They are tools to be used and disposed of.” God put horses and donkeys and other animals to be “beasts of burden” and once again not all puppymills are owned by the Amish therefore you’re boycotting means nothing really.

    To those that say “oh watch the news about all the horrible things going on with animals in Anywhere, USA.” When is the late time the news ever went out to a dairy farm and made a big to-do over the farmer doing a great job with their cattle? The last time the news did a big story on plowing, planting or harvesting season that went completely right and there were no major accidents or problems? The last time a dog kennel was featured showing the good conditions? When was the last time the news reported about the “English” horse trainer that made a horse worse and the Amish trainer turned the “lost cause” into a wonderful riding horse?

    GOOD NEWS FEATURES DON’T SELL OR GAIN ATTENTION JUST BAD NEWS MADE WORSE BY THE MEDIA!

  147. Dog Psych says:

    Stark:

    Thank you for clarifying that you are the same person as “Truth”. Your writing is equally unintelligible.

    And, in good faith, here is evidence of my claim that your misuse of words makes your point difficult to discern throughout much or your speech.

    You said, “If I did not interrupt something the same way that you did does not mean that I am wrong, stupid, or have the inability to comprehend.” What did you “interrupt”? What does that mean? You meant “interpret”. A 5th grader ought to know the difference between those two words. Do you? How do you expect to be taken seriously, when you cannot clearly express yourself? That was not a typo. It is you not being able, or willing to take the time to, distinguish between the meaning of interrupt and interpret. As I have stated to “Truth” a few times now, your credibility is in question, because what you say makes you sound naive and quite ignorant (not the same as stupid, btw).

    I think someone with an MA in Sociology knows very well what a society consists of. The Amish live in a society, a group that shares values, language, and other cultural elements. You and I live in American society, a much less homogenous society, where individualism is valued more highly than any other element I can think of, except, perhaps, the obnoxious accumulation of wealth.

    To be continued . . . gotta go do other stuff.

  148. starkfarm says:

    Sorry typing on a phone is not the most ideal for proof reading, yet the only thing you have to comment on is my grammar and spelling.

    Your degree means nothing to mean. Even with your MA you are still naive to believe at the entire Amish society are all bad and uneducated, that are only concerned with wealth.

    Btw I also have degrees in animal science with a focus on livestock science; agronomy and agri-buisness.

    I’m pretty sure Susan wrote that passionate pleas on the topic are acceptable, however personal attacks are not. So back off the comments on grammar and my intelligence level and get back to the topic.

  149. starkfarm says:

    Once again I am not the same as to tell the truth I’m sure the farm and dairy can confirm that.

  150. tell the truth 101 says:

    Starkfarm,

    It is a shame that there are such close minded people in this world. You know that more than half of these people have probably never read a FARM AND DAIRY. They are only on her to complain out the fact they don’t think they got a far shake. For the simple fact that someine oesn’t agree with them.

    It is a shame that these people do not know how amazing the Amish are as far as their thinking.
    The amish have so much more to show in life as far as family, community and no debt like the English. The fact that they do not need welfare, our health insurance or our help for their schools they are all self supported. They fact that they would do anything to help someone in need.

    As far as Dog Psych since someone doesn’t agree with is group or him everyone is a idiot in his mind. I am so glad that I don’t think like him or her and that I look at the facts and do of off them instead of following the group.

    I am so glad I live in America and that people fought for my right to free speech. Tomorrow when I go to watch my husband represent the country he so gladdly fought for I will give thanks and pray for the people that are so closed minded. I will watch somone from my family accept flowers for both of my grandfathers and several uncle and cousins who so bravely gave everyone the right to voice their oponions no matter how closed minded I feel they are.

    Once again thanks Mr. Kris, starkfarm and Holmes county HS for standing up for what you believe in.

  151. Sue D says:

    I don’t know how this whole string of messages became about Amish. The criticism started toward an English man who runs auctions to benefit puppy mills. I don’t care who runs the puppy mills – they are abhorrent. I can’t imagine that those in support of Mr. Kick, the auctioneers and the millers have pets or can imagine what it is like for these companion animals to spend all their lives in filthy, unsanitary, close quarters. Try spending 1 week in a small clothes closet with no toilet facilities or comforts. Oh wait, you should also have another person on top of you, relieving him or herself on top of you. Then, when you can tell me it was no problem, I will listen to your arguments in support of these people. People capable of this kind of treatment are also capable of other kinds of cruelty. Wake up! The cruelty will end – hopefully soon.

  152. Tim S. says:

    Having just returned from a wonderful Memorial Day celebration with my family, I was hoping to read more constructive dialogue on Mr. Kick’s article. Having reviewed all the posts since my last comment, I’m inclined to agree with the attorney’s confusion and with Ms. Sue D.s’s first sentence.

    During our vacation, I had some wonderful converasations with several war veterans, two of which served their country in the Korean and Vietnam wars and are engaged in agriculture (one dairy and crops and the other cattle). Both agreed without hesitation that dog auctions should not be confused with livestock auctions and both were aware of BODA’s work to put the issue in front of the voters for 2011. When I asked if they had signed the petition, both gentleman responded no but would sign if approached by a volunteer petitioner.

    I agree with Ms. Sharon H. that a journalist’s first job is to provide fair and balanced reporting, regardless of their feelings towards the topic.

  153. Marcia Stalder says:

    Farming issues and companion animal issues are completely different I grew up on a farm and own a farm myself. If dog auctions weren’t wrong why are they kept so hush hush? I, too, will no longer be spending my time or money in Holmes County until the puppy mill and auction issues are resolved. These poor companion animals deserve a better life then what they are thrown into. They trust us to take care of them and look what we do to them. They want nothing more than to please us.

  154. Stephanie says:

    Not all commercial kennels / puppy mills in Holmes County are USDA. But would it matter even if they all were?

    Apparently, even the USDA can’t do their job and report their inspected kennels when they DO have infractions. Why is it that I have to obey the laws,

    and Holmes County’s own Ervin Raber and many others do not have to?

    http://acissearch.aphis.usda.gov/LPASearch/faces/pdfpage.jspx?custid=24536

    Month after month……..the same infractions, and NO REPERCUSSIONS! Ms Gavidia!!! We need to know why you continually go into these kennels and write these breeders up for the same thing time and time again and DO NOT do anything about it. Are you getting something in return?

    But it looks like the USDA WILL be stepping up soon as they are now under the magnifying glass.

    http://www.aspca. org/news/ national/ 05-28-10. html#1

  155. Dog Psych says:

    Some fodder to add to the on-going discussion to answer the question: Why are The Amish, as a community, connected to, and (directly or indirectly), responsible for, continued mass canine breeding and horrifying abuse and neglect of the resulting puppies? (The reason the Englishman, Mr. no-heart, is directly responsible is so obvious that it does not warrant discussion here.)

    Since Kick’s editorial could clearly use support in the Dept. of Facts, I would like to add this site, and its contents, for consideration. (It was the first site, btw, listed searching with the keywords “Amish puppy mills” on metacrawler.com. Please also note that, when I typed in “Amish”, the words “puppy mills” were filled in by the computer, and that was the only available option.):

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/amish8.htm

    The first 2 paragraphs alone seem to answer the question, and I would like to especially ask for comment from those who continue to support mass producing and auctioning dogs to the highest bidder as an ethical practice. I would also suggest, in the interest of effective and productive debate, that responders refrain from finger-pointing and the repetition of petty, meaningless accusations. In other words, if you plan to claim that the Amish function as a free society of individuals that equals the average American lifestyle, read and analyze why others argue there is shared responsibility here (and in other posts throughout this blog, including a perfect one by Responsbil), and rebut the arguments, rather than attacking the writers.

    So here are the first 2 paragraphs:

    “A visitor to this web site warned us about animal abuse among Amish in the form of puppy mills. We were unaware of the problem and were surprised to find that a Google search with the search string Amish puppy mills returned over 7,000 hits.

    In some areas of the U.S. where Amish have settled, there is a high concentration of ‘puppy mills.’ The Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement lists 243 kennels in Lancaster County. PA. 1 Holmes County, OH, has 470 kennels — more than any other county in the nation.”

    And, so we are all clear on what the puppies and dogs lingering in wire-bottomed cages at Harold No-Heart’s Horrow Shows involves, puppy mill dogs are:

    “Fed and bred. That’s it. No walks. No interaction with humans. That means the dogs eat and relieve themselves in the same 2-by-2-foot cage for about eight years until their breeding days are done.” (Even if dogs are being crammed into cages for a 2 – 8 hour ride away from Harold No-Heart, by people claiming to be “rescuers”, as one person claims to have seen, that doesn’t much compare to the typical 8 YEAR life of horror described above, does it?)

    To facilitate a thorough discussion on what seem to me to be clear-cut facts, I would be interested in taking a survey and learning how many of us can at least agree that:

    1. Puppy mills absolutely exist.

    2. Puppy millers mass-produce puppies, and, in the process, abuse and neglect them, putting financial profit far in front of their physical and mental well-being. (In fact, there is no consideration for psychological well-being, and physical health is a consideration only in so far as it prevents interference from authorities and/or adds to profit.)

    3. The Ohio Dog Auction run by Harold Neuhart (an Englishman, apparently), exists in Holmes County, a community where the majority of business-owners and inhabitants are Amish.

    4. The Amish, as a religious sect, are not comparable to other, broader religious/ethnic groups, e.g., Jewish, or English. Although the community is made up of individuals who each have their own perspective on life, through their religion, they share a specific and stringent value system. They choose to live as a tight-knit community, which explains why they feel safe leaving their doors unlocked.

    5. Money makes the world go ’round. If the business community in which the auction is held is largely Amish, then financial pressure is one sure way to get the attention of folks who might rather ignore the harsh realities of the puppy mill industry INSIDE their own community. Financial consequences to the close neighbors and relatives of the individuals producing the puppies is a way for the larger community to tell Harold, the puppy millers, and our legislators that Ohio citizens who care about humane treatment of animals (that is my “group”, for those of you who must think in those terms), will no longer tolerate the public abuse and neglect of innocent companion animals.

    (Note: The private abuse some of you continue to point to, e.g., the guy down the road with dogs outside on a chain, is no less tolerable, but Ohio’s weak laws make it nearly impossible to cite people engaged in animal abuse, even when they are caught red-handed. If you really care about those dogs, then getting on board to ban the dog auction is completely logical. One step at a time. No one has a magic wand, so we need to improve in increments. Stop mass-production, and there will be fewer cheap dogs available for your neighbors to neglect.)

    If you want to participate in the survey, just respond here and indicate your agreement – disagreement or lack of concern with each question #, and any reasoning you want to ad. I’ll tally the totals and publish them here, when it’s wrapped up. Hopefully, we’ll get enough responders to show meaningful results.

    I invite those of you who have friends or connections in the Amish community who do not have internet access to share the survey and relay their thoughts and opinions.

  156. Stephen Phillips says:

    (Starkfarm, referring to the Amish): “They chose to focus on their relationship with God more than the temptations of the modern world.”

    “We want to be producers, to be an overall good to the community and to the nation…” said David Kline, an Amish minister from Mount Hope, Ohio, whose county hosts the nation’s largest Amish population.
    (the Daily Reporter: May 12, 2009)

    How does the blind pursuit of worldly goods (cash crop) and the abysmal abuse of companion animals solely for that profit correlate with ANY religion’s interpretation of God’s law?

    All societies – be they closed religious communities, or the public at large – are comprised of human beings with innate human frailties, deficiencies, and – unfortunately – depravities.

    Society at large punishes those perpetrators who are exposed and convicted: Why should select sects be excused from such scrutiny, by attempting to shield such activities under the guise of “religiosity”???

    Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are perhaps the two most heinous examples of large scale “puppy-mill abuse-tolerant” states: The preponderance of those millers in both states are of the Amish persuasion.

    Does Ohio truly wish to be painted with that same brush?

    Dog auctions – like those of equines – are LEGENDARY for their well-documented, systemic cruelty and abuses.. not only from those attending to profit from the sale of these hapless creatures, but from the abject, blatant dereliction of duty by those charged with monitoring and protecting all animals present – veterinarians and police.

    Dog auctions and puppy mills are an anathema to anyone with even a modicum of spiritual morality, and a scourge to our society – nay, our entire world.

    God gave man dominion over our animal companions – not to subjugate and abuse them, but to care and provide for them as shepherds… much as we should tend our planet.

    Those who continue to turn a blind eye to the heinous abuse of our companion animals are no better than those who continue to exploit our natural environment with an unceasingly voracious appetite – oblivious to the fact the once the damage exceeds environmental capability to recover, no amount of money can mitigate the irreversible destruction we’ve inflicted on our world (BP, Gulf of Mexico ~ Exxon, Prince William Sound, anyone)?

    If you MUST “capitalize” from your interactions with the outside world, why not rely on your traditional manufacture and sale of exceptionally well crafted furniture, and stop the heinous abuse – and egregious overpopulation – of companion animals?

    Side note:

    “I don’t dislike all Amish people because a minority run puppy mills. I DO dislike the Amish who run puppy mills, they don’t get a free pass from me because they are Amish.”

    “Puppy mills are horrible. The people that run them – Amish or not- should be prosecuted and they should be shut-down. And people who buy their designer dogs from stores that buy from puppy mills should quit feeding the demand. Personally, I say go to the pound and get a mutt.”

    “There are plenty of non-Amish people who operate “puppy mills.” In fact, I’d venture to guess that the vast majority of people across the USA who run puppy mills are not Amish.”

    “I have said before that do I think there is a mindset, a cultural undercurrent, among the Amish that may make “puppy milling” more prevalent among them, especially in some specific settlements. Not all cultures embrace pets the same way and in many cases, regrettably, a lot of Amish do view dogs and cats more as “livestock” or nuisances than as family members. I’d like to see that change and I am seeing signs that maybe it is. I know an Amish woman who has a little yappy dog in her house that she carries around like a child. I think, though, that education and tighter laws would quickly send Amish puppy millers to the exits, probably more quickly than non-Amish ones. I have found the Amish very, very receptive to friendly, sensible education campaigns.”

    “I hope no one thinks I am being hyper-defensive of the Amish, I’m not. But I think focusing on the Amish as perpetrators of puppy mills is overly simplistic and misguided. I think the larger problem of puppy mills is a complicated one that can be best addressed through legislation, regulation, education, and changing consumer culture.”

    “I know this is a passionate topic for people, but I think discussing it in a civil manner is healthy!”

    The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures – May 21, 2010
    Editor, Kevin Williams penned this article

  157. Starkfarm says:

    Stephen Phillips- thank you for your comment.
    I very much agree with the following statements from your post: “I don’t dislike all Amish people because a minority run puppy mills. I DO dislike the Amish who run puppy mills, they don’t get a free pass from me because they are Amish.”

  158. Dog Psych says:

    Stephen Phillips,

    Thank you for a thoughtful, well-written analysis and for the reminder that the issue is far too complex to make the debate about which “group” is responsible. In fact, the consumers creating the market share a large portion of the burden of responsibility.

    Everyone of us who is able to understand the complexities you so clearly called out shares the burden of responsibility to:

    1. Educate those consumers.
    2. Pressure politicians to create stronger laws
    and clean up a corrupt inspection system, and
    work to decrease the number of puppies bred
    and sold for profit.
    3. Do what we can to save the victims (or support
    those who do that work in a responsible way).
    4. Shine the spotlight on abusers and their –
    facilitators, like Harold Neuhart, and
    continue to press authorities to deal with
    them swiftly and permanently. (It would be
    nice if justice worked in such a way that the
    abusers would be liable for damages and have a
    debt to pay to society in the form of
    volunteer service to those engaged in rescue
    activities or shelters, but that is pie-in-
    the-sky, given that there are people who still
    want to cover-up the abuse and continue to
    profit from the torture of innocent animals.)

    HOW ABOUT JUST BANNING THE OHIO DOG AUCTION? Can we agree to that, for a start?

  159. Stephen Phillips says:

    Dog Psych, that certainly works for me!

  160. Hamilton says:

    In this article, Chris has looked into the records of people that are vocal about this subject and performed an extensive research on the opinions of different members of this group on various animal related subjects and as a common journalistic practice, left the reader to arrive at his own conclusion. Many comments have been written on this subject. One suggested that the local humane society has not received any support from “outsiders” for sheltering unwanted animals. Reading all these comments, I decided to share my views, with the spirit of humility, that it may provide some insight into this subject and hopefully it may cause different groups to work in cooperation. My hope is, since my comments are written with the spirit of humility, that will be the same spirit in which it will be received.

    The core issue is a moral and ethical one; will we as citizens of a civilized state strive to obtain a humane condition for the treatment of animals or will we ignore the issue at hand and let animals suffer? There are different views on humane rights and similarily the humane treatment of animals is a relative subject; “animal cruelty for some is animal husbandry for others.” Therefore, let me suggest some boundaries for the humane treatment of animals. Most of us will be happy and fully satisfied if the animals are raised in an environment that they can move freely, it is clean from urine and feces and their injuries are treated. In particular dogs, known to be man’s best friend, have an essential need for routine socialization with humans, especially during their early days of their lives. These conditions are far from existent in many of the animal breeding kennels, causing the emergence of the word “Puppy mill.” The term puppy mill was coined with raising dogs with little to no human contact, in a very small place, dirtied with urine and feces causing various health issues, and infected feet from being on constant wire.

    The media has reported several dog attacks on young children and new borns. These were dogs that were purchased from pet shops, but they were raised in puppy mills. The dog owners felt that the breeding conditions in puppy mills tremendously contributed to the dog’s aggression. Several law suits are in the process that could determine the future of puppy mills; if they win these law suites, would the pet shops buy dogs from puppy mills anymore?

    I have personally and first-handedly witnessed a dozen puppy mills while hiking on the Buckeye Trail in Holmes country! It was a shocking experience to see the dogs being held in such a small, unsantitary space. In my opinion, it was an inhumane treatment of animals which greatly reduced the appeal of the beautiful Holmes county countryside.

    As a citizen of a civilized state, I humbly suggest that the puppy mills defy our ethical standards and are a dark cloud in the blue skies of the Buckeye State. Our representatives are currently working on several bills that could change this situation. Also, our Democratic procedure allow individual legislative initiatives such as the Ohio Dog Auctions Act. Eventually, our democratic process will determine if these efforts will go forward or not. Meanwhile, the efforts of several volunteers who are pursuing their legal legislative rights should not regarded as outsiders of Holmes county and their initiative as a “Dog fight” as Chris suggested.

    We are all, as Buckeye citizens, concerned for the well-being of our people. Also, some of us regard the well-being of animals a very important issue; an ethical and moral issue. I understand that the humane treatment of animals is a relative subject, but if raising animals in puppy mills is considered “animal husbandry” to some of us, I with all my being denounce it! It is not even immoral. It has gone beyond it; it does not even know morality; it is a-moral!

    Hamilton

  161. BuckeyeBuggyBabies says:

    This is a good discussion by a lot of well meaning people with a lot of different perspectives AND different experiences, and knowledge.

    I am troubled by To Tell the Truth’s obsession about rescues, and sure wish he/she would get off that kick. Some of your references are to hoarders, NOT rescues, and TTtT should know the difference. I may well be wrong, but it sounds to me as if TTtT has been denied the opportunity to adopt from a rescue and horribly resents it. Otherwise I can’t account for it.

    The Trumbull county woman was a hoarder. Tiger Ranch in PA was a hoarder. A mother-daughter pair in SW OH were hoarders. Not all rescue organizations are no-kill, and each operates differently. Many ‘shelters’ euthanize with frequency, because there’s no place for the animals to go. We aren’t even discussing those things here.

    But GOOD news is that Sub SB 95, the proposed Ohio “Puppy Mill Bill” passed the Ohio Senate Committee on Tuesday! It is ready to be passed out to the Senate floor to be voted on, if we can get it out of the committee! Please go to http://www.columbusdogconnection.com to find links for the committee, and your own Ohio state Senator to ask that SB 95 move out of committee, on to the floor and be voted YES for passage.

    The bill would require improved treatment of dogs in kennel facilties and a phase-out of dog auctions in Ohio within nine months. During that period of time, only OH dogs could be sold. That way, Oh breeders could downsize if they don’t have ‘rescue’ numbers to call.

  162. Sharon H. says:

    To mary shaver, i just read your message to me. you are so welcome and i’m glad i could help your cause. dawn mentioned that she enjoyed meeting you and your husband and remembers the shaver dairy farm. she said she remembers it to be one of the best farms over five counties. did you have a chance to meet bill? he has a wonderful dairy farm not to far from Dawn and her husband. you should go visit him. he’s good friends with dawn and knows all about boda’s campaign.

    sb 95 may be out of committee but it is still opposed by many rescues and breeders. we read bills before we call our senators to vote on them. this bill hasn’t been heard in the house and hb124 been assigned to the agriculture committee. need i say more? why are we confusing dogs with livestock?

  163. Dog Psych says:

    In answer to “why are we confusing dogs with livestock?”

    Those with wealth, power, and greed would like us to continue making that error. They want to protect inhumane and unhealthy practices that provide higher yield at the expense of the people who pay for their products. They want to continue to be free to hang hogs from log chains and simultaneously breed all the dogs they want.

    As has been true throughout history, the “haves” want the status quo to help them “get” even more. It is a giant leap for Ohio to recognize the simple fact that dogs and cows are different animals. Agriculture is BIG BUCKS here, and AGRI BIZ will protect that money flow with their lives.

    That is why it is CRUCIAL for people interested in protecting dogs to REMIND our legislators in LOUD VOICES that companion animals are to be treated differently than livestock. Different standards need to apply to each. (This does NOT mean that CAFOs should be allowed to continue their abuse, only that what is considered abuse of a dog and abuse of a cow, or pig, or chicken, or horse, should be defined differently.)

    No word from you, “Stark/Truth” re: CAN’T WE ALL AGREE THAT THE PRACTICE OF AUCTIONING DOGS TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER IS UNETHICAL AND, AS OFTEN AS NOT, SENDS THE DOG ONTO A LIFE OF FURTHER SUFFERING. People who buy cheap puppies, because they are cute or they can’t say, “No” to a child, soon forget the dog and his needs. That is how they end up on chains in our neighbors’ backyards.

    What about the writer of the editorial we are discussing? He seems to be in the silent minority. I suggest it is time for Mr. Kick to either DEFEND or RETRACT what he wrote. Does he have the ethics and guts to respond, or will he simply victimize readers with another one-sided editorial to follow this one?

  164. Lisa Huelskamp says:

    I am in total support of what was posted by Mary O’Connor-Shaver. Right on and well said.

    There is obvious bias in what Mr. Kick has written. Mr. Kick, I too, am a ‘farm kid’ – born and raised. I would suggest re-examining the issue from the stand point that these dogs are not livestock. They are pets. Just because the back-yard breeders happen to be doing business in a rural, green, ag setting doesn’t make what they are doing right.

  165. docsince93 says:

    Ok Mr. Kirk….ever read “Animal Farm”?? Hmm….I can’t wait to read your article on the next big thing…people auctions!!!

  166. BuckeyeBuggyBabies says:

    Correction on OH SB 95…learned today that the bill no longer contains a phase-out of dog auctions, and also lost the provision that dogs could no longer be sold at flea markets, etc.

  167. BuckeyeBuggyBabies says:

    New Yahoo group for those interested in discussing what they think OH needs to pass in way of laws concerning dogs (and other related issues such as hoarding, cruelty, and so forth)

    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/OhioThereShouldBeALaw/

    Ground rules are on the main page.

  168. Jared Davis says:

    I love how if you raise dogs or farm livestock, you’re an abusive person. Why don’t the HSUS people find a life. They obviously need one. Keep up the good work Chris !

  169. Dog Psych says:

    Lisa,

    Mr. Kick will not respond to challenges, because, obviously, there is no way to factually support his point of view.

    Mr. Davis: Do you know the difference between an agri-biz sellout and a farmer? Why do abusers, neglectors, and their ignorant supporters so frequently fall back on the “get a life” jab? It’s like a punch that doesn’t connect with anything but air. Why don’t you use facts to support your point of view? Where are your facts? Nowhere, because they are non-existent.

    The fact is, Mr. Davis, that those of us who recognize there is a difference between a dog and a cow would like the rest of you to pull your heads out of the cornfield long enough to get the lesson. How does one “raise” 2 million cows, all at once, Mr. Davis? The word “raise” is deceiving, frequently mis-used by agri-biz to create the illusion in the public’s mind that our food still comes from small farms, where animals roam free, are killed humanely, and the likes of Gary Conklin and his crew of abusers is an exception, not the rule.

  170. CJ Shreve says:

    As a dog fancier who has bred only one litter, I know first hand the hard work that RESPONSIBLE dog breeding takes. I did my research into the pedigrees of the dog and bitch and asked questions to those who had dogs with similar pedigrees. Unfortunately, I still produced pups with genetic issues that I did not intend to pass along. One of those issues was epilepsy.
    Have you ever seen a dog seizure? It isn’t pretty, and it’s certainly not something I’d want a young person who loves this dog to witness.
    The people who breed dogs to sell at puppy mills and auctions do NOT take any of these genetic issues into consideration.
    Those who breed dogs to be auctioned do not want to be educated. They only see the bottom line, and that is the almighty dollar. The volume has to be there because that is the only way they can continue to make the money. We don’t see or hear about all those dogs who die because of genetic issues or less than sanitary conditions, etc.
    I say let’s stop the auctioning and the puppy mills.

  171. LCampbell says:

    Dog Psych – I do believe you owe Mr. Conklin a public apology since he was cleared of all charges as the State Vet testified Mr. Conklin’s actions were the correct ones to take in the situation he was in, or do you think the State Vet is part of the great ‘Animal Hording, beat the animals senseless to do our bidding, E. Coli infected farm producers where the USDA does nothing to stop anything’ master plan formed by the mindless, careless, cancerous human race that plagues the world.

    It amazes me how people born and raised in the city can come out to the country and tell us how to do things, like they know it all. Farmers are not stupid, we went to school as well and got an education. Unlike most city people, those of us that live in the country learn from each other and about each other. We talk, exchange ideas and help each other out. We don’t look for ways to stab our neighbor in the back to get an edge or make a name for ourselves.

    When Carol down the road fell sick with cancer and her treatments made it difficult for her husband Bob to be with her and take care of his farm, we jumped right in and took on the extra work. He never asked for it, it was something we just did. It’s called being neighborly. Most people in the city are too busy trying to out do their neighbor to bother getting to know them. So, let’s jump on the band wagon and accuse Mr. Conklin of wrong doing before we have the whole story. Under your mindset they should have paraded him and his family thru town in shackles by a noose to the center of town. I’m not condoning the things his employee did but if you have ever been on a farm you would understand that the owner can’t stand around all day watching the employee’s. That’s what he hired them for so he can do other tasks which require his attention. And let’s not forget how the person that shot the video was beating and stabbing the cows so he could “keep his cover” yet no charges where brought against him. I sure don’t see you bashing that guy any or is it okay for an animal rights person to abuse animals? Oh that’s right; he was part of MFA, an eco-terrorist type of organization supported by HSUS and PETA. Well we all know that’s okay then. It’s okay to set devices to explode and harm humans and animals as long as it’s in the name of “Humane Treatment”.

    So what is your game Dog Psych? You just want people to throw money your way and make a name for yourself as the Savior of the Dogs? If you know of places where conditions and animals are so bad then contact the authorities, or are they as useless as everyone else? We all know there are bad breeders out there but not every large scale breeder is bad. Yes, people do make money off selling dogs, yes they are auctioned off in Holmes county but I find it very hard to believe that the USDA and State Vet would allow dogs that are as bad you make it sound be auctioned. And let’s not forget SB 95. In its current written text, all it does is put the legitimate kennels out of business and does nothing to stop puppy mills or underground breeders. For the record, I don’t oppose the bill; I only oppose certain parts of it.

    So, to ensure you know exactly what you’re talking about…Yes, I eat meat. No I won’t stop eating meat. I live on a farm; we do not have E. Coli. I also eat fruits and veggies. I raise animals but I am not a puppy breeder. I own 1 female dog that is spade. She came from a pound. I do not support PETA, HSUS or any eco-terrorist organization in any way and I fight against them. I have been a victim of one or more of these organizations. I could care less if you’re a vegan or not, just be smart enough to understand not everyone shares your views on the subject. I don’t support vegans that act like dictators telling others how to live their life. I do not support the Ban on the Dog Auction; I do not support SB 95 in its current written form. I do not support the “Agreement” between HSUS and the State. I do not condone animal abuse and do not think every animal owner is an abuser.

    I do support farmers. I do support animal owners/breeders. I do support the family and large scale farmers. I do support Ohio Agriculture. I support the State Fair and the County Fair. I do support FFA and 4H.

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