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Flatcreek border collie breeder shut down...


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I was just sent a link about Flatcreek being shut down, having many dogs chained to barrels and puppies living outside in our frigid NY weather right now (I am about 3 hours away and it was a high of 2 degrees yesterday). Supposedly about 100 dogs were found living outside.

 

Anyone have any other information on this situation? I went to the site and it has essentially been shut down (only the homepage is viewable). I have a hard time wading through FB posts so I can't tell if local authorities have done anything yet or not to help the dogs.

 

https://www.facebook.com/StopAnimalCrueltyWorldwide/posts/553740554721417

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202211766367102&set=vb.1577991461&type=2&theater

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Just found a local news clip and no big surprise, they are not breaking any laws and have not been shut down. I applaud authorities for going out though to check on the dogs which in itself can be difficult to get done.

 

In the video you can see puppies and dogs other than border collies living out there and clearly not even enough barrels for each dog. It appears that they don't hide what they do so why would any puppy buyer buy a dog from them after seeing all those dogs in those conditions? I assume people paid a decent amount for all those candy colored dogs too, it is a shame that puppy buyers think that is a kind and responsible way to breed dogs and that they should hand over their money to buy a pup from places like this.

 

http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s3268830.shtml

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If you could find and see one of their photos of their dogs on site, you would see green grass and no evidence of the abysmal conditions. Like any other internet/byb/miller, the photos will almost always paint a rosy picture of the dogs and the conditions.

 

Too bad they weren't shut down. Grandfathered in when laws changed, they apparently are meeting the bare minimum, at least to the authorities and vet (!) that inspected them in light of complaints.

 

Poor dogs.

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Gosh, after seeing this on FB, I was really hoping the shut down was true. How anyone can think that keeping dogs like that is humane is beyond me. In weather like that we're having now, especially in the northeast, my heart just breaks for all the animals left outside to fend for themselves.

 

J.

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I am also located about 2 1/4 hrs from Sprakers, NY.

 

Unfortunately, they haven't been shut down. AFAIK, authorities went out and said they were adhering to the letter of the law and there was nothing they could do.

 

I volunteer with New England Border Collie Rescue, which covers eastern NY as well as New England, and Flat Creek has been on our radar for a long time. Sadly, there's been nothing we can do about it.

 

There is a Puppy Mill Bill on the Govenor's desk as we speak. Jim Tedisco, state assemblyman has been a strong advocate for this bill. The bill is Bill A740a/S.3753a
I would urge anyone who is a NYS resident to research the implication of the bill and to call the Governor with your support. (518) 474-8390. Or you can contact him on line here: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php
Text of the bill: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S3753A-2013

The bill will change Ag and market law to give local municipalities and their authorities the ability to enforce laws stricter than the very lax state law. it will NOT change current state regulations, but allows local laws to be passed and enforced per municipalities. It will still require
towns/cities to construct and enforce stricter laws should they decide to.

More info and ways to contact the governor on the ASPCA website:http://capwiz.com/aspca/issues/alert/?alertid=62745311

From what I can tell though it appears the strictest penalty that can be placed on violators of any local laws is a $500 fine.
:angry:
Thank you!
roxanne
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I just don't understand how someone can think that's ok. I would like to see them stay outside 24 hours a day in that kind of weather, even if they did have proper clothing for the weather. Scummy (&%#*^@! people.

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*dons flame retardant suit*

 

OK, I have to ask this.

 

These folks have dogs that live outside, with shelter, adequate food and water and who look reasonably healthy based on photos I have seen (and this thing has just exploded on FB the last few days).

 

The police, a vet and the county have been out on several occasions, including yesterday after all this brouhaha started. They all report the animals are in good shape. A news report from that area said the state police and the dog warden have been there and report heated water, shelter, that the dogs are well fed, up to date on vaccines and in good health. They have a license.

 

So, why the call to shut them down and the many calls (not here, but in several other places) to steal their dogs and commit violence on the owners?

 

Is this how I keep my dogs? no...but does this equal abuse?

 

 

*ducks and hunkers on the corner*

 

 

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It's a puppy mill, and the NYS standards for "adequate" care is pretty darn low from what I understand.

 

Temperatures in Sprakers, NY went to a low of -13 F last night.

 

If you think some plastic barrels that may or may not have some straw thrown in (and, while I can't verify whether it's true or not, I've been told not all the dogs have a barrel), I invite you to spend a night in those conditions with just that for shelter.

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My bad. It only went down to -11 F in Sprakers last night. That was after a high of 5 F during the day and a low of -2 the night before.

 

Again, I invite anyone who thinks this is reasonable care to spend a day or 2 in those conditions, even with some nice warm clothing.

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That is totally fine to have that opinion Rush. Our state law is kind of lean but it does state that shelter needs to be insulated and 'adequate' for inclimate weather. In my opinion and in many others, a plastic barrel is not adequate as it has no insulation, no snow is even melted off the top of those barrels (I think they were saying the barrels were heated!) and no hay was there until a concerned citizen brought it by. It also does not appear as though every dog and pup has a barrel.

 

Just because something isn't illegal (which I believe this is as the barrels are no adequate) does not mean it isn't neglectful. Laws are fluid and change. In many parts of the US laws have already changed to make living conditions better for dogs that are kept outside chained or penned 24/7. As a compassionate human being, should we sit by and say well glad it isn't my dog or at least I don't keep my dogs that way? It is no different than a puppy mill where they are crammed in tiny cages. Sure these dogs have some space to move around and aren't emaciated, but how can it not be cruel to leave dogs and puppies outside in negative temps with a plastic barrel and some hay on the bottom?! To make it worse these people make a living off of this and these dogs' suffering. This type of behavior is illegal in many other countries as well.

 

An ad online I saw from the breeder on a puppy selling site said 12/26/13 that she had 3 litters available plus more not photographed that were all between 8wks-5months (and I assume more that are under 8wks). Also, in NY they need to be licensed if they are selling all those puppies and last I knew they were not (I even check the NY Dept of AG site and they are not listed).

 

It is perfectly okay if you still disagree and think this kind of living/breeding of dogs is okay. I sure don't though. People are not smart enough to discern what is a responsible breeder or why they shouldn't blindly buy from a website, so laws need to be passed in order to protect animals.

 

Here is our law, and I do think what they do should be considered a violation-

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/AGM/26/353-b

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The police, a vet and the county have been out on several occasions, including yesterday after all this brouhaha started. They all report the animals are in good shape. A news report from that area said the state police and the dog warden have been there and report heated water, shelter, that the dogs are well fed, up to date on vaccines and in good health. They have a license.

 

Is this how I keep my dogs? no...but does this equal abuse?

 

 

*ducks and hunkers on the corner*

 

 

You live in WA, did you follow the OAS situation? They had police, dog warden and vets out there and they all said everything was great. I sure didn't think dogs getting fed twice a week while living in crates 24/7 (by the owners own admission) was okay. Those dogs lived in an unheated/un-ventilated warehouse with 125+ dogs and ate, pooped, urinated in the same spot...all while standing in a crate day after day, stacked on top of other occupied crates. The authorities there said things were just fine.

 

I understand a lot of people keep dogs outside and a lot of things are not illegal, but the minimum standard of care needs to be increased legally in many places so dogs are not suffering and dying because someone forced them to live outside without proper shelter for the weather.

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That is totally fine to have that opinion Rush. Our state law is kind of lean but it does state that shelter needs to be insulated and 'adequate' for inclimate weather. In my opinion and in many others, a plastic barrel is not adequate as it has no insulation, no snow is even melted off the top of those barrels (I think they were saying the barrels were heated!) and no hay was there until a concerned citizen brought it by. It also does not appear as though every dog and pup has a barrel.

 

Of course I am not there, but I have read a lot of conflicting info, including that they all had straw and there were heat lamps. I read on a 3rd party site that the last time there were complaints, the investigator reported the barrels were full of straw.

 

As a compassionate human being, should we sit by and say well glad it isn't my dog or at least I don't keep my dogs that way? It is no different than a puppy mill where they are crammed in tiny cages. Sure these dogs have some space to move around and aren't emaciated, but how can it not be cruel to leave dogs and puppies outside in negative temps with a plastic barrel and some hay on the bottom?! To make it worse these people make a living off of this and these dogs' suffering. This type of behavior is illegal in many other countries as well.

Yet the dogs look healthy, and they have room to run, and they were playing in the snow in one of the videos which dogs who were suffering would not do.

 

Because I am not there, and I haven't seen the dogs, I am saying its probably not appropriate to say they are abusing animals.

 

They are undoubtedly less than stellar breeders who say they sell working dogs but don't seem to work them, and advertise candy colors. In an ideal world I would prefer they not breed dogs at all for that reason alone. I would not recommend them to anyone looking for a dog.

 

This does not make them animal abusers. It makes them shitty breeders.

 

In my mind, the fact they have been harassed, and then tried and convicted by the court of public opinion on social media kind of bothers me. The fact that the person who started this has a history of promoting hoaxes (http://matre.com/4425/facebooks-mass-hysteria-fake/) and is already soliciting donations to buy the breeding females and puppies seems a little creepy. Then all the comments about how the dogs should be "liberated" with wire cutters and how the breeders should be "taken out and shot" seems like a giant witch hunt. Many of the comments were anti breeder and endorsed violence.

 

The initial claims of starvation and "more than 100 dogs" has not turned out to be true at all, I just don't think that we can pass judgement based on hearsay and some photos taken mostly at a distance.

 

An ad online I saw from the breeder on a puppy selling site said 12/26/13 that she had 3 litters available plus more not photographed that were all between 8wks-5months (and I assume more that are under 8wks). Also, in NY they need to be licensed if they are selling all those puppies and last I knew they were not (I even check the NY Dept of AG site and they are not listed).

Yet the dog warden said they are and all their paperwork is in order.

 

It is perfectly okay if you still disagree and think this kind of living/breeding of dogs is okay. I sure don't though. People are not smart enough to discern what is a responsible breeder or why they shouldn't blindly buy from a website, so laws need to be passed in order to protect animals.

Please understand I don't agree that this is a good breeding operation. What I disagree with is the calls the "shut them down" and convict them of animal cruelty based on what I have seen. There are many who believe that moving livestock with dogs is cruel and inhumane, or keeping your pet in a crate is abuse, etc etc.

 

And yes, I saw the info on OAS. These dogs look to be in a much better situation than what I saw at OAS.

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I don't follow FB stuff so I don't know about harassment or the person who started this 'social media' whirlwind. I wasn't commenting on that anyway. I too agree that no one should be convicted so to speak by the media or threatened or harassed.

 

I think they are being neglectful and are barely following the vague law we have. We do have a bill waiting to be signed that will allow local municipalities to pass their own laws governing these situations. This bill will hopefully make situations like this one illegal in many towns. I think education is the key many times and not convicting them on animal cruelty. As opposed to say, someone beating their dog to death-that is something that someone should be convicted of. But having 60+ (is supposed to be the more accurate head count there now) dogs living outside with plastic barrels as shelter (stand in a garbage can and tell me that is warm in the cold and cool in the high heat) is typically a lack of education, not outright abuse.

 

It also takes 2 seconds to look on our state site and see that they do not have a license as a NYS pet dealer. They are not licensed with the state to sell all those puppies. The dog warden may be referring to a local license to breed.

 

ETA: There are clearly not heat lamps in those barrels. There are close up photos showing the backs and sides of them, with no wires coming out. None of the snow on the barrels is melted in anyway. Maybe some have them where the puppies live. There was also a video with dogs limping/holding legs up while walking the fence line while it was below zero temps.

 

There are also closer up photos now showing about 8 matted shih tzus sitting in the snow and a BC with what looks like ice on his lips.

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=578365102245789&set=a.578364952245804.1073741869.117852684963702&type=1&theater

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=578365055579127&set=a.578364952245804.1073741869.117852684963702&type=1&theater

 

Most of the time in small rural towns, abuse, neglect and outright law breaking is completely looked away from and nothing is done. Look at the OAS situation. I live in a rural small town where everyone knows everyone and was yelled at by my local DCO for politely calling about a chained dog in bad condition in the winter. Apparently I was not the only one who had called (the dog is very visible from the road) and he refused to do a welfare check stating the pastor is a good man. Like others involved in rescue we have all seen first hand how hard it can be sometimes to get the meager laws in place enforced. So maybe these breeders are not breaking any laws in the eyes of the local police but many think their care of them is morally wrong. And if the attention on them can help get Cuomo to sign that bill, then that is a good thing. We need better laws here.

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Please understand I don't agree that this is a good breeding operation. What I disagree with is the calls the "shut them down" and convict them of animal cruelty based on what I have seen. There are many who believe that moving livestock with dogs is cruel and inhumane, or keeping your pet in a crate is abuse, etc etc.

I know we are agreeing. I don't care about the FB stuff, I don't read the comments, I doubt anyone will go steal 60+ dogs behind electric fence or harm the owners. I think social media can do wonders for situations like this and can also take away from it and do harm. I care about the dogs getting basic care at least and care about getting better legislation. I think we all agree on that.

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I know we are agreeing. I don't care about the FB stuff, I don't read the comments, I doubt anyone will go steal 60+ dogs behind electric fence or harm the owners. I think social media can do wonders for situations like this and can also take away from it and do harm. I care about the dogs getting basic care at least and care about getting better legislation. I think we all agree on that.

 

Yes, we can.

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Wanted to update this as I read that The Lexus Project was in court yesterday to get the dogs help. They are back in court today to hopefully get the meager law we have applied in this case as the attorneys for Lexus believe Flat Creek is breaking the law. We are having record low temps and wind chills (-30 here). My county is in a state of emergency and everything is closed. The health dept advises everyone to stay indoors. Can't imagine how anyone can say this is humane treatment of dogs.

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lexus-Project-Legal-Defense-for-Dogs/134397299923522?ref=stream&hc_location=timeline

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I read on FB 2 nights ago that the owner let in a group of folks who were nice to him (instead of yelling death threats from the road) and expressed how he was concerned with the record cold temps that thedogs didn't have enough shelter. He had an indoor place for the Havanese but not the Border Collies. So he was working with his neighbor to build them, and they are working with the volunteers in building better shelters. He is also willing to place/sell some of the dogs to people who actually want them but not the ones trying to rescue them. A different volunteer donated supplies and gave a place people could donate to Home Depot to help pay. The "he" is the brother to the owner who lives on the property, I understand both are a little older.

 

Thought that was good news.

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I wonder what he has against placing dogs with rescue . . . unless, of course, it's that we can't give him money for the dogs. :(

 

Of course, any help he gets building better shelters will just make it more impossible to shut this puppy mill breeder down.

 

No good deed goes unpunished. :angry:

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Hopefully he allows people to come in and groom those matted dogs. Dogs come into our shop like that are never in good shape, they typically have open sores, abscesses, fleas and other injuries that owners are not even aware of.

 

Being willing to sell some of the dogs doesn't really sound impressive. That is what he does-he breeds and sells. Buying dogs now is like buying a pup from a pet store to 'save' it. It just gives a space and money for another dog to take its spot. Hopefully the owners are realizing that others think his treatment isn't okay and will voluntarily reduce his numbers and never allow them to go back that high again. Who needs 8 shih tzus (or are they havanese, can't even tell with their coat conditions) as pets and 50+ border collies?

 

I still hope this makes Cuomo sign the bill on his desk so we can actually have a legal standing to help dogs in these conditions. No one should be allowed to breed like this and own this many dogs without licensing with the state. Licensing with the state brings inspections and higher standards of care that need to be followed. That is obviously why the owners have not done so in 30 years of breeding. Better laws would stop these situations before they happen.

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Better laws would stop these situations before they happen.

 

They would, if they were well written enough to have some teeth. But they rarely are. (Of course, "better" laws would be written better. <_< )

 

But even when better laws are proposed, there's such a tremendous backlash against them that they rarely pass. This is what really frustrates me.

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They would, if they were well written enough to have some teeth. But they rarely are. (Of course, "better" laws would be written better. <_< )

 

But even when better laws are proposed, there's such a tremendous backlash against them that they rarely pass. This is what really frustrates me.

That's why I think the current bill is very important as local laws are much easier to get passed than state laws. They tried passing a state law limiting 24/7 tethering, making minimum standards of care better and it failed. I think local towns would have better chances of dealing with their areas specific problems and getting more specific laws passed. Many towns have bans on pet stores selling puppies and bans on chaining, time limits dogs can be chained/penned outdoors and even specific temperature requirements/weather conditions that would force people to bring dogs in. These types of laws would be difficult to get passed on the state level. Like in area with hurricanes some have laws that dogs need to be unchained during those events (dogs have been found after major flooding dead on their chains). St. Louis animal control was even going door to door taking outside dogs and citing their owners due to extreme temperatures now. Trying to do this on the state level is just too hard. NY is a huge diversified state with large cities and rural towns that have different needs.
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The 'teeth' that are missing are the laws that fund the processes. Many, many laws are passed that are really good. Politicians can then say, "I voted for child and animal welfare laws - elect me again!"

 

The law in itself means nothing unless it is enforced. Enforcement takes people, hired and trained to enforce, follow up, arrest, bring to court, levy penalties, then follow up again. Those are the teeth that are missing.

 

Ruth and Agent Gibbs

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Of course that's a huge part of the problem, but another part is that so often these laws are vague enough that a good lawyer can successfully argue that these people are following the law.

 

It's got to be a two pronged approach. More specific laws that make it easier to successfully prosecute offenders, and then the funds and personnel to to enforce it.

 

I'll still argue, though, that if the former were implemented adequately, there be few people necessary in the first place to enforce it because they wouldn't have to keep going to the same places and people over and over again.

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Also ... if folks would do their research and not buy from puppymills, and puppymills had no one to sell their pups to, they wouldn't breed as many. But it's clear that people don't have a clue what Border Collies are, as evidenced by that ridiculous Facebook group someone posted the link to ... Fact or Fiction something or other. The "breeders" they praise on there and the reason they're praised will make your head spin.

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