I would say you heard it here first, but I know you didn't.  The Flat Creek Border Collie breeder was raided tonight at around 10pm, and all of his remaining dogs were seized.
Breaking News Report(includes video that autoplays)

I didn't think I'd be blogging at this time of the night, with my head hurting and my body aching for sleep.  I wish I wasn't.  Shortly before I fed my bunnies their evening meal, I received word that the worst was happening, FC BC was being raided.  By the time I came back, the news reports were already up, and people were already discussing it.  For the most part, what I read in the comments was ARA's patting themselves on the back, congratulating each other.

Now, I'm going to reserve judgement on if the dogs should or should not have been taken.  I honestly don't know, I never laid hands on those dogs, the full vet reports have not been released.  Don't know what information can be trusted anymore.  Take that as you will, I am neither for, nor against, those dogs being taken.  I do not agree with abuse nor neglect, so if the were being abused or neglected, then they should have been taken.  However I don't know if that was the case.

What I do know is that a group of people were trying to help him get things in shape.  That the breeder was trying to get things better.  That the breeder, for whatever reasons, wanted his dogs back.

People are calling this a puppy mill.  I still do not think this is true.  I think this man is quite possibly a hoarder, who didn't realize what harm he did to his animals.  And because of that, I worry for his mental state at this point.  I am honestly terrified that I will wake up to reports that this man has committed suicide. 

This does raise a few questions, though, at least in my mind. 

If the dogs were so bad off, why did the rescue and shelter not immediately have the worst dogs evaluated and present the case to a judge, to receive a warrant to have the dogs seized?  Why leave them there for another 2 weeks, if the dogs that were taken were in such bad care.
Why are the people who harassed this man not being charged?  Why were they allowed to call names, slander him, threaten him, wish harm upon him, harass and stalk him?  Why were THEY never arrested?
Why was this man denied his human rights, and why do people try to justify the fact that he was denied his human rights?

This whole situation stinks to me, but the RARAs are out in droves, rejoicing, patting themselves on the back.  Fighting is happening between breeders, regarding the situation, and once again, the RARAs are unified and the breeders are divided, so easy to conquer.

As much as I've hated blogging about this story, and watching it unfold, I fear that there will be a lot more blog posts about it.



Just One Dog
01/24/2014 6:21am

Reading the news story on the latest dog-grab... i was so saddened to read that one of the dogs taken is a 16 year old that had been on his property since birth.
If the gentleman was breeding "just" for the tons of money that dogs bring... he would not have held onto an animal that long. She most likely had not have pups in 8 years.. and would have simply taken space and food that would have gone to younger productive dogs in a Real puppy mill situation.
He seemed to have Kept his older animals... which suggests to me that he Did care what might happen to them... rather than selling or euthanizing them.

I can only imagine ( anthropomorphizing here)... the confusion and panic that an old dog would feel being snatched away from the only home she ever knew. BCs do not readily adapt to strange situations. And... by not being a cutsie fluffy puppy... but an old dog well set in her ways... What chance does she have that some good hearted person will take her ? It makes me so sad for that dog in particular !

Herds not Hoards
01/25/2014 11:06am

Better question is what are the chances that poor old girl is going to last long enough to even be considered for adoption or fostering. Old dogs do not do well with change, regardless of their breed. I wouldn't be surprised if her poor old heart gave out on her from the stress.

01/24/2014 6:41am

Thank you for the compassionate post. From the beginning, I have been concerned about the dogs, they can't speak for themselves, so they need us to speak for them. Why did this happen? I can only speak from what I have seen, and I have been to Sprakers several times, and I have met Mr. Weich, held a few puppies and pet the 4 adult dogs that were left, after the first rescue.

Our system is set up to send the rescues in for the dogs, but why didn't they send in a professional to interview the owner, evaluate his mental health, and to just try and put the puzzle together? There are 3 types of animal abuse, unintentional is one is when people take in more animals than they can handle or afford. This leads to animals living in a cramped or dirty environment with not enough food or room to move around in. These people are called animal hoarders, and even though their intentions are good, the outcomes are not. Quoting from http://www.examiner.com/article/unintentional-cruelty

There are 3 different battles going on, people that believe he should have no animals ever again, people that believe he should be able to continue being a breeder, and a third group that believe he should not continue to operate a business, but should be allowed to have his elderly dogs returned, they have lived 12 and 16 years with Mr. Weich. I share the opinions of the third group.

Everyone has a right to their opinions, but we should all agree that the system needs to change. The system needs to look at the "entire" situation, which includes the dogs and their owners.

"Nearly all of these people can learn to understand that they are being cruel through education and increasing their awareness of the needs of their animal. Since most of the people who abuse animals make up this group, this means that most of the people who abuse animals can be helped with basic education. ". Another fine article from http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/info-animal-cruelty

This is my opinion, which is based on my first hand experience. I went to court both days, met and spoke with Mr. Weich, held puppies, pet dogs and I helped build dog houses for the dogs that weren't rescued.

01/25/2014 7:06am

Thank you both for your honest assessments and thoughts. I wish more people would take the time and set aside judgements and look at the entire situation. If he does not receive help, this will happen again. Maybe not at the same location, maybe not with these Border Collies, but it will happen again if there is not education and compassion. This is not just about THESE dogs, it is about ALL dogs, and other animals, as I see it. This case has caught worldwide attention, and if it is handled correctly, it could set a wonderful precedent for other cases to follow, to end the cycle of animal neglect and abuse and unnecessary animal deaths in shelters.

Herds not Hoards
01/25/2014 11:21am

Initially I was all for this man continuing to breed - I believed(and still believe) that a plastic barrel stuffed with straw is a great, warm dog house. However, as more facts came out, more information was available... I found myself thinking "This man does not have the means or education to be successfully breeding dogs. He obviously loves them and has a hard time getting rid of them - I think he is more a hoarder than a breeder. He needs spayed/neutered pet dogs, extremely reduced numbers and mental and emotional support from a mental health care professional."

As a breeder myself, I will admit that the automatic knee-jerk reaction has been, and always will be, to immediately side with the breeder. I know that it's not right, but it is what it is, and I don't think it's exactly a bad thing, as long as myself, and my fellow breeders, are willing to be objective and judge things as the facts become available.

The thing that really bothered me about this is the merle-to-merle breedings. Those should be avoided. This man might make an awesome breeder, if he was given the education he needed, and had an experienced mentor... But I doubt any breeder is going to step up to mentor him at this point, and there is still the trend of hoarding tendencies that make it a bad idea, even with a mentor.

(By education, I mean education specific to breeding, nothing else)

02/01/2014 1:11pm

Honestly, can anyone ever win? Apparently if a breeder rehomes their dogs which are past useful breeding age they are a "puppy mill" and if they keep them they are a "hoarder." "Hoarding" is a symptom of mental illness and is best diagnosed by a mental health professional after a professional visit with the person in question and not by laymen based on newspaper reports.


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