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Amish Country’s Dark Puppy Mill Secret

  • December 10, 2012
  • 1:30 pm
  • 1 of 2
Amish Country’s Dark Puppy Mill Secret

“Green beans, peach pie, Akita puppies.”

If I’d had my cell phone with me on a recent trip through a picturesque Amish countryside, I would have snapped a photo of the sign scrawled with those very words in front of a seemingly charming house. The first rule of journalism is to always be prepared with a camera. However, I didn’t need a camera to forever embed the sign — and its ultimately dark message — in my memory.

Seeing that sign on a recent trip to Lancaster, PA, left me with a different feeling than I’d gotten on previous trips in the region. Since my previous visits I’ve learned that this agrarian community is home to a deep dark secret: The area is known for its dog factories, puppy mills, torture houses — call them what you will — and the sign was evidence, however slight, of what goes on there.

The tourism bureau boasts that there are “so many things to do, you’ll come back again and again,” but it neglects that Amish Country is also dubbed “the puppy mill capital of the world” by several animal advocacy groups.

More from Dogster Magazine: This Holiday Season, Remember: A Puppy Is NOT a Present

Lancaster County is home to what many consider the oldest and largest population of Amish in the United States, about 30,000. Often called “Dutch Country” because of the Pennsylvania Dutch who were among the first Europeans in the region, this area was also the home of my dog’s veterinary specialist for years. We took the road less traveled to appointments, through Amish towns including Intercourse, Blue Ball, Lititz, and Bird-in-Hand — and on a few occasions, we turned the vet trip into a vacation, yet I somehow missed the seedy secrets.

Of course, not all Amish are puppy-mill breeders, and scores of non-Amish folks are horrible puppy-mill producers. But my interest was piqued in returning to Amish Country while channel scanning this fall. I stumbled on the TLC reality show, Breaking Amish, and spawned by “must see” instincts, I headed for corn rows.

The Amish are depicted as comprising a quiet, hardworking culture, people who grow their own foods and live without electricity and modern conveniences.

More from Dogster Magazine: Why Judging People Who Bought Their Dogs Does More Harm Than Good

According to the website Pet Watch New Jersey, “Many puppies sold in New Jersey pet stores originate from Amish and Mennonite puppy mills in Pennsylvania, with the highest concentration coming from Lancaster County.” How could I have driven through this area so many times and not seen it? Apparently, this is what the area relies on: clueless tourists.

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Read more: Animal Rights, Dogs, Pet Health, Pets,

This post was written by Carol Bryant, regular contributor to Dogster Magazine.

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10:22PM PST on Jan 13, 2014

Jemeja T.: P do believe you need a dictionary.......... "Holly" is what you used TWICE when I do believe you meant "Holy". Unbelievable the American people can't spell anymore!!!

12:44PM PDT on Aug 31, 2013

Dat's that religious people, and all that BS. Another pick what is OK, to be a shit about, cus my dumb religion of made up nonsense says so.

9:09AM PDT on May 11, 2013

This is NO deep dark secret. The Amish think of dogs as a commodity such as pigs, or cows. It's a way to make money. Puppy Mills everywhere should be closed and the people who own and operate them should be criminally charged, prosecuted, pay a fine and go to jail. They are disgusting and despicable no matter who they are or where they operate.

3:08PM PDT on Apr 14, 2013


8:08PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Here's a better concept: tax the churches, all of them, Amish and non-Amish alike; then there will be more revenue available to fund vigorous prosecution of animal cruelty cases.

7:35PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Let's BOYCOTT their products! There are eggs and dairy food in supermarkets and probably other merchandizes that I'm not aware of. Boycotting their products - all of them - will affect the entire community and will force them to change this horrible situation!!

From now on I'm not buying any merchandize produced by Amish!

3:19AM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

I had no idea about this, it's shocking. Deeply immoral and unchristian cruelty.

7:52AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Please, spread the word about the holly Amish (holly my a**)

3:56AM PST on Jan 31, 2013

How disturbing but i'm not surprised. These Amish harbour many secrets. There have been reports of sexual abuse,animal abuse and wife abuse on these Amish towns. These days there seems to some horror taking place just about everywhere.

2:35AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

Thanks for telling us about this.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

Were we supposed to laugh? Ummh stick to being a Blogger and anyone who wants to read your attempts …

Thanks! Though I doubt exercise will impress my boss!


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