Amish Men Accused of Animal Cruelty Defend Their Actions
Clyde, N.Y. - Two Amish men from Wayne County are accused of killing a litter of healthy puppies and their mother. “This is simply a case of animal cruelty,” says Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy who intends to charge the pair.
The nine dead dogs were discovered in a compost pile and reported to police January 17th.
Merlin Schumacher who owns the dogs says he was trying to breed Australian Red Heelers, but when he couldn’t sell the dogs and they became “too big” he asked an employee to shoot them.
Jonathan Eicher agreed to put the dogs down.
“In the Amish it’s acceptable to put dogs down
. I thought as long as you did it out back it was okay,” Eicher told police. Eicher referred to what he called “the three S’s: shoot, shovel, and shut up.”
That is where Amish custom and New York law clash. New York A.G. and Market Laws prevent the killing of otherwise healthy animals for no reason.
“They need to understand that it is illegal,” says DA Healy. “They can’t treat the animals the way they want to treat the animals they must treat the animals humanely.”
Schumacher, who owns the dogs, told police he had “raised the dogs and couldn’t put them down myself so I asked Jonathan to do it.”
Both men now face nine counts of unjustifiably killing an animal which is a misdemeanor.
Schumacher was charged Wednesday, Eicher expected to be charged Wednesday evening.
Reported by: Jane Flasch
Published: 1/31 5:55 pm