Cruelty to Animals Persists in Pennsylvania (Letter) | Letters to the Editor
In response to the November 6 letter “animal cruelty laws are not enforced,” animal cruelty persists in Pennsylvania and particularly in Lancaster County, where almost all of the puppy mills in the state. I believe abusers get away with cruelty and know that there will be no real consequences for their cruelty.
Here’s why: Puppy mills date back to the 1950s. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture came up with the idea of helping struggling farmers after WWII make ends meet by allowing them to sell one or two. litters of puppies every year.
Once a way to help farmers, it has grown into a major multi-million dollar business. Some dogs suffer from unspeakable cruelty, neglect, and abuse. They are very knowledgeable breeders, with websites, lobbyists, and photographers taking pictures of the puppies for posting on breeder websites.
The state’s Agriculture Department refuses to remove dogs from the agriculture category, essentially giving helpless dogs the same status as produce. Passing the smallest law that helps protect these dogs takes years.
These ranchers are rarely prosecuted because, in my opinion, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not want the public to know the truth about the mills, or even that they exist. He also doesn’t want tourists to know what’s going on in some of the barns behind the quaint farmhouses.
These picturesque farms bring in millions of tourist dollars. And I think the state is concerned that these farmers will leave Lancaster County if they run into problems from the state.
In my 12 plus years of rescuing dogs I have been to windmills, rescued breeding dogs that are no longer ‘useful’ and still volunteer for many rescues in Lancaster County. . It’s all about the money.
Ann L. Carter
Township of East Hempfield