At the far edge of the property near the end of the gravel driveway was a large white building approximately 50 to 70 feet long. The structure had seven visible windows on the side facing the driveway, and from several hundred feet away we could hear hoards of dogs barking. The barking was presumably coming from this very large building, and we were confident there were dozens of dogs housed inside, although another white shed stood to the right of the driveway.
As we approached the building to look for a resident, an Amish man (Abe Graber) opened the door of the large facility and approached us. We asked him simply if he sold puppies, and he immediately became suspicious and demanded to see our driver’s licenses to prove our identities. He walked with us back to our car where we informed him that we did not have our identification with us. He proceeded to take out his cell phone and said he was going to call the sheriff. He claimed we did not have permission to walk on his property, despite the fact that we had knocked at the door and called out “hello.” There were no “no trespassing” signs visible on the grounds, and we did not attempt to access anything that was not in plain sight of the driveway.
We told him that if he could not sell us puppies, we were not going to bother him any further. We took out our car keys, preparing to leave the property, at which point he proclaimed we were not going anywhere and that he would let the sheriff settle the matter. He propped himself again the trunk of our car so that we could not drive away. After several minutes of discussion, we got in the car; once we put it into reverse, he jumped off and let us drive away.
From the number of dogs present at this facility, it is evident the owners are operating a breeding operation without a license. The owner’s wife, Vera Graber – also present on the property at the time of the investigation – is listed as a breeder of dogs in Indiana pet stores, indicating that the Grabers do not limit their dog sales to the public and, therefore, require a USDA license in order to operate.