No TV? Animal Cruelty Laws Don’t Apply to You!

An Ohio farmer named Jonas Beachy has been charged with 23 counts of animal cruelty after authorities seized 52 dogs from his farm on October 1.  The dogs were allegedly severely matted, suffering from untreated injuries and living in filthy conditions.  Mr. Beachy says he cares for his dogs and they were seized due to the fact that he is Amish and there are cultural differences at play.

“We don’t have TV and we don’t listen to the news,” Beachy said. “I was not aware that I was violating any laws whatsoever,” he said.

Right.  Because TV and radio news are the main sources most Americans rely upon to make ourselves aware of laws.

Apparently Mr. Beachy sees no problem with a dog living in this condition.  Because TV!

Screengrab from the NBC 4 website showing one of the dogs seized from Jonas Beachy.

Mr. Beachy says that he has since read the applicable OH laws and determined that he “did not violate any laws”. His first court appearance is scheduled for November 27.

26 thoughts on “No TV? Animal Cruelty Laws Don’t Apply to You!

  1. Gee, I wonder how anyone found it possible to be humane, compassionate, or just plain decent before tv was invented.

  2. ARGH….There is so much animal cruelty in the Amish communities and my experience is that Law Enforcement and the courts do NOT want to know about it because of the Religious component. Breeding and selling dogs is a CASH CROP for the Amish. When the dogs can no longer breed or are sick – they have auctions and sell these poor abused creatures for a few last bucks they can get. All it would take is ONE BIG CASE that the Legal System would bother to establish a precedent and then they ALL could be put out of the Puppy Mill Business.

    1. I have seen many stories over the years documenting mistreatment of dogs on Amish farms. I am curious if the other animals on the farms that treat dogs so poorly fare any better.

      1. Dogs are considered livestock so I think all livestock would not be treated well. Most people consider dogs as companions, hence the publicity and outrage at their treatment.

      2. I have seen photos and stories of their horses and they fare no better than the dogs that they raise. Being Amish one would think they would treat God’s creatures better than any other people around!

    2. The vast majority of Amish think of horses as tools to do a job, like a plow and the horses that pull it have the same value as possessions. Of course, the plow doesn’t need as much maintenance to keep it running (food, water, bigger shelter), and therefore it causes less ‘trouble’ so it is viewed in a more positive light. I’ve seen horses, still in their traces, tied to telephone poles in the hot sun, no water available, while Amish girls sell baskets on the side of the road.

      But then, those girls are just tools as well, either in their housekeeping or sales abilities. They are barely valued more than another body doing whatever job they can to keep the system going, making more babies to continue the practice. And yes, I do understand that that is how the vast majority of people lived their lives until the Industrial Revolution. But it doesn’t have to continue when there are options for almost all Americans (and most people of other countries) to expand their lives and participation in society, if they want to.

      As far as the puppy milling goes, the dogs are just a twisted analogue of Amish society. The health of the animals isn’t of much concern beyond keeping the livestock functioning at producing units to sell. Genetic defects that could be avoided by not breeding the wrong units together isn’t a big concern either, considering how the Amish view their own genetic health. And, yep, be appalled at my viewpoint, but when you see a special ed classroom in Amish country, you’ll see what I mean.

  3. Like Clarice, I don’t support the Amish community in any way because of the manner in which they treat their horses (they work them nearly to death and then sell them to slaughter) or their dogs, or their children, or the women in their community. They are a cult, and that “simple ways” crap is just that, crap.

  4. Amish are just like any other group of people – some are good and kind and compassionate and some are … not. I think a lot more cruelty (against people and animals) is accepted in their community simply because of “tradition”.

    The fact that their community is fairly closed also does not help matters.

  5. Clarice – do you mean that Dogs are classified as Livestock in Ohio? In most states they are not. Or do the Amish just get that as a special class for them?

  6. Karen, I’m not Clarice, but I’ll answer since I live in Ohio. Dogs are not considered livestock here, and the Amish aren’t given an exception to that– but that doesn’t stop them from treating them as livestock.

    1. Thank you Larkin. I didn’t think they were…although I didn’t have time to check. I agree they treat them like livestock because they consider them a cash crop. But the Companion Animal status of Dogs should prevail here…I HOPE…

  7. I’ve been aware of the same kinds of things with the Amish puppy mills. Like many, I do not support anything Amish because of their attitude toward animals. I’m sure there are good, compassionate Amish, too. But seeing an animal like that and not knowing or believing there is something inherently wrong is . . . disturbing at best.
    I hope the results in a good outcome for all of his animals.
    And, I, too, have often wondered how they can reconcile their treatment of God’s creatures with their treatment of them.

  8. Amish puppymillers are no better or worse than English puppymillers, which is to say, wretched. That’s not because they are Amish, that’s because they are puppymillers.

    1. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. If you’d like to read a lengthy essay (with sources cited) as to the many ways in which the whole sect of Amish are reprehensible, let me know and I’d be happy to share. (Including but not limited to abuse of the animals that serve them, domestic abuse, child abuse, incest, rape, and bestiality.)

  9. To my outsider eyes, the Amish appear to require strict adherence to the behavior and ethics dictated by their beliefs. It would seem to me that if there are simply a few bad apples within the community who attract media and government scrutiny (which they hate), those few would be pressured to clean up their act. The Amish don’t strike me as a group that allows many members to go rogue.

    1. I agree that if this is a rarity public scrutiny might get them back in line. However, also as an outsider, I have read that Pennsylvania Amish puppymillers are not uncommon. And that attitude about animals as livestock is, I believe, a widespread attitude among the Amish.

      To me, the fact that a human being could look at a dog who looks like the one in the photograph and NOT see something terribly wrong is quite telling in and of itself.

    2. They require strict adherence to behavior – for the children and wives. Once an adult male has married, he is in charge of enforcing behavior on his wife and children. He can do whatever he thinks will bring in money to support his family, as long as it doesn’t involve driving a car, and for most families – but not all – electricity in the home. He is also in charge of his family and their behavior, making them live by rules supported by his bishop and community. Each bishop has lived his whole life in this community that doesn’t value animals as anything other than tools, so it would be almost inconceivable that any of them would prevent a man from being a puppymiller.

  10. It’s not a rogue few Amish that are puppy milling. It is widespread. I have worked with rescues in 5 states that deal with the Amish puppy mills on a weekly or daily basis. Here in the community I live in – there is an Amish dog auction each month to get rid of breeding or not able to breed anymore adults. Many of our rescues go simply to purchase the dogs to save them. It’s an abhorable situation. Law enforcement does not want to be involved. They have been told, given dates of the auctions, given photos and vet records, and more. Sincethe auctions are held in public places in a QT fashion – and not at the homes of the Amish owners – getting a search warrant is very difficult – as a judge is not apt to excute a SW for an entire community like a witch hunt. IF they would come and arrest the people selling them THAT would be a good start.

    1. If I were in your position, I would try to explain to the rescues how by “saving” the dogs, they are condoning and furthering that behavior. The only way to stop a cash-earning operation like this is stop giving it cash. The groups in my area protest outside the stores that sell puppy-mill puppies, and hand out literature – less people buy the puppies, which means less money going into the breeding operation. If we get enough people educated, the machine stops. By buying puppies from a puppy mill, the puppy mill just gets reinforcement to keep doing what they’re doing. My third dog came from a rescue that does this too, (which I found out after I got her from them), and if I had known before I got her I wouldn’t have supported them.

      They should get animal control involved as often as possible, rather than buying the dogs and supporting the operation. Because when it comes down to it, they are helping to fund this operation.They are encouraging the behavior.

      1. Jessica – I totally see your point and agree in many ways! I’ve been an Animal Control Director in two counties for the past 3 years. Here in lies the crux of THIS problem – There are many rescues and rescuers and adopters who really only want to take the worse off animals. It’s what spurs them on in life – and it’s their own personal way of giving and loving. Simply they want to nuture and SAVE – and they can see the SAVING with these very ill animals. This is a tough situation for a GOOD thinking Director. 1) Your DA won’t take your cases to shut these places down 2) You have healthy adoptable animals in your facility everyday 3) Your reputable Rescue Partners are supporting these Puppy Mills OR Cat Hoarders to SAVE these babies who have never had a good day in their lives.

        Professionally – I WELCOME dialogue in this area! Although I always feel that EVERY SINGLE animal life is a separate case with it’s own nuances – there has to be some policy in these situations – and then there is budget for all involved too.

        This IS an ongoing issue in Animal Welfare. When Rescues and Rescuers take on the sickest animals – they spend thousands of dollars and fill up Foster homes for a longer period of time that if they took healthier animals. The hair splitting comes with the grey areas in defining “adoptable” – What is the best use of time and money for the overall cause of Animal Welfare – and comments and feelings such as “these animals we are saving are not DEAD or suffering because we saved them.”

        I AM working with a large independant org that specializes in busting this sort of thing in my area. The problem is that they must adhere to the same laws and court system that we do. But we don’t give up.

  11. You don’t need TV, radio, any other type of media or communication to have common sense to take care of God’s creatures. As an Amish believer, he has sinned and not taken care of God creation. I hope that he doesn’t have any other animals on his farm. How does he treat his family?

Leave a Reply