More on Puppy Mills…and the Unfair Attack on Joan Huber

I m revising/editing this post as I have gotten more information, and it is only fair to address the issues.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog called, “What is a Puppy Mill?” & cited a well known commercial breeder whom I felt was NOT a puppy mill:  Joan Huber of Blythewood Miniature Schnauzers.  It is not clear how many dogs she kept in her kennel before a deranged ‘animal rights’ idiot decided to  turn her in to authorities for running a puppy mill (and, with apparently no actual evidence—cropping her own dogs ears—-a violation of law because she is not a licensed veterinarian).  We have several issues that have to be addressed.  Actually, it was not 1 ‘AR’ person, but several past employees who turned her in to the  Montgomery County SPCA over multiple issues.

1.Joan Huber is NOT a hobby breeder.  Her business is  breeding and selling Miniature Schnauzers.  She is not selling entire litters for resale.  However, she has a market for her dogs.  I have mixed feelings about people breeding pets like livestock, but the fact is that even  many  hobby breeders don’t keep housedogs—their dogs are not pets, but without people like Joan Huber,  there probably won’t be many well bred—meaning  Miniature Schnauzers free of genetic defects available in even  five years. Why?  The  old  hobbyists/fanciers are dying out, and it is too hard to  get a Miniature Schnauzer ready to show. This is true of many terriers.  Too much work, no money to be made and lots of money to be lost on an indulgence.  You  need an ‘economy of  scale’ these days to  have a ‘breeding program’.  We may not like it that we see these breeding dogs as being in ‘dog jail’—but  not liking it is an emotional response.  I have worked in many kennels, and the dogs are just fine. Happy, engaged in life, and more so than many pet dogs.  She apparently had  41 dogs in her kennel(including over a dozen stud dogs), and was of the mindset that nothing was amiss.

2.  When I was barely a teenager, in the 1960s, a neighbor who knew I had an interest in purebred dogs and showing, invited me in to  watch him crop a puppy’s ears.  He sedated the puppy,  drew a line where he wanted to cut, and sutured the ears.  It was gross and fascinating. Why did he do it & not pay a veterinarian?  It was not to save money.  It was because he didn’t want the dog’s ears butchered.  Now we know, it is an unnecessary surgery, but  the dogs are not in pain.  It doesn’t affect their behavior, and  are we going to call this  a crime, but still allow  idiots who  don’t know how to use either shock or prong collars—-both of which DO CAUSE PAIN—-to continue to buy these items and cause dogs constant pain?

3.  Who should decide what is humane?  Do we let  so-called ‘animal rights’ do-gooders who have never trained a dog, or think  keeping pets should be illegal as it exploits them, to make rules?  Or how about  the many  veterinarians trained as agricultural vets, to influence what is cruel or what is kind. As it is, the veterinary profession makes a lot of money  off ear cropping, tail docking, dewclaw removal,  DECLAWING CATS,  making deals with pet shops to  vaccinate puppy mill bred dogs,   and over vaccinate out pets by law.  Thus, the fancy  has decided  our pet dogs should not have rights—totally on the other end of the spectrum.

4.  Is all this an  ‘either/or’ situation?  Go on Craigslist any day, particularly the pet section, in any city, and you will find backyard breeders selling puppies on a site which has rules  prohibiting the sale of puppies.  Craigslist relies on the public, the community —to ‘flag off’ sellers.  Yet,  so many people have no idea how to find a well -bred—meaning healthy AND  predictable–purebred dog.  The issue in this case is tht  the backyard breeders are dishonest and unethical…but are they inhumane?

5.  Can ‘the fancy’—-those of us who  promote the predictability of purebred dogs, quit defending selling  entire litters for  resale, in defense of being able to not be regulated?

6.This is how the public sees us all:

As someone  who  supports  prosecution of  crimes against animals, being a  donor to Safe Humane Chicago, I don’t understand  how  Joan’s litter could be ‘adopted out’ & her bitch spayed without due process.   Apparently ther was due process, but her lawyer could not defend her and she did not deny cropping her puppies’ ears!   In Chicago,  dogs  that have been abused are held ass evidence until the defendant relinquishes  ownership. We’ve had some dogs held for almost  two years as the owners deny a crime was committed, and get continuance after continuance.  Something is seriously wrong, and  now I understand anyone with a grudge can report any of us, any time, whether  the facts are true or not, and cost us all a fortune.  Sort of disgusting that  the  do-gooder didn’t get a job working for one of the many bona fide puppy mills out there.  this is why i contributed to Joan’s defense.   I hope you will, too.


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One Response to “More on Puppy Mills…and the Unfair Attack on Joan Huber”

  1. Anon Says:

    I purchased a mini schnauzer from Joan 3 years ago. I was in her home, several times, and saw first hand the DESPICABLE conditions the dogs were kept in. I am disgusted that the dog show world and breeders are rallying around her. I cried for weeks and had nightmares after seeing the conditions those dogs lived in. I wonder if her defenders actually saw or visited her kennels? If they did and they thought nothing was wrong then shame on them! I should have walked away after my first visit but I couldn’t. I felt like I had to save them all. It was HORRIFIC. When I walked in on my second visit she was not expecting me and she was noticeably agitated that I was there. The kitchen floor had blood on it and there was blood in with the puppies and they were crying in pain. The whole kitchen smelled like blood. It was heartbreaking. Her kennel worker told me she did not use anesthesia. After I purchased my puppy I received her cropping cert which was obviously fraudulent. It was photo copied so many times it was hard to read. When I approached some kennel workers they were sheepish as first but them confided in me. They told me they had reported her FOR YEARS but that the state turned it’s back because of her reputation in the breeding world. They did not have money and were afraid she would sue them for defamation.They also confided that there were almost, at times, 140+dogs in that basement. (she also breed mini pins in addition to the schnauzers!!)I asked why they stayed on and they said that they could not leave the dogs they were the only love and caring they had. They also confided in me that she waits when the dogs were sick for vet care. They recently had a dog pass in its kennel because Joan did not give them permission to take the dog to the vet. I asked about inspections and was told the inspector had been in his job for decades and had a friendship with Joan. She was always tipped off before inspections and moved dogs to other locations. She knew how many dogs she could keep in her kennels. Don’t be naïve she is a pro and has breed for decades and her mother decades before that. After I purchased my puppy I called the state. I was told she was in compliance as of her last inspection. When I explained the situation the man I spoke to became belligerent and cocky and actually laughed at me. I explained that at the very least she was 80 years old and if anything happened they would have over a 100 dogs to rehome. His response was that it wasn’t their problem it was the SPCAs problem. I then filed a complaint with the SPCA and they took me very seriously and said they had had NUMEROUS complaints and would look into it. I also complained to my vet. As soon as I said her name they knew who I was talking about without saying her name and told me she had also been reported by other vets including my vet’s office and the state ignored them too. She had several vets she used so that she would not be caught breeding litter after litter. I was also told by kennel staff she kept 2 books. One for reporting to the state one for her. She kept 2 to 3 dogs from every litter. At $3500+ a dog it was all about money and the dogs suffered. Poor babies. Everyone knew she was nuts and turned their backs on those poor dogs. In my opinion, it was a glorified puppy mill and torture chamber! Shame on everyone saying how beautiful their dogs temperament is and how wonderful she is at breeding. It was all done in an abusive manner and the breeding dogs suffered for decades! She is a monster. Oh and by the way I heard several other stories but I could go on and on. I hope the state is serious with the prosecution. In my opinion she deserves the 16 years of jail time! Shame on you for defending her. I was there, several times, were you? This is not about crazy animal rights activists or do-gooder activists. Her kennel staff reported her! Veterinarians in the area reported her for YEARS!!! I understand that sometimes zealots get involved and that conscientious breeder sometimes unfairly get a bad name. I understand that sometimes things are not as they appear. I have purchased dogs from reputable breeders and have seen their kennels and visited their homes. However, this was horrible. This was entirely different. Shame on everyone donating to her go fund me site because they are defending breeding. No one who actually saw the conditions could think it was humane. Do some research before you blog. Try to find sources who were there so you can get the other side. This woman needed to be shut down!

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