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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. rosko p. dogg

    All you doorknobs whose cause in life is to save dogs need to get with it. Take Aaron, for example: ...pets for profit is a practice with all the ethics of human trafficking. Really Aaron? Chattel slavery is no worse than seling puppies? Who are you people? Get a real passion in life.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  2. Susan

    OK, so 80 dogs is perhaps a bit much. But she has taken them in, which is more than some people would do.

    On the other hand, PETA needs to get a reality grip! .. and in some cases, just shut up. As someone who has her 4th pure bred dog, no one has the right to tell me I can't do this. I researched what I wanted, and every one of my dogs (which I have had one at a time) has been "family," and loved to pieces. Do I regret that? NOT ON YOUR LIFE!!!!

    Do I feel pangs of remorse when I visit our Humane Society here in Indianapolis? Yes. I take donations to them as well (paper towels, bleach, food, etc.) But knock off the remarks about reputable breeders and pure bred dogs. You people make yourselves sound overly-dramatic, foolish, and down right ignorant of the fact that there are people who can and do breed wonderful dogs. And there are those for whom those dogs are an important part of our lives.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  3. LRose

    I don't understand how a state agency's purpose of protecting the safety and health of animals can be allowed to be perverted by administrators who obviously have a political agenda. Whoever it is that runs that agency should be investigated and held accountable for their abuse of the system they are expected to operate on behalf of all...not just the members of the political party they support. This is insufferable.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  4. Kim

    As a veterinarian who has worked with performance and working dogs (avalanche, SAR, sled, herding, patrol, explosives/drug detection, patrol, agility, flyball, obedience, seeing-eye, disability service) for over 10 years, I have no problems with people who reputably breed purebred dogs. This country is made of our ability to choose, and that includes our canine companions. I personally own 2 rescued pound puppies, but I also purchased a purebred Kelpie for the purpose of sheep herding. I had already checked with Kelpie rescues and there were no dogs of young working age who would get along with (as in not kill) my six rescued pound cats and were safe around my five rescued pound horses (wanna put your money where your mouth is? rescue a horse).

    Yes, there are disreputable breeders; IMHO, I think we should have registration and standards much like Europe does, especially like German and Austrian breeders, to help weed out the backyard incompetents and only $$-oriented puppy mills. That, however, would get the ACLU and other individual rights advocates screaming. There is a place in the world for purebred dogs – they are selected for tracking, herding, protection, hunt and prey (search and rescue) drives, hair coats (or lack thereof – for allergy and health reasons) and an innate ability to perform certain tasks for people. While there are some tasks that pound puppies can do, there are others that they cannot. Or it is too difficult to find the right dog for the task over dogs who are selectively bred for it. For someone who needs a dog to perform a specific task, there are sometimes too many physical and behavioral variables with rescue dogs due to neglect and abuse. That doesn't mean that they don't deserve good homes, it just means that to REALLY cut down on abandonment and abuse, it is important for the right match and fit of dog to owner. Fit means location, personalities, and goals – what does the owner want to do with their dog. It also means that those of you who are being judgmental of breeders should educate themselves on ALL aspects of dog use rather than spouting off about things of which you are ignorant.

    And as for PETA, it seems to me that this group, who has quietly euthanized thousands of animals who were left with them for adoption, needs to hold the mirror up to themselves and fix their own problems before persecuting people who are caring for animals properly.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Geoff

    I get VERY tired of people saying that breeders are irresponsible and that everyone should get a dog from a shelter. The dogs are in shelters because of irresponsible people, not because of those who choose to buy a dog from a breeder (not a puppy mill and there is a difference). This goes to the root of who causes the problem...people who don't know what they are getitng into when they get an animal and NOT people who know exactly what they want and do not want to inherit other people's abused animals that come with issues that could drive them to end up back in a shelter. I bought a Lab from a breeder because I knew exactly what I wanted and I wanted to know the dogs entire history, knowing full well what I was getting into. The result? I have a family member that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world and she has the best life in the world. So you are telling me it is my fault and it is irresponsible for me to have purchased her because I didn't save a life that someone else threw away? I admit that I might not be solving the worlds problems, but I'm also not causing them and I certainly don't need to be admonished by some message board do-gooders who make blanket statements about all people while ignoring those who actually cause the problem. I guess we shouldn't have our own children either when there are tons and tons of orphans!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  6. Brian

    Nikkia – did you end up getting a dog? Adopting one they will ask your name, address and ability to take care of the dog. A breeder will ask much more.
    If you got a dog – then You DEFINITELY got one from a puppy mill. No question about it.
    Sorry if providing that is a "hassle". But if you're not willing to do that, what seller would think you would care for the dog in the short run, nevermind the long run?

    April 14, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  7. Chaiah

    We have adopted all of our pets but one. We have a macaw, cockatiel, four cats, and two large dogs. We also had several ferrets for many years and they have since passed away due to old age. Oh, and our beloved German Shep had to be euthanized a year ago due to her third round of cancer, degenerative myelopathy, and severe hip dysplasia. We have rescued and loved/cared for many, many animals. My choice to purchase a dog from a very reputable breeder – and my reasons for doing so – are my business and mine alone. All our pets are spayed/neutered if possible (not the birds, of course) as we do not breed... However, for organizations like PETA and those who follow them to threaten others is so hypocritical and ignorant.

    Oh, btw, PETA supporters and those of your ilk, our newest family member is a GSD/Lab mix that we rescued from a no kill shelter. He came home with us covered in feces, and suffering from giardia and kennel cough. Not only did he nearly die, but so did our other dog. After nearly 3 mos of intensive veterarian care and lots of TLC at home, and about $3K in vet bills – both dogs bounced back. So, don't you DARE try to tell anyone how to treat animals when these so-called shelters are overflowing with animals to such a point that they cannot be properly cared for... If you think that is a loving and compassionate way to treat animals – you really are nuts.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  8. Michelle

    I just want to know why as Americans, we are more worried about where a dog came from than the bigger picture of what is going to happen to all of those pets, when we can't even feed ourselves anymore?!!!
    Many breeders are very good people. i got my dog from a breeder. he has approx 25 dogs at his location which happens to be approx 18 acres. The dogs have free run of the area for plenty of exercise (except when they are in heat–then they are segregated). He breeds 3-4 per year and has a waiting list for dogs because he won't breed more often than that. It isn't about money!
    I have also, had dogs in the past from shelters and currently have 2 kids that were adopted at shelters. Unfortunately I doubt I will ever get from a shelter again due to a bad experience. i took my 2 yr old to get a dog–we found one he fell in love with and the dog loved him. They estimated the dog to be about 2 1/2 to 3 years old, very friendly and in good health. 3 months later the dog died of a heart attack. My vet says the shelter should have known there was heart problems and I trust my vet, he wants me to keep coming back with the rest of my long list of pets!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  9. Kyle

    So some of you folks aren't too smart, huh?

    April 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  10. James yeamans

    After reading these comments, I can only ask myself one question: "Are there really that many idiots out there?"
    It's just amazing.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  11. jayne

    I have read all the comments and can't help but see how most of the ones condemming breeders are guilty of gross generalization. The reputable breeders are still in business from word of mouth. I have two pure breeds, both very small dogs. I tried to get my dogs from shelters or rescue organizations. I was apparently not good enough for them. I was lucky enough to find families whose dogs had puppies. Concentrate on getting rid of the puppy mills that sell to pet stores, not the good breeders, of which there are many. You cannot condem people for wanting dogs of speific breeds. There are many reasons people pick these dogs. Making all the dogs of the world "mutts" would not help the overpopulation.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  12. teddi

    It isn't a matter of being irresponsible by breeding dogs, because animal control facilities don't necessarily have dogs that meet the needs of ALL people. I have gone to many animal control facilities while searching for our dog and I have NEVER once seen a Portuguese Water Dog at any of those facilities. As dog lovers know, each breed is known for specific characteristics...Ie: some dogs have less shed, some are easier tempered, some are faster, etc... Personally, if you want to have a good relationship with your dog, you need to find the right breed for YOU and no one else can tell you what dog is going to work for YOU! I think adopting from a shelter is GREAT (We got our sheperd as a 7 year old rescue dog) but it is really short-sighted to assume that everyone can find what they want at a shelter. On the flip side, there are many rescued dogs out there needing good homes, so I think it is a wonderful gift to a dog to rescue. I can't say enough about our Lola.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  13. Liz

    You people amaze me. You are obsessed with dogs! Dogs! Yes they are wonderful and I love mine. But, it's too bad you don't put as much effort into worrying about the thousands of children waiting to be adopted, waiting for decent foster care, or just waiting for someone who values human life enough to put their needs first! I have yet to see any postings about that!

    What about the homeless? How many of you EVER think about them. But the President gets a dog and LOOK OUT. People it's time to grow up!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  14. John Sonpull

    i didn't think there could be a story dumber or more irrelevant than the "heroin cheaper than beer" one. kudos AMfix for outdoing yourselves.
    for the love of god, why on earth do i bother to look at this column? it's truly like not being able to look away from a car wreck.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  15. Ophelia

    While I agree that people should look to shelters first for a pet to help with the overcrowding, I don't agree that breeders ought to be penalized for the lazy, irresponsible owners who don't neuter their pets and create this problem. Breeding should be outlawed, according to some of you, but to what end? Let pure breeds die out until every shelter is empty? Refuse to allow people to acquire a pedigreed dog? (as if that right should be taken from us). It doesn't make sense to penalize people by taking away their rights just because there aren't enough penalties for those who won't care for their pets and have them neutered responsibly. Besides, it sounds more like this breeder was targeted for political reasons, not because she was a breeder.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  16. Jake from Philly

    For all of you squawking about adopting dogs from shelters....

    Stop talking and go adopt another dog!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  17. jane arnett's grandaughter

    I do not agree with puppy mills. Eighty dogs is flat out rediculous. My grandmother was a chmapionship dog breeder for over thirty years, and the most she ever had, not counting a new litter, was five adults. They lived indoors, and she played and interracted with each and every one. As soon as the litter was weened she sold them. How can this lady say she treats eighty dogs like children? Children require daily individual interraction. Can she say that she takes each dog out of their pen every day and tosses them a chew toy or plays tug-of-war?

    April 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  18. Jivetalkinphil

    What most of y'all don't understand is that the Dept of Agriculture made a decision many years ago that dogs were livestock, and to encourage rural farms to create business they spread money around the heartland in an effort to radically increase dog breeding in rural communities. We have a dog breeding facility on our property, very small- 5 adult Chessies and 1 adult American water spaniel ( and it is very possible to do it humanely, and with love and care. Not everyone who breeds dogs hates animals.

    By the way, why aren't most of the critics here up in arms about other animals- from the meat industry to the fur industry to the exotic animal trade? It's because dogs are considered pets here.. But not everyone who breeds dogs is Hitler.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  19. Jake from Philly

    I will seriously consider purchasing my next purebred German Shepherd Dog from this breeder.

    /has two GSDs

    April 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  20. Keith

    It seems to me that this argument against dog breeding could be used for human breeding. All the people out there who say we should adopt puppies from shelters, why not protest at the hospitals when children are born. There are plenty of children in the world with no loving home, so I think we should stop having kids as well.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  21. DJ Manion

    Funny how both PETA and Republicans are getting blamed for this incident, I bet thats never happened before. No matter how much you may want to blame Bush for everything wrong in the world, with 80+ dogs – it is a puppy mill, plain and simple.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  22. Duane

    i officially hate people. lighten up people...there are actually REAL issues out there affecting US that actually MATTER. many people seem very narrow minded. they find some little thing they can "care about" and cling to it like it's a pacifier.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  23. Nan

    While I definitely agree that the preferred way of bringing an animal into a home is through a shelter, I also believe in adopting strays that are living on the street ("fixing" them and getting them their shots is part of the adoption). I have one shelter, two strays, and my son's animal when he had to move into a "no pets" apartment.

    I don't have a real problem with breeders that take good care of their animals, if someone just HAS to have a purebred. I DO have a problem with mills, and think all that can be done to shut them down SHOULD be done.

    Just my opinion.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  24. Cynthia

    I believe you should be able to get your dog anyway you want. It's no ones business but yours.....

    April 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  25. Sue

    Oh, let's not forget that PETA was responsible for euthanizing more than a few million animals itself rather than placing them for adoption. The shelters they sponsor are all high kill. Thanks PETA!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  26. Jer

    I guess the Pet Nazis don't want you to have a choice. Pets are euthanized because of irresponsible owners, not because of good breeders. If I want a pure bred and can afford it, I should be able to have one. It's called freedom of choice.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  27. Sharon Miracle

    (1) You people forget that dogs bred by REPUTABLE dog breeders, i.e., ones who keep very careful records of their animals' ancestry (and have spay/neuter policies if an animal IS born with a genetic defect), are WANTED animals. Why lump these breeders in with these morons who believe that buying two purebred dogs and breeding them makes them a breeder? All the breeders I know barely break even on the dogs they sell–they give their animals the very best care and only do it for the love of the breed.

    (2) I volunteered in an animal shelter, and what this country needs is EDUCATION re: spaying and neutering pets and responsible pet ownership. I heard stories like "I'm getting rid of my ten year old cat because I want a kitten" and "We're doing renovations, and having the cat around will be very inconvenient." These are the people who should be the object of PETA's ire!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  28. Jan Van

    You AR people get over it!!!

    Reputable breeders don't allow their dogs to end up in the shelters. If the original home does not work out the breeder takes the dog back and re-homes it in it's forever home.

    It is the irresponsible people who sell their puppies in parking lots, street side etc who don't care where their puppies end up who are the problem. There is a world of difference between reputable breeders and irresponsible, unreputable breeders. So don't give us this song and dance that because of breeders the shelters are full and it is their fault. The dogs in shelters are the product of irresponsibility.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  29. Kris

    While I fully support rescues– if we stop breeding, entire lines of purebred dogs will go extinct, how is that ok>?

    April 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  30. BY

    I have seen tons of comments from people on here talkign about adopting dogs from shelters as opposed to going to breeders. We have tried numerous times to adopt from a shelter and every time have met nothign but resistance and excuses. We have heard everything from inadequate fencing (6ft stockade is inadequate for what breed) to inexperience with the breed. So I ask, someone like me who has been wanting to get a dog for some time now, who owns a large piece of fenced in property cant get a dog from any of the local shelters for a ton of garbage reasons. What options do I have. The last shelter denied our application stating we do not have enough experience with the specific breed. Well how are we supposed to get experience without being able to adopt a dog? Breeders are the only option left thanks to the wonderful people who run these shelters, they would prefer to put dogs down then adopt to a loving home. Since my experience with th locla shelters, I have stoped donating money and attending events in conjunction with animal protection. I have had enough with people talking about adoption over buying. Perhaps your efforts and long winded comments may serve a better purpose if they were directed at the people responsible. Dog breeders fill a nitche that the morons and degenerates that run these shelters create!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  31. brodi

    I ditto Juliet. I volunteer at a no-kill and it's sick that people are breeding dogs. It should be regulated and frankly illegal until all shelter dogs are adopted. Greed.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  32. betty

    Beth is right– prue breed animals are killed every day.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  33. Lollie

    We should be careful about what type of breeders we're talking about. I can see three groups of them. The first would be average dog owners that feel it would be 'fun' to have their pup have a litter. That is naive and irresponisble, considering all of the health implications to their dog and the puppies, and the thousands of pups that need a home. The second are puppy-mill breeders. These are inhumane. They are breeding without any regard for the health of the dogs or the breed, or considering the future of these dogs. The dogs can be held in horrible environments and be subject to multiple health problems. These need to be shut down–they serve no purpose other than making money for a handful of people, and cause a great deal of damage to dogs and breeds. The thrid group, which is where this breeder appears to fall into, would be the professional breeders. They have a handful of breeding dogs and work with other breeders to maintain healthy and strong bloodlines. They are important for the overall health of the breed, and contribute greatly to the dog world. As true lovers of dogs and the breed, they are often invovled in breed rescue. They may or may not make their living through their kennel, but their first priority is to the dogs, then the breed, then their bank account. These people are important, and shouldn't be painted with the same brush as the other two.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  34. Sue

    wow... PETA and it's robots are certainly out in force commenting on this article. PETA, you will not prevent people from breeding quality animals for a population of people that does not dump their animals into the shelter system. The dogs that end up in shelters do not come from breeders such as this one, or any other reputable breeder. They come from puppy mills and backyard breeders. Ending reputable breeders such as this one is the death knell to ALL dogs in this country. And yes, that is the publicly stated goal of PETA, the HSUS and other animal rights/activist/welfare agents. To end ALL animal and pet ownership.
    If you are in support of this measure, you are a sad, sad person.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  35. Liz

    There is no need for this woman to breed such a large number of dogs, 80....that is disgusting I"m sorry! It sickens me that this is deemed OK at all, this is nothing but a puppy mill! Poor defenseless dogs are euthanized everyday because of people like her. Millions of dogs need homes and the vice president should be setting an example, not adding to the problem!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  36. Mark W

    You know, this is supposed to be a free country. But when people disagree with something someone else is doing, they want to regulate it to stop them and they think this is fair because they disagree. I owned one pedigree dog in my life and have had probably 8 mutts. I loved them all. If someone wants to buy or breed a pedigree, it's their money, let them! No one should have the right to stop someone from doing this. Why do so many people think they have the right to control other peoples lives and actions? This is America. We have freedoms to exercise whether or not other people agree or not! I don't beleive in people owning birds but I don't try and stop them. I think it's weird to own snakes and reptiles that are dangerous but is someone wants to, it's their right.

    There are so many REAL problems on this Earth from famine, war, atrocities in other countries, etc, why spend so much energy forcing your opinions on people who raise dogs or cats? If you don't agree with pedigrees, own a mutt. I do. If you want a $700 weiner dog, by God that is your right. I owned one and she was a wonderful part of the family along with the 2 mutts I had at the same time. Support programs that sterilize stray cats and dogs to stop the over populations. Leave the breeders alone. The Westminster show is a huge hit every year for a reason. People love dogs. Let them have them. It's not your rght to tell anyone else what kind of dog they have to get if they want one. With that thinking, why have children as long as there are still those awaiting adoption.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  37. Sarah

    Um how is breeding the dog of your choice any different than breeding your own kids. There are tons of starving children out there we should probably be adopting instead of creating our own too! People are not responsible for the mistakes of others...if they want a full bred dog that is their choice just as it is the same with wanting their own kids. Some people don't want to raise the screwed up abandoned version and I don't blame them a bit. ....why doesn't the almighty loving and caring god take care of all the strays...

    April 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  38. john

    Until shelters can get their act together enough to screen the dogs they put up for adoption, I will not use one again. We adopted a dog that the staff assured us was great with people and other dogs. 24 hours later, it had bitten me and another person walking past us, who in turn decided to sue us. I don't want to discourage people from adopting shelters because I'm sure there are lots of great dogs there...but do your homework with the dogs first. Make sure they interact well with a lot of people and watch them play with other dogs. Because trust me, there are shelters that don't screen their dogs well enough. The dog we adopted wasn't fit for any home other than a professional dog trainer' Cesar Milan.

    2 months later we got a puppy from a breeder and its been nothing but great. I love dogs, but I sincerely doubt I will ever adopt from a shelter again...especially not while there are children in my house.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  39. John

    Peta is actually part of the problem – all they care about is furthering their agend. Instead of supporting PETA, why not support an animal rights organization that actually promotes welfare for both?

    Check out – they fight the good fight for all.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  40. cher

    For those who say that it should not be allowed to breed dogs while there are dogs in shelters needing homes....shall we extend that to say that couples should not be allowed to conceive their own children while there are children waiting to be adopted? Ridiculous. The best way to empty the shelters of dogs is to shut down the puppy mills and require individual pet owners to neuter and spay pets. License and inspect reputable breeders and ensure that all new pets are born from these environments. (there is no reason that licenced and controlled breeders could not also include those who wish to "breed" mutts or give dogs away for free to families who will love them). But if all pet breeding were controlled and adoptions were regulated there would be no shelter animals to protect or euthanize.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  41. Grace

    Wow. You're all so self-righteous about adopting animals from a shelter. Let me draw you an analogy. Why would ANY of you choose to have your own children when there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of perfectly healthy children living in foster homes and orphanages waiting to loved?

    Adopting a child, adopting a shelter dog is a good deed, but for many, its just not what they want. Instead of making them feel ashamed for not adopting other people's throwaways, perhaps its more important to stop the problem at its root. Stop people from buying dogs and then throwing them away, and stop irresponsible parents from either having children they pass off to the government.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  42. Diana

    If I want a purebred dog, that I can pick from a litter, that I can know the temperament of the parents, then I will get a purebred dog. I'm not sure why it is up to me (or anyone) to keep 'rescuing' other people's lack of responsibility for their animals.
    I have rescue dogs (and cats)as well, dogs that show up on my farm or I have found along side the road. I donate money to animal shelters. All of my pets are spayed and neutered. But I am sick and tired of people being down on responsible breeders. Prosecute the people who's unneutered animals are creating the havoc in the shelters.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  43. The Ranger

    If PETA is so worried about all these animals dying in shelters, then maybe they should gather them all together and send them to VietNam, Korea, China or other such places where they will be accepted, and maybe by doing that they could cure hunger as well...

    People Eating Tastey Animals = PETA

    April 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  44. Nicki

    I get a little annoyed when people accuse those of us who care for animals of not carrying for people. Trust me, I am someone who donates time and money to homeless shelters and shudder to think at the injustices that people are forced to live with in our society. But I don't have to choose just ONE cause, and if I choose to support animal rights as well, that does NOT mean I love humans any less. Maybe some people in the world can't fathom being multi-faceted because they're so narrow minded, but wake up...every cause needs people behind it, one person might not necessarily have the time/resources to be behind them all, but being behind one does not mean that we are behind it to the exclusion of others.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  45. AJ

    I can't believe so many people are saying "stop breeding dogs".

    Use your brain, people! If everyone stopped breeding and the only dogs were shelter dogs (which are spayed/neutered from the shelter), the current generation of dogs would be the last! No more dogs! EXTINCTION OF DOGS

    Yes, there are irresponsible breeders out there, but there are also responsible breeders.

    The pet overpopulation is caused by IRRESPONSIBLE owners and IRRESPONSIBLE breeders, not by the RESPONSIBLE owners and RESPONSIBLE breeders.

    Responsible breeders:
    – only breed a few litters a year, breeding for quality, not quantity
    – screen their dogs prior to breeding for genetic health problems, dogs with genetic health problems are not bred
    – screen potential homes and owners to ensure the breed and individual dog is a good fit
    – have a legally binding contract that if the dog is no longer wanted or can no longer be cared for, it must be returned to the breeder and not given away or left at a shelter.
    – require pet-quality animals to be spayed/neutered

    April 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  46. Joe in Austin

    I wanted a purebred and exotic dog, so I adopted a greyhound, a former race dog.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  47. C. Kirkpatrick

    The problem with dog populations is not the breeders. The problem in this country and countless others around the world comes from irresponsible people with do not spay or neuter their pets and eventaully flood our neighborhoods and pounds. Breeding is a business and many people are willing to pay big bucks for a papered purebred. These people, though, are quite responsible, keeping track of pedigree and controlling the number of births to prevent a glut on the market. The way I see it, if it bothers you so much, go find a stray or a pound puppy and encourage everyone you know to be responsible with your pets. Breeders, though, are not the enemy.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  48. Michele

    I worked as an administrator at an animal shelter years ago and became very disillusioned by the humans involved in these endeavors. I totally support animal protection and feel it is our obligation to provide homes and care to domesticated animals, but also feel there is no excuse for militant activists who demonstrate the shallowness of their "humane" activities when they can't extend their kindness to their fellow human beings. If you believe that dog breeding is bad, you are entitled to your belief. I happen to agree that it is adding to the problem of overpopulation. However, that is our opinion. We have no right to force it via threats or violence on others.

    Honestly, as someone who works in the field of psychology, I came to the conclusion that many in the animal rights movement suffer from mental instability and personality disorders and their inability to empathize with their fellow humans is a form of pathology. Certainly not all animal activists and this is not meant to disparage the dedicated, sincere individuals who do so much for animal rights, but a significant part of the leadership of these groups is simply not healthy and their sense of moral superiority and entitlement can be downright scary. Worst of all, their approach actually undermines the whole animal protection movement and that is not good for anyone–human or non-human.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  49. Bianca

    Number of cats and dogs entering shelters each year:
    6-8 million (HSUS estimate)

    Number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year:
    3-4 million (HSUS estimate)

    Percentage of dogs in shelters who are purebred:
    25 percent (HSUS estimate)

    Average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year: 2

    Average number of puppies in a canine litter: 6-10

    April 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  50. Ryan Rollings

    I hope everyoen complaining about REPUTABLE breeders has never given birth to a child...becasue there are also literally a million unwanted babies in the worl as well. Don't be two-faced.

    Stop having babies and start adopting if you want the right to complain about this. Until then, breeders are supplying a service for a demand. If there were no demand, there would be no service.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  51. DD

    For clarification,

    Most of the dogs in this section had once been breeders. Now she keeps them as her personal pets. HAD being the key word people.

    A good breeder will not breed dogs more than a couple of times usually so that the line stays clean. I am impressed that she keeps them as her own.

    Puppy mills are not what good breeders are. Do your research

    April 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  52. Bree

    It is NOT irresponsible to BREED dogs! If we like a certain breed we should be able to pick from that breed. It's not our fault that people aren't fixing their dogs. You should be getting onto those people that lets their dog roam around knowing they are not fixed. This is the reason there are so many dogs at shelters.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  53. Lyn

    My appreciation goes to the Browns for giving these dogs the respect they deserve. Everyone is forgetting, however, that the last thing the world needs now is another backyard breeder. Is no one paying attention to the millions of domestic pets that have to be euthanized in this country every year because no home can be found for them? Despite the amazing efforts of groups like Best Friends and hundreds of local animal shelters, this message doesn't seem to be reaching the public. What seems to be the problem people?

    April 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  54. Ken

    I am disgusted at the amount of influence these non-profit animal rights organizations have over government services – in addition is the inability of an inspector to put aside personal bias and beliefs when conducting their duties. You cannot put a PETA supporter behind one of these badges and expect 'justice for all.' The problem is these government organizations are infested with these types individuals. What are you doing to do? 'Get "Claude Dallas" on 'em? We are closer than ever before in this country from this happening.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  55. Russell

    to all those who think dog breeders and puppy buyers are anathemas... do any of you have kids? if so, why didn't you adopt?

    April 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  56. Eleanor

    I think people should be free to own a purebred dog if that is what they choose. Shelter dogs and strays are not right for everybody.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  57. eet

    I'm dismayed that this woman got death threats from animal-welfare supporters. It gives those of us who work in rescue bad names.

    I volunteer with a breed-specific dog rescue in the Washington DC area. To be more specific, I volunteer with a GERMAN SHEPHERD rescue in the DC area. We as a rescue were very disappointed that Biden chose to get a puppy from a breeder. We continue to hope that he will not influence less suitable homes to choose this intelligent and driven breed. German shepherds are very cute puppies, but people don't realize that they soon become big, mischievous adolescents. They are extremely intelligent and need consistent training and, usually, a job. When they don't receive training, they become bored, which leads to them becoming destructive, which leads them to our rescue. We don't mind rehoming these wonderful animals, but our wish is that someday our rescue will cease to exist – when all dogs have found a safe and happy home.

    I apologize for the soap box. Please consider rescue, and heed what Bob Barker says about controlling the pet population.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  58. Susan DeAngelo

    We purchased a shepherd from Linda Brown and ended up taking her to court and we won. Dog was sick and we spent hundreds of dollars on vet care. Would never recommend purchasing a dog from her kennel.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  59. Big Duane

    "Death threats are a little extreme"

    You think? Gawd the way the mind of a HSUS/PETA supporter baffles me,it truly does.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  60. sickofthelibs

    No reputable breeder owns 80 dogs unless they are a puppy mill.

    What's wrong with this VP for buying a puppy mill dog? Is this the one time he chose to keep his mouth shut?

    And spin the presidents new dog anyway you, reject...but it still did not come from a shelter.

    Both of these guys should be hearing it from all of you...but wait-they have a D after their names, so I guess it's just ok now.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  61. Ron

    Stop breeding dogs. Obama and Biden could have set a good example by getting a dog from a shelter.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  62. TAP

    PETA are complete scum – they pull heart strings using propoganda to further their own extreme agenda. This is a good example of coercion and abuse of power, something the PETA folks have no problem with. HSUS too – they are garbage and have the american public fooled.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  63. Karrin

    I have 2 cats that are rescues and an Italian Greyhound I got from ICGA. You want a full breed dog? Find a rescue group!! There are ones for just about every breed!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  64. Kay

    Are some of you animal rights activist also in favor of humans not breeding because there are so many children who need good homes? I am not insensitive to this issue but I think they call it the Land of the Free for a reason. We are still able to choose the type of pet we want among many other things some of which are being lost under the current administration but that's another post.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  65. Jeremy

    Where is the anger at the people responsible for these "millions of dogs in shelters" that you all say should be adopted first? These are the animals you should direct your energy to preventing from happening, not dogs that will be raised and fed by breeders until they are found a good home. I'm way more angry at irresponsible people leaving their pets in shelters than breeders who take care of their animals until someone adopts them.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  66. Dave

    Hey Roy R. Rowlands – look in the back room of your trailer to see if there's a dictionary available.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  67. joec

    For the individuals who are against breeders: I've adopted all of my animals becuase frankly, it's affordable and convenient. However, shutting down reputable breeders turns into either the death of breeds or the quality of bloodlines as animals are no longer taken out of the pool for health defects. Reputable breeders are conscientious. It's general society that leads to dogs in the pound.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  68. Seth

    They were not talking about a puppy mill, they are talking about a reputable breeder, and there will be breeders, to better the breed. Anyone who wants a pet can go and get one at a shelter, there are requirements when you become a reputable breeder. And there will always be people who will want a certain breed with no health problem, as a breeder I contain all records, and health test. This PETA should be careful what they do and go after those who have them in cages all the time and breed, breed, breed. Mine are my champions, and they even sleep with me. I take very good care of them. And only breed seldom.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  69. DogLover

    As usual, a small group of vegetarians think they should be able to tell a successful small business owner how to not raise their animals, for profit and love. This is for the minority; If you don't like the perfectly legal kennel, contact your congressman and go about change properly, not with threats and intimidation. Meanwhile, I'll have a steak just for you, carrot head!!!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  70. Mike


    Your name sure suits you. Why are you posting your liberal garbage on this site? This is a story about dog breeders and not Dick Cheney. Go turn your TV on to CNN or CNBC or something so you can join the forces of the liberal left who have nothing better to do with their time other than criticize the Republicans and yet offer nothing of their own in the way of solutions to our problems.
    You should be tried for crimes against humanity for people having to read your biased and hateful banter.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  71. Maureen

    I do not believe Linda deserves death threats BUT I do believe rescue is the way to go. I love the above statement – you can't change the world by rescuing a dog but for that one dog you change it's world. My rescue dog was crated 24/7 for six years – out only to do bodily functions. He is a 100 lb Lab mix – how very lucky he is now. My other is a purebred Lab of 11 1/2 years. I will rescue from now on.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  72. Aaron

    Dog breeders need to be put down. Generations of inbreeding isn't good for the species, and manufacturing pets for profit is a practice with all the ethics of human trafficking. If you want a puppy, rescue one from a shelter.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  73. Dave

    These lefties are out of their minds, they whine about the rights of terrorists and illegals and then have the audacity to tell actual citizens that they shouldn't buy a dog from who they want, where they want. What about my rights?

    April 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  74. Deb

    The US should have laws like Canada; only small breeders, absolutely no puppy mills or large scale breeding. Very few dogs in shelters. There are so few dogs there that they actually call rescue organizations here in the US to find dogs for people who want them.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  75. GOPHater

    Imagine our former VP "picking up all of the puppies and kissing them all over." Cheney would rather have shot them in their pens and told everyone he went hunting.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  76. Christine

    "Don't breed or buy while others die." There is absolutely NO REASON anyone should be breeding dogs while millions die every day. I'm glad this breeder was investigated. They should shut her down, just like they should shut down every other puppy mill and breeding operation in the world.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  77. Dar Campbell

    "Republican harrassment"?

    Are you serious?

    So, we're supposed to believe that all those animal-rights nutjobs and nanny-state government employees (the star pupils of this nation's left) are dastardly REPUBLICANS?

    Meanwhile, animal rights "activists" have terrorized and vandalized a Columbia, Maryland restaurant TWICE IN ONE MONTH yet all CNN can do is report on how "right-wing" terrorism poses a domestic threat....

    Oh, please....

    April 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  78. Denise

    How dare you people get pregnant and have your own children when there are so many to adopt!!

    Oh wait, its your personal choice. Same as getting a dog. If you're going to bring someone, child or animal into your house as your family, you should be able to have some choice. There is nothing wrong with choosing a dog from a reputable breeder or one from a shelter.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  79. Bully Bob

    I have always adopted.. and the most abused breed there is pit bulls.
    I volunteer my spare time at an animal shelter mostly working with pit bulls. I do think there should be breeders but ethical ones and they should be closely monitored by states. Presently it is very true if you buy a dog.. you might as well stick the needle in a shelter dog your self.

    In this person's case I dont see how you would really know a dog well if you have 80 of them. I do know breeders that may have 15 to 20, this way the female is not breed all that much. What should be stopped is back yard breeders. Back yard breeding could be stopped by a very expensive license required to breed dogs. Now people just care about the 50.00 that they can get for a pit bull pup and to heck with who they sell it to.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  80. beth

    Senate's puppy-mill vote sets up a showdown

    Chamber OKs bill that, unlike House's, doesn't cap the number of dogs that facilities can breed

    By Bill Ruthhart

    Posted: April 8, 2009

    A Indiana's commercial dog breeding operations would be subject to stiffer animal cruelty laws and annual inspections but no limits on the number of dogs they can breed under legislation passed Tuesday by the Indiana Senate.

    For more go to

    April 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  81. Wall Head

    This is a worthless piece of reporting. I have no idea whether Ms Brown is a good breeder or takes good care of her dogs or not, because nothing the reporter tells us lets us draw any conclusions about that. All we know is that various groups have now paid greater attention to Ms Brown's practices, and that she has apparently been threatened. That decribes the situation itself– but isn't it the point of a news story to help the reader figure out what actually happened, or where the truth lies?? The most we know is that she was cited for certain violations, and later cleared. We don't know why, and we have no facts on which we could conclude that that was right or wrong.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  82. Shelly

    Those of you who think 80 dogs is a puppy mill need to do some research. A certain NASCAR driver keeps that many hunting dogs on his property in Virginia for sport. They are very well taken care of but is it a mill? Is it cruel?

    Think of the woman near Parkersburg WV who was raided and had over a 1000 dogs in horrid conditions. Now THAT'S a puppy mill.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  83. J.Crobuzon

    PETA is funded by the big beef farms out in the midwest in order to make all animal rights people look crazy. If you were to try to put through a bill to get, say, chickens treated a little better in the breeding pens, PETA would come right up behind you and start screaming "GIVE CHICKENS THE VOTE!" You and PETA would both look dumb then, see?

    April 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  84. constan

    Reputable or not, we don't need any more breeders. Breeders can't see the forest for the trees... until the day all shelters are empty, we have no business bringing more animals into this world ON PURPOSE!

    I can only suspect that breeders enjoy some feeing of power and control when they engineer the births of their puppies... then of course, there is the money...

    Hey, Breeders!.... get a life!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  85. Dennis S.

    The Breeding of Animals for pets should be Illegal. Making money from the exploitation of living things is fundamentally wrong. Humans are unique in that we exploit and hurt other living things simply for our pleasure and/or greed. There are SO many animals in shelters RIGHT NOW as we speak that they're being put to death en mass! Go out and adopt one of these loving creatures that so desperately need out help. I'm truly disappointed that Vice President Biden didn't choose this moment to set an EXAMPLE for the rest of the nation. I'm not a kook, I'm just a person that knows the value of life. May all of our Gods bless and teach us.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  86. steve

    80 dogs = puppy i guess she takes each one out for a nice walk everyday?
    80 dogs times 20 minutes a day equals 26+ hours a day. Those sure are long days!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  87. C Nossaman

    If reputable dog breeders cared about and loved dogs they wouldn't be breeders! We kill millions every year and they are a HUGE part of the problem!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  88. Stella

    As the human mother of 2 wonderful, smart purebred corgis( bought from a responsible breeder ) who I inherited from a family member who has passed on, I ask only: why are the Ohio and Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture allowing Amish-owned horrific puppy mills to flourish without penalties, and putting so much effort into terrorizing REPUTABLE dog breeders, who without them, there would be no German Sheparts, dachsunds, etc. My only issues with dog breeders are the heartbreakingly irresponsible ones who continue to promote breeding of pit bulls, knowing that they will end up being killed in overcrowed shelters because they are not mean or agressive enough for dog-fighting, which we are supposed to understand is a "cultural" sport from the South?

    April 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  89. Shell

    I contacted that breeder and got a bad vibe from the whole conversation. She ran ads in our local paper every day. When we didn't get back to her, she called a few times and left messages. Just seemed off. Even thought that kennel is about 20 mins from our house we decided to buy our GS from a breeder about 4 hours away. We were so pleased, we just bought a second one.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  90. Moe

    The time you spent typing your crap, another few animals were put to asleep...that's how much society cares about them.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  91. Fred

    Death threats from animal rights groups?

    I guess it just shows you the mentality of the nimrods that join such organizations. Never mind getting info about the breeder to determine if they treat their animals well, just go with the mantra that all breeders are bad. Maybe such animal rights activists should be found and processed into dogfood. At least then they'd actually serve a purpose.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  92. phd

    what is the matter with the American public when you cannot get a returned dog from a breeder or that people have to act like this about breeders.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  93. GOP (Got 0 Plans)

    Typical Republican tactic. Shame again on the GOP.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  94. Mitch

    I hate dogs. Biden and Obama need to get a Cat!

    April 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  95. Sandy

    By the way, before everyone starts shouting about the millions of animals killed in shelters each some research. It really isn't an overpopulation problem, but a shelter management problems where no programs exist to rehome pets or fees make it prohibitive for owners to reclaim their pets. It is much more complicated. In many cases, the majority of animals euthanized or ill, old or feral cats. It is not a case of too many dogs! I do rescue in CA and I speak from experience. Shelters with good outreach programs and adoption volunteers are virtually no kill shelters. But most communities won't put out the effort or funds to do this, so they blame the breeders when the CHOOSE to euthanize the pets in their shelters. It's not the breeders, people. Look at your own community...what is it doing to help pets abandoned by their owners? Reputable breeders take their dogs back and rehome them. They aren't in shelters. If only reputable breeders bred dogs, there would be few homeless pets.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  96. Jerry

    The problem is not the breeder its her client that really smells

    April 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  97. tony

    I personally think this is so sick and childish. First of all i think people have a right to buy a dog where the want, second we as a society have always passed judgment on people when it is none of our business. I tell you right now trying to get a dog from the local shelter is way to much of a hassle and plus you don't know what kind of dog your getting. So i say to Mr. Biden kudos and to the Breeder keep your head up.

    April 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  98. Carole Clarke

    This has more to do with WHO she sold the pup to, not her or the state of her kennels. Politics spawns fanatics and people like that will glom on to anyone in order to spew their favorite flavor of the year. High profile politicians should have the street smarts to avoid this by having middlemen do their purchases for them. Its one of the reasons you don't see them shopping even with bodyguards. If they duck into a store run by ethnics, someone will scream, if their wives buy foreign coutoure, someone will accuse her of being un-American. It's the nature of the beast. Joe Biden should have had this dog and the other pups brought to a secure location nearby, gone in to make his selection quietly and had the pup trained then delivered to him without fanfare. No, its not right, its just the way things are. We got burned by politicians once too many times so we keep them under close watch – no privacy. Politicians accept it as part of the game. She should just shake all this off and go back to her dogs. It was never about her.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  99. Dee

    For every dog born on purpose, a shelter dog dies. There is NO SUCH THING as "responsible" breeding. Stop making dogs-too many die every day.
    By the way, "mixed" breed dogs are genetically healthier dogs.

    April 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  100. Irene

    One more time, the republican haters have shown their hand.
    This is simply bashing at its best because Joe Biden was the customer. Shameful!!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
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