Velogal's Blog

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Well, here is an update on the abused dogs in Cottonwood, CA. I received a note from the woman who started the Online Petition. Here it is:

Animal Control announced Monday that the caretaker of the 17-dogs found dead in a Cottonwood kennel, Norma Kehrer, has been cleared of any wrongdoing in their deaths. Kehrer is back at the kennel caring for the remaining dogs. But protesters think Animal Control should have seized the dogs as soon as they found out two of the dead ones were beaten to death. Protesters were quiet as they let their signs do the talking Monday afternoon. Nearly a dozen marched around the courthouse and the Sheriff's Department. The protestors don't think animal control is doing enough. Animal Control says they do checks as often as they can, but they only have one officer to cover the entire county. They visited the Cottonwood kennel on Monday where the dogs were found. Although Kehrer has been cleared and there are no suspects in the case, Animal Control does say they are trying to locate and interview several people of interest. The owner of the dog kennel, Peter Raap, had his license revoked last week. He has until May 20th to reduce the number of dogs he owns to five. When Animal Control visited the kennel, there were about 40 dogs left and they say they all were healthy.

And, I called Peter William Raap yesterday. Yes, I did. To my surprise, he answered his phone. He absolutely denies that any abuse occurred, and says that Norma Kerher is a fine woman who loves animals, and he trusts her totally with “his dogs”. Says that she has never been actually charged with animal abuse in the past, and that the one case where the dog was found chained in her yard, emaciated with infected eyes, was actually a dog she had rescued. Said a veterinarian wanted to put the dog down, but that she had taken it home to care for it. I said what about the other charges over the last ten or so years, and he said she had never actually been charged with anything.

Raap says that there were, indeed, two dogs beaten to death at his kennel, but nobody knows who did it, and he knows that Norma didn’t. He says he has a degree in dissection, and he did the autopsy of the two dogs, and they were severely beaten. Says he has no idea how it happened. He says that he observed Norma for eight months caring for horses and she is a wonderful woman who loves animals and was so good with the horses.

He says he and Norma are the victims of press hysteria and exaggeration. Says that the Redding Record Searchlight is out to get him, and so are the women who write the blog. He says that nobody had ever been out to inspect his kennel. (I kept calling it puppy-mill and he called it a kennel).

I asked him about the report from the two women who had reported animal abuse at the kennel a year ago to the Sheriff’s Dept. He said that the two women had never seen a kennel before and didn’t know what a kennel was like. He said that the size of his individual pens where larger that the law required. I asked him what about the feces all over the dogs, mothers and pups, and he said it was untrue. He made the women sound like they just dumb.

I asked him about the reports by an ex-worker, and he said she was lying. I asked him if he or anyone there had killed dogs by shooting them and he denied it. I asked him how he was going to comply with the license revoking that required him to only have five dogs. I asked him if he was going to kill any of the dogs. He said that almost half of them are already gone, and that he was tearing down the kennels as we spoke, and that he had leased the land to somebody else already. I asked him what he had done with the dogs and he refused to tell me. I again asked him if he had killed any of them and he said no. I asked him if he had leased the property to be another puppy mill and he said no.

I said that I had heard that a Rescue organization had offered to take the dogs and find good homes for them. He said that the women who wrote the blogs caused him to lose his kennel license and he would never, never give one of his dogs to them. I again asked him where the dogs were, and he refused to tell me. He again went back to his theme that he and Norma are being unfairly accused and that they have done nothing wrong and the kennel dogs were well-cared for.

So, Peter William Raap talked to me for quite a while - never even asked who I was or why I was calling. I let him know that I did not believe him and that I don’t buy the story that everything in the press is lies, and I thought he was lying. He basically didn’t seem bothered one bit, and went back to what sounded like a well-rehearsed script. Either Peter William Raap is stupidly gullible or he is a pathological liar.

This entire story is sickening, and it looks like they will get away with it. Even more sickening, is that the scenario is repeated all over the US, with atrocious and appalling treatment of dogs in, who knows how many, puppy-mills. Hundreds or thousands? Animal protective services are understaffed and don’t want to get in the middle of any controversy - scared of being sued. In small towns, they know the puppy-mill owners and turn a blind eye. Or they are “understaffed” as in Tehama County, and just can’t seem to find the time to send someone out to check on crisis cases on a more frequent basis.

People - we all need to get involved with our local agencies and have a look at what is going on in our counties. Are there puppy-mills where you live? Are they consistently inspected by the animal protection agencies? What rescue organizations can you support both locally and nationally? Most of the time these tiny rescue operations are being manned by just a couple of dedicated animal lovers, spending their own time and money to save these helpless animals.

Get involved, donate a few bucks each month. You and your family stay home from one movie a month and, instead, send the money to a local organization. Bless the beasts and the children, for in this world, they have no voice - they have no choice.... Call, write, speak out for them....


  • I live in Butte Co. and Tehama is just the next county over. We didn't even hear about that story in the local paper in Chico. I did search google for the story and found it in a Cottonwood paper.

    I'm not sure what to believe, but either way, that's a said story.

    By Blogger Tony Rocha, At 8:29 AM  

  • I have a 6 year old Vizsla purchased from one of Peter Raaps locations in CA. At 6 months she was diagnosed with severe hip dispaysia, and had to have surgery on both hips. When contacted at that time, the options provided were to return the dog and get a new one, or keep her an get another dog from her. We opted to keep her and do the surgery, knowing full well the fate that she would face if sent back. We were supposed to get a male, only there was a shipping mix up and we ended up with a very sick female at first. We ended up with our male, who noticeable is not a purebred based on his size. My guess is he is part weimerainer.

    We are now 5 years later and this morning I just found out that my first dog has a mast cell tumor.

    I firmly belive that Peter Raap is not a responsible breeder, and that he does not care properly for his dogs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10:46 AM  

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