Be wary of backyard, designer dog breeding



According to an article by Dog Trainer Casey Lomonaco, breeders and rescuers should be equally considered when adopting dogs.

Consider this alarming statistic. Every 6 years, 67,000 puppies can come from one mother and her litter. As a canine psychologist, rescuer and educator, I ask anyone feeling compassion for abused dogs to consider this perspective: Given the number of amazing dogs lingering and dying in shelters, breeding is irresponsible.

When puppy mills and backyard and designer breeders stop producing so many dogs that rescuers are over-whelmed, breeding could again be responsible.

To breeders who want to be responsible canine advocates: Join the Coalition to Ban the Ohio Dog Auction and sign the petition.

Pet stores like PetLand and Jack’s Aquariums are puppy mill outlets and should not be endorsed by responsible canine professionals.

When PetLand says they do not buy puppy mill dogs, ask if they use Hunte Corp. Then, research Mr. Hunte. Recent lawsuits reveal unethical and illegal PetLand practices.

If you do not agree with me, please help find responsible homes for the constant supply of dogs. No sarcasm. There is nowhere to go with the over-flowing victims of over-breeding, abuse and neglect.

Taylor Priest

Dayton, Ohio


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  1. Breeding is not irresponsible. It is a choice. Dragging in dogs from other countries, or other areas of the country, or stealing dogs from responsible breeders to sell for a profit is not only irresponsible it is immoral, unethical and should be punished by law. If I choose to try to produce a great dog for a specific function, I shouldn’t be told that dogs produced by people that allow their pets to run free and mate at will are more deserving or”better” than my careful tested and considered pups. They made a choice to be irresponsible and I’m not willing to enable their choice by restricting my own.

  2. I’ve been *actively* involved in rescue for 15 years, and over that time have taken in, placed in foster care, vetted, socialized, evaluated, and placed in new homes over 1,600 dogs.

    The *primary* reason that dogs are in shelters is because *owners* are irresponsible and ignorant of the realities of dog-owning. They buy *or adopt* puppies/dogs on a whim, and do not take the steps necessary to train and socialize their dogs, make changes in their own lives to live successfully with dogs, or see dogs are true “members of the family”.

    The problem is not an *over-supply* of dogs, it’s an *under-supply* of committed owners. The same folks who dumped their dog at the shelter today will be out buying or even adopting another tomorrow – because they don’t get the connection between their own behavior and the dog’s “failure” as their pet.

    There’s a strong connection to the way the dog was bred OR PLACED THROUGH RESCUE – because the key is in careful matching of the dog/puppy initially to the family, and follow up with the dog owners over the course of the dog’s life to ensure that they are doing the things they need to do for the home placement to be successful.

    Saying that the problem, broad-brush, is the breeding of dogs is ignoring – out of ignorance or deliberately – the real dynamic – which is irresponsible *ownership*. Unfortunately in this, shelters and *some irresponsible rescue groups* are as guilty as pet stores in their placement practices.

  3. Yes, and huge meteors could hit the planet – but they don’t. This ridiculous argument of how many pups a mother and her litter could produce is just that – ridiculous. Because the fact is that it just doesn’t happen! I recently spent some time on the Hunte Corporation’s site, and as a puppy distributor, their facility seems clean and well-run. Puppies don’t spend a lot of time there, and while they are there, they seem to get a lot of attention. They invite visitors – go see for yourself. There is no definition for a puppy mill, because the numbers of dogs kept/bred are all over the place. There are small-scale breeders, also known as home or hobby breeders. They either meet standards or they don’t. There are also large-scale breeders, also known as commercial breeders. They either meet standards or they don’t. USDA sets good standards for the large-scale breeders. Unfortunately, there are not enough USDA inspectors to enforce those standards and regulations as well as they need to be enforced. Recent lawsuits are popping up because buyers say their Petland puppies became sick. Well, yes, puppies from any source can get parvo or distemper. This is why you must confine them to home until their puppy shots are complete. Most people can’t wait to show off their puppies, and they pick up these diseases from being out and about. SHELTER puppies also get these diseases. It happens. Your children also get diseases. There is nothing wrong with buying a puppy from a responsible breeder and there is nothing wrong with breeding puppies. The responsible breeder is where we all SHOULD get our dogs. They have histories on illnesses in their lines and have worked hard to breed those out of their lines. They provide a safe landing for your dog with a contract to return the puppy if for some reason one cannot keep it. They become life-long mentors and even friends. Unfortunately, breeders could never meet the demand for puppies. There just aren’t enough of them. And more are shutting down their breeding due to onerous regulations usually proposed and pushed by HSUS and its lobbyists. Yes, HSUS does not want you to own or use animals, including your dogs. Shelters sell the very same dogs that came out of the so-called ‘puppy mills’ as wonderful, loving, and healthy pets. Hello? Do you not see what is going on? If the AR factor could stop all breeding, they would be cheering in the streets. Where does that leave those of us that can’t imagine life without a dog(s) in their lives?

  4. Once again this article as are many others being pushed by animal rights extremists is full of misinformation. Another lie from HSUS, ALF, and PeTA. When will the public realize that shelter dogs carry zoontic diseases and that they are subject to over 108 genetic problems which is five times the number that the most populat purebred dog might possibly be subject to. Purebred dogs are better for the following reasons. 1. you know how big they will grow, you know where they came from, you know what health issues to look out for, and you know the temperament. Yes people can get a nice temperament mixed breed from a shelter that took the time to retrain the dog. But the majority do not and we know from data that 49% of the shelter dogs will be returned to the shelter. Most shelter dogs have severe issues that have to be cared for from lack of socialization to aggression. Since spay and neuter of pets has become so popular despite the health problems is causes from shortened life spans to cancer we have so few shelter dogs that over 350,000 feral diseased dogs were imported by rescues in the north east, midwest and California to fill the shelters so these shelters can remain in business. And they have become big business now selling puppies for $500 each to the public.4 puppies were sent around the US to new homes carrying rabies. These dogs came from India and were adopted after only 48 hours of quarantine to families who thought they were being heroes only to find out they were adopting a puppy that has a disease that had been eradicated in the US and that is canine rabies. Many rescue groups are now marketing their animals just like the pet shops, but what are you actually buying? The same animal they condemn. Animal rights organizations want to end pet ownership not enhance it or educate the public to responsible pet ownership.

  5. As long as we are seeing dogs being imported from Puerto Rico and foreign countries, essentially dogs from the streets, unvetted, without rabies shots, without quarantine, then I really don’t see how anyone can complain about dog breeders. The problem is that some individuals want to end the breeding of dogs, cats and other pet animals and will use the shelter populations as a reason to do so. As previous comments have stated, the problem is not the breeding of the animals, the problem is the new owner and the fact that the new puppy is not given proper training in order to fit into the home and family.

  6. It’s no longer any secret. Animal radicals are out to wipe out the breeders of both our pets and our farm animals. The unwelcome result will be the outsourcing abroad of our last industry–our animals as pets and food in the form of farm animals. I’ve had far MORE than enough of the animal radical groups and their myriad spins outnumbered only by their mania for power and the outright ripoffs they conduct. Maine dog breeders are endangered by the animal radical groups because LA shelter dogs are now being sold in wholesale lots to Maine shelters. The Maine shelters then kick back a portion of the end consumer purchase price–to the LA shelters. The more Maine breeders that are put out of business, the more Mexi-mutts are to be airlifted from LA shelter “job lotters” which are dumped in Maine to keep Maine’s shelters full. And what are Maine’s shelters full of? Gonad gutted empty shells of surgically sterilized pets incapable of reproducing.

  7. As the writer of this article, I appreciate the careful consideration several readers gave to my comments and the time you took to share your own views. I hope this can be a forum, even if only briefly, for intelligent discussion and debate that remains focused on resolving the problem of dog over-population. For my part, I will respond to anyone who speaks respectfully and offers something worth responding to. Comments that reflect the perspective of, “breeders against animal welfare advocates” do not seem to me to warrant comment. If you have not yet graduated from that level of emotional immaturity, please find another audience, with a less pressing agenda, to address.

    Re: comments from:

    Glenn Massey: As a rescuer who places dogs regularly, and as was attested to here by other rescuers with far more rescue experience than I (I’m nowhere near placing 1600 dogs), it is not difficult for people to find high quality, well-mannered, healthy-for-life dogs through rescues and shelters. Ask any reliable rescuer. The problem is the reverse of what you suggest and Kate discusses: The problem is finding high quality, dedicated, responsible-for-life humans to go with the dogs.

    Maggie B: Let me understand one of your points, before considering any of the others . . . Do you really mean to say that anything we choose to do cannot be irresponsible? Do people who drink, drive, and kill someone behind the wheel make the choice to drive and risk the lives of others in their reckless path? (I am not being sarcastic here, Maggie. Perhaps I am not understanding your point, but I really can’t consider your other thoughts, without clearly understanding your premise.) You are right that breeding is a choice, but my point is that, while we have hundreds of thousands of dogs dying in shelters every year, it is not a responsible choice to make more who are born only to die lonely, terrifying deaths in gas chambers or at the end of a heart stick.

    Kate: First of all, thank you for your service to dogs. That’s a heck of a rescue resume. I do, however, also need a clarification on one of your key points.

    You stated, “The problem is not an ‘over-supply’ of dogs, it’s an ‘under-supply’ of committed owners.” How are those different for the dogs who die? Either way, hundreds of thousands of dogs never make it out of shelters, because we cannot place them in responsible homes. (For Pit Bulls, that sad figure is 1 in 600!) Are you suggesting that, rather than try to prevent backyard breeding and stop puppy mills, we should focus on trying to make humans more responsible? Have you figured out how to do that? Seriously, as a rescuer, you should not be keeping that method a secret. I know I could use that trick in my bag. I suggested that we make the breeding population more responsible, but the notion of even slowing down ignites fiery rebellion and finger-pointing at the big, bad animal welfare people who are just hateful, with their non-meat-eating ways.

    I probably have broad-brushed the problem. I absolutely agree that the world of dog rescue is over-populated with over-simplifying. It’s a complex web of authorities, passionate animal lovers, regular animal companions, and non-animal-oriented or educated public, and the system meant to protect the innocent creatures does anything but. But, my broad brush just missed some of the details. The colors weren’t wrong. There is no doubt in my mind that breeding dogs, while hundreds of thousands are born only to feel pain, terror, and death, is wrong. How can it not be? Explain it to me as you would to a 3rd grader. That’s the level of this discussion where the real truth lies.

    I agree that matching a dog to his or her human companions is essential to permanent placement. Unfortunately, many rescuers (I know I am one), are so over-loaded with requests for help and the resulting dogs that fill our homes, that desperation can blind even the most diligent.

    As a rescuer yourself, you are certainly aware of the never-ending supply of dogs, so I am confused at your conclusion that slowing the pace of breeding would not be a positive thing. Would it be helpful to create more responsible human homes? Absolutely, and that’s why I talk about dog rescuing and animal protection to people everyday. But, let me tell you, that cannot be the only path, or we and the dogs are all doomed. Humans just are not that pliable when it comes to value shifting.

    Mary: The topic here is dog breeding, not astronomy, so I am going to bypass your meteor comment.

    I suggest that, rather than relying upon the Hunte Corporation’s website to determine the health and treatment of their puppies, you visit the den of their evil outlets; Go to a PetLand. Look into their sick little eyes. Check out the cage bottoms they stand on all day. And, what you’ll really love is how a worker can’t begin to define what she means by the word “often” in this sentence, “Oh, they get out of the cages often.” Neither can they tell you what “often” means when they refer to frequency of feeding or cage cleaning.

    Again, I suggest you take a group of compassionate 3rd graders to a PetLand, ask them to tell you whether these puppies look happy and well-treated, and give them time to seriously consider the question. I have been to PetLands. I have seen the extent of the evil they are willing to present on the surface, and plenty of news reports, and, yes, lawsuits, are opening that door to the public’s eye more and more. Those dens of evil are closing, as they should. Democracy, slow as it is, is working.

    Dr. Rosset: Speaking of broad brush strokes, you seem to represent the point of view that one animal welfare advocate is another is another. I am sure that Kate, and anyone else here who has worked to rescue dogs can attest, there is a wide diversity of opinion among rescuers. There are a lot of people in that world trying to stroke their own emotions. Most are passionate, and that makes for craziness and extremism. They bicker and nit pick and throat cut, to the detriment of the dogs and humans genuinely trying to help. None of that negates the crime of abusing dogs for the sole purpose of making more, without regard for psychological well-being, and, where mass-breeding is involved, without regard for physical well-being that does not impact their bottom $line.

    The fact that you are willing to lump all dog rescuers together and dismiss them as somehow ill-intentioned, invalidates the rest of your rhetoric. When you can recognize that I might have thoughts different from another who is also in favor of the humane treatment of animals, then we might be able to begin a useful dialogue.


    I would submit to you that the problem you describe is as horrifying as the continued over, and particularly mass, breeding of dogs in this country.

    The dog problem in other countries is one I can’t even fathom, but that is not an excuse for a country who prides itself as an example for others to follow, to treat animals with the disrespect they experience dying in shelters and in the hands of mass-breeders like Hunte and his PetLand outlets or Harold Neuhart and his puppy-over-producing-pals.

    The best thing, politically, that any of us can do to make an impact for those dogs dying in shelters, in Ohio, is to sign the petition to ban the Ohio dog auction run by Harold Neuhart and largely supported by Holmes County’s Amish community.

  8. Dog Psych

    Your statement that not every animal welfare advocate is another is another…. yet you have taken that approach with breeders and called us all irresponsible. Responsible breeders ensure their dogs never end at a shelter via strict contract and micro chipping. So your “lump” statement that because we breed, we are dooming those puppies we breed to die a lonely death. But that is not entirely the truth or the whole truth.

    While I don’t agree with “breeding for money” and don’t agree with large scale breeding facilities who wholesale dogs, the fact is, responsible breeders do select where their dogs go, meaning in my home, only 1 out of 5 people I speak to who want one of dogs, meet my standards. Those others, thanks to the American mentality of BUY NOW, simply find another source for their pet. Be it a back yard breeder, pet store or puppy mill. And frankly, you get what you pay for.

    Add to that the statistics show that most dogs in shelters are the result of owner relinquished and stray pick-ups to the tune of 4 million a year.

    I have personally worked in rescue, as an animal control officer and as a breeder. I have owned, handled and placed more mutts and mixes than purebreds. What I can tell you from my experience is that besides the “owner commitment” issues I routinely deal with is the simple fact that it’s rare to have a shelter pet or rescue who doesn’t have some kind of health, training, behavior or aggression issue. To be frank, many prospective homes are not capable of dealing with animals with those needs and shouldn’t be forced into a “rescue or nothing” situation. That’s not improving the situation, but in fact, potentially making it worse because you are insisting some homes take in a type of dog they are likely not going to be successful owning.

    The responsible thing to do, is maintain a dog owners choice of where to get their pet, educate educate educate the general public on the “how to’s” of caring for an owning an animal, enforce the existing “owner responsibility” laws, give USDA inspectors the resources they need to inspect facilities, enforce rules and punish violators. Put a halt to rescues or wholesalers importing animal animals from foreign sources and putting a stop to rescues “selling” dogs to other facilities cross country and find funding for low income families who seek to spay or neuter their pets.

    Taking away people’s choice won’t solve the problem, simply make it worse. People will always want their purebreds and if you drive reputable sources out of business so to speak, the not so responsible breeders willing to take a chance to make a buck will step up to the plate to take their place. Only difference is, that kind of breeder won’t give a rats butt about the dogs, their health or the homes they go to.

  9. I feel the others have made enough valid points. My post has specific finite points from which you have taken one word and gone on a tangent that is neither logical nor germane.

  10. I have to concur with the majority of people that the shelter “overpopulation” comes from irresponsible people. Besides how many shelters are in dire straits when they are importing dogs from other countries, counties, and cities. The reason for this is that they are a BUSINESS… There are some geographical areas of the US that do have an overpopulation problem but those animals are distributed throughout the US. A certain percentage of dogs in shelters are unadoptable and should be euth…but their owners couldn’t do it and dumped them, again, an irresponsible owner. Another owner, can’t bear to put down “fluffy” who is a sick, aged, dog so they take it to the shelter for someone else to do. Again, an irresponsible person. Then, you have “whim” buyers who fill out a form, get out their wallet and they are now dog owners. But, maybe the dog isn’t suitable for them or more likely they shouldn’t own a dog, they take it back and get another…also bumping up the intake numbers. Then, you have the dog purchaser who gets a pup, doesn’t train it and when it becomes a problem, they either turn it loose to roam and maybe get killed or turn it in to the shelter. I’m sure you understand what I’m talking about.
    Another big issue I have. This started with celebs using dogs as accessories. Out pops the dog clothes market…dogs are now treated as four legged humans…they wear bikinis, bonnets, sunglasses, ruffled dresses, shoes. This is akin to dressing up a chimpanzee. I have no problem with costumes for an occasion.
    Dogs are companions and used for many important jobs…they are an important part of our society BUT they are not humans. People who make their
    dog into a human end up being surprised when they act like a dog (pooping in the house, ripping up their favorite shoes)and their response is to dump them.
    I ask each and every one of you to take a look at your local shelters…count the adoptable dogs,
    pay attention to the numbers. I have done so with two of my shelters and the numbers were….zero, zero, 1, 4, 11. Yep, that’s it so you see why they are importing? Now, if you want to talk cats…there were 90. 99% of these cats were not purebreds…just the alley cat type. So, this comes from irresponsible people who do not spay/neuter and allow their cats to live outdoors. My local newspaper had 18 kittens and two mixed breed adults in their “Free” Pet column . Designer dogs are nothing more than a mutt. It is rare that you see a purebred in a shelter.
    Again, this has nothing to do with responsible hard working breeders doing their best to produce a healthy pup or genetically improve their own bloodlines….its irresponsible owners.

  11. Thanks Fred and cheryl c for taking so much time to share your thoughts. I hope my responses will generate further discussion from yourselves, and others, willing to work toward understanding and compromise.

    Maggie B: I think I asked a clear question seeking clarification. Since you seem unable, or unwilling, to provide a reasonable and logical answer, I can’t really reply to you any further.

    Fred: First, thank you for your commitment and years of service helping dogs. I cannot imagine many more difficult ways to make a living than as an ACO. I have worked hard to understand the perspective of authorities, so I can work with them more effectively.

    Locally, I see compassionate people beaten down and hardened by a system bent and twisted by the political interests behind agri-biz. Re-defining, for the purposes of legal separation, dogs as “companion animals” has opened a new door for animal welfare and protection, but, as we would all expect, those with the wealth and power will guard those interests violently. (One recent example: Harold Neuhart, owner of the dog auction in Holmes County, attacked the cameraman involved in an under cover investigation. No charges were filed, but there were enough witnesses for me to feel safe putting that in print without legal ramifications.)

    Although I do not have your bredth of experience, I am going to, respectfully, disagree with you on the bottom line: When so many dogs die, simply because responsible humans are in short supply, it is unethical and immoral to purposefully (which includes through neglect) make more.

    While I have not worked as an ACO, and I have certainly not bred a single dog, I work closely with our local shelter workers and supervisors, several, with decades of experience. Through their stories, they opened a window into their worlds. I have known them for years. We are not best friends. We are rescue colleagues. We do not always agree, but we communicate with respect and are all working, I believe, to help as many dogs as we can.

    Having recognized your expertise, I would submit that, as a rescuer of 5+ years and canine behavioral expert maintaining a balanced pack of my own and rehabilitating clients’ dogs, my knowledge and perspectives are equally valid.

    I want to clarify your first statement, Fred, as I believe it depicts misunderstanding of my words and misrepresents my perspective. I did not say breeders are all bad people. What I believe I said, or certainly meant to say was what I just stated above. Perhaps, if I twist the kaleidescope and say the same thing a bit differently, it will cause less offense and allow some to open up to what I am really saying. It’s not about all breeders being millers or all rescuers being hoarders.

    Try this view on for size: What if we all work together, caring, compassionate, clear-headed, responsible breeders rescuers, authorities, and politicians, to vastly decrease the number of dogs who die, because we cannot find responsible, capable, competent, compassionate humans to care for them for their entire life span? Is there anyone that agenda cannot work for? Wouldn’t the role of a breeder in that scenario dictate that they stop contributing to the numbers? Otherwise, it’s like you have a group trying to balance a budget, but Purchasing keeps buying more inventory, when you can’t dump what you have.

    Sadly, your statement about the American mentality of “buy now” and forget about how the dog has to pay later, is the root cause of this problem. That, however, does not mean people adding to the over-population of dogs are acting ethically. If you care about dogs, and you know how many die lonely and terrified, how can you want to put more on the planet right now? As an ACO, you know a lot more about the nasty truths in that business than I will ever see, I imagine.

    Many dog wardens in Ohio treat dogs cruelly, continuing to gas and use heartsticks for euthing, keeping them in filth, etc. No under cover investigation is required to reveal them. They have no need to hide. Ohio’s agri-biz slanted legal code protects them, with weak and ambiguous laws, and, as you pointed out, few resources for USDA inspectors.

    Regarding your comments on dog behavior and matching a dog with a human who will be able to manage the dog: No doubt, breeding plays a role in a dog’s ability to cope with ignorant human behavior. Few humans, despite programs like The Dog Whisperer, still understand canine communication, and most are not willing to make the effort to learn. Many should be bitten but never are, because a dog’s genes and social skills give them adequate confidence to not feel threatened or consider biting to be an appropriate response.

    So, if you combine superior breeding by a competent and compassionate human, with strong early behaviorial socialization (i.e., keeping the pup with the mother up to 12 weeks and reinforcing her training to purposely build confidence and respect), you can put a dog out there with less-than-competent humans, and it’s highly unlikely that the dog will ever bite anyone or even be a problem. How many breeders have I just described? How many keep their pups that long, let alone understand, and use, canine behavioral principles? How many can tell you the difference between a confident dog and one who is insecure? How many can tell you why the dog is insecure and how to rehabilitate it? Send them to me. I would like to get to know them, because I’ve yet to meet a breeder who cares enough about dogs to make sure they are confident enough to handle stupid humans.

    Fred, I am curious . . . do you consider keeping puppies in cages, standing on wire, acceptable? (I ask, because I ran into a breeder last nite who thought that was just fine. I can’t imagine having puppies in my house in that condition. This woman, btw, has become a rescuer, because she has ended up with 40 dogs she cannot re-home, but she still thinks breeding, right now, is ok. I really don’t understand that perspective.)

    The shelter workers here tell me that a lot of the dogs put down are beyond their ability and/or resources to rehab, but A LOT are also very adoptable. The people taking dogs from breeders would not be eligible to adopt from me. They do not, in my opinion, care enough about dogs, as a species, to warrant one as a companion. There is no reason to buy a dog from a breeder, if you care about the dogs who die in shelters. There is every reason to find a responsible rescue or shelter. And, I believe, if you are not reponsible enough to do that, if you don’t care about dogs that much, than, yes, you should be forced to make an ethical choice.

    If we ignore the inhumanity of the act of adding more dogs to the current over-population, simply so humans can consume irresponsibly, and think just about the costs to our communities, we should be moved to act to end dog over-population. Strays and mistreated dogs become dangerous. Even dogs in the hands of compassionate, but ill-informed, humans can become ticking time bombs. I see it everyday.

    You stated that most shelter dogs have issues of some kind. Again, my experience and the experience of trusted colleagues on the inside of shelters is not the same. Health issues are taken care of prior to adoption by responsible rescues and shelters. Behavioral issues should also be resolved prior to adoption.

    Behavioral issues, as I’m sure you know, are not inside the dog; they are in the humans. The dogs can almost always be rehabilitated and, with education of the humans, that rehabilitation can be maintained. So, I applaude, “educate, educate, educate”. We absolutely agree there. An educated public will choose rescues and shelters and teach others to do the same. The result would be less demand for breeders’ dogs, and some would choose to stop breeding. Any puppy who is not born is another I will not end up rescuing.

    Regarding enforcement of laws, how does one influence an abuser to stop, when all they get, if they get anything, is a misdemeanor? On Montgomery County’s Animal Resource Center website, the Dog Warden openly states that few cases of abuse are ever cited, let alone prosecuted. Current laws need to be strengthened, and breeding needs to be seriously restricted, until we resolve the over population problem.

    Lastly, I want to address a comment you made about “rescues or wholesalers” buying and selling dogs and helping low-income folks find spay and neuter resources: How could you have the experience you state you have and want to halt the progress made by low-cost spay and neuter programs? You think it is better for us to just allow random breeding, or do you think that only the wealthy should have animal companions? While I certainly, strongly consider financial ability when adopting a dog out, I know many people who struggle financially but, who, if the dog needs a vet, find a way to get them what they need. Rescuers help them network to find resources. Do you want that to stop, as well?

    I have no notion about rescuers or “wholesalers” (never even heard of them) selling dogs across country to other rescues. Do the dogs, ultimately, find responsible humans and permanent homes? Who are these people, and how are they profitting from selling rescued dogs? I’ve heard a couple of other references to this, but I ignored them, because the other sources, based upon their erratic and childish communications, were clearly not credible.

    Now, to cheryl c: Thanks for being so patient. ;) I guess I’ll start at the beginning . . . I have not yet heard of shelters buying dogs from over seas. My own Dog Warden would chuckle at the rumor. They just took in 49 last week and had 31 already on Tuesday of the following week. They don’t need to buy them, and they are certainly not a thriving business. Most shelters struggle financially, and many struggle from an under-educated, even if compassionate, staff, who make little money and have no leverage to change a broken system.

    I couldn’t agree with you more that matching a dog to a prospective human companion is key to success in a permanent adoption. And, again in full agreement, humans are irresponsible, and dogs are the victims, over and over again. Yet we still want to bring more onto the planet? I don’t get why we can’t agree to manage what is here, before we add to the population . . . Oh, yeah, wait, I get it. There is $$$ involved.

    Celebs and their designer dog role-modeling are disgusting. Designer breeders should be eliminated. Period.

    I am afraid I lost you toward the end. You seem to be saying that shelters are having to import dogs from overseas, because they don’t have enough to adopt out. Why do you believe there is a shortage of available shelter dogs? Our shelter is over-flowing with them, and so are shelters across the country. That IS a reason to ask even the best breeders to consider putting more effort into vastly decreasing the number of dogs we put on the planet, until the problem is no longer at epidemic proportions.

    Okay, a final statement to anyone still left reading: I am SICK of having an endless supply of dogs to rescue. The answer is not that I should stop doing the right thing by no longer saving the lives of the innocent. The answer is that the irresponsible humans who are the cause of the problem (including anyone adding to the over population epidemic), need to change their behavior and simply STOP using dogs for profit. There is no other argument that could possibly justify breeding a dog. Every dog anyone could imagine is already in existence, multiple times. If you want him badly enough, if you care about her enough, go do the research, and find them!

    (For those of you who think I am over-the-edge, I also happen to believe in the legal/social restraint, in leiu of adequate education and testing, of irresponsible human breeders. How stupid is it that we continue to allow the stupid to breed, just because they have nothing better to do? The little products of their boredom cost society and the human species in ways no one seems to want to contemplate very far.) That was off-topic and not meant to add to the discussion. Just thought I would reveal how crazy I really am.
    I look forward to thoughtful responses.

  12. Still waiting for those thoughtful comments and some names and numbers of responsible foster homes to put the dogs that the breeding community wants to shove aside and forget.

    Get rid of the bloody Holmes County Dog Auction, and another outlet for puppy mills will be cut off, too. Fewer dogs must be a good thing, when millions die simply because there are not enough responsible homes, mustn’t it? How can ANYONE disagree with that statement, UNLESS they have motives OTHER than seeing to the humane treatment of the species?

    Silence is complicity.

  13. It is amazing to me that anyone would advocate for legal and social “restraint” of “stupid human breeders” and make comments as profound as “How stupid is it that we continue to allow the stupid to breed …” and then request “thoughtful comments.”

    Well Mr. Priest congratulations. You have certainly convinced me, through your thought provoking article — well, actually your detractors have convinced me — to NEVER attempt to rescue another dog. It makes perfect sense to me to stick with pure bred dogs from reputable breeders from here on out.

    You see folks, Mr. Priest has been caught red-handed this time. A family with an aggressive, rescued dog reached out to him. One never to miss an opportunity to exploit a very emotional crisis, Mr. Priest said he would help … for a price. In the end, the family made the painful decision to give the dog up only to have Mr. Priest follow up with an extremely abusive phone call.

    So having been unsuccessful in extorting money from this family, he decided the best recourse was to make outlandish AND false accusations to this family. Their ONLY crime … not giving in to his extortion.

    So, the thoughtful discussion for the Dog Psycho is whether he is truly someone out to make things better for our canine friends or if he is out to make a buck from suffering – both human AND canine.

    Once again, Mr. Priest I thank you. Thank you for starting this thread so I could learn the alternative views to your insane (self-proclaimed) views.

    While you attempt to goad people into guilt, you unknowingly educated them in more sane/logical alternatives. Additionally, you have started me on a path of understanding the motives behind groups such as HSUS, ASPCA, PETA, etc. All such organizations will be met with a very healthy dose of skepticism.

    While you think “silence is complicity”, please understand the silence you will receive from me will be due to my search for a responsible breeder that understands the proper matching of families with dogs. It will take some time, time that will keep me from reading any more of your way-left-of-center ramblings.

  14. I like the comment about the “bloody” Holmes County Dog Auction. I lived next to an Amish man that raised dogs and sold them at auction and I never saw any abuse like these left-wing wackos are talking about.

  15. Ah! A stab in the dark from a human who could not handle the responsibility of caring for a dog for the entire lifespan of the dog. He thinks his blade struck blood, but he doesn’t realize that blade is made of rubber. He also doesn’t get that he is not alone. People who abuse and neglect animals get kinda mad sometimes, when you hold up the mirror of reality and responsibility and hold them accountable for the blood on their hands, the blood of their canine companions, who they pledged to care for, for life.

    Dr. Slaughter’s identity, should anyone be curious, is Marvin Potts. He is upset, because he did not like hearing the truth. He is a living, breathing argument for forced human sterilization.

    Arla Potts, Marvin’s wife (I presume), left me a voicemail a couple of weeks ago. The message simply said, “I have a question about releasing our dog to you.”

    When I returned the call, Mrs. Potts told me her husband had decided to take their 4 y/o GS who had become aggressive to the local animal shelter.

    Over the next hour, I asked Mrs. Potts questions to determine if I might be able to find an alternative or rehabilitate the dog. In that time, I learned that the dog had been a family companion since he was a puppy. Supposedly, he had just become aggressive. She also said he got “nervous” when visitors came to the door.

    As we spoke, I explained the consequences of their decision to take their family companion of 4 years to the shelter. As breeders and rescuers alike know, a 4 y/o GS who has become aggressive will never make it out of a kill shelter. Ask any Ohio Dog Warden.

    I told Mrs. Potts that I wanted her to fully understand the serious consequences of their decision. I patiently, and, apparently, effectively, explained the likely reason for the aggression and how I would go about working with them, and the dog, to help him gain enough confidence to not feel the need to act aggressively.

    By the end of the conversation, Mrs. Potts said, “I was going to take the dog to the shelter in the morning, but now I think I am going to wait.” She asked me to speak with her husband and explain the same information. I also offered to help re-home the dog during the rehab process, if that was still their decision.

    Sadly, when I called to speak with Mr. Potts the next evening, I was told, by Mrs. Potts, “The problem has been taken care of.”

    Now, we come to the reason for Mr. Potts’ hurt feelings: I then called and left them both a message, stating that they were despicable human beings for turning their backs on a loyal family member who has lived a tortured life. (His aggression is a symptom of mental torture, intentional or not).

    Mr. Potts did not want to hear that he left his family companion to die in terror. He was given a gift. Do you know how many people are desperate for someone to help them re-home a loved dog that they can no longer take care of or house? He spit on that gift, whining to the authorities that he was being harrassed on the phone. Coincidentally, the cop who called understood the situation, as he works closely with rescues and knows how many Marvin Potts’ we have to put up with. He agreed the guy should never touch another animal, as he is clearly irresponsible and immature.

  16. Are you kidding me??!! If breeders werent being so damn irresponsible there wouldnt be a bill in the works to control them better!
    BREEDING SHOULD BE ILLEGAL! Btw MOST breeders DONT “adopt” dogs spayed/nutered…they SELL them UNFIXED!

    Why do you think most rescues/shelters spay and nuter? BECAUSE THERE ARE TOO MANY DOGS!!

  17. Yes, Suzie, I couldn’t agree more. Breeders claim to care about dogs, but they create puppies who take homes away from dogs in shelters. 25% of shelter dogs are purebreds. Any dog you can imagine already exists, in abundance.

    Until authorities get that there are relatively few people willing and/or able to take responsibility for a dog for its entire life, millions of dogs will be needlessly put to death each year. Anyone adding to the canine population has some of that blood on their hands.

    Check out, and sign the petition to stop Harold No-Heart (Neuhart) and his Amish Auction House of Horrors, where puppies are left to die in freezing temperatures, stand or lie in their own feces, and, ultimately, are handed over to the highest bidder to take their chances with fate (often ending up as breeding machines or tethered to a tree).

    Dr. Slaughter has named himself accurately. Sadly, he seems to be proud of the cowardly act to dump his most loyal companion and leave him to die alone, terrified and clueless that his life was about to end.

  18. It is most common for a dog or cat owner to take their pet to the vet yearly. Most new owners’ puppies don’t get the full range of shots they need because they only the see the vet yearly.

    I agree with Kate, it’s not bad breeding or puppy mills, it’s irresponsible owners. The USDA inspects all Licensed breeders regularly without notice. No Notice inspections ensure that the facility is not “cleaned up” before the inspection and paints an accurate picture of the breeder. is only painting half of the picture. Yes, there are bad breeders out there but not all breeders are bad. As the buyer, ask the right questions. Ask if the breeder is Licenesed, ask to see his/her latest Inspection report, they are public knowledge. Don’t believe all the hype produced by “grass roots” organizations, get the whole story before you make a decision.

    When yo’ur presented a picture of a sick dog, look at the whole picture your given, not just the dog. Ask questions such as, “If that facility has no area for the dog to go out of the weather, why is one dog half in and half out the doggie door of his kennel?”. “Why if that is a picture of a poor dog rescued in ohio does the licenese plate belong to Florida, is Florida doing rescues in Ohio because Florida has no dogs to rescue?”.

    The Dog Auction is regulated by the USDA and they have USDA inspectors and Vets on site to check over the animals. If an animal can’t even stand up, how the heck are they going to auction it? Think about it. Also, do a bit of research into the Amish, understand why they don’t allow their picture to be taken, it’s not just because it’s an auction. It’s part of their religion.

    If people like banohiodogauctions cared for all the sick, homeless, women, children and men in this country as much as a dog auction, we’d all be much better off.

    Also, think hard about organizations such as PETA, HSUS and look closely at statements made by their top brass. “We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.” Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP of Humane Society of the US, formerly of Friends of Animals and Fund for Animals, Animal People, May, 1993.

    Does that sound like someone that is in it to save your pet? Sounds to me like the domestic animal (by the way, selective breeding also takes place in livestock and poultry) is going to be like the dinosaur…extinct.

    If they get their way, we will all be eating Seaweed burgers for the 4th of July next year.

  19. I. Campbell,

    How can you know that 1 1/2 million + dogs die in shelters every year, because shelters cannot find responsible humans to adopt them and claim to care about dogs when you are a breeder? Which dogs, exactly, do you care about? The ones you produce for money? What about all of the dogs who die, because the dogs of breeders take homes away from them? What about the puppies produced by puppy mills who linger in pet stores standing on wire-bottomed cages to make clean-up easy for their jailers? If you care about dogs so much, don’t you want to help those who suffer and will be gassed to death, simply for want of a good home? Again, I ask, which dogs, exactly, do you care about? Clearly, your list is shorter than mine, because I work my butt off to keep the population from expanding. I don’t profit financially by adding to it.

    I am continually shocked by people who are clueless that rescues and shelters everywhere are over-flowing with dogs and choose to buy from breeders and pet stores. Of course, they have advertising budgets, just as individual breeders do. Rescues and shelters are wasting our money paying for heartworm treatment, food, shots, spays and neuters, etc., etc., etc. Most rescuers and shelters don’t know much about an advertising budget. So, the general public is far less aware we exist, so they unwittingly buy dogs from people like you.

    As far as the USDA goes, as is true of most of the government, they are corrupt and inept. It’s not a State secret or anything. They document abuse and neglect and then do nothing about it.

    Finally, please stop worrying about losing your ability to eat the disgusting products CAFOs pass off as “meat”. Animal welfare, as a movement, is hardly a threat to the wealthy and politically powerful Farm Bureau. Even if that was their agenda – and it is highly unlikely that tree-hugging hippy types who populate animal welfare are going to want to take away your freedom . . . think about it . . . it is the Religious Right Wing who want to tell everyone how to live . . . -no one is going to force you to eat Seaweed burgers. You will always have the choice to make irresponsible food selections. In America, you will always be allowed to make Monsanto, Perdue, Tyson, IPB, and Smithville richer. Russian roulette at the Ecoli table will always be available to you. So don’t sweat it. Go kill something. Be happy.

  20. To any breeders who think there are plenty of homes to go around . . . I have 4 who need responsible homes and have been here far too long. Can you supply me with some names and numbers? I’m sure you must have waiting lists, because there is no dog over-population problem in this country, right? Next, I would like to help our local (kill) shelter place some to empty their over-flowing cells. Just send me a distribution list, will you?

    The issue is responsibility. Are you going to continue to choose to make money and ignore the faces in your local shelters? When was the last time you visited a kill shelter?

    For the record, I called Mr. Harold No-Heart Nehart who runs the Puppy Mill Auction in Holmes county, with the help of Amish breeders in the community, and made the same challenge. His response was crude and violent, was unable to carry on a civil conversation. He represents dog breeders everywhere . . . more interested in making a buck off of an innocent animal who suffers as a result than finding a way to make a positive contribution to the world.

    I’ll be looking forward to your help in decreasing the number of dogs in my home and our local shelter, so get those names and numbers to me ASAP!

  21. As I am willing to bet, you must be part of the dogauctionban. If the Federal Government is so horrible at doing their jobs why do you not speak to them. I’m sure any one of the USDA inspectors in the state would gladly go around to these so called puppy mills in Holmes that they must not know about but somehow you do. And then tell the USDA inspectors how bad they are doing their job while they are at the dog auction. I’m sure you will get just as far as you did when you called for a Ban of Holmes County business and they cried when they wouldn’t allow you to hold a meeting in their establishment.

    And for the record, I am not a dog breeder. Just because I hold a Class B license from the USDA doesn’t mean I breed dogs. By law if you own 3 or more breeding female hamsters you have to have a license to sell.

    The only people who are rude is you all because you think your way is the only way. When people attempt to attend your meetings to hear your side you call the law and claim they were disrupting the meeting when in fact we helped to set the room up so you could start the meeting and hear your side. You attacked us the second we walked through door before you even knew who we were. That’s a warm welcome.

    You need to learn what the true definition of a puppy mill is, maybe you and the OFBF president can get together and figure it out since he is clueless as well per his comment to the Coshocton newspaper. Licensed kennels are not puppy mills. Try telling the truth because you are just digging yourself in deeper with all the lies.

  22. Maybe more dogs would find good homes if it didn’t cost a fortune to adopt them.Back home it cost 25 dollars to adopt a dog or cat from the pound then you get 20 of that back when they are spayed or nuterd.Some places here in Ohio are over 100 dollars.Same with wild horse adoption it is unreal what you go through to adopt a horse,my horse is just fine running in the pasture with the cows she don’t need her own not to mention all the other crap they say you need,I can’t see spending over 100 dollars to adopt a dog or cat when you can get one for free or even 50 dollars all day long.There are alot of puppy mills so operating in this country and they need to go away.The rescue shelters need to bring down thier adoption prices along with the pounds.I thank if they did that more animals would be adopted and thier food cost would go down along with the other cost they say is is bring up thier adoption prices.

  23. This is completely right! You can imagine how our cousins felt when they went to the bothell pet hospital only to find that their ‘purebred’ retriever was actually part retriever part lab or something. They paid almost twice as much for the dog than they needed, and they were not happy at all. Beware!

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