Gorham, NY Welcomes New Puppy Mill

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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.

81 thoughts on “Gorham, NY Welcomes New Puppy Mill”

  1. 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

    • 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!!

    • 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!

      • If you call PETA, those dogs are as good as dead. PETA kills most animals which come into their care. There are NO circumstances under which I would call PETA for ANYTHING, and I stopped donating to them years ago…. they are no longer a reputable group when it comes to the actual welfare of animals. Their main agenda these days seems to be doing away with domestic and companion animals.

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

      • “these things NEVER end well” — does that mean we all just throw our hands in the air, turn aside, or help it happen?….. HELL NO!

  4. 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.

  5. 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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