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April 14th, 2009
09:19 AM ET

Biden puppy haunts breeder

CNN's Alina Cho reports on the backlash received by the breeder who sold Vice President Biden his puppy.
CNN's Alina Cho reports on the backlash received by the breeder who sold Vice President Biden his puppy.

From CNN's Melissa Morgenweck

There was no need to ring a doorbell when we pulled up to the Wolf Den kennel in Chester county Pennsylvania. At least a dozen German Shepherds announced our arrival.

Linda Brown greeted us and introduced us to the pack including her favorite, 13 year old Hans. Most of the dogs in this section had once been breeders. Now she keeps them as her personal pets.

They are just one grouping of the approximately 80 adult dogs that she says live on her property. “German Shepherds look into the mirror of your soul. They are intelligent and protective and your animals for life.”

Brown told us that she had been up since 4am helping deliver a litter of puppies. “They like to give birth in the middle of the night when it’s quiet and still.”

As we toured the property Brown recalled the day last December when Vice President Biden came to pick out a dog. “He picked the puppies up and literally kissed them all over. And when he did finally select his puppy he just wouldn’t let him go.”

But Brown says she has paid a big price for the publicity. Soon after the visit she claims she received death threats from animal-rights groups. Dog wardens from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture also made multiple visits to inspect her kennels. (The state told one of our producers that inspections typically take place twice a year.)

Brown was cited for poor record keeping, dirty housekeeping and mistreating her dogs. Last month she was cleared of all citations. “It hurts the depth of your soul that they would even have the nerve to call me and tell me that I’m inhumane with my dogs. My dogs are treated better than most children are treated.”


Filed under: Controversy
soundoff (766 Responses)
  1. Tiller in Dallas Texas

    What amazes me is the amount of verbal vomit that comes along with anything that these guys do, good or bad. It's a dog for God sakes. One more animal that doesnt have to live in a cage or be put down. Good job Joe!

    I would like to see the records kept in Chester County, give them a good once over. and make sure Aunt Bee hasn't jacked them up tooo much!

    Do these critics think the breeder wasn't veted before Biden's purchase? Give me a break!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  2. Abbie

    With all of the illegal, filthy, abusive puppy mills in Lancaster County, PA, that state suddenly has the resources to pick on a reputable breeder trying to maintain the integrity of the breed? Why don't the authorities concentrate on breaking up the network of puppy mill owners and puppy distributors that operate among OH, PA, NJ, and other states? If they think mass production of puppies is not a problem, they should check with the shelters and rescues that have to deal with the cast-offs of those horrible places. Leave the reputable breeders alone. Or, better yet, solicit their help in catching and prosecuting the abusers.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  3. Jack

    Because, when you remove all the fluff and talk, you still end up selling your "family" or "best friend" for cold hard cash. Would breeders sell their own children? Probably not. They delude themselves into thinking the animals are anything more than a commodity and treated as such.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  4. Sandy

    Animal rights groups want to blame reputable breeders for the problems of pet overpopulation, rather than puppy mills and backyard breeders, as well as irresponsible owners, that are the root cause. It is interesting that Dept of Ag investigators visited this poor woman so many times, when it is a commonly known fact that Pennsylviania is home to notorious puppy mills operated by the Amish all over the state. The are known for their neglect and harsh treatment of their animals, as they are just "breeders" in their culture. They are not investigated or cited...but this woman, due to publicity is singled out. Maybe someone needs to investigate the PA Dept of Agriculture.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  5. Arkasha

    Claudine – the problem is, lots of breeders aren't reputable. Who's stocking the pet stores, where anyone with a few bucks can buy a dog?

    I'm sorry for Brown here, looks like she got a bad rap. But I think inspections are sanctions are absolutely necessary. In fact, there should be more inspections, and a way to close down the puppy mills.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  6. Joe Reyes

    I honestly believe that some animal-rights activists would prefer human beings to become extinct before animals. We need to get our priorities straight. Yes, let's be good stewards of the earth and everything in it, however, human beings are still at the top of the food chain and are unique. Humans are NOT animals. To have animal rights groups making death threats is ridiculous!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  7. Dee

    I am just amazed every day at how, in this Country of so called human rights, just how little rights people do have. Especially high profile people. Who the h are we to tell the President, the Vice President, or anyone for that matter what kind of dog they are allowed to get? Death threats? Incredible. We are in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Stupid and Ignorant. If more people spent their time minding their own business, we would be in a whole lot better shape than we are today. Beautiful dogs. This woman is a saint

    April 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  8. Get Real

    What's with all these non-dog people going on about rescues and judging Obama? If they want to help, and can be a good dog person, go get a rescue, rather than dissing on Obama.

    I have 3 rescue dogs. Love them all. First had a lot of issues, took a lot of work. 2nd was pretty easy. 3rd had some issues when I got her, they went away with less effort than I thought. What's nice with rescues, is that you can see more what you're going to get, since they're grown a bit. Sure a puppy looks cute, but it can still be a little random what kind of dog they become. It's nurture+nature, sure. But it's both.

    Dogs are work. Rescues usually come with a little baggage, and it's fair to say they require a little more work, on average. But the journey is part of the reward.

    Saying it would be "best" to put a rescue in the White House? Man, that sounds like people without experience. I

    t's not necessarily the knowledge of a dog's breeding that's good for the Obamas, although that does affect things. It's the unknown background of possible rescues. Dogs that go into rescue have not had the perfect start to life. But dogs adapt quickly and that's what's so beautiful to see.

    You won't change the world by rescuing a dog. But for that one dog, you do change the world.

    But the Obamas have enough on their plate right now. Cut them some slack. If this feels like it works for them, great. Heck with a PWD they're going to have their hands full anyhow! If people get all judgmental about their dog relationships, there will be plenty of opportunity!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  9. veronica

    Why doesn't the animal rights group go from farm to farm and see the pigs living in waste, dairy cows' udders swollen and infected, etc.?

    I used to be a boxer breeder and my boxer pups were 'placed' not sold. I screened the future families for them. I 'sold' them for my costs. I did it for the love of the breed...yet I also received threats from animal rights groups.

    I also know someone in PETA. He forgets his kids' birthdays, forgets his anniversary, but never misses a rally. People need to learn to look inward before judging outward.

    What about 'religious' folks who condemn their kids to occult lifestyles because they deny them the education to succeed in the modern world?

    I think that most parents treat their kids with less respect than most dog lovers treat their dogs.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  10. Jodi

    Breeders do serve a purpose in keeping breeds alive; however, a few bad ones give the entire lot a bad name. It's a shame. I pray for a world where each and every dog and cat and other domesticated animals, find loving homes where they can live their lives in comfort and peace.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  11. Pam

    There are so many truly bad puppie mills. Why are they "hounding" this reputable breeder?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  12. Lily Sparkletoon

    They are nuts. They tried to push through long ago a law which would have had far implications like killing off rodeos but people thought that the horse industry would be affected and raised a stink. THe bill sponsor withdrew it and also that same year loss his election in PA. some of the more ordinary groups like HSUS want end hunting and fishing and some groups want to end all breeding of dogs which without some breeders some of the rare breeds would be extinct.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  13. Linda

    This is America. If we want to buy a specific breed for its characteristics we can . Last I heard it is a free country. Breeders ( not puppy mills) LOVE their dogs. She did nothing wrong nor did the Bidens. I personally purchase Shelties for their character traits. I have tried to find then through rescue first but sometimes they get adopted too fast. These Peta people are sick and have too much time on their hands.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  14. beth

    These dogs are obviously well-cared for. Why doesn't someone focus on the unbelievable conditions in puppy mills. Many breeding females are never removed from a cage - never. New legislation in Indiana had been considerably weaken but at least it does something to help these poor animals. More focus needs to be placed on the real issue - if tens of thousands of puppies were not coming out of these horrendous puppy mills, tens of thousands of dogs in rescues would be able to find home.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  15. mary

    I used to be proud to be a voice for animal rights. Now I'm embarrassed to admit I used to rescue abused and abandoned pets whenever I hear of stuff like this. Animal rights groups like PETA have gone off the deep end and do more to hinder than to help by ridiculing many who truly care and would want to help. It's unfortunate, but militants and freaks remind me much of the McCarthy era of pointing fingers and making accusations rather than research and do things that truly help. I'm embarrassed to even admit I'm a vegetarian!!

    Animal lover, pet owner, and farmer (but shhhhh, don't tell PETA!!!!!)

    April 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  16. Sharon

    That type of display from the public–death threats and government harassment–is the reason that many good people do not go into government work. Who wants to deal with such stupidity?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  17. penny

    She was "turned in" by animal right's groups. These people are nuts. There are so many animals truly being abused, both wild and domestic, you would think they would find better things to do. I am glad to see the authorities realized what was going on and cleanred this poor woman.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  18. Amy

    While many small dog breeding operations are run well and out of love for the animals, the vast majority of puppies sold in this country are churned out of puppy mills. Horrific conditions for the mothers lead to problems with the puppies, causing astronomical vet bills for the new "owners". All of this when there are millions of great, lovable dogs in animal shelters waiting for a home. Choose life - adopt a homeless dog instead of buying.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  19. New Day rising

    Why do I get the feeling there is detail missing in this story? Why did the authorities come down on this breeder? Just because she sold Joe Biden a dog?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  20. henry mayer

    V P Biden loves his dogs and take very good caref them

    April 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  21. dianne adkinson

    When millions of animals are no longer killed simply because they are homeless, than maybe people who REALLY care about animals will not have a big issue with breeders. Every dog bought from a breeder is one less dog that could be saved from euthansia. Additionally, a significant percentage of dogs abandoned to animal control facilities are dogs bought from breeders. All dog breeding, by anyone, backyard or professional, should be outlawed.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  22. Dennis J.

    I don't like puppy mills.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  23. nicole

    I agree with Claudine. There are a bunch of people out there that think they are the higher law of everything. Buying a dog from a breeder is not a crime, and picking on breeders for maintaining the breed standards is definately wrong. If breeders did not maintain the dog breeds, then there will definately be no defined breeds. All dogs would be "mutts." I personally have adapted 2 mutts and don't have anything against mutts, but people have to consider that Obama's family needs first. When you can a child with allegeries it is far better to buy a particular breed than risk bringing a dog into your family that could unintentionally harm your child. And by the way, both my mutts have health issues.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  24. Jessica

    When 3-4 Million dogs are euthanized every year due to overpopulation, there is no such thing as a reputable dog breeder.

    Especially of such an overbred dog as a German Shephard.

    If the Biden's wanted a pure breed, they could have EASILY found one through breed rescue or a shelter. The same goes for Obama.

    The state of animal welfare in this country – with the puppy mills, overbreeding and desire to make money off of animals indicates where we are as a society. Apparently we're happy to shell out big bucks for what we THINK is a fancy dog while others get put to death.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  25. Shawn

    There are reputable breeders, and there are ones who are not reputable. Unfortunately, there are FAR more bad ones than good ones, which causes an outcry from the communities and the regulators. My guess is that the Pennsylvania Dept of Agriculture wardens don't have the extra time to be dealing with this breeder unless there is a legitimate concern. They are far too busy up there with all the horrible puppy mills in Lancaster County!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  26. Carl

    The people that bred the dog that is now with President Obama is from the Dallas/Ft Worth area.

    They are very hard core Obama supporters and even called the litter the "hope" litter.

    While I imagine that I would take great pride in my dog being given to the First Family, I would love for the news in my town to do a 2 month follow up on the same people, for I imagine that since these were pure bred breeders like Ms. Brown, I would also imagine the far left to try lawsuits and death threats on these people as well.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  27. Elaine

    Animal hoarders love and care for their "best friends", but it's still not in the best interest of all those animals. There are too many dog breeders that are insisting on bringing even more dogs into the world. This breeder has 80 dogs by herself. And she mentions birthing another litter. How can you justify those numbers? How can one human possibly give personal attention to each of those animals?! I am all for responsible breeding, but too many breeders (and dog owners) have gone way too far. There is no reason to bring more dogs into this world when we are putting so many to sleep because they don't have a home.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  28. reality check

    Is this s "rescue" pup? No. Hope Obama considers a cat for the Whitehouse as well, why is it always a damn dog?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  29. Sandy Martin

    This upsets me and has before too. Linda is wonderful. I have personally purchased two dogs from her and a friend of ours also have purchased a dog.I have one 9 and one four months. Linda loves her dogs, all of them. They are well fed and cared for. I know no one who has inground pools for there dogs, Linda does. not only for her dogs but if your dog has physical problems she opens it to all. What a caring and loving person and asks no money.She is not a puppy mill, does not inbreed etc. This is just a witch hunt. If anyone cares to call me go ahead, i can verify it all.This needs to stop. If we all cared one half about people as we do dogs what a great world this would be. Now stop and leave her in peace!!! Quakertown Pa

    April 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  30. JB

    Do the "reputable breeders" ever think about how they are adding to a surplus population of animals? Do they ever ponder how they fit into the picture of all the hundreds of thousands of wonderful cats and dogs and even horses who are killed each year because there are just not enough homes for them all?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  31. Reality

    I'm all for anything that gets the animal-rights groups upset. Maybe PETA got mad because there was a load of puppies there that they could not obtain to kill, and then throw in a dumpster, like they did to those hundreds of other puppies that they said were "adopted".

    April 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  32. Nush

    I'd like to add that I think it is unfortunate that a family breeder that provides care for their dogs and puppies is receiving criticism. Family breeders are much better than puppy mills and many of them devote most of their days to caring for their puppies. The family/home breeders are easier targets because they cannot afford expensive lawyers and etc. I wish the people criticizing this particular breeder would switch their focus to puppy mills and puppy stores. If you want to see puppies in poor physical and mental health, visit a puppy store or if you have the stomach for it, visit a puppy mill.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  33. Carol

    It sounds like Animal Rights groups are going too extreme. There are many good breeders, and it's not fair to label all breeders bad. Deal with actual problems, don't make them when they aren't there. Over our lives we've bought pets from home breeders, and from Humane Societies. They were all fine pets in our family.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  34. Rhonda

    She has 80 dogs nd she is still birthing puppies! Not all breeders care for thier dogs! Have you never been to an animal shelter? Who is looking into the soul of those animals?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  35. Big Al

    PETA......what a bunch of losers.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  36. AJ

    Animal rights activists need to be put in their place. If they trespass or make death threats, charges should be brought against them.

    And members of animal rights groups need to realize what those types of organizations are about, they probably would not support the group if they knew the agenda. They aren't about caring for animals, they are about making all domestic animals EXTINCT. No pets, no service dogs for blind/disabled people, no police/drug dogs, no livestock, etc.

    animal welfare = treating animals humanely, coexisting with animals
    animal rights = extinction of domestic animals, zero human-animal interaction

    April 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  37. Mindy

    I think it's very sad that their are so many dog breeders out there. With 80 plus dogs, like this breeder has, it would be impossible to give them the love and care they deserve. With so many dogs in shelters, why on earth do we need to breed them? The truth is, we don't, the more we breed, the more dogs are going to end up in shelters, many of them never to be adopted. This poor woman should never have gotten death threats, however... she seems like a really nice lady who truly loves her dogs. I just wish she would open her heart to all dogs, and encourage people to adopt from shelters.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  38. Dan - Lancaster PA

    For all you who dont know: Lancaster County PA is the puppy mill capital of the country. This woman may be a legitimate caring breeder however it is no surprise that publicity like the VP stopping there caused some extra scrutiny. Rendell (gov/pa) has begun to strengthen the laws but the mentality of most of the area is fueled by the amish/mennonite view of animals as "tools" i.e. used till worn out then recycled or discarded. The puppy mill problem is widespread throughout Lanc. where animals are kept in minimally livable conditions for maximum output of volume (offspring) for greatest profit. This area provides the stock to many "dept store" style pet stores, which is why so many animals have debilitating life long health problems.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  39. Bonnie

    I didn't see the video and so I cabb comment directly about this one breeder. From my own experiences in Texas, I have witnessed many breeders with outside, filthy kennels and keeping the aminals caged 24/7 in conditions that are indispicable, without human interactions. i also believe that some breeders are in it for the profit and pay little attention to the blood lines. i understand this is a situation which would be difficult to control, but I suggest be careful about who you buy from. Dogs are wonderul and an asset to every family, so buy from a reputable breeder and not a pet store. i bought a Golden retrevier to replace the one I lost, and she has many health problems because of inner breeding. The cost for her care is unimaginable, but she is worth every cent. it is just shameful that the breeded was looking at the bottom line instead of the health of my pet as well as the health of every pet in her litters..

    April 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  40. Tom

    She has EIGHTY dogs living on her property, yet she's still breeding more? Maybe it should be a clue that there aren't homes for all of them when she has to keep rescuing them back to her compound.

    Sounds like she loves puppies like Octomom loves babies.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  41. Joanie

    I agree with Claudine. Furthermore, if animal rights groups want to have an impact, perhaps they should visit some of the houses that REALLY mistreat their animals. Until they start backing up their rhetoric, I am not impressed with outspoken animal rights groups. Obviously, these animals were in good condition and happy – otherwise I am sure the Bidens wouldn't have endorsed the place by purchasing an animal. Now, there are animals suffering in the world with overcrowding, malnutrition, and lack of attention from their owners. As an animal lover myself (having rescued both of my dogs), I am much more concerned about helping those mistreated animals than apparently well cared-for German Shepherds that are being given happy, loving homes!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  42. Jason

    A reputable dog breeder would NOT have 80 dogs on property!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  43. Brandi

    Sincee when does animal rights trump human rights? This woman has the right to breed dogs. It's appalling that someone would send death threats to someone for selling a dog. People never cease to amaze me.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  44. Steve

    This goes to show how low particen politcs will go. Republican schills hoped to harm Biden by attacking his dog breeder. Disgusting

    April 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  45. Nikkia

    I can’t believe the extent that people would go to tarnish and kill a persons spirit why torment a breeder because you think it’s more logical to adopt rather than purchase. Adopting animals is hassle, for a moment it felt like I was being screened for a child adoption and I gave up.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  46. Ron Reed

    Breeders are business people that breed genetically messed up animals for profit. Breeders do not evidence the highest standard of treatment – have you been living under a rock? The 'integrity' of the breeds is exactly the problem, as various pure bred dog breeds become more and more unhealthy and live shortened, unhappy lives of poor health due to inbreeding. German shepherds in the USA, for instance, are notorious for having hip problems and being, well, dumb, compared to those in Alsace, let's say. Outside of a narrow range of working dogs who actually work, pure breed dogs are a scam designed to make money for those who produce them. Without breeders, the intelligence and health of the dog population would only increase, as the dogs that most people own would revert to a healthier, more intelligent, and higher standard – the mutt.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  47. Aaron

    I too say the video article on CNN, and I feel the exact same way. Its a shame when good people like this who try their hardest to love and care for our 4 legged friends are thrown into the lime light and people think that gives them the right to knock them down. This "incident", coupled with PETA asking the Pet Shop Boys to change their name, really makes me think twice about the sanity and legitimacy of animal rights groups and futhermore about just how self serving their agendas can be.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  48. Ruth

    "Last month she was cleared of all citations."

    Sounds like a bunch of dirty tricks were perpetrated on this breeder either by the animal rights activists or the politically motivated.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  49. Bob

    Claudine,

    I am going out on a limb and guessing you are involved with the breeding, or a breeder of dogs. I have a newsflash for you: If any of these dogs could talk, do you know what they would say? They sure as heck wouldn't say, "Give me another bath and a haircut." or, "Take me out for a walk again." In reality, they would be much more likely to say, "Let me go." or, "Where did my mother and siblings go?". If you could teach YOUR dog to talk, I bet it would go on and on about how much it hated you. Have a little empathy. Dogs were not meant to be interbred. To do so is to go against the basic rule of 'Survival of the fittest'. Believe it or not, dogs weren't meant to be a show dog, they were meant to be near the top of the food chain as excellent hunters, nothing more. Your narrow outlook reveals you to be what you are: a no doubt shadow of a person living vicariously through your dog.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  50. Nush

    I think puppy mills and stores that sell puppies should be examined and subject to a thorough critique of their operations. If there were more reputable, regulated family dog breeders, there would be no need for these large corporations selling puppies like they're toys. As a whole, it's always good to start at a shelter when looking for a dog because there are high quality loving puppies and adult dogs looking for homes. If you cannot find the right pet for your family in the shelter, a family breeder would be the next best thing. Be warned: steer clear of puppy stores.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  51. Val

    80 adult dogs at one kennel means they're all pretty unsocialized with humans and it's impossible to give the puppies and breeding adults the care they deserve. Those adults would be almost all females and there would be at least 4 puppies per adult at any given time. You're talking about 400 dogs on site. These are NOT reputable breeders. Proper breeders breed only the best dogs, they don't churn out masses of puppies. There may be a few retirees that survived years and years of bearing litter after litter that are now beloved pets, but there is no way all of the adults could be getting the affection they need, much less the droves of puppies being produced.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  52. Zoeysmom92081

    Claudine and others. 4-5 MILLION dogs are murdered in shelters every year in this country because there are no homes for them. Responsible breeder is an oxymoron with an emphasis on the moron.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  53. Kirsten

    "repubtable dog breeders are the dog lovers that maintain the integrity of the breeds..."

    I'm sorry, "Integrity of the breeds" ??? Do you have any idea what that even means? First off, take a look at the English Bulldog and tell me that is the same breed that it was 300 years ago. It is most definitely NOT! The breeders throughout the years have taken the traits that look the cutest and lost the traits that made the dog a normal dog.

    For a dog not to be able to give birth vaginally is not a sign of "ethical treatment" by breeders throughout the years. The fact is, pure bred dogs have more health problems than muts because of inbreeding and breeding for cuteness, rather than health. They can't breath correctly, their knees and joints give out because of their stubby legs and big bellies, etc. etc. etc. And this isn't just with bulldogs.

    There are SO many dogs put to sleep everyday because of these "dog lovers" and I really don't think CNN should be putting this blatant pro-breeder story on its Web site without listing more of the FACTS about breeding and what it does to these animals' health.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  54. RobN

    Reputable breeders do not have 80 adult animals in their kennels. Those kind of numbers produce hundreds of puppies a year. Reputable breeders realize they can't properly care for and socialize hundreds of puppies. She runs a fancier than usual puppy mill.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  55. Geo

    What the story doesn't say is why that happened?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  56. Sonia

    It is appalling, to say the least. PETA and other animal-rights groups are taking their agenda beyond what is normal and what is called for. We are smart mature people and we know when breeders are not doing well by their dogs. We certainly don't require hand-holding when selecting our pets and certainly the vice-president doesn't need someone else making his decisions. The dogs that get tossed into the kennels are those that are not pure-bred, that multiply in the streets, with all types of mutts. You hardly even see purebred dogs in kennels or needing to be rescued.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  57. Dave in DC

    Its funny that animal patrol can inspect dog kennels twice a year, but DSHS can't seem to check on indangered children even once a year.

    Leave the lady alone.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  58. Rah55

    Republican harrasment?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  59. Mark

    The bottom line is there are millions of pets right now. We need to be responsible and first seek pets at shelters and then second spay and neuter our pets. Once we can get the pet population under control we should allow breeders but until then pet breeding should cease.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  60. linda moore

    go ahead and check out just petfinder for today!!!! SEVEN THOUSAND FOR HUNDRED FIFTY FIVE GERMAN SHEPARDS IN SHELTERS and that don'y count the mixxed breeds!!! i'm sure these breeders love their dogs so DO NOT BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  61. sheila mackler

    sounds like she decided to clean up her act when she was faced with an inspection.puppies should be raised with their mom until they are 8 weeks old and raised underfoot (in and with the household members furry and human). it's so important to provide the loving care as you would any baby. if puppies were cared for in this way shelters would not be killing conservatively 8 million adoptable animals a year.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  62. RS

    A reputable dog breeder does not have 80 dogs on their property at one time.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  63. m.

    How about adopting one of the millions of homeless pets instead of selfishly breeding?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  64. Jackie in Dallas

    While I understand that Ms Brown was appalled at being singled out because of the publicity she garnered from Vice President Biden's choice, what is being lost in the rhetoric and outrage are the thousands of puppy and kitten mills that DO NOT meet minimum requirements, who DO treat their animals as disposable units producing disposable units, and DO mistreat their animals. I'm sorry that she was subjected to death threats, and an obviously biased inspection, but I'm glad to see that those inspections are taking place. And I must say, 80 dogs would appear suspicious to me, as well.

    The hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats that suffer in intolerable conditions, that are starved, overbred, kept in filty conditions, and who die painful deaths due to starvation, disease, and abuse deserve our protection. And, I'm afraid, it is a truism that when you have laws and inspections, you will occasionally get people who are cited who don't deserve to be cited. That's why we have due process and a court system. So while I realize that Ms Brown will suffer some from the stigma of the event, I'm happy to see that her state takes their responsbilities seriously.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  65. Tracy

    80 adult dogs??????????????? Shame on this breeder getting any media attention other than being a BAD breeder.

    NO WAY can 80 dogs on one property get the attention they deserve.

    YUK!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  66. Roy R. Rowlands

    It sounds like Bush has never left office. It boggles the imagination as to how far down these Repelicans will stoop to try to make someone look bad. If only the Repelicans would use thier energy to try to improve America and the American people we might not be in the terrible position they have driven us to in the last eight years. Waisting thier time on trying to make people look bad is such negative thinking it is incredible. Someone needs to go to congress and give out books on the Power of Positive Thinking. These people drove us to the brink of total disaster and they have the nerve to say they hope Obama fails. We need these kinds of people out of our congress.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  67. Jeff`

    80 Dogs, nothing but a puppy mill

    April 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  68. miss angel

    I saw this video on cnn also today and I was appalled!!
    I am a German Shepherd Activist and show dog person in
    PA and local states and these personal breeders are the
    most stupendous in the world.

    I am also an animal acitivist and pro lifer and
    am only delighted that they personally take good care
    of these animals and people like this breeder
    love them so much.

    thank God for people like this area breeder and the caring
    loving shelters and people who care for our frisky and furry
    friends! we need to support them and assist them also
    not degrade or demean and threaten these wonderful
    breeders!

    God bless.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  69. HG

    It doesn't sound much like loving and caring for our "best friend" when you have 80 dogs on your property penned up and used for money making. It sounds like exploitation and greed. I don't know anyone that could love and care for 80 of anything adequately. It's disgusting. Millions of dogs and cats are put to death each year because of so called animal lovers; breeders, hoarders and irresponsible pet owners. How truly important is it maintain the integrity of the breed anyway? It's only important if you're the AKC, a breeder or you show animals, where again there is money involved. I'll take my rescue dogs any day of the week. For your information, a large portion of dogs in shelters are pure breeds. If someone wants a pure breed, why not rescue one?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  70. TRE2

    Breeders aren't puppy mills. I'm all for shelter adoptions – and got my cats at shelters. But, reputable breeders – and people who chose to obtain their pet there, should not be unfairly judged or labeled as puppy mills. People need to be more informed than reactionary.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  71. Heather

    Death threats are a little over the top, but I understand why animal rights enthusiasts are up in arms over this. With millions of homeless/unwanted/abandoned dogs on the streets and in shelters around this country, is it really a wise idea to forcefully create more of these animals? If someone wants a loving, devoted pet, they need not look any further than their local animal shelter. And, as for the argument that some people "want" a purebred... maybe it's not a good idea to put those wants over the responsibility to feed and house the domesticated animals who are already out there.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  72. Aaron

    People who don't understand the important role that breeders play in maintaining healthy dogs are morons. Reputable breeders need to be here or you would not have a Lassie, or a Marley, or anything else your children fall in love with. I'm all for going to a shelter too, but GOOD breeders are not the problem. Backyard breeders and puppy mills are the problem. I'm sick of the ignorance in this country. Everyone just starts shouting with whomever is shouting loudest at the moment. The Bidens did a good and decent thing and the breeder sounds like a reputable one. Good job, I say, to both parties. I sincerely hope the hubub dies down soon so you can get back to wat ou love doing–raising and loving dogs.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  73. Fitz in Texas

    Say what you want, but dog breeders are in it more for the love of the MONEY than love of the animal. No question about it.

    Volunteer at an animal shelter and see all the wonderful dogs that are killed on a daily bases. Look into their eyes, they know what is coming when they are taken into that certain room. Look at the pile of dead bodies at the end of the day and then tell me I shouldn't be so against dog breeding. We volunteer at these shelters and we ALWAYS rescue dogs, cats, and we have even rescued a cockatoo!

    So, please do not support any dog breeder, go to the shelter and get yourself a wonderful dog or cat.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  74. J

    Breeding dogs when there are millions of animals put to death in this country at shelters each year is just criminally irresponsible. The animals in shelters "put to sleep" by being sent to the gas chamber. Other shelters use lethal injection which has been proven to be just as traumatic. Ironic when you remember we condemned the Nazi's for gassing humans. It's a horrible way to die.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  75. CW

    The problem is that there are millions of dogs in shelters that get euthanized every year. Buying a dog from a breeder is essentially sentencing one of those dogs to death.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  76. jj

    I'm sorry but with 80 adult dogs, that's NOT BREDDING FOR THE LOVE OF THE ANIMAL, IT'S GREED, If they were breeding for the love of the animal, she would have maybe a dozen, she's no better than the puppy mills the quakers run, and they admit, money makers, one quaker killed off over 70 dogs because he thought he would have to pay some sort of tax on them or something because his license wasn't for that many. Puppy mills of any kind are pure greed. Someone locally who raises a little or two a year is for the love of the breed.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  77. LISA LINDSEY

    I can't believe that people would behave in this manner. Apparently, Vice-President Biden felt that this was a reputable breeder and he obviously is an animal lover. I would hope that Joe Biden would have the PA authorities checked out as to this sort of treatment of citizens. Remind me not to travel to or spend my money in PA if this is the way they act.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  78. Rae

    The problem is some breeders see dollar signs and the original "lovers of a breed" become breeders of puppy mills. I think it's appropriate for all breeders to undergo the strictest level of scrutiny. If they are doing the great job they say they are, then they shouldn't worry about what is found upon inspection.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  79. Tom

    I have dealt with her and she is very nice and takes care of her dogs. The problem is the local officials are all Republicans and have nothing better to do than harass people. Also she does not take any bull so she tells people how it is so I am sure that did not help her.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  80. Jake- Small Town USA

    I agree with Claudine. If the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture dog wardens (and other wardens) really wanted to do their job they'd look in the news paper and take a drive out into poor rural areas where inhuman dog breeding truly occurs. There are several known breeders in these areas that breed the same dogs too many times and maintain a poor living environment for these animals.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  81. judy

    I think it is appalling that there are millions of uwanted dogs out there yet peole continue to breed them. Irresponsible.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  82. paul debraccio

    I think the "integrity of the breed" is just BS
    The genetic diseases heaped on these poor creatures is a crime
    Hip Displasia
    Diabtes
    how about "shakey white dog syndrome" These dogs shake like Parkinson's disease.
    They get this from breeders whose sole goal is to get the dogs to look white–they kill off the hte others.
    THE LIST OF INBREEDING DOG DISEASES IS ENDLESS.
    You must be kidding–tell the breeders abouy the 2 million dogs that are killed each year because they cannot find homes.
    BREEDING DOGS IS BASED ON MONEY AND NOTHING ELSE. IF YOU LOVE DOGS YOU DO NOT BREED THEM.
    Pet Stores all sell Puppy Mill dogs and they do it for money.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  83. rachelp

    Death threats are a little extreme. But making a living off of the reproduction of an animal? That's low... especially when a) you're not doin' all the work (think of the dogs who have to constantly give birth) and b) there are SO many stray and unwanted dogs (and cats) in this country who face cold nights, abuse and untimely death.

    Adoption is the way to go!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  84. pablo

    Did you know there are 12 dogs on the moon?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  85. Martin

    Very disappointing that Biden and Obama felt the need to buy dogs from a breeder and not save an animal from a shelter or rescue. Purchasing from dog farms like they did sends a bad message to people who want to do the right thing.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  86. Rhonda

    Reputable dog breeders spend thousands of dollars on pre- breeding test on their dogs-hips, eyes, genetics and are treated better than most children in our country.
    On ANY DAY- you can catch a GREAT WELL KNOWN breeder who has been up all night delivering puppies, hasn't had a shower for 2 days, and not everything is it's usually bleached down normal state. Dogs from these breeders try to preserve the integrity of the breed, sell dogs with contracts that state if the dog is being mistreated- THEY can take the dog back- and they care about every puppy that is blessed on their kennel.
    SHAME ON PEOPLE FOR NOT KNOWING ABOUT THE SPORT OF CONFIRMATION, OBEDIENCE, AGILITY and the other programs sponsored by the AKC. And GOD bless our breed rescue programs out there- that do the same. A Mutt is not for everyone- and DESIGNER DOGS ARE MUTTS- just with a higher price and a backyard breeder who hasn't spent the time and money invested in the quality of their dogs.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  87. Ron Smith

    I think it is appalling that this women should be vilified. Some of these animal rights groups take political correctness a little too far. I'm sorry but it is not the breeder's fault that irresponsible people do not spay or neuter their pets which create so many unwanted pets in the animal shelters. Biden has every right to choose whatever dog he wants.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  88. Lee Haney

    God put us in control of all animals. And this includes domesticated ones. People get all upset when a dog gets abused and it makes the news yet they can watch a child starving or getting his butt beat in at a Wal-Mart and walk on by. People have some seriously messed up priorities.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  89. kelly

    I dont know any reputable breeder that owns approx 80+ dogs. I guess it would be ok if approx 75 were altered rescues.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  90. Michael

    I agree.. My wife and I own 7 rare breed dogs... They are part of our family. Our children are in college and my wife started her kennel with the priority of keeping the breed pure, healthy, etc. Many puppy mills and associated 'news media' people do a great disservice to people like my wife and I. We hate puppy mills and educate everyone about them. Even so,, there are groups within the US that simply do not understand and I don't think anyone will ever change them. We responsibly breed 1 or 2 dogs a year and go to extreme lengths to find the proper home for them. This is NOT a money making business for us.. It is a love of the breed and finding the right owners for the new puppies that drives us to continue.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  91. GOPHater

    Imagine our previous VP picking the puppies up and literally kissing them all over. Cheney would rather shoot them while they are in their pens. Of course, with Cheney, he should be in prison awaiting execution for war crimes, treason, torture, violations of international law, and violations of the U. S. Constitution.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  92. Bridget

    It's irresponsible to BREED dogs at all. There are so many dogs without homes that deserve them. Every purebred dog out there is a death sentence for a stray.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  93. Tom M

    No used dogs for credit card biden. No dog from the pound is good enough for self-important liberals.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  94. Irishkisses

    Don't know why this breeder should be treated any differently than the breeder whom the Obama's got their dog from....

    April 14, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  95. JD

    How is it that dog breeders are subject to such scrutiny about the treatment of dogs and puppies, but yet women are free to discard human life with no recourse?

    April 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  96. Beth

    As someone who used to work for a city animal shelter, breeders disgust me. Stop breeding, start adopting. Every dog adopted from these puppy mills is a death at a shelter.

    PLENTY of animals need a good home, not just dogs. Please, stop supporting these people and help save the animals.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  97. Juliet

    The problem here is that there is NO reason for people to be breeding dogs, regardless of how well they take care of them. Nine out of ten animals in the shelters are euthanized because there aren't enough homes for all the ones we have. It's irresponsible and selfish to buy an expensive one from a breeder when there are so many great animals at the pound. If you have your heart set on a certain breed, you're bound to find it with a little effort - and maybe you'll be rescuing a dog or cat that's a year or two old and doesn't have much chance to be adopted because they're no longer a floppy baby.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  98. ed

    I have always supported PETA, but after the latest furry of press reports showing abuses like this I have stopped supporting the group. Why hurt respecable pet lovers who are trying to do the right thing.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  99. Claudine

    I saw this video article on CNN this morning and was appalled. Reputable dog breeders are the dog lovers that maintain the integrity of the breeds and demonstrate the highest levels of ethical treatment of dogs. Dogs are not just animals to reputable breeders – they are part of the family... one of the pack. Where are we as a society when we allow people to be pilloried for loving and caring for our "best friend"???

    April 14, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
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