Activists + > Actors

Sep. 18, 2005

Linda Blair protests puppy mills in Pa.

INTERCOURSE, Pa. - Actress and animal rights activist Linda Blair joined a crowd of about 100 people to protest dog-breeding facilities, often referred to as puppy mills, many of which exist in Lancaster County.

Activists said that hundreds of the mass dog-breeding operations are run by Amish and Mennonite farmers in Lancaster County, and opponents contend that the animals are raised in cruel and squalid conditions. On Saturday, Blair and other activists attended Puppy Mill Awareness day at Intercourse Community Park.

"The Amish do many other things that are good," Blair said. "Let them do that. Let the animals go."

She was joined by Rikki Rockett, of the band Poison, and Amanda Sorvino, daughter of actor Paul Sorvino. Blair said she planned to head soon to the Gulf Coast, where many former pets are sick and stranded because of Hurricane Katrina.

"We're taking this to a federal level," said Chris DeRose, founder of advocacy group Last Chance for Animals, which co-sponsored the event. He called Pennsylvania "the puppy mill state of the union."

Activists said that the goal of the demonstration was to raise awareness that Pennsylvania Dutch country, a popular tourist destination, is also home to businesses that profit at the expense of suffering animals.

"We want to create a stir," said Ginny Whiskeyman, of Lititz, Lancaster County.

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