Gorham, NY Welcomes New Puppy Mill

The Ontario County, NY County Planning Board has approved plans for a new wholesale dog breeding facility owned by breeders previously cited for USDA violations.

According to the Messenger Post, “The new building, planned for 4446 Route 247, north of the intersection of Lake to Lake Road will house hundreds of dogs. The Planning Board unanimously approved a special use permit and site plan following a public hearing last week for the facility requested by Curtis and Jolene Martin.”

The Martins presented engineering and design plans to the board, noting that the facility would have a capacity of anywhere from 200 to 600 dogs. Curtis Martin was interviewed by a reporter from local news affiliate WHAM, who raised concerns about the puppy mill label. He maintained that this is not about money – he says he’s in the mass breeding business for the animals.

“We don’t just produce as many puppies as we can, that’s not our goal. Yes, we do have to do that but it’s not the main reason we’re in it. We’re in it for the animals,” he said.

If they’re in it for the animals, many question why the USDA previously cited Jolene Martin with failing to provide veterinary care for dogs at her existing breeding facility in Varick, NY. The Martins had 349 dogs and 124 puppies at the time, and the USDA violation report noted that “it does not appear that the facility has enough employees to carry out an acceptable level of husbandry for these animals. This needs to be addressed for the welfare of the animals.”

The Planning Board says it sees no reason not to approve the new venture. “It is a business in an agricultural district, a sound facility,” Planning Board Chairman Tom Harvey said.

“We have no jurisdiction to look at some of the more emotional issues of this,” Gorham Town Supervisor Fred Lightfoote adds.

Local animal advocates were alarmed at the news, and are scrambling to amass detractors in an attempt to stop the planned construction from going forward. Gorham resident and rescue volunteer Jennifer Baxter says the last thing she wants to see in her hometown is a puppy mill.

“They are designed to maximize profits and commonly disregard the physical, social, and emotional health of the dogs,” said Baxter.

If you would like to voice your opinion about the plans for this new breeding facility, there are a number of ways to do so. The Gorham Town Planning Board provides contact information on  its website. Additionally, a petition started by those concerned with animal welfare can be found at Change.org. The full planning board meeting notes are also available from the town.




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69 comments

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    February 6, 2012 10:08 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    let’s get it shut down NOW xxx

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    February 6, 2012 11:12 amPosted 2 years ago
    Paige

    This is horrible. The laws on this suck. My best friends next door neighbor was allowed to open a puppy store and the kicker is that she goes away in the summer for long weekends and leaves her 3 dogs in the garage with no one taking care of them, feeding or watering them and checking on them and they still let her do this. They leave the door open so they can go outside but it’s only fenced in with chicken wire, she has woods with wild animals right in the backyard too. The dogs are a lab, english bulldog and a little tiny yorkie. Animal Control doesn’t even bother to come when called, emailed etc. They do nothing. I hate this woman so much she can’t even take care of her own dogs and they let her open a store that she is going to sell puppy mill puppies in. The laws need to change

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      February 7, 2012 12:30 amPosted 2 years ago
      Jill Perkins

      Paige…You must do something more for these dogs left in the garage!!! Don’t rely on animal control. Contact a local ASPCA or other rescue group nearby. If you see they have no food or water, GIVE THEM SOME!!! Their lives may depend on it. You can be active in this situation!! Don’t give up!!

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      February 7, 2012 2:24 pmPosted 2 years ago
      ANONYMOUS

      PAIGE ~ time to call PETA!! or at least a local, hopefully militant, rescue group – you should personally try to at least save the Yorkie before it gets eaten by a wild animal and drive to another city and give it to a rescue group. Can’t believe your stupid neighbor wouldn’t have someone come to take care of them! Jill Perkins is right, her advice is good and I hope you follow it!

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      • February 8, 2012 1:12 amPosted 2 years ago
        Zennethe

        You need to look up PETAs many evils. They’re on the US terrorist watchlist for a reason. There’s better organizations.

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      February 8, 2012 7:40 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      How about posting her address? I know some guys similar to the Rescue Ink guys.They will rescue the animals at any cost.

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      • February 15, 2012 12:13 pmPosted 2 years ago
        Lynn Truchon

        Any of these “Rescue Ink” guys in NY near this new puppy mill?

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    February 6, 2012 11:20 amPosted 2 years ago
    Ice Pony Girl

    Shame on The Ontario, NY County Planning Board !!!!

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    February 6, 2012 11:51 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    This is the most disturbing news to me. There are so many shelter dogs being put to sleep. The mothers and fathers of these puppies will NOT be taken care of properly. No vetting, no loving, no touching. They will never see the warm earth. Look at that huge facility. They will never feel the sun on their backs or soft green grass. Shame on Curtis and Jolene Martin! Shame on Thomas Harvey!! And shame on the Ontario, New York Planning Board. My only wish for these people is that when they die and meet our God, our God will put upon them the same treatment, that these people have given God’s creatures here on earth.

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    February 6, 2012 2:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ruth

    I have signed the petition and contacted the planning board to tell them to stop this abuse and neglect before it starts. They must be completely out of thier minds to allow this abuse and neglect. They can’t tell me they will watch what goes on there because they won’t. Those poor dogs will suffer terribly. If the board allows this to open, then they are no better than the abusive people that will run it. They all need to be fired.

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      February 6, 2012 7:28 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Stacey Diehl

      It’s hard to believe any American can actually say they don’t know these things NEVER end well.

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    February 6, 2012 3:34 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS!!!!!

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    February 6, 2012 3:37 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Ted Meeker · Works at Great Lakes Police Department
    This is nothing more than a Puppy Mill. No responsible breeder would act like this. Remember these poorly bred dogs will be marketed across the United States, thereby affecting people across the US. This is nothing more than a for profit enterprise, with no consideration for what they are breeding. Breeding according to the AKC is done to “Better the Breed.” This is not the case for this facility. According to the owners previous performance, I hope the USDA, and your Stae, and Local Animal Control people are prepared for many, many visits there, that will put your town into the spotlight in a negative light.

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    February 6, 2012 3:38 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    This is just plain and simply sick. There are so much cruelty already for animals that the nation is just overwhelmed by and this project adds more injury.

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    February 6, 2012 3:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    This hurts my heart when thousands and thousands and thousands… of puppies are killed each year for no reason. Shame on Curtis Martin and shame on Ontario, NY and the planning board. I hope someday that you’re put into a cage. This needs to be stopped!

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    February 6, 2012 4:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    DogLoverNM

    This is very unhappy and upsetting news. :( For every puppy bred to be sold 1 ends up in a shelter, and likely destroyed. Why do we need more in the world? This is wrong! Shame on the Martins, greedy people who forget that animals have feelings and needs too. Shame especially to NY planning board, how much did you get paid under the table to say yes?
    I pray karma bites you all in the ass hard. :*(

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    February 6, 2012 4:23 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ann Parkes

    What an absolute load of unmitigated garbage. Is Curtis Martin on meds?? – or maybe he should be on them. They are “in it for the animals” – who don’t yet exist!!! If they want to help animals – and dogs in particular – spend money on those languishing in shelters and destined to be murdered. Fucking idiot! How dare he insult people by coming out with these puerile remarks!!

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    February 6, 2012 4:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
    J. Hall

    This is very sad news. How puppy mills are legalized is beyond me. My only hope is that the general public doesn’t support it and that it is unable to sustain. Cruelty and neglect should not be encouraged.

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    February 6, 2012 5:17 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    I am absolutely disgusted with this, the people who support this are beyond dumb and neglectful

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    February 6, 2012 7:08 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Kat

    I absolutely hate puppy mills and any body that runs one or thinks it’s ok to run one i mean i don’t know anyone who says when i grow up i want to abuse and kill dogs. I work out at the puppy mill rescue in Colorado. If you truly love dogs and want to stop the horrible inhuman things that are happening stop buying dogs from pet stores and donate time or money to help save the animals.

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    February 6, 2012 7:10 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    DISTURBING IN DEED! State of NY: We DO NOT need any breeders! Enough already!!!

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    February 6, 2012 7:29 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Jason Dunn

    People make me sick! I’m ashamed to be part of the human race!

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    February 6, 2012 7:45 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Debbie C

    Shame on this town for allowing a cruel business in their area.. Please shut them down before they open. The public outcry is just another reason they should not be open.
    We just had a puppy store shut down in Brick NJ and they probably cant even afford the charges for cruelty they got hit with.
    If they were in for the animals they would know that only ignorant people buy puppies from these stores.
    Thousands of beautiful animals are put to sleep every day and Orange County is adding to these numbers.

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    February 6, 2012 7:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
    debbie

    The town says they have no jurisdiction when it comes to dealing with the emotional stuff that goes along with operating a puppy mill. I wonder if they will wish they had done more research when their pounds are overwhelmed with dogs that are left behind when they are closed down in the future for sitings that they have a history of.

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    February 6, 2012 8:06 pmPosted 2 years ago
    J. Gregg-Kelm

    I do NOT understand how these hellholes are legal in any state or anywhere! The people who operate these facilities have to be sociopaths. Unbelievable!

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    February 6, 2012 8:13 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Beata

    This is tragic news. That many more dogs will be killed in shelters.

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    February 6, 2012 8:49 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Rebecca Sivils

    BULLCRAP! I would never support something like this! CRUELTY IS THE ONLY THING THAT COMES OUT OF PUPPY MILLS! Sick and inbred animals!

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    February 6, 2012 8:53 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Throw the owners in a pit, and light em on fire!!

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    February 6, 2012 8:58 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Gerardo

    absolutely disgusting !! shut them down now !!

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    February 6, 2012 9:20 pmPosted 2 years ago
    BJ

    The people who support puppy mills should be forced to live under the same conditions with the same conditions……….

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    February 6, 2012 9:43 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Proud Rescue Owner

    When will someone have the guts to say “No” — how many more animals have to be subjected to such a cruel life – these dogs go on no walks , very little human contact – no medical attention , should I go on .. and their little spirits are broken — I own of these dogs- thank God she is with us now — Stop the madness already …

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    February 6, 2012 9:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Aelwulf

    They want to help the animals? Provide a central location to find & get dogs adopted from kill shelters in the area.

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    February 6, 2012 10:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
    mdb123

    @Artis_Elemental: A Puppy Mill by any other name is still A House of Horrors for the innocent dogs who end up there . SPEAK UP SAY NO! NOW!

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    February 6, 2012 10:18 pmPosted 2 years ago
    mdb123

    A Puppy Mill by any other name is still A House of Horrors for the innocent dogs who end up there . SPEAK UP SAY NO! NOW!

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    February 6, 2012 10:25 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Centsible1

    If Curtis and Jolene were “in it for the animals” “not for the money” why not open up a no kill shelter and offer adoption of stray dogs and cats. Puppymill owners operate a Prisoner of Greed business. Can’t put it any plainer than that. How does he get his “stock”. At auctions….that’s where and those poor defenseless dogs are held up like commodities not like living, breathing animals.

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    February 6, 2012 10:29 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    I just pray this doesnt happen,I wish there were inforced”laws to protect our animals.

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    February 6, 2012 11:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Some One That Cares

    Take the place down to the ground

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    February 6, 2012 11:23 pmPosted 2 years ago
    tb

    stop this! mills are a tragedy for animals!!

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    February 6, 2012 11:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Nancy w

    This is a hoorific venture & cannot believe that it has been approved by Ontario county. Please reconsider. Our area has so much to offer & this is like a blight on so many positive things. This is not am “emotional” issue. The facts of what goes on in puppy mills is just tragic.

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    February 7, 2012 12:19 amPosted 2 years ago
    Squig

    Stop this horrendous act of punishment for our animals. What kind of Ontario County, NY County Planning Board would even to go ahead with this approval after seeing the previous information that states in plain language…& quotes “If they’re in it for the animals, many question why the USDA PREVIOUSLY cited Jolene Martin with failing to provide veterinary care for dogs at her existing breeding facility in Varick, NY. The Martins had 349 dogs and 124 puppies at the time, and the USDA violation report noted that “it does not appear that the facility has enough employees to carry out an acceptable level of husbandry for these animals. This needs to be addressed for the welfare of the animals”…..then why start one more act of punishment when they have been cited already???….what kind of incompetence would allow yet ANOTHER (with the same owners ADMITTING) Sick/Killer Puppy Mill…even admitting that it will take place but not the main reason we’re in it…WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP….these members of the County of Ontario shouldn’t be able to sleep at night if they had a conscious. Obviously they don’t and of course want their pockets lined too……what a disgrace !!!!…and they claim “The Land of the Free”????

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    February 7, 2012 8:04 amPosted 2 years ago
    Marilyn

    And we wonder why the generation of today has no respect for life and the kind treatment of man and animal….. This goes beyond pathetic, the country has closed down so many of these places for inhumane treatment of these poor innocent animals, and yet, this incredibly ignorant county has approved cruelty to God’s creatures ??? This would be a county I would not ever chose to live in or do business in….. Shame on them all…. I pray that someone has enough Kindness and power to put a stop to this before it houses death and terror… Just look into the eyes of a sweet dog, and then tell me you are heartless enough to go along with this…… You are not human if you think this is God’ plan…..

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    February 7, 2012 9:20 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    OMG, what total insanity. I can’t believe any so called government would condone another puppy mill (house of abuse). Apparently these people just don’t care about animals at all. Everyone of these dogs are going to be mustreated, ignored and live a life of disgusting horror. Hopefully no one will ever buy a puppy from these monsters. This sickens me. Obviously
    their only God is money.

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    February 7, 2012 9:25 amPosted 2 years ago
    Alisa

    I agree. I hate dogs.

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      February 7, 2012 12:57 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      Well maybe you shud be locked up for the rest of your life or till you are too old to reproduce ( and then knocked on the head and tossed ). But who knows you might enjoy as you are without feelings.

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      February 9, 2012 10:51 amPosted 2 years ago
      Ruth

      Alisa, I’m sure all dogs hate you too! Get a life!

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    February 7, 2012 9:48 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    What happened to the compassion/love for our family members? When is breeding for money going to end? BOYCOTT these bastards – this must stop immediately. Our dogs deserve to live their life out as a normal pet should, not confined to breeding cages with our dogs. STOP THIS NONSENSE.

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    February 7, 2012 10:21 amPosted 2 years ago
    Kelsey

    This needs to stop!!!

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    February 7, 2012 11:39 amPosted 2 years ago
    RT

    These people are farming dogs, at least with meat production animals there is some standard of care before they end up on the table. Dogs are to be members of a family and need to be raised with social contact by a mother dog who is happy and well socialised. I am a hobby breeder and my dogs and puppies are raised in my home with love, warmth, care and plenty of socialisation. I also help out in breed rescue and the vast majority of dogs we take in are the product of careless breeders, mills and sold quickly and cheaply on used(city). com or kijiji sites. Many of these mill operators have cut out the middle man (ie pet store) and set up fanciful websites peddling their puppies. Dogs cannot and should not be raised like battery chickens. To say “in it for the animals” I guess he is!! They get more money for a puppy than a pig to market or a calf.

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    February 7, 2012 11:59 amPosted 2 years ago
    Jane Johnson

    Puppymills-A National Disgrace.
    Dogs housed at puppy mills are PRISONERS OF GREED.
    Female dogs are usually bred the first time they come into heat and are bred every heat cycle. They are bred until their poor worn out bodies can’t reproduce any longer and then they are killed. Often they are killed by being bashed in the head with a rock or shot. Sometimes they are sold to laboratories or dumped. This is often by the time they reach five years old.

    Puppy mills maximize their profits by not spending adequate money on proper food, housing or veterinary care.

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    February 7, 2012 12:44 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Fucking disgusting. Do not buy your pet from a breeder – period. Even if that breeder has top notch “hospital” kennel standards. When there is such a gross epidemic of animals being thrown out like trash – there is NO such thing as a reputable breeder. IF breeders really cared about animals they would stop breeding all together and know that by them selling one of their animals that they are killing ten others who are dying in shelters. We are such a nation of stupid ignorant selfish assholes driven by green.

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      February 18, 2012 8:11 pmPosted 2 years ago
      Anonymous

      Do you understand the significance of what you are saying? If you want to ban good, reputable and ethical breeders from breeding dogs, do you not understand that what you will end up with is mixed breeds with no health testing behind them, genetic problems, temperament problems, etc. and even MORE dogs will end up in shelters?? At least good breeders have contracts whereby buyers must give the dog back if they are unable to care for them anymore. Granted, they do not always abide by this, but at least that dog has a microchip or tattoo that is registered with a governing body which at least gives it a chance to go back to the breeder. It is backyard breeders and puppymills and irresponsible buyers who are to blame for the dogs in shelters – not reputable breeders. Do some research before you start running your mouth. I have yet to ‘break even’ on a litter I’ve produced.

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    February 7, 2012 12:52 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ingrid

    How can anyone let this happen? This is animal cruelty and can not be allowed to happen. Where in gods name are the brains of these people who sanctioned it. Have they never heard or seen what happens in Puppy Mills. Stop this please!!!

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    February 7, 2012 1:02 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Shame, shame, shame on the county board for approving this PUPPY MILL! You must be devoid of all feeling. I hope you never sleep another night knowing you sanctioned the cruelty these dogs will undergo.

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    February 7, 2012 5:19 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sue Woodard

    What is wrong with you people? The town must me making a profit from this puppy mill?? Has to be bottom line the mighty dollar it always come down to that. Shame on you NY for allowing this for the animal sake and repected breeders that do right by their breed.

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    February 7, 2012 7:40 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    As someone who rescues and rehabs puppy mill dogs, this is shameful!

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    February 8, 2012 7:28 amPosted 2 years ago
    Here's one for the DOGS !!!

    @ Gorham, NY for even entertaining the thought of allowing a breeding facility….. R U kidding??? especially after the plan applicants have been cited for neglectful and abusive conditions existing previously ????? This should be prohibited !!! YOU WILL HAVE A FIGHT TO THE END !!!!

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    February 8, 2012 8:14 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    And again, the all mighty dollar rules. How much did these people put in the planning board’s pocket to open up a k -9 communist camp ? If they didn’t do it right the first time then they’re probably not ever going to get it right. We can’t stop the abuse and neglect thats already happening to these poor animals now and we don’t need one more puppy mill to make things worse. I think puppy mills should be closed down until there are regulations on who is qualified to run a breeding facility for quality and not quantity. The whole idea of another puppy mill sickens me. Time to stop animal torture, NOW!!!

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    February 8, 2012 1:51 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Vickie

    I really don’t like most people.

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    February 8, 2012 4:20 pmPosted 2 years ago
    John Thomas, Jr.

    This is truly a horrible mistake. There is more than enough proof that puppy mills are not good for the potential buyers and certainly not for the dogs. Every thing possible should be done to stop this atrocity.

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    February 8, 2012 6:19 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    This needs to be stopped!!!

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    February 8, 2012 11:39 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    Sorry people. This is obviously an emotional issue with you, but we kill animals every day, for food, leather, research, cows that don’t give milk any more, chickens that stop laying. The freedom this country allows its citizens (animals not included) permits breeding for whatever purpose the owner wants. Do you really want some elected official deciding how many kids you can have? Or how many cars you can own? What if he is a tree hugger and insists all new construction be done in steel or recycled lumber. Sorry folks.

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    February 9, 2012 12:48 pmPosted 2 years ago
    GARRETT DELGATTO

    There is no way that if they do make it up and running that they will last more than year… The problem is what is going to happen with all the dogs that they already have?? these people will just find another city to move there dumb operation in to if it doesn’t work out here… Haven’t they already been convicted of crimes??? NYS needs to put a law up to how many people should have to work with a certain number of dogs like 1 person to every 10 dogs at most..Not 2 people to 600 dogs thats nuts!!

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    February 9, 2012 1:00 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    And according to the Ontario county planning board web site they didn’t approve this..NYS has a law that only allows the county to give the town a recommendation as to what it should do with it’s land…No county in NY can say yes or No unless it’s actually against the law!! So let’s go town of Gorham stop this mad mess

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    February 10, 2012 12:36 amPosted 2 years ago
    Karen Schaffner

    Come on, stop the insanity, no more abuse of any animal. This is the 21st century, we are suppose to be evolving, slave trading days are over. Is our society so sick, so insensitive, so hardened we can no longer judge the difference between right or wrong action? Please adopt the homeless, we do not need more helpless puppies that become throw away animals.

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    February 10, 2012 3:47 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Sharon L. Gilpin-Marquis

    THIS MUST BE STOPPED!!!! IN THIS DAY IN AGE POLITITIONS SHOULD KNOW BETTER!!!!

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  • February 16, 2012 8:04 pmPosted 2 years ago
    Ruth

    This greatly concerns me! Dogs are now being considered ”livestock”! I realize no one mentioned the word livestock. But dogs were bred for companionship and history has shown they were bred to help humans hunt and guard us against unwelcomed guests not as livestock kept in cages. These dogs 200-600 of them in this ”facility” will be caged, I have no doubt! For I’m sure the so called owners will ”not” be allowing 600 dogs running around. How is it financially possible that these people will make sure every dog receives proper care, attention and love that a dog needs. Dogs are pack animals and whether their “pack” is with humans or other dogs, dogs receive the ”balance” needed whether by human or other dogs in a pack to help keep them mentally stable. Caged dogs do not receive the balance they need. If these people were sited before, that shows their character! What peole say they will do, does not mean it is ”what” they will do. Their ”actions” show what they will do! Do we not have an overage of dogs and cats already?? I got a purebred dachshund from the pound 6 yrs ago and we still have him. Our local shelter takes in on a average ”every day” 40 dogs. That’s 40 dogs that were abandoned, unwanted, run aways, Most get uthenized! It’s a sad thing to think about and breaks my heart. I’ve adopted most all my dogs from the pound. I’ve known people that bred purebred dogs and I’ve known them to be responsible breeders. These dogs live in their homes, lay on their couches, get the love and attention they need. I can not see how it’s possible for anyone having 200-600 dogs providing a proper loving environment! I can not believe anyone in their right mind would approve a 200-600 dog ”whole sale” business O.o

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    February 16, 2012 9:03 pmPosted 2 years ago
    n. beck

    There are plenty of dogs without homes already. This is just a sign of humanities inability to evolve and see anything but greed. Stop this kind of thing and stop being greedy coorperate buisness focused on money and gain. Focus on life for once.

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    March 22, 2012 8:58 amPosted 2 years ago
    AB

    This is SICK!!!!!!!! 600 dogs????? OMG!

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    March 22, 2012 9:04 amPosted 2 years ago
    Anonymous

    We have 10 dogs that we show and breed. Two people cannot take care for more than 10-15 dogs!!!! let alone 600!!!!! SHame on you Ontario County, NY!

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