Sibley - Porter - White Lake, MI

Sibley – Porter
Berner Garde # 87780 DOB 03-19-12 Age: 1

Porter is a beautiful re-home puppy from Bruce and Linda Whiteside (

It was one week after returning from the 2012 Nationals when the phone rang, “are you available to pick up a puppy for us?” It was Bruce from Michigan Bernese Rescue asking for help since he was on his way out of town. “There is a young couple with a 9 week old puppy that they can’t keep, she called in a panic and has to find something to do with him today. You would only have to foster him for a week until we get back in town.” I said yes, after all, it was only for one week.

When I had arrived at the meeting place, there was the young couple playing on the grass with their puppy. I could hear the young woman crying. When I approached them, she turned around and I could see the puppy. I was expecting to see anything but a stunning Berner pup. I know I had a shocked look on my face and then I let out a gasp and said, “he’s gorgeous” The young lady, with a proud but sad smile said “yes I know”. After speaking with her I discovered that she and her husband had driven almost 600 miles to purchase this puppy. Immediately after returning home, her husband had lost his job and they were forced to move back home with her mother. The puppy cried every night. The mother, stating her case that since she was the only bread winner in the house and she hadn’t been able to sleep at night, the puppy would have to go. Sending the pup back to the breeder wasn’t an option. The breeder’s comment was “No returns unless the pup is really sick or dies, then you can come and get a new puppy”.

The young couple thought they purchased from a responsible breeder. The fact is, the person they met was a broker, the front man for the Amish breeder / puppy miller. Since the Amish don’t use a phone or computer, the Broker feeds off of them. The broker tells the puppy mill how much she will pay for the puppy, marks it up $300.00 or so and make her money off of the puppy miller. We thank God that this young couple was responsible enough to call rescue instead of putting the pup up to the highest bidder on Craigslist or E-bay. Needless to say this puppy stole our heart, and that one week of fostering has turned into 11 months, Porter is in his forever home.

Unlike many of the cases we see in rescue, Porter is not a case of an abused dog, or a good dog gone bad, or dog with severe behavior problems. This is a case of an Amish breeder who is ignorant to responsible breeding practices, who views puppy production as nothing more than a livestock commodity as a source of income. Just as concerning, is the case of the broker who takes advantage of that ignorance and finds the markets for the Amish breeder for the love of money, with no regards for the living creature. The brokers sell more puppies, the breeder breeds more puppies. The cycle continues…

Kathy and Bob Sibley
White Lake, Michigan