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93 dogs die in Amish breeder’s gas chamber

An Amish commercial kennel owner in New York rigged a hose up to a farm engine to euthanize 93 dogs that he had been ordered to have tested and treated for brucellosis, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Depopulating” is how David Yoder, owner of Black Diamond Acres kennel in Romulus, described the process to a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector.

Yoder, according to a report on Philly Dawg, said he created an airtight chamber out of a wood whelping box (where nursing puppies are typically housed with their mothers) by fitting the opening with a metal door with a small hole for an exhaust pipe which was attached to a 3 horsepower farm engine.

He gassed “approximately” 78 adult dogs and 15 puppies in groups of five or six, then buried them, Yoder told a USDA inspector in July.

Yoder said he left the barn during the gassing because he had a headache from the carbon monoxide fumes.

“The manner of mass euthanasia caused potentially high levels of behavioral stress and unnecessary discomfort to all the dogs in the kennel,” said the USDA report, written by  inspector Andrea D’Ambrosio after a July 15 visit to the kennel.

It is against federal law for a licensed kennel owner to perform their own euthanasia.

Mary Anne Kowalski, a board member of the Seneca County SPCA, told Philly Dawg she was not aware of anyone from the USDA reporting the case to local authorities. The dogs were killed sometime after a June 29 inspection where Yoder had been ordered to get his dogs tested and treated for Brucellosis and before the inspector returned on July 15.

Kowalski discovered the report of the gassing on the USDA website, and reported the incident to the sheriff and district attorney in the hope that cruelty charges will be brought against Yoder.

“I hope these dogs did not die in vain,” she said.

Romulus, located 60 miles southeast of Rochester, passed an ordinance last year outlawing commercial kennels, or puppy mills, but Yoder was allowed to continue operating because his kennel was grandfathered under the new ordinance.

Yoder breeds poodles, Bichons, Maltese and Boston Terriers.


Comment from lisab
Time September 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Wow. I hope they still tested those dogs — post mortem — for brucelosis, which is communicable to humans. Any puppy buyers should be notified as their children could be in danger of beicoming sterile. This is very scary stuff.

Comment from Dogcatcher
Time September 15, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I’m horrified by this tactic of a “farmer” to cull his work load. But if he is Amish, he would not have a “farm engine”. However, a Mennonite farmer might have such an engine.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time September 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm

If he’s a farmer, he’s got worse headaches to come if this has infected his cattle or sheep. Maybe it’s a kind of poetic justice. If he’d observed more humane conditions in his kennel, or if he hadn’t been running what sounds like a puppy mill, the infection might never have taken hold. I believe it is sexually transmitted in dogs–among other ways. Dogs living in healthy, humane conditions would be much less likely to have this running through their population. I hope they throw the book at him so that he has lots of time to think about the consequences of his terrible cruelty. I tend to admire the Amish for their self-sufficient, dignified way of life. But they are notorious operators of puppy mills, and we shouldn’t ignore this.

Comment from Missy
Time September 16, 2010 at 9:52 am

Many Amish utilize gas engines on their farms. They use gas engines for their water pumps among other things.

Comment from Miss Jan ‘n Gus n’Wally
Time September 16, 2010 at 11:27 am

Dogcatcher: my information from involvement in equine rescue from the Amish is that the level of “modern” tools (including anything motorized or even phones/computers) depends on who is running the particular Amish community.

Anne ‘n Spencer, not so dignified when you start to dig deeper into how they treat horses and dogs who no longer serve their purpose but even worse how they treat disobedient (in their definition) women and children.

I do NOT understand why Yoder is not permanently prohibited from any activities involving animals and why he is not behind bars facing huge fines, mandatory sentences followed by years of probation and mandatory community service. After learning what I recently learned about American courts deferring to certain religious laws instead of upholding the US body of laws in certain cases, I’m guessing Yoder will get off relatively scot free due to his religious persuasion. Just my opinion. It is a very, very scary legal climate out there these days, with justice for none but the favored.

Comment from Grace
Time September 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm

If I suspect someone running a “puppy mill”, what are my options as to turning them in? In other words, whom should I contact? Since I came across this, I’ve thought about it constantly. I’m an animal lover and will help to prevent these innocent animals from suffering!!!

Comment from Joseph Slabaugh
Time September 23, 2010 at 12:10 am

Dogcatcher, you are wrong, I was Amish, and yes, they do use 3 or 5 HP Hondas and B&S engines to pump water Etc.

Comment from Steven Reed
Time October 6, 2010 at 10:21 am

I gathered over 3,000 signatures to put the anti-puppy mill issue on the Missouri ballot. We must make them feed and water the dogs and treat they humane or shut down.

I am also running for State Representative in Springfield Missouri. To learn more about my campaign and/or to help please do to: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/6452430-reed4rep

And yes I love dogs who are mans best friend! THANKS!

Comment from Joanne
Time March 1, 2011 at 12:36 am

Amish don’t follow the Bible, God states we are not to abandon our animals, and to take care of them, killing them is cruel and not Godly at all! Amazing!!

Comment from Peter
Time May 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Those poor little doggies. I feel real sad

Comment from Arch Stanton
Time May 18, 2011 at 9:48 am

The Amish are cruel. Period.

Comment from Arch Stanton
Time May 18, 2011 at 9:51 am

David Yoder belongs in the stupid, cruel human, animal abuser Hall of Fame along with Nicole Symonds and Elmer Zimmerman.

Comment from Moe Yoder
Time January 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm

It’s too bad people don’t feel this strongly about killing babies!!!!! I do agree it’s wrong to do that to animals but it’s much more wrong to kill babies

Comment from Kim Reasoner
Time February 24, 2016 at 8:48 pm


Comment from Daniel Bade
Time February 25, 2016 at 12:15 pm

why on earth would you “grandfather” this garbage and allow him in? when you ban something YOU BAN IT. .wtf

Comment from christine warman
Time February 26, 2016 at 10:05 am

What sort of country allows these nasty cruel people to get away with their
puppy farms,killing puppies just to get rid of them.We have heard about these strange people here in the UK,it would have been stopped long ago here,there are hiding behind some strange religion,time these people were stopped one way or another.

Comment from Luci Grady
Time February 26, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Mr. Yoder belongs behind bars. The Amish are cruel and inhumane when it comes to animals. He can live with himself because this has been going on for years with them. He has no heart.

Comment from Z levecque
Time February 26, 2016 at 6:54 pm

I absolutely despise, hate and abhore the Amish…may they rot in hell!

Comment from Roxie Stone
Time February 26, 2016 at 9:02 pm

please punish this man for his neglect and abusers of animals as well as his disregard for the law.

Comment from Anonymous
Time February 27, 2016 at 4:30 pm

He needs to be gassed!!!!! POS!!!!!!!!!!

Comment from Jane
Time February 27, 2016 at 4:31 pm

POS!!! He needs to be gassed!!!!!!!!!!

Comment from David Hall
Time February 28, 2016 at 7:42 am

I’m forwarding this to my friends at the ASPCA. this will be stopped.

Comment from Meeshell
Time February 29, 2016 at 4:38 am

This is just awful. I am also calling the ASPCA. this has to be stopped! Please also call. We are their voice!

Comment from Emre
Time March 1, 2016 at 3:20 pm

They Are Really Bad!

Comment from Lisa Fitzgerald
Time March 1, 2016 at 8:33 pm

He should be arrested and put out of business. No animal lover would do this. To him these poor animals are a product to be disposed of as he sees fit. This is wrong on every level.

Comment from Ann
Time March 5, 2016 at 12:32 pm

I would have never thought an Amish person could be this cruel.