The ‘Horrible Hundred’ Report Released to Shine Light on Worst Puppy Mills

In possibly its last edition, the Humane Society of the United States has just released its “Horrible Hundred” puppy mill report, highlighting some of the worst known commercial breeders in the U.S.

For the fifth year in a row, Missouri topped the list with 19 offenders, followed by Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kansas, which all had 12 facilities make the list.

Kennels with live worms, dogs with horrible eye infections and others with lacerations so deep muscle was exposed were just some of the observations. Also, one breeder received a 21-day fine for throwing two dead puppies at an inspector.

The report is released to draw attention to puppy mills and educate the public about the practice of commercial breeding. The data gathered for the report came from state inspection reports, with most found on the USDA website. But as of Feb. 3 the agency removed tens of thousands of animal-welfare reports from the websites, “based on our commitment to being transparent … and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals.”  Some organizations, including HSUS, have filed a lawsuit against the USDA to get the records back online. To date, the USDA has put some of the records back up — focused on research labs and other dealers — but has restored no records pertaining to breeding facilities. Because of this, the Horrible Hundred may not be able to release future reports.

Related: The 4 Things You Can Do to Fight Back Against the USDA’s Removal of Animal Welfare Data

The puppy mills that made the list in no way represent all commercial breeding facilities that are in violation or are not treating animals well.

With permission, the HSUS allowed us to release the list in its entirety:

ARKANSAS

Bill Nored, Dryfork Kennel, Prim, Arkansas (REPEAT OFFENDER) –REPEATED VIOLATIONS FOR DOGS IN NEED OF VETERINARY CARE, INCLUDING CHIHUAHUA WITH SIGNS OF A BROKEN JAW. Even after appearing in our 2016, 2015 and 2014 reports due to repeated animal care issues, including a dead puppy who had not received proper veterinary care, Dryfork Kennel continued to be cited for significant Animal Welfare Act violations by the USDA after our last report was published. In July 2016, three dogs were found in need of veterinary care, including a 9-year-old Chihuahua who “appeared to have a broken bottom jaw,” according to the inspection report; a 1-year-old Chihuahua mix who had a round, fleshy mass in the corner of her eye, and a dachshund with hair loss and skin that was “crusty, scabbed and inflamed.”

Older violations noted in our prior report(s) include: in November 2015, a dachshund was found with a walnut-sized growth on its abdominal area, and four additional dogs were found with patches of hair loss; in June 2015, a dog was so badly matted that she had “golf ball size matts [sic.] of hair and waste material” and “dread lock shaped matts” hanging from her body, and a shih tzu was found with a combination of hair loss, hanging mats and “sores and drainage;” and multiple dogs were found in need of veterinary care, including a dog with her paw stuck in the wire flooring, a dog with red scabs, a limping dog and a dog with “green discharge” around the eye (June 2014). In August 2014, the USDA issued an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations to Nored for inadequate veterinary care and unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Issues at the kennel stretch back at least as far as May 2011, when a USDA inspector noted numerous “hunting dogs” running loose, nine of whom were “extremely thin to the point of ribs, hips and spinal column protruding.” USDA # 71-B-0170. FOURTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Related: Girl Forgoes Birthday Gifts to Help Save Recovering Puppy Named Libre

Leon Walthall and Peggy Van Huss, Wagging Tails Kennel, Siloam Springs, Arkansas (REPEAT OFFENDER) – DOGS FOUND SHIVERING IN THE COLD; RODENT FECES IN FOOD BOWLS; REPEATED VETERINARY PROBLEMS. Multiple animal care problems were found at Wagging Tails Kennel between April and December 2016, despite Wagging Tails receiving a March 2016 Official Warning from the USDA for a failure to get adequate veterinary care for their animals. The warning stemmed from a January 2016 inspection, during which a USDA inspector found two emaciated dogs at Wagging Tails Kennel. Both of the dogs were “extremely thin with clearly visible ribs, spine and hip bones,” and appeared to have muscle wasting, according to the report.  A third dog was found during the same inspection with excessive matting and dental disease. Yet despite this warning, several more dogs were found in need of veterinary care in April 2016, including a French bulldog with “spots of hair loss,” “red, inflamed skin,” and discharge from both eyes; a dog with signs of periodontal disease, a severely matted dog, and a dog with nails so long that they were affecting her “posture and gait,” according to a USDA report. And during a December 2016 inspection, two French bulldogs were found with red, swollen eyes, and three bulldogs, one of whom was just a puppy, were housed outside in cold weather and were seen shivering. The inspector wrote, “The lack of shelter and/or heat source during cold weather can cause pain and/or distress and lead to frostbite and even death.” The licensee reportedly moved the animals indoors during the inspection.

Additional violations found during 2016 inspections included: rat feces in the dogs’ food and excessive feces near the dogs’ enclosures (December 2016); no written program of veterinary care from the facility’s attending veterinarian (December 2016); several unsafe and unsanitary housing conditions (April 2016); and rat poison left out where some of the dogs could reach it (April 2016), among other problems.

Wagging Tails Kennel appeared in our 2016, 2015 and 2014 reports. Issues noted in our 2014 report included an extremely underweight dog and repeated problems with unsanitary conditions. In May 2013, USDA inspectors found three dogs in need of veterinary care at Wagging Tails Kennel, including yet another “extremely underweight” dog, a Chihuahua whose spine and ribs were clearly visible. A second dog had hair loss and crusted lesions on the ears and a third had an eye that was discolored and bulging. USDA also cited the kennel for unsanitary conditions in 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, and 2008. USDA # 71-A-1134. FOURTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

GEORGIA

NEW/ Tonya Lewis, Tonya’s Tiny Companions, East Dublin, Georgia – OWNER CHARGED WITH 20 COUNTS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY, YET STILL OFFERING PUPPIES ON PUPPYFIND.COM WHILE CASE IS PENDING.  In August 2016, authorities charged the owner of Tonya’s Tiny Companions with 20 counts of animal cruelty, according to news reports. The charges were related to poor conditions and diseased dogs found at her breeding facility. Lewis was expected to be arrested and jailed temporarily, according to the news report: http://www.11alive.com/news/local/dublin-dog-breeder-charged-with-20-counts-of-animal-cruelty/312064698.

Several diseased dogs and puppies were found at Tonya Lewis’s property in the latter half of 2016, according to Georgia Department of Agriculture records. The issues included: dogs with hair loss and/or skin issues; dogs crowded into cages that were too small, rusty and in disrepair; and a female husky who had previously been diagnosed with demodectic mange in 2015, and had given birth that year to puppies who tested positive for mange. Despite her knowledge of the husky’s condition, the breeder allowed the dog to give birth again to puppies in 2016. Those puppies also had signs of mange and were sold or given away anyway (state inspection report, Sept. 16, 2016). Lewis had originally promised to get the mother dog with mange spayed so that she would have no more puppies, but she did not do so, according to the state inspection report.

Records also indicate that a USDA inspector visited with the Georgia Department of Agriculture inspector on at least one visit (Sept. 29, 2016), and it was determined that the facility most likely required a federal license. However, as of April 5, 2017, it still does not appear to be USDA licensed.

Along with many other puppy mills that have appeared in our Horrible Hundred reports, Lewis offers puppies for sale on PuppyFind.com, a site that has been linked to puppy mills and questionable breeders, including many that sell online without the required federal license, and some that have been charged with animal cruelty in the past. As of March 16, 2017, the cruelty case was still pending, according to an attorney involved in the case, who added that thus far, local authorities have declined to seize any animals from the property. As of April 5, 2017, Lewis still had many puppies for sale on PuppyFind.com. GA #3697454.

NEW/ Patti West, Lorrains [SIC] Yorkies, Meigs, Georgia— ODORS SO “OVERWHELMING” THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS HAD TO WEAR MASKS; OWNER WAS ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH STOLEN DOG ACCUSATIONS; ADVERTISED ON PUPPYFIND.COM. In June 2016, state records show that Lorrains Yorkies was inspected and investigated by several individuals at once, including representatives from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, county animal control, local law enforcement and the director of a local humane society. A report from the Georgia Department of Agriculture states, “[Inspector] was accompanied by law enforcement because they were looking for, and had a search warrant to look for, stolen dogs. Upon inspection/investigation six (6) of the stolen/microchipped dogs were recovered by law enforcement. Upon my inspection it was noted, and violations were issued for the following: the smell of ammonia [urine/feces] was so overwhelming in the puppy room outside that masks had to be worn for the inspection. Humane care is noted that most of the adult dogs are matted and filthy. The outside ambient temp of the pens was 95 degrees. There are no records kept at all according to Ms. West. There are no records at all indicating where the dogs have come from, and where they have gone to. I have issued a STOP ORDER until these issues are resolved. It is noted that Ms. West was arrested by Colquitt County Sheriff’s Dept.” (June 28, 2016.)

Consumer complaints, which we have not verified, are online at http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/lorrains-yorkies/meigs-georgia-31765/lorrains-yorkies-wwwlorrinesyorkiescom-patti-west-bait-and-switch-sent-sick-puppy-1191552.

The HSUS could find no record that authorities ever charged West with receiving stolen property, theft or any other crime related to the allegedly stolen dogs, but a news report on the case states that the dogs were linked to West after a DNA test: http://www.walb.com/story/32349311/stolen-dogs-recovered-thanks-to-dna-test.  

As of April 5, 2017, West advertises puppies for sale on her own website (lorrainsyorkies.com), which offers to ship a puppy to the airport of the buyer’s choice—but West does not appear to have an active USDA license, which would be required to legally ship puppies as pets sight-unseen (per USDA online license list, as of April 6, 2017). GA #36104933.

INDIANA

NEW/ John E. and Rosanna M. Raber, Loogootee, Indiana– NINE PUPPIES UNDERWEIGHT WITH THEIR RIBS SHOWING; TWO PUPPIES HAD LIQUID DIARRHEA; ADULT BOXER HAD OPEN LACERATIONS SO DEEP THAT MUSCLE TISSUE WAS EXPOSED, YET HAD NOT BEEN TAKEN TO A VETERINARIAN. On Oct. 5, 2016, a USDA inspection found many dogs and puppies in need of veterinary care at the Rabers’ breeding facility. Nine boxer puppies were “very thin in appearance, with their ribs showing,” and eight of them also had “signs of runny noses” and were sniffling, according to the inspection report. The report also noted that two puppies had “liquid yellow diarrhea during the inspection,” and while the licensee claimed he had been trying to treat the animals, there had been “no contact with the veterinarian for proper diagnosis or treatment,” according to the USDA report. In addition, an inspector found two adult boxers with multiple open lacerations. One of them had wounds so deep that muscle tissue was exposed in some of the lacerations, and the other had large areas of swollen tissue, including an ear that was so swollen it appeared to be “full of fluid,” and “painful to the touch.” The licensee claimed that the two adult boxers had been in a fight, but he had only treated them with an herbal “topical treatment,” and had not taken them to a vet for their severe injuries, according to the USDA report. A third adult boxer had a swollen face, “with irritated skin that is red and hairless on her face, ears, neck, chest and other sporadic areas on her body.” The condition had reportedly been bothering her since August. None of the adult boxers or the sick puppies had been treated by a veterinarian for their problems. USDA #32-A-0481.

IOWA

NEW/ A. G. Beukelman, Orange City, Iowa – BULLDOG HAD UNTREATED EYE PROBLEM; DEAD MICE FOUND FLOATING IN DOGS’ DRINKING WATER. During an October 2016 visit, USDA inspectors found a bulldog with a red, irritated eye with some abnormal-appearing cloudy tissue on the cornea at Beukelman’s kennel. A veterinarian had not been consulted about the dog’s condition, according to the report. The USDA inspector noted, “Eye problems can be painful [and] can have many different causes and if left untreated can get worse. The facility must ensure that eye problems needing treatment are promptly noticed and treated.” During the same visit, inspectors also noted a number of unsanitary conditions at Beukelman’s kennel that could lead to illness or discomfort in the dogs, including three mice found floating in two different dirty water buckets that had been provided to the dogs as drinking receptacles, “husbandry” tables covered with dust, cobwebs, syringes, dog medications and/or dead flies, and excessive feces and grime in some of the dogs’ enclosures. USDA #42-A-1054.

Related: Abused Puppy-Mill Dog Gets Second Chance In Life as PetSmart Greeter

NEW/ Captiva Kennel, Inc., Redding, Iowa – REPEAT VIOLATION FOR PUPPIES IN NEED OF VETERINARY CARE, INCLUDING A SKINNY PUPPY WITH HAIR LOSS AND A LETHARGIC PUPPY WHO “CRIED OUT WHEN SHE WAS TOUCHED.Between August 2015 and October 2016, USDA found dogs in need of veterinary care during four different visits. During the most recent visit for which records were available, October 2016, a dachshund puppy was found “dull and lethargic” with patches of hair loss and “a prominent backbone.” During a visit in July 2016, USDA found three adult dogs with signs of dental disease, and one of the dogs had a swollen area on her neck. During a visit in May 2016, inspectors found three other dogs with veterinary problems, including a lethargic puppy with hair loss, crusty skin and discharge coming from her eyes and ears; the inspector noted that the puppy “seemed lethargic and cried out when she was touched.” During an inspection in August 2015, inspectors found a dachshund with scabs on his skin, thin patchy hair and dental disease. In addition, the USDA inspector noted that the facility’s veterinarian had retired and they had not obtained a new one. The inspector found puppies in cages that were too small, including four dachshund puppies in a cage that was only 13.5 inches long. The inspector noted that the “animals need adequate space to make normal postural adjustments and for their growth and development.” USDA #42-A-1319.

Gary Felts, Black Diamond Kennel, Kingsley, Iowa (REPEAT OFFENDER) – OWNER SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS OF PROBATION FOR FAILING TO PAY ANIMAL WELFARE FINES; INSPECTORS FOUND SICK/INJURED DOGS. In November 2016, Gary Felts was sentenced to three years of probation in federal court for failing to pay animal welfare fines. The fines were related to money he allegedly hid and failed to pay after being charged more than $18,900 in penalties levied in 2010 due to many years of animal care violations.

In both May and August of 2016, the USDA found repeat, direct violations related to sick and injured dogs, a problem that has been cited year after year at Black Diamond Kennel since at least 2010. During the August inspection, USDA found a mastiff with a swollen and injured face, a sheepdog limping with scabs and swollen areas on his leg, a poodle with open skin lesions that were red and swollen, and a toy poodle so badly matted that the mats were causing the skin to become reddened. In May 2016, a USDA inspector found a dachshund with such advanced dental disease that one of her teeth fell out while the USDA inspector was examining the dog, and another dog had nails so long that one of the dewclaws had curled back into the pad of the foot and the pad was red and swollen. Inspectors also found repeated sanitary problems and housing violations.

USDA violations from 2015 that we noted in prior reports included dogs in need of veterinary care, dogs confined to rusty and deteriorating cages and dogs without shelter from the wind and rain, broken, dangerous wire flooring, mouse feces in the dogs’ food, and filthy, pest-ridden conditions, as well as lethargic dogs, dogs with bloody wounds and feces piled “several inches high.” USDA #42-A-0757; IA #8968. FIFTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Lucille Godfrey, Bussey, Iowa (REPEAT OFFENDER)– REPEAT VIOLATIONS FOR DOGS IN NEED OF VETERINARY CARE, INCLUDING ONE WITH A FOOT LESION, OTHERS WITH HAIR LOSS AND EAR, EYE OR DENTAL DISEASE. After the publication of our May 2016 Horrible Hundred report, USDA inspectors found several repeat veterinary violations at Godfrey’s facility. The most severe case seems to be a female cocker spaniel found in September 2016 who had signs of ear, eye and dental infections; this dog’s hair was very thin and “came out in small chunks” when the inspector examined her. In June 2016, two other dogs were found in need of treatment: one was a male coton de tulear with a foot lesion and a dental problem; the other was a female with a patch of red, crusty skin and missing fur.

Issues noted in our previous report include dogs found by USDA inspectors in a basement area in February 2016. Cages containing the dogs were coming apart and/or covered with feces. According to that inspection report, some of the cages had wire sides that had “broken into large holes, gaps and sharp points” large enough to injure the dogs, and “sharp points from the broken wires are located at the level of the dogs.” Perhaps as a result of these unsafe conditions, one dog was found with “a round, raised area protruding from the skin under her left eye” and the licensee was directed to get veterinary care for her. Inspectors found another dog with nails so long that “they have developed a severe curve and […] lay sideways from the toes when the dog stands.” In addition, some cages in the basement were so filthy that the flooring area was “impacted” with feces to the extent that it was mashed and flattened all over the wire flooring, according to the February 2016 report.

On March 29, 2016, USDA inspectors returned to check on the above conditions. They found that some of the problems had been corrected, but at least one of the dogs was still living in filth: “In the ‘Basement’ there is one enclosure, housing one adult cocker spaniel and eight puppies, whose flooring is covered by newspapers. The newspapers covering nearly the entire floor space outside of the whelping box have become saturated with liquid and feces leaving very little clean area for the adult dog. Some piles of feces have been stepped on by the dog and smeared across the newspaper.”

Additional prior violations noted in our 2015 Horrible Hundred report include: dogs without adequate protection from the cold when temperatures were 28 degrees and had recently been 4 degrees overnight (November 2014); and dogs outside in enclosures with “an excessive build-up of snow, feces and/or urine” that covered nearly the entire floor surface of some of the enclosures (November 2014). In January 2015, the USDA gave Godfrey an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations for four different violations related to failure to protect dogs from filthy conditions and inclement weather.  USDA #42-A-0913; IA #9516. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Helene Hamrick, Wolf Point Kennel, Ackworth, Iowa (REPEAT OFFENDER) – REPEATED PROBLEMS WITH SICK DOGS; BICHON HAD “THICK, YELLOW-GREEN” DISCHARGE COVERING EYE. Even after appearing in our May 2016 Horrible Hundred report for multiple USDA violations, inspectors again found Wolf Point Kennel with several animals in need of veterinary care in the latter half of 2016, according to USDA records. In July 2016, Hamrick received a “repeat, direct” violation, the most serious kind, for a bichon who had “thick, yellow-green” discharge covering the surface of her eye. In addition, a USDA “Focused Inspection” report from Nov. 14, 2016 indicates that the agency followed up about two shih tzus who had been found in need of treatment during a Nov. 7 visit.

As noted in our previous report, in January 2016, the USDA gave Hamrick an Official Warning for violating the Animal Welfare Act regulations related to a repeated failure to let inspectors in the kennel and veterinary care violations. Inspectors visited Wolf Point Kennel nine times between December 2013 and December 2015, but were only given access to the kennel four times out of the nine visits, a significant repeat violation of the Animal Welfare Act. “No access” violations are a substantial concern because inspectors can go many months or even years with no ability to check on the welfare of the dogs who they are required to monitor by law. During most of the visits that inspectors were able to complete, they found violations. Issues found in 2015 included a shih tzu with eye and dental issues and a “red lumpy swelling” in his mouth (July 2015), a bichon with signs of advanced dental disease (July 2015), a bichon with “thick, dense areas of matted hair” along his body and “green discharge” on his eye, and two other dogs who were so severely matted that they had balls of densely matted hair dangling off their bodies (February 2015). In February 2016, inspectors found four additional dogs in need of medical care, according to inspection reports. USDA #42-A-0124; IA #149. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Connie and Harold Johnson, CW’s Quaint Critters, Melvin, Iowa (REPEAT OFFENDER) –  PUPPIES ON WIRE FLOORING HAD FEET FALLING THROUGH;  STRONG ODORS A RECURRING PROBLEM. After appearing in our May 2016 report due to repeated veterinary care issues, CW’s Quaint Critters was found with several new violations in June 2016. The violations were related to puppies with their feet falling through wire flooring, presenting a dangerous entrapment risk; “a strong odor” and malfunctioning ventilation in one of the buildings that could “cause respiratory, eye and general health risks” (an issue the licensee had been warned about in the past); and a failure to properly identify 38 puppies, which “can cause inaccurate medical treatments, records, and sales,” according to the June 2016 inspection report.

Related: WATCH: Dog Unchained After 15 Years

Prior violations at the facility include “Repeat, Direct NCI” USDA violations, the most severe type of citation, in both July 2015 and October 2015. The violations were related to five dogs in need of veterinary care, including a dachshund who was seen squinting with “yellow/green discharge around her eyes,” another dachshund who had patches of hair loss and crusty lesions on his skin as well as signs of severe dental disease, a Boston terrier with symptoms of ocular and periodontal disease, a poodle with such advanced dental disease that some of his teeth moved when touched, and a Chihuahua who was squinting and had cloudy and crusting eyes. In February 2016, the USDA gave Connie and Harold Johnson an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations for repeatedly violating Animal Welfare Act regulations due to the veterinary problems listed above, and other issues. Additional violations noted during the October 2015 inspection included excessively rusty cages, unsafe and dirty conditions, and an ammonia (urine) odor so strong that “one inspector felt a burning sensation in her eyes and the other inspector felt a burning sensation in her throat.” USDA #42-B-0226; IA #4660. FOURTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Steve Kruse, Stonehenge Kennel, West Point, Iowa (REPEAT OFFENDER)– AT LEAST 41 DOGS FOUND IN NEED OF VETERINARY CARE SINCE 2015, INCLUDING SOME WITH DEEP LACERATIONS, OOZING WOUNDS; LICENSEE RECEIVED PREVIOUS USDA SUSPENSION FOR TOSSING BAG OF DEAD PUPPIES AT AN INSPECTOR. Even after we listed Kruse in our May 2016 report due to 20 dogs found in need of veterinary care over the previous year, USDA inspectors found an additional 17 dogs in need of treatment at Stonehenge Kennel during the second half of 2016. The HSUS uncovered older records on four additional dogs, for a total of 41 dogs found in need of treatment at Stonehenge Kennel since 2015. These dogs included:

  • A Labrador retriever with a large, 5-6 inch diameter swelling on her chest that was firm, red and “warm to the touch.” (Nov. 15, 2016)
  • An olde English bulldog with watery fecal material covering her hind end, with fur that was wet and stained by the feces; there were also open sores on the soiled part of her body, and loose, bloody stool accumulating under her enclosure.  (Nov. 15, 2016)
  • An American bulldog with a growth on her leg the size of a ping-pong ball. (Sept. 26,  2016)
  • An olde English bulldog who had a limp, eye discharge, and wound on her foot. (Sept.  26, 2016)
  • A Labrador retriever with lacerations on her ear that were oozing a yellowish-green discharge (Sept. 19, 2016)
  • A Shiba Inu and a labradoodle with open wounds on their abdomens in the area where a surgical birth could have occurred; these wounds were deep and oozing. (Sept. 19, 2016)
  • A Shiba Inu puppy who was vomiting and lethargic; when removed from the enclosure, the puppy “hung limply when held.” (Sept. 19, 2016)
  • Multiple dogs with eye injuries, including red and oozing eyes. (Various dates, latter half of 2016)
  • Multiple dogs with foot or leg injuries who were limping, and/or dogs with abnormal growths and lumps. (Various dates, latter half of 2016)

In addition, HSUS received a December 2015 USDA report in late 2016 which had not previously been available on the USDA’s website, indicating that four more dogs had been found in need of treatment at that inspection, for a total of at least 41 dogs who were identified by USDA as needing treatment in 2015 and 2016.

Also in December 2015, Kruse received a 21-day USDA suspension for throwing a bag containing two dead puppies at a USDA inspector; the report was not available until late 2016 as it had apparently been removed from USDA’s website while it was being contested.

Although with this record of poor animal care and repeat, severe violations, it would be surprising if Stonehenge Kennel remained licensed for much longer, another kennel owned by a suspected family member with the same last name is located just a few miles away. There are concerns that dogs from Stonehenge Kennel could continue to be sold under the other family member’s name and license number. USDA #42-B-0182. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Lora Lampe, Salem, Iowa (REPEAT OFFENDER) DOGS WITH OPEN WOUNDS; LIMPING DOG; ONE DOG HAD SUCH SEVERE EYE ISSUE THAT THE INSPECTOR WAS UNABLE TO OPEN THE EYE. Only about a month after we included Lampe in our May 2016 Horrible Hundred report due to multiple animal care issues, USDA found eight more dogs in need of veterinary treatment at the same property in June 2016, according to a USDA report. The issues included a female Labrador who was squinting and had yellow discharge around her eyes; the problem was so severe that the inspector was unable to open the dog’s eyes to check their condition, according to the inspection report. Another Labrador found during the same visit had open wounds on her ears, and a papillon was “seen limping and holding up” a swollen foot. A dachshund also had a wound on her paw, and other dogs had signs of ear, eye or dental infections. During another inspection in November 2016, two beagles were found with such excessively long nails that they were splaying to the side.

In April 2016, USDA gave Lampe an official warning for veterinary care and housing issues cited in 2016 and 2014.

Issues mentioned in our previous Horrible Hundred report included:

On Jan. 13, 2016, federal inspectors found a number of unsafe and unsanitary conditions, including broken, rusty wire flooring, and large areas of standing water mixed with feces and food waste. The standing water puddles mixed with waste material were a repeat violation and presented “unsanitary living conditions” that could “lead to potential disease, contamination or health risks,” according to the inspection report. During the same inspection, a dog was found who seemed to be in distress. The male Maltese was found “shaking its head and pawing at its left ear” and had wet and discolored fur “around the left side of its head.” Upon closer inspection, the inspector found that the dog had abnormal growths outside of both ear canals; one of them was the size of a ping-pong ball and the other was slightly smaller. The dog was flinching as if in discomfort, and had an “excessive accumulation of dark brown and black waxy material” around the affected area. When questioned about the dog’s condition, the licensee stated that she knew about the growths, but seemed unaware of the dirty condition of the ears and the signs of the dog’s discomfort, according to the inspection report. An inspector instructed her to get treatment for the dog. Treatment was verified in a follow-up focused inspection (Jan. 25, 2016).  Other issues found during the Jan. 13, 2016 inspection included a wooden board with sharp screws sticking out of it located in a whelping area with puppies who could be injured by it. USDA # 42-A-0733. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Related: Administration Pick for the Department of Agriculture Is a Friend of Puppy Mills  

Henry Sommers, Cincinnati, Iowa (REPEAT OFFENDER)– “WEAK AND LIMP” PUPPY FOUND UNRESPONSIVE; ANOTHER PUPPY HAD CRUSTED EYES; YORKIES HAD HAIR LOSS AND SCABS.  Even after appearing in our May 2016 Horrible Hundred report and receiving an official warning from USDA for repeated veterinary care violations, Henry Sommers was found with sick and injured dogs again and again between late May and November of 2016. On May 23, 2016, a USDA inspector found a puppy who appeared “lifeless and unresponsive” with partially closed eyes and pale gums. The inspector also described her as “weak and limp while being held” and “cold to the touch”—the puppy was in such dire condition that the inspector “stopped the inspection and requested the licensee seek immediate veterinary care for the puppy,” according to the USDA report. On May 25, the USDA inspector verified that the puppy had been treated, but when federal inspectors returned for another inspection on June 1, the licensee was on the property but refused to allow the inspectors to conduct their review, according to USDA records. During subsequent visits, USDA found four Yorkies with hair loss around their ears, and some had dark crusting and scabs on their ears (June 6, 2016). Three dogs had signs of advanced dental disease (June 6, 2016). A Maltese-Yorkie puppy had “severe crusting” and matting around both eyes, which was so problematic that one of the eyes could not be visualized (June 6, 2016). The report also notes various unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Two of the Yorkies with hair loss, crusting and scabs on their ears and some of the dogs with dental disease still had not been treated when the inspector visited again 10 days later. In addition, USDA inspectors made another attempted visit on June 13, 2016 and were again turned away by residents of the property.

Violations noted in our previous report include a very thin Yorkshire terrier whose “shoulder blades, ribs, hip bones and spinal column were easily felt with little body fat covering them,” and who also had significant dental disease and loose teeth (March 2016). Another Yorkshire terrier had “red abrasions/wounds along her side” and dried blood stuck in her fur (March 2016). Inspectors also noted moldy food and filthy and unsafe conditions (March 2016). In January 2016, USDA noted a “strong animal waste odor” so pungent that “one inspector felt a burning sensation in her eyes and the other inspector felt a burning sensation in her throat.” USDA found multiple dogs found in need of veterinary care in 2015, including a Yorkie who was holding up one back foot; the inspector noted the foot was swollen and abraded and that one of the nails had curled all the way around and into the toe pad (November 2015). In addition, several dogs were found with such advanced dental disease that they had missing teeth and/or could no longer hold their tongues inside their mouths (October 2015); and USDA found a dog with “mucus accumulating below both eyes” and discolorations on the eyes (October 2015). In September 2014, a USDA inspector found that a veterinarian hadn’t visited the facility since 2012, and a Boston terrier was limping; photographs from the USDA show filthy cages and excessive feces.

In January 2016, the USDA gave Sommers an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations for the repeated lack of adequate veterinary care found on three different dates in the fall of 2015. USDA #42-A-1329. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

KANSAS

Marla and Roger Campbell, Campbell Partnership aka Iris Lane Kennel, Newton, Kansas (REPEAT OFFENDER)   USDA FILED COMPLAINT IN JULY 2016 FOR NUMEROUS VETERINARY VIOLATIONS THAT OCCURRED IN 2015 AND 2014; SELLS TO LARGE BROKERS. On July 15, 2016, the USDA filed a complaint against the Campbells for a number of non-compliances found in 2015 and 2014, including many dogs found in need of veterinary care. The animals found in need of care included a dog with a leg injury, dogs with hair loss or skin conditions including patches of pink and scabby skin, dogs with eye disorders, and a dog with an open wound. In addition, the complaint listed a number of sanitation issues such as excessive feces and unsafe housing.

In July 2016, the kennel passed a state inspection, but the inspector noted that the outside kennels were “showing quite a bit of wear” with bare wire that was subject to rusting and needed to be sealed or painted. The inspector noted “bare wire on the flooring may need to be replaced to allow for the comfort of the dogs standing on it.” It is unclear why the USDA inspector did not cite the Campbells for the same issue with the bare wire flooring that the state inspector noted, because uncoated wire is not permitted under the federal AWA regulations. Other issues noted by state inspectors in 2016 included unsanitary water buckets, dog waste stored too close to the kennel, and additional problems with rusty surfaces that could not be properly sanitized. The state inspection reports noted that the Campbells sold to “Hunte/Mosshart/pet shops.” The Hunte Corporation, which is now re-named Choice Puppies, and Mosshart are large-scale dog brokers that re-sell puppies to pet stores across the country.

As we noted in our 2013 Horrible Hundred report, in April 2013, USDA inspectors found two boxers at the Campbells’ puppy mill who were “very thin, with back bones ribs, and hip bones clearly visible,” according to the inspector. Both of the dogs were females who were nursing litters of puppies. The inspector also found a bull terrier who had hair loss and cloudy eyes. The report also listed a number of additional violations, three of which were “repeat” violations, including unsafe housing, dirty feeders, and dogs kept outside in the cold without adequate protection from the weather. In 2012, USDA inspectors cited the Campbells for a dog with a bloody, swollen foot, a dog with eye problems, and keeping medications for use on the dogs that had expired in 2009. USDA  #48-A-1549. KS # CB00095M. FOURTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Dianne Dick, Puppie [SIC] Trails Kennels, Rossville, Kansas (REPEAT OFFENDER) – REPEATEDLY FOUND WITH MATTED DOGS, DOGS WITH DENTAL DISEASE. Even after being fined $500 by the USDA in May 2014 for many animal care violations, Dick was found with animals in need of veterinary care at multiple USDA inspections in the years since, including visits made in May 2016, April 2016, February 2016, December 2015 and November 2015.  The most recent record that HSUS was able to obtain from the USDA website, before the public records were removed, was a May 10, 2016 inspection, during which two dogs were found with such severe dental decay that they had loose teeth and one had pus-like discharge along the gumline. One of the dogs had evidence of a deteriorating jaw and the other had such advanced disease that the roots of her teeth were exposed. On this same report, USDA noted that two other dogs were found in need of “coat maintenance” in April 2016, which apparently had triggered the follow-up visit in May.

Dick had been warned previously about dogs with similar problems. As we noted in last year’s Horrible Hundred report, in February 2016, a USDA inspector found three dogs so matted that “the matted hair was balled and ropey in appearance and was tightly adhered to the skin,” and two dogs with signs of advanced dental disease, including loose teeth and receding gums. Coat problems or matted hair can lead to extreme discomfort and may foster skin infections and hinder an animal’s ability to move normally. In November 2015, a USDA inspector found five dogs in need of veterinary care, including several who had signs of advanced dental disease, a greyhound who had difficulty walking and whose back knees seemed to stay bent at a 90- degree angle, another greyhound with red eyes that seemed to have an abnormal “milky-white, thickened opaque area,” and a severely matted schnauzer with “heavily clumped and corded” fur. In addition, a dachshund was found with ear injuries that the licensee admitted had occurred after an attack by another dog about two weeks prior, yet he had not been treated by a veterinarian. The licensee was ordered to get veterinary care for the dogs in need, yet when an inspector arrived to re-inspect on Dec. 8, 2015, he found that two of the dogs still had not been treated. Issues at the kennel stretch back many years. In 2013, USDA inspectors cited the kennel for issues with sick and emaciated dogs, and in 2012, the state sent a warning letter to the kennel for repeatedly failing inspections. In 2011, the facility received an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations from USDA for multiple violations. Former USDA #48-A-1237; KS #CB0009MX. FOURTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Robert (Bobby) George, Cordillero Ranch aka Mini Toy Huskies, Salina, Kansas (REPEAT OFFENDER)– SELLS PUPPIES ONLINE WITHOUT A USDA LICENSE; CLAIMS SHIPPED PUPPIES ARE “BREEDING STOCK” TO EXPLOIT FEDERAL LOOPHOLE. Robert George sells puppies online to the public, using the websites MiniToyHuskiesGalore.com and PuppyFind.com. PuppyFind is a website that HSUS researchers have linked repeatedly to puppy mill operators and unlicensed breeders. Under USDA regulations, dog breeders who have more than four breeding females and sell puppies online, sight-unseen, are required to obtain a USDA license. George does not have a USDA license, according to the most recent list available on the USDA’s website (as checked by HSUS on April 6, 2017). However, George reportedly claims that the puppies who are shipped are “breeding stock” animals to take advantage of a loophole in the federal licensure requirement. The exemption is not intended to be used by breeders who sell puppies for profit to the general public.

During a recent state inspection (Aug. 24, 2016), the facility passed, but problems with shelter and pest control problems were noted. It was not the first time that state inspectors found similar issues at the kennel.

In 2015, George faced stiff local opposition when he and his wife applied for a conditional use permit to operate their dog breeding kennel; their last permit had expired many years prior, and they had never renewed it. The kennel had recently failed a state inspection for six deficiencies. Almost 550 people, including local residents, signed a petition asking the board to reject the request for a permit, due to concerns from residents about the potential for noise and the history of problems at the kennel. Despite this opposition and history of violations, the commission approved the permit. At that time, George claimed he would be reducing his breeding stock—a condition of his new permit.

In addition, the facility was found in August 2014 to be operating without the required state license, with eight litters of puppies on the premises, after having given the inspectors the impression that it was closing.

In November 2014, Kansas state inspectors found several issues at the Georges’ facility that left dogs unprotected from the bitter cold weather. Inspectors noted that 77 percent of the dogs had either no bedding or an inadequate amount of bedding to protect them from the winter cold. In addition, an inspector saw six Chinese Crested dogs, “one of which [was] hairless and shivering,” in an outdoor facility with no access to a heat source. The inspector noted that, “Cresteds have very thin hair coats and some are hairless, in turn this breed of dog should be housed in appropriate housing with access to heating.” The inspector also found excessive feces and some dogs who were excessively matted.

As of April 5, 2017, the facility had numerous puppies listed for sale on PuppyFind.com, some of whom were only about 10 weeks old. (http://www.puppyfind.com/view_listing/?list_id=rla2p7n034). Additional animals were listed on minitoyhuskiesgalore.com, where more than 20 puppies and adult dogs were advertised. KS# CB00028H. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Izene Hynes, Smokey Hill Kennel, Hays, Kansas (REPEAT OFFENDER)–USDA INSPECTORS CONTINUED TO FIND INJURED DOGS EVEN AFTER SENDING OFFICIAL WARNING; PUPPIES HAD FEET FALLING THROUGH WIRE FLOORING. Even after appearing in our 2016 Horrible Hundred report due to serious veterinary care violations and receiving an official warning from USDA, USDA inspectors found more problems involving injured dogs at the Hynes property between May and December of 2016. In May, an inspection found a Yorkie with extensive hair loss and thickened skin with some scabs and scratches; the dog also had symptoms of eye and dental infections, according to a USDA inspection report. In December, an inspector found a female golden retriever with “wounds on her neck and legs.” The USDA inspector wrote, “the hair on the underside of her neck is moist with blood tinged discharge,” and “the skin feels thick in one area under the neck and there is a thick yellow discharge appearing from under the matted fur at this area.” The inspector also noted that the golden retriever had wounds on her legs with “red, moist areas” and some blood present. In addition, the inspector found a husky with a wound on his foot, puppies with their feet falling through wire flooring (a dangerous entrapment risk) and excessive feces.

As noted in our prior report, a USDA inspector found an emaciated golden retriever at Hynes’s kennel in January 2016. The dog was nursing five puppies, but Hynes told the inspector that 11 puppies had been born in the litter, and the rest had died shortly after birth. The mother dog’s ribs were “easily palpable” with no fat covering them, and her vertebra and hip bones were prominent, according to the inspection report. There was no indication that a veterinarian had been consulted about the mother dog’s condition. In August 2015, the USDA gave Hynes an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations for three different violations, including a failure to properly care for a male Yorkie who had such significant dental issues that some of his teeth were loose, a repeated failure to provide structurally safe enclosures, and a failure to adequately protect the dogs from the cold in February 2015 when the temperature was approximately 26.5 degrees Fahrenheit.  USDA inspectors found additional violations in 2015, 2014 and 2013.

Related: Captured on Video: First Time Puppy Mill Dog Gets to Go Toy Shopping

State inspectors also noted issues at the kennel, including excessive feces in 2016 and 2014, as well as other sanitation and housing deficiencies. USDA #48-A-1279; KS #CB0009K2. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Justin and La Nae Jackson, Jackson Kennel aka Jackson Pets, Clifton, Kansas (REPEAT OFFENDER)—KENNEL WITH MORE THAN 600 DOGS HAD DECREPIT CONDITIONS, EXCESSIVE FECES; SOME DOGS ONLY HAD BARRELS FOR SHELTER. In October 2016, a Kansas state inspector noted numerous unsafe and/or unsanitary conditions at Jackson Kennel, including cages that were starting to rust or had broken or sagging wire flooring, corroded and broken posts or braces that were supposed to hold up parts of the kennel, excessive feces and flies in some parts of the kennel,  and barrels that were barely large enough for dogs to stand in being used as dog houses. During the October 2016 state inspection, there were 610 dogs and puppies on the property, according to the state inspection report.

Violations noted in our prior report include the following:

On Jan. 6, 2016, USDA inspectors found three underweight vizslas at Jackson Kennel. They noted that “the ribs and backbone were visible from a lack of fat cover on all three dogs,” yet the Jacksons had not consulted a veterinarian about the dogs’ condition. “When the body condition shows a loss in weight to the point that the backbone or ribs are visible, this is a sign of potential health problems,” according to the report. Other problems found during the same inspection included portions of the cages that were rusty, sharp or broken and thus dangerous for the dogs. Inspectors found unhealthy or injured dogs multiple times at Jackson Kennel.  In April 2015, a state inspector found four dogs who were very thin, and dogs didn’t have enough bedding to protect them from the cold. In September 2014, an inspection found four dogs with foot or leg injuries and a fifth dog with a large open wound, according to USDA inspection reports. In June 2014, an inspector found two other dogs with injuries to their paws or legs, and in June 2013, an inspection found two dogs with wounds on their ears; one dog’s wounds were bloody and scabbed.  

In July 2016, USDA inspectors were turned away when they tried to conduct an inspection of the kennel, even though a family member was home and spoke to the inspector, according to USDA records.

In contrast to the state inspection of the same date, an October 19, 2016 USDA inspection was compliant. But The HSUS continues to have ongoing concerns about Jackson Kennel due to its history of recurring violations going back many years. USDA #48-A-1849; KS #CB000BAC. FIFTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Judy Koehn, Bow-Wow Mound, Burns, Kansas (REPEAT OFFENDER)– DIRECT VIOLATION FOR LETHARGIC DOG SMEARED WITH FECES; OTHER VIOLATIONS FOR FILTHY CONDITIONS; FACILITY HAD MORE THAN 380 DOGS. On May 4, 2016, Koehn was given notice of a “repeat, direct NCI,” the most serious type of violation issued by the USDA, for a lethargic male Pekingese who was found with piles of “loose, reddish-brown colored feces with mucus” in his enclosure; the dog also had fecal matter built up around his rear and tail, according to the USDA inspection report. The dog had not been treated for the condition by a veterinarian as of the time of the USDA’s visit; only after receiving the violation did the licensee get the animal examined by a vet, according to a May 11, 2016 follow-up inspection. When the USDA visited again on Sept. 7, 2016, no veterinary care violations were noted, but they found unsanitary conditions, according to a USDA report. That same month, Koehn passed a Kansas state inspection, but the inspector noted that there was a build-up of grime on the whelping boxes, and build-up and rust on other surfaces that made them difficult to clean and sanitize.

The 2016 violations were not the first ones found at Bow-Wow Mound. As we noted in our prior Horrible Hundred report, in June 2015, a USDA inspector found an underweight female poodle at the kennel. He noted that, “the ribs, backbone and hip bones could be easily felt” and instructed the licensee to have the dog examined by a licensed veterinarian. Despite the warning about the underweight poodle, inspectors found additional animals in need of veterinary care at the next inspection, in September 2015. The animals included a Chihuahua with symptoms of advanced periodontal problems (loose and missing teeth), a shih tzu who was so matted that “the entire back, top of the rump, and all four limbs have mats that are tight against the skin,” and another Chihuahua with such overgrown nails that “the nails are starting to curl outward as they contact the ground.” Both inspections also found issues with unsafe housing. Between March 2014 and February 2016, there were five different “attempted inspection” violations, due to the licensee not making the facility available for inspection. Attempted inspections are a significant violation due to the inspectors’ inability to check on the welfare of dogs for months at a time.

During its most recently available inspection (September 2016), the USDA noted that there were 382 dogs and puppies at the kennel. USDA #48-A-1503; KS #CB000ANR.

Darlene and Charlene Koster, Rainbow Ranch Kennel, Minneapolis, Kansas (REPEAT OFFENDER) – INJURED ANIMALS FOUND SIX YEARS IN A ROW; FILTHY CONDITIONS; DOGS FOUND IN THE SUMMER HEAT WITH NO SHADE. Even after appearing in all four of our prior Horrible Hundred reports due to multiple problems with injured dogs and hazardous housing conditions, inspections found similar problems at Rainbow Ranch Kennel in the second half of 2016. In June 2016, a state inspector found a husky who “was limping with his front left leg,” and requested that the dog be seen by a veterinarian. The inspector also noted that there were dogs in the summer heat who had no shade from the sun, and filthy conditions throughout the buildings where operators housed the dogs. Despite these concerns, the kennel passed that inspection, and there is no note in the records received by HSUS indicating whether the inspector later checked on the condition of the limping dog. The state apparently did not visit again until six months later, in December 2016, at which time Koster again passed her inspection even though dirty conditions and unsafe sharp points were found. These issues were repeated issues which had been noted in prior years as well.

As stated in our previous Horrible Hundred reports, federal inspectors found numerous veterinary violations at Rainbow Ranch kennel in past years. In June 2015, USDA inspectors cited the kennel for a “Repeat, Direct NCI,” its most serious violation category, for a terrier with skin lesions, a husky mix with lesions and bloody scabs, and a Yorkie with an eye disorder. During the same visit, the inspector noted excessive feces, large numbers of flies and “a strong odor.” In March 2015, a USDA inspector found a shih tzu with a wound on her leg that was “moist with a discharge and red,” and the licensee admitted the dog had been injured “a few days ago,” but had not been taken to a veterinarian. In December 2014, a state inspector found a Yorkie who had reportedly been injured in a fight but had not been treated by a veterinarian; the dog died overnight, according to the inspection report. In August 2014, USDA inspectors found puppies with their legs falling through openings in the flooring, which is a serious injury and entrapment risk; cattle medicines being used on the dogs without written veterinary approval; and unsafe conditions. The facility has also been cited repeatedly for failing to protect the dogs from extreme weather conditions, dangerous housing, dirty conditions, and failing to make the facility available for inspections. In 2011, the facility received an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations from the USDA for numerous violations that occurred between 2009 and 2011.

Although the facility occasionally passes some inspections, The HSUS remains concerned about conditions at the kennel due to its history of recurring problems. USDA #48-B-0271; KS #CB000CQD. FIFTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Michelle Miller, Plum Crazy Kennel, Elk City, Kansas (REPEAT OFFENDER)– AFTER BEING REQUIRED TO DOWNSIZE TO 25 DOGS UNDER A 2015 CONSENT AGREEMENT, STATE INSPECTORS REPEATEDLY FOUND MORE THAN 25 DOGS AT THE KENNEL; STILL OPERATING IN 2017 DESPITE YEARS OF PROBLEMS.  The Kansas Department of Agriculture has allowed Plum Crazy Kennel to remain in operation for years, even after repeated problems. The kennel was named in three of our prior Horrible Hundred reports, yet it somehow remains state-licensed in 2017, despite repeatedly failing to allow inspectors into the kennel and having additional problematic inspections after we published our last report. These inspections included visits or attempted visits on:

  • Dec. 29, 2016, attempted inspection, no contact
  • Dec. 21, 2016, attempted inspection, no contact
  • Aug.  29, 2016, focused inspection, inspector requested vet check due to “concern” about the weight of a nursing mother dog
  • Aug. 4, 2016, attempted inspection, no contact
  • June 8, 2016, “passed” inspection, but an inspector found issues, including:                        Temperature in the whelping room was over 90 degrees; under the Kansas Pet Animal Care Act, it is not permitted to exceed 85 degrees
  • Water buckets and dog houses were chewed
  • One of the dog kennels used by huskies did not have proper shade in the middle of summer
  • May 2, 2016, attempted inspection, no contact
  • Jan. 26, 2016, “passed” inspection but “three dogs remain over” limit and inspector noted “puppies extremely tiny”
  • Jan. 4, 2016, notice about expired license
  • Jan. 4, 2016, attempted inspection, inspector was told that licensee was “ill”
  • Dec. 14, 2015, notification about expired license, possible fine if continuing to conduct business without a license
  • Dec. 14, 2015, attempted inspection, no contact
  • July 10, 2015, “passed” inspection (but inspector noted “11 dogs still to downsize”)
  • March 9, 2015, attempted inspection, no contact
  • March 5, 2015 , attempted inspection, no contact
  • Feb. 27, 2015, consent decision and final order; Miller agreed to pay $2,750 in civil penalties for repeated failure to care for dogs; state agreed to reduce penalty to $0 if Miller reduced her number of animals to 25 over a two-year period.

As noted in our prior Horrible Hundred reports, Michelle Miller failed three consecutive state inspections between January 2013 and June 2014, and the state of Kansas took her to court in early 2015 (case #15 AH 10698). As part of a 2015 consent agreement, Miller agreed to reduce her numbers to 25 dogs total. However, in the years since, Miller failed to let inspectors in to count dogs or monitor conditions on at least eight different occasions—a massive waste of state funds and the Department of Agriculture’s staff time. In addition, during at least two different visits, she was found with more than 25 dogs, although she apparently has two years to comply with her agreement to downsize.

It is unclear why the Kansas Department of Agriculture has been bending over backwards to allow Plum Crazy Kennel to remain in operation for years.

Issues found at previous inspections included: unsanitary conditions; dogs and puppies who did not have an adequate amount of space; strong odors; infestations of flies, mice and fleas; dogs housed in rusty cages; dogs without enough protection from the cold and wind; and six dogs in need of veterinary care, including some who were underweight with prominent hip bones and ribs. KS # CB000U5L. FOURTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Sharon Munk, BJ’s & Guys, LLC, Menlo, Kansas FACILITY WITH OVER 1,100 DOGS FOUND WITH DANGEROUS HOUSING, POOR TEMPERATURE CONTROL, THREE DOGS IN NEED OF VETERINARY CARE; RECEIVED OFFICIAL WARNING FROM USDA. Multiple violations were found by USDA inspectors at BJ’s & Guys, LLC in 2016, including a shih tzu with a swollen, red eye that had a copious, thick discharge; a pomeranian with scabs and hair loss; and a pug with an eye disorder. In addition, puppies were found with their feet dangling through 1 inch gaps in the wire flooring, a condition that could lead to serious injury or leg entrapment; some of the adult dogs were found sticking their heads through unsafe gaps in their cages; and some of the housing had flaking paint and rust that in some areas was so advanced that it was affecting structural safety (a repeat violation), according to USDA reports. In addition, an inspection found two of the buildings with excessively hot conditions in July 2016, with one building reaching a high of 91.9 degrees and another reaching a high of 87.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The USDA inspector noted that these conditions could lead to heat stress in the dogs.

In June 2016, BJ’s & Guys received an official warning from the USDA for a lack of adequate veterinary care, related to a direct violation that occurred in January 2016.

BJ’s & Guys is thought to be the largest breeder/ broker in Kansas, with 755 adult dogs and 425 puppies found at a federal inspection in July 2016, a total of 1,180 animals. All the violations noted above were found in July 2016, with the exception of the pug with the eye condition, which was noted during a focused (follow-up) inspection in January 2016. Inspectors also found violations in 2015 and 2014. USDA # 48-B-0081.

NEW/ Teresa Osborn, Spring Hill, Kansas –FAILED DECEMBER 2016 STATE INSPECTION FOR SANITATION PROBLEMS, DOGS IN THE COLD; SOME DOGS IN WIRE CRATES SO SMALL THAT THEIR HEADS TOUCHED THE TOP. Osborn failed a state inspection in December 2016 due to several problems, including at least two dogs who were kept outside in the December cold without a dog house that was large enough for both dogs to fit in; dogs also did not have enough clean bedding to protect them from the outdoor cold, according to the state inspection report. In addition, the indoor area had a “buildup of mud, debris and hair” on the floors, walls and crates, and several dogs were in crates so small that their heads were touching the top.  Records show that issues with cleaning, maintenance and housekeeping were found during a September 2015 state inspection as well, although the licensee passed that inspection. Notes from that visit indicate the Kansas Department of Agriculture went out to investigate a complaint. The report noted that the breeder’s soil and well water were contaminated with Giardia and that the breeder was treating the animals for it “when symptomatic.”

The state record also noted that the facility most likely would be required to have a USDA license due to the modes of sale used; however, HSUS researchers could find no record of a USDA license for the facility months later (March23,2017). Despite the fact that it has no USDA license to sell online, the facility appears to be offering puppies for sale via PuppyFind.com, a classified site that The HSUS has linked to numerous questionable breeders and puppy mills, as well as its own websites, stoneridgecavaliers.com, stoneridgemi-kis.com and stoneridgeshepherds.net, among others.  KS #CB0015KA.

Peggy Pierce, Pierce’s Kennels, Narka, Kansas (REPEAT OFFENDER)OWNER FAILED STATE INSPECTION FOR RAT INFESTATION AND DIRTY CONDITIONS; SOLD PUPPIES TO THE HUNTE CORPORATION (NOW CALLED CHOICE PUPPIES). Pierce last appeared in our 2015 Horrible Hundred report due to failing to meet AWA standards during at least eight different USDA inspections. During 2016, state inspectors found many additional problems. In May 2016, Pierce failed a state inspection for multiple issues, including filthy conditions, a rat infestation, and some dogs were found in pens that were rusty or did not have adequate shade or shelter from the elements.

As we stated in our 2015 Horrible Hundred report, there have been numerous violations found by federal inspectors in years past. In November 2014, a USDA inspector found an adult male shih tzu mix at Pierce’s Kennels who had “matted hair on its back, hindquarters, face, ribs and rear legs covering approximately 80 percent of its body.” The inspector noted that “the matted hair is balled and is tightly adhered to the skin.” Matted hair can lead to extreme discomfort and, according to the inspector, could “foster skin infections and hinder the animal’s ability to move or defecate normally.” This issue was not the only one recorded by inspectors; between April 2011 and November 2014, Pierce’s Kennels failed to comply with Animal Welfare Act regulation standards at eight different USDA inspections. USDA inspectors found multiple issues at almost every visit, including dogs with hair loss and scabs who were crawling with fleas in September 2013), medication kept for use on the dogs which had expired almost five years earlier (March 2014), unsafe housing, unclean food and water, unsanitary conditions and dogs and puppies who did not have enough protection from the cold when the overnight temperatures had been as low as 27 degrees Fahrenheit. USDA # 48-B-0273. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Marilyn Soukup, Mars Kennel, Wilson, Kansas (REPEAT OFFENDER) –FAILED TO LET INSPECTORS IN FOR AT LEAST 12 DIFFERENT STATE AND/OR USDA VISITS SINCE 2011; NEWBORN PUPPIES FOUND OUTSIDE IN THE COLD. In May 2016, Soukup failed a state inspection after the inspector found a rat terrier with newborn puppies outside, when the temperature had recently been 45 degrees Fahrenheit overnight. The inspection also noted sanitation and maintenance issues. When inspectors returned two more times after that visit for a re-check, the licensee was not available to let them in. This is a violation under K.S.A. 47-1709(b), which states in part, “The acceptance of a license […] shall conclusively be deemed to be the consent of the licensee […] to the right of entry and inspection of the licensed or permitted premises” during reasonable times, and “notice need not be given to any person prior to inspection.” This violation is also “grounds for suspension or revocation of the license.” Id.

In fact, between March 2011 and July 2016, Soukup failed no fewer than a dozen times to give access to USDA and/or state Department of Agriculture inspectors as required by law. The most recent “no contact” attempts that The HSUS was able to document were attempted state inspections on July 14, June 27, 2016 and April 19, 2016. Even when state inspectors were able to access the kennel, they found repeated issues with unsanitary conditions and/or poor housekeeping at every visit in 2016.

As we noted in our May 2015 Horrible Hundred report, Soukup also failed to give access to USDA inspectors on many dates. And on the occasions that USDA inspectors were able to access the facility between 2011 and 2015, Soukup was cited at every inspection for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act (April 2015, November 2014, June 2014, January 2014, October 2013, September 2012, May 2012, September 2011 and March 2011). An April 2015 USDA inspection found 11 different violations, mostly related to unsafe housing and unsanitary conditions. In November 2014, Soukup was cited for improper veterinary care and unsafe housing; in June 2014, inspectors found unsafe housing conditions, soaked food that had been left out in the rain and excessive feces. In January 2014, USDA inspectors found below-freezing temperatures in the whelping building where puppies are kept; recent temperatures at night had been 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and lamps were the only source of heat in the building. USDA found similar violations in earlier years as well. Former USDA #48-A-1157; KS #CB0009RP. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

KENTUCKY

Larry Yoder, Whistling Pine Kennels, Crofton, Kentucky (REPEAT OFFENDER)– SHAKING AND WOUNDED YORKIE FOUND, DESPITE PRIOR USDA WARNING ABOUT VETERINARY CARE PROBLEMS. Even after appearing in our 2016 Horrible Hundred report due to a September 2015 USDA Official Warning for failing to provide adequate veterinary care to 10 different dogs on various dates in 2014 and 2015, Larry Yoder was again found to have a dog in need of veterinary care during a September 2016 inspection. The USDA found a Yorkie who was “lethargic with bite injuries on her head and face,” according to the USDA report. She also had a stiff neck, a “swollen and tearful” eye and “was observed to be in pain trying not to move.” The inspector added, “This animal was under stress and it was shaking.” When questioned about this dog, the licensee stated that she had been injured by another dog on Sunday (two days previously), and claimed he had been self-treating her, but she had not been taken to a veterinarian and was clearly still injured and in pain.  

Veterinary care issues noted during prior years’ inspections included: dogs with suspicious masses, dogs with evidence of eye disorders or dental disease and a Yorkie with “a permanent tremor and difficulty walking.” In October 2015, USDA inspectors found two French bulldogs who both had swellings and ulcerations between the toes, a common problem in dogs forced to stand on painful wire flooring in puppy mills. USDA #61-A-0131. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

MASSACHUSETTS

NEW/ Robert Fink, Laughlin Kennel, Oxford, Massachusetts –FORMER EMPLOYEE DOCUMENTED PUPPIES CROWDED INTO TINY, STACKED CAGES IN BASEMENT; CONSUMER COMPLAINTS. Laughlin Kennel is a combination breeder/ pet store that has a history of consumer complaints about sick puppies and poor conditions. Complaints regarding puppies sold by Laughlin Kennel who were diagnosed with Parvovirus, kennel cough and pneumonia have been reported through the local news media and to The HSUS.  The local Fox news station reported in March 2016 that the kennel had been the subject of more than two dozen complaints filed with the state in the last three years.

A former employee released photos and video documentation in 2015 showing dogs in cramped cages, a puppy with a deformed leg, dogs covered in feces and dogs dying of illness in the non-public areas of Laughlin Kennel. “It just wasn’t right,” the employee told a local CBS station. “They kept him [the dog with a deformed leg] in a cage half his size. He couldn’t even stand up.” The ex-employee’s video shows dogs in stacked cages that are so small that the puppies’ spines brush the tops of the cages.

We did not include Laughlin Kennel in our 2016 Horrible Hundred report because it appeared to be on the verge of shutting down. Unfortunately, the kennel/pet store is still operating in 2017, despite many years of complaints.

The store owners sell some dogs they breed on premises and some that are bred by others.  According to their website, they breed wheaten terriers, and “broker for more than 30 other breeds of dogs.”  The facility is located in a residential neighborhood, which has caused concerns among the nearby population.

After many complaints about the store’s location in a residential area, the city issued a cease and desist order due to zoning issues in March 2016.  According to the order, the property was in apparent violation of the residential law after expanding into a commercial kennel and a pet store in an area zoned for single family use.  The owners no longer dwell at that residence, but later appealed the order.  It was upheld by the zoning board in June 2016, and Laughlin appealed it to the Superior Court in September 2016. As of April 11, 2017, there has been no new movement on that docket, other than Service being Returned for Defendant Oxford Town Clerk (Service through person in charge/agent) on April 3, 2017.

Consumer complaints can be found on Yelp.com, the Better Business Bureau and other consumer websites.

MICHIGAN

NEW / Daniel Coblentz, Grand Junction, Michigan – FOUR YORKIE PUPPIES AND ONE ADULT POODLE DIED WITHOUT RECEIVING ADEQUATE VETERINARY CARE; HUSKIES HAD OPEN WOUNDS. Coblentz has only been licensed since January 2016, but already, multiple grave issues have been found by USDA inspectors. During a visit in July 2016, a USDA inspector noted that the licensee had not been following the approved program of veterinary care, which apparently resulted in the deaths of several animals. Four Yorkie puppies reportedly died after the facility’s small dogs were treated with “a cow and pig insecticidal” that had not been listed in the approved program of veterinary care; the licensee reportedly stated that he “forgot to wash it off,” resulting in their deaths. In addition, an adult standard poodle died after the licensee noted the dog seemed lethargic and was “not acting right;” he then gave a wormer to the dog but did not take her to a veterinarian, and she died, according to the inspection report. In addition, the inspector noted during the same visit that two Siberian huskies had open wounds on their ears; and that “the feces and food waste below the large dog runs [had not been removed] since the dogs arrived in January, 2016,” which was approximately six months prior. The inspector noted that “there is a strong smell of feces and an excessive amount of insects.” The most recent inspection report obtained by The HSUS was from a September 2016 attempted inspection, during which the licensee failed to give access to inspectors who called and knocked on the door. Former USDA #34-A-0205.

MINNESOTA

S Glenice Viken, S G Kennels, Roseau, Minnesota (REPEAT OFFENDER) – FAILED AT LEAST 11 RECENT USDA INSPECTIONS; REPEATEDLY FAILED TO TREAT DOG WITH HEALTH PROBLEMS EVEN AFTER MULTIPLE WARNINGS. After appearing in our May 2016 report due to multiple problems, including eight noncompliant USDA inspections in a row and a repeated failure to get medical treatment for sick animals, S G Kennels apparently did not change its tune at all. The kennel had three additional problematic inspections during the latter half of 2016, according to USDA records. Multiple repeat violations were found during USDA inspections in July 2016, September 2016 and November 2016. Shockingly, a Pomeranian who was found with a repeat untreated medical problem during these inspections was the same one we reported on in last year’s report; a Pomeranian (#045-008-600) with dental disease and ears that intermittently oozed “a thick brown discharge” that was matted into her hair. Due to the USDA’s removal of records from their website, The HSUS was not able to determine if authorities ever seized this dog or if she received treatment for the dental disease. And although the ear problem was finally addressed in July 2016 after many warnings, it was mentioned again on a September 2016 report.

As we reported last year, USDA found S G Kennels in violation of the Animal Welfare Act regulations at every one of their inspections between November 2013 and February 2016, and the violations seemed to be getting worse with each passing year. On Feb. 10, 2016, USDA cited S G Kennels for failing to get adequate medical care for two dogs, even after the inspector instructed the licensee again and again in writing to take them to a veterinarian. One of the dogs was first identified on June 15, 2015, with an abnormal eye. The inspector noted that the dog, who was only 16 weeks of age when first identified, “squints the eye and drainage is observed.” The inspector notified the owner that the condition could be painful and he must take the dog to the veterinarian Yet, three more inspections occurred and the dog was still not taken to a veterinarian as of the Feb. 10, 2016 inspection, even though almost seven months had passed. The second dog who was repeatedly denied medical care was the female Pomeranian with signs of advanced dental disease and who also developed symptoms of a severe ear infection. She had discharge on the gums and a “thick brown discharge” matted into the hair near the ear, according to the inspection report. This dog also received no veterinary treatment even after repeated warnings. USDA documented many other repeat violations at recent inspections, including the lack of proper veterinary care, rust and sharp points that could hurt the dogs and filthy conditions. USDA #41-A-0298. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

MISSOURI

Pamela L. Baldwin, Samples Creek Kennel, Edgar Springs, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER) – MORE THAN 25 DOGS FOUND UNDERWEIGHT, SICK OR INJURED SINCE OUR LAST REPORT; SOME WERE LIMPING OR HAD BLOODY / OOZING LESIONS.  

Within a three month period in the latter half of 2016, USDA inspectors found no fewer than 17 dogs at Samples Creek Kennel who were badly in need of veterinary care, and found additional animals living in filthy and miserable conditions. The animals needing veterinary treatment included:

  1.     A male Shiba Inu with bloody lesions near his ear. (Oct. 13, 2016)
  2.     A female miniature pinscher who was limping and frequently not putting weight on her leg. (Oct. 13, 2016)
  3.     A female golden retriever who was limping and reluctant to put weight on her foot. (Oct. 13, 2016)
  4.     A male poodle who was so badly matted that he was covered in long twists of fur. (Oct. 13, 2016)
  5.     A male German shepherd named Dude with lesions in his ear, moist, red inflamed skin inside the ear flap and abundant “thick yellow mucus-like material” on and inside the ear canal. (Aug. 10, 2016)
  6.     A white female boxer with areas of hair loss and small scabs/lesions. (Aug. 10, 2016)
  7.     A female German shepherd who had a head tilt and “black wax-like material” inside her ear. (Aug. 10, 2016)
  8.     A male Shiba Inu with lesions on his leg and nose and patches of missing fur. (Aug. 10, 2016)
  9.     A male boxer named White Lightening with a 1-inch skin lesion that was oozing and inflamed. (Aug. 10, 2016)
  10.  A female basset hound named Reba with a “heavy amount of a thick creamy green discharge in both eyes.” (Aug. 10, 2016)
  11.  A male shar pei with a “heavy amount of thick green mucous-like discharge” collecting under his eyes. (Aug. 10, 2016)
  12.  A female Jack Russell terrier with green discharge around one eye. (8/10/16)
  13.  A female French bulldog named Izzy with eye discharge and crustiness near the eyes. (Aug. 10, 2016)
  14.  A female bassett hound, Cece, who was very thin and seemed fearful. (Aug. 10, 2016)
  15.  A male black and tan German shepherd who was very thin and seemed fearful. (Aug. 10, 2016)
  16.  A silver and tan female German shepherd who was very thin and seemed fearful. (Aug. 10, 2016)
  17.  A female Shiba Inu who was repeatedly running in circles and had a patch of inflamed skin and missing fur. (Aug. 10, 2016)

In addition to the dogs found in need of care by USDA inspectors, Missouri state inspectors also found numerous dogs in need of treatment, including:

  1.  A Weimeraner with bite wounds. (Nov. 2, 2016)
  2.  A bassett hound with thick, yellowish-green eye discharge, whose condition had been noted during prior inspections but still not effectively treated. (Nov. 2, 2016)
  3.  Five additional dogs (three bassett hounds, a poodle and a shar pei) with ocular discharge. (Nov. 2, 2016)
  4.  Two Chihuahuas with such bad dental disease that they were missing some teeth and the roots of some remaining teeth were exposed; they had still not been seen by a veterinarian more than a year after the issue was first pointed out. (Feb. 16, 2017)
  5.  A rat terrier with an eye disorder, who still had not been seen by a vet more than a year after a inspector first pointed out the issue. (Feb. 16, 2017)
  6.  A bassett hound with skin lesions and inflammation, who still had not been seen by a vet more than a year after an inspector first pointed out the issue. (Feb. 16, 2017)

In addition, a cocker spaniel was hit and killed by a car after repeatedly escaping from the facility (“critical” USDA violation, Aug. 10, 2016 inspection), and an inspection found numerous unsafe and terribly unsanitary conditions, including many enclosures that were smeared with dirt/grime and feces.

Baldwin also received an official warning from USDA in May 2016 for direct veterinary care violations and inadequate pest control.

Problems at Samples Creek Kennel appear to be getting worse, even after its conditions were exposed in four previous Horrible Hundred reports. Prior violations noted in our 2016 report included the following:

After three different visits in a row during which they were not given access to inspect Samples Creek Kennel, USDA inspectors finally got into the facility on March 9, 2016. At that time, they found  animal welfare violations that filled five pages, including many severely matted dogs, two dogs with abnormal eye conditions and a dog who appeared to have a prolapsed rectum. The latter had “a large pink mass of moist tissue protruding from the rectal area.” The mass had “bumps and folds over the entire surface area,” according to the inspection report, which noted that the dog needed  to be taken to a veterinarian. When inspectors returned on March 16, 2016 to check on the condition of the injured dogs and make sure they had been treated by a vet (known as a focused inspection), they found that three of them had been treated, but an additional animal was found in need of care. That dog was a basset hound named Reba who had “thick creamy green discharge surrounding both eyes.”

An inspector also found extremely filthy conditions  during the March 9, 2016 visit, with enclosures that had “an accumulation of blackish brown grime, food, feces and shredded paper bedding material that was damp with urine and water.” The inspector noted that the walls and doors were smeared with feces, the whelping building smelled so bad that “the inspector felt a burning and stinging sensation to the eyes and nasal cavity upon entering,” and that the food and water bowls were also grimy and dirty with “a dark, green, algae-like growth” on the inside of the water bowls.  

Between April 2013 and March 2016, USDA inspectors tried eight different times to visit Baldwin’s kennel, and were only given access during four of the visits. When inspectors were able to gain access, they found violations at every visit.

In past years, both USDA and Missouri state inspectors found multiple additional violations at Samples Creek Kennel. In 2013, state violations included dirty conditions, contaminated water and many dogs who appeared sick or injured, including a female dachshund who was unable to walk on her back legs (May 16, 2013) and a Jack russell terrier who had leg and foot injuries so severe that the open wound exposed muscle and bone (Oct.  1, 2013). USDA #43-A-4762; MO #AC000EGW. FIFTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Kevin Beauchamp, Beauchamp’s Puppy World, Lebanon, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER) – REPEATEDLY FAILED TO LET INSPECTORS INTO THE KENNEL, EVEN AFTER USDA FILED A COMPLAINT; VERY THIN AND INJURED DOGS FOUND. Even after the USDA filed an official complaint regarding Beauchamp’s repeated failure to let inspectors in the kennel in February 2016, Beauchamp again refused to let inspectors in to check on his dogs on Sept.  1, 2016 and Nov.  16, 2016, USDA records show. In addition, when inspectors did gain access to the kennel, on May 4, 2016, they found multiple dogs in need of veterinary care. The dogs, included two boxers who were very thin with their ribs easily visible, a bulldog with a reddened eye that had a “mass-like lesion” beside it, and a lhasa apso who appeared lethargic and who appeared to have such severe dental disease that it might be affecting her ability to eat normally, according to a USDA inspection report.

In addition, during a Missouri state inspection in February 2017, a boxer was found with an ear injury, and the licensee could not provide any records showing that the dog was being treated for the injury.

These types of violations were nothing new for Beauchamp’s Puppy World. As we reported in our 2016 Horrible Hundred report, in February 2016, the USDA filed an official complaint (Docket #16-0062) against Kevin Beauchamp for failing to give access to inspectors on four different occasions between July 2014 and December 2015. Despite the complaint, Beauchamp again failed to let inspectors into the kennel on March 1, 2016. As part of the complaint, the USDA also alleged that, even after receiving an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations in 2014 for failing to provide adequate veterinary care to his dogs, Beauchamp continued to fail to meet that obligation at four more inspections between April 14, 2014 and Dec. 15, 2015. Issues found at those inspections included a dog with “thick, green discharge covering both eyes,” a dog with a reddened, swollen cyst, a dog who had a large amount of fecal matter trapped in his matted hair, and dogs with excessively long nails. The complaint also noted that Beauchamp failed on three different occasions between April 2014 and November 2014 to provide minimum care standards, such as adequate bedding to protect dogs from the cold, adequate cleaning of fecal material and safe enclosures.  USDA #43-B-3707; MO #AC000EXZ. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Kay Butler, High Point Kennel, Montgomery City, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER) – REPEATED PROBLEMS WITH FILTHY AND UNSAFE CONDITIONS; DOG FOUND LIMPING, PUPPY FOUND IN CAGE SO FILTHY THERE WAS NO CLEAN PLACE TO STAND. Violations were found repeatedly by state inspectors at High Point Kennel throughout 2014, 2015 and 2016, and as recently as January 2017. According to the most recent inspection records available to our researchers, a state inspector found a German shepherd at High Point Kennel in January 2017 who appeared to be reluctant to walk and bear weight on her leg. And during an October 2016 state inspection, a Labrador retriever puppy was found in an enclosure that was so covered in fecal matter that the puppy had no clean place to stand, several dogs had diarrhea, and there were unsafe conditions found that could injure the dogs.

As we noted in our prior report, violations found during a March 2016 state inspection included two dogs who did not have adequate shelter and a repeated problem with unsafe enclosures that could injure the dogs. The unsafe conditions were mentioned repeatedly throughout 2016 but not corrected until the 2017 inspection. During a December 2015 state inspection found several dogs in need of veterinary care, including an underweight Labrador who had a body condition score of three out of nine (five is ideal); three German shepherds who had been found with “bloody lesions on the tips of the ears” during an August 2015 inspection and who still had not been treated by a vet; acting as a dealer (reseller) without the required dealer license, and pest control issues. Violations documented earlier in 2015 included: failure to have a documented program of veterinary care; failure to fecal test puppies with loose stool even after instructed to do so by both the attending veterinarian and the state inspector; improper vaccination of puppies; and two dogs with no water. Violations found in 2014 included: the use of “castration bands” to dock the tails of puppies; dogs in 27 degree temperatures without adequate protection from the cold; strong odors (noted on four inspections); unsafe conditions and sharp points (noted on four inspections); some adult dogs without rabies vaccinations; dogs with bloody or loose stools; a Weimaraner puppy who “was walking with a stiff gait” and seemed reluctant to raise her head; and dogs with matted coats and overgrown nails.

MO #AC0004PP. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Maureen Butler, PugPekinpoo-Tzu, West Plains, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER)– REPEATEDLY FAILED TO LET INSPECTORS IN THE KENNEL; DOGS HAD NOT BEEN EXAMINED BY A VET. Between June 2015 and November 2016, Butler failed to give access to federal inspectors on at least five different dates, a significant waste of federal time and resources. For several of the attempted inspections, a “family member” was reported to be home, but stated that the licensee was “away” or “out of town.” Even though the regulations require unannounced inspections, and allow any responsible adult to show inspectors around the kennel, there seemed to be no efforts to make the kennel available. The failure to allow inspectors in to check on the welfare of dogs in a licensed kennel is a significant violation because all licensees are required to open their facilities to inspectors during normal business hours, and due to the inspectors’ inability to check on the health and safety of the dogs.

The facility did have two compliant USDA inspections in 2016, in July and March. However, when state inspectors visited the kennel in October 2016, they found that there was no record of any veterinarian performing the required hands-on examinations of the kennel’s dogs in more than a year; the last record of exams on the dogs was from September 2015. The state inspector also noted that the program of veterinary care for the entire kennel was also more than a year out of date.

The kennel is of ongoing concern to HSUS due to a history of problems. In February 2015, an inspector found 7- and 8-week-old puppies “huddled together and shivering” without adequate protection from the winter cold, and not enough bedding provided in outdoor enclosures when the temperature was about 20 degrees and had recently been even lower. And in September 2014, a USDA inspector found an underweight Chihuahua whose “backbone and hips were very prominent,” at the kennel, and in March 2014, an inspector found another Chihuahua who was unable to bear weight on one of her back legs. A March 2014 inspection found two other dogs with abdominal masses that had not been fully treated by a veterinarian. In 2013, Missouri state inspectors found numerous issues at the facility, including dogs in below-freezing temperatures with water that was “frozen solid” and without adequate protection from the weather, and short haired Chihuahuas were “observed to be shivering” in the 28 degree weather, according to the inspector (Dec. 9, 2013). During the same state inspection, “a majority of the animals were observed to have feces on their feet and legs because they were unable to get away” from the accumulated feces in their enclosures. USDA #43-A-5702. MO CB-8285.

Kimberly Coleman, TLC Kennels, Clinton, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER) – BLOODIED POODLE FOUND LYING ON HER SIDE, UNABLE TO RISE; STRONG ODORS OF URINE AND FECES. USDA inspectors have found similar problems at TLC’s Kennel for several years in a row. Repeated issues involve inconsistent veterinary care, poor sanitation and a failure to give regular access to inspectors. During a September 2016 USDA inspection, an adult female poodle named Posey was found “lying on her side in an enclosure with three other adult dogs.” The poodle “did not move her legs or appear able to rise,” according to the inspection report. “When the licensee attempted to pick her up she appeared painful,” the report continued. “Even when she was removed from the enclosure, the dog made no effort to stand or use her legs. There was blood covering the back half of her body and what appeared to be bite wounds on her legs and back.” A follow-up report dated Oct. 11, 2016 noted that the poodle had been taken to a veterinarian after the inspection, but was “no longer at the kennel.” Nothing else is on record about whether Posey survived. Additional violations found at the September 2016 visit included “a strong odor of urine and feces in the whelping area” and excessive feces in both the indoor and outdoor parts of the kennels.

Violations noted in our previous Horrible Hundred report included the following: During an inspection in January 2016, conditions in some of the kennels were so wet and dirty that many of the dogs could not “sit or lay down in a clean, dry area,” and several white dogs appeared brown due to excessive soiling with mud and feces, according to the USDA report. During the same visit, an inspector found a puppy with his or her hind legs dangling all the way through the wire flooring; the inspector noted that the puppy appeared to have been “stuck for some time.” During three of the visits, the licensee failed to let inspectors in at all, a significant violation due to officials’ inability to check on the welfare of the animals (and a problem that occurred again in August 2016). Significant violations have been recurring at the kennel since at least March 2014, when an inspector found a dog who was “extremely thin with minimal muscle mass so that nearly all her bones (shoulders, spine, ribs, hips, legs, etc.) were prominent,” among other issues. During a January 2014 state inspection, inspectors noted that several dogs had a body condition score of only two or three out of nine (five is ideal), indicating that they were very underweight. USDA #43-A-4973; MO #AC000JRV. FIFTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Joe Farley, Pleasant Valley Puppies, Galena, Missouri—CITED FOR TWISTING OFF THE TAILS OF PUPPIES AS AN IMPROPER TAIL DOCKING METHOD; OTHER DOGS HAD INJURIES AND WOUNDS. USDA inspectors found multiple dogs in need of veterinary care at Pleasant Valley Puppies during two different visits in 2016, one in June and one in February. In February 2016, the licensee was cited for using an inappropriate method for docking puppies’ tails; instead of removing the tails with special equipment and suturing them with stitches or glue as required on the facility’s veterinarian-authorized program of vet care, the licensee was “removing the tails by twisting them off and then applying blood clotter,” without suturing the skin, according to the USDA inspection report. In addition to employing this horrific and probably very painful practice, the licensee was found with numerous dogs in need of veterinary care, including a male English bulldog who was so thin that his spine and hip bones were visible through the skin, a Weimeraner with a bite wound, a puppy who was coughing, and a Shiba Inu who appeared to have an injury that was affecting normal movement. 

In June 2016, a USDA inspector found a female Neopolitan mastiff with “thick gray discharge in both eyes” and swollen skin around the eyes. The mastiff and four other dogs also had skin conditions such as hair loss and moist, reddened skin. In addition, the inspector noted several unsafe and unsanitary housing conditions, including outdoor enclosures that didn’t protect some of the dogs from the weather, inadequate cleaning and rodent feces in several areas. USDA inspections in March and September 2016 were compliant.

Missouri state inspectors also found many violations at Pleasant Valley Puppies in June 2016, including a mastiff with such a thick green discharge from her eye that one eye was “crusted shut,” several dogs with hair loss, and dogs that didn’t have enough shelter from the weather. Some of these issues were the same ones noted on the USDA’s June inspection report. In February 2016, state inspectors found many other problems, including a bulldog who was underweight with his hips, ribs and spine structures visible, a Shiba Inu who had difficulty standing up, a Weimeraner with a swelling on her leg, some dogs who did not have adequate protection from the cold and others with “pendulous” matting. It was also noted that Farley was operating with an expired state license in February 2016, but it appears that he was permitted to renew it despite the host of problems found.  USDA #43-A-6006; MO #AC001XJL.

NEW/ Michael Franke, North River Kennel, Novelty, Missouri –PUPPY AND DOGS HAD OPEN WOUNDS; CAGES TOO SMALL; CONTAMINATED FOOD. USDA inspectors found multiple issues at Franke’s kennel in 2016. In September 2016, USDA inspectors found a Boston terrier puppy with puncture wounds and oozing eyes, 11 Labradors with “varying degrees of open wounds,” and filthy conditions. They also found cages that were too small and food that was either dirty, caked and/or contaminated with a mold-like material. Violations found in 2015 included more dogs that were in cages that were too small, and a Boston terrier with a litter of puppies that were smeared with feces.

Franke had one compliant USDA inspection in October 2016. However, just months later, Missouri state inspectors noted no fewer than 15 new noncompliant issues at the kennel. Issues found during the December 2016 state inspection included: three Boston terriers with runny, bloody stools; a Boston Terrier with bite wounds and lacerations; a Labrador retriever had inflamed and swollen ear canals filled with a “dark, moist debris” and was shaking her head repeatedly; thirteen puppies were in cages that didn’t give them enough space, and conditions were unsanitary, with excessive feces. USDA # 43-A-5663; MO #AC000N2S.

NEW/ Debbie Howlett, Luv Me Tender Kennel, Bolivar, Missouri  – LIVE MAGGOTS WERE FOUND ON DOG WHO HAD CLUMPING FUR AND ULCERATED SKIN; ANOTHER HAD “FOUL SMELLING” EAR DISCHARGE, OTHERS WERE MATTED. Missouri state inspectors found serious animal care problems at Luv Me Tender Kennel during several visits in the latter half of 2016. In June 2016, a district veterinarian found a cavapoo at the kennel with ulcerated and inflamed membranes around her vulva, and the area had live maggots on it, according to the state inspection report. Another dog found during the same inspection had “foul smelling” ear discharge coming from one ear and dark discharge was noted in the other ear. In addition, several other dogs had matted hair coats, there were excessive amounts of flies surrounding both the inside and outside kennels, conditions were dirty, and there was no record of any of the dogs having a hands-on examination for more than a year (state inspection, 6/24/16). During a re-inspection in August 2016, some of the issues had been corrected, but several other problems were found, including several dogs who were still matted, and the licensee had no proof that they ever obtained veterinary treatment for the dog with the ear problem. During yet another re-inspection in November 2016, some of the issues were corrected, but some issues remained, including incomplete medical records on the dogs. MO #AC001W1P.

Catherine Mast, C and C Kennel, Bogard, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER) – ROTTWEILER WITH LESIONS ON EARS HAD FLIES SWARMING AROUND THE LESIONS; RECEIVED AUGUST 2016 WARNING FROM USDA. After appearing in our May 2016 Horrible Hundred report due to dogs found in poor condition, another dog in need of veterinary care was found during a June 2016 inspection at C and C Kennel. The dog, a Rottweiler, was found outdoors with lesions on his ears and flies swarming around the lesions. When the issue was pointed out by the USDA inspector, the licensee “rubbed a pink-colored fly repellant ointment” on top of the open wounds, according to the inspection report.  The inspector noted that there was no indication that the repellent ointment was approved for application on open wounds and that, “open wounds due to fly strike can be irritating, painful, and could become infected.” The inspector also noted that one of the medications stored for use at the facility had expired more than three years prior, in January 2013.

In August 2016, the USDA gave Mast an official warning for the violation.

Mast appeared in our prior Horrible Hundred report due to a February 2016 inspection at which two dogs were found in need of veterinary care: a sheltie who was thin with “the ridges on the spine and the ribs” easily palpable, and a husky with “significant, explosive creamy to tan-colored loose stool.” The licensee admitted that the husky had had loose stools for approximately three weeks, but she had not consulted a veterinarian about the dog’s condition, according to the USDA inspection report. Other violations found at the same inspection included flooring that was coming apart, an “extreme amount of hair, dirt, grime and fecal build-up hanging on the underside” of the enclosures in the whelping room, and dogs without adequate protection from the sun and wind. USDA #43-A-5842; MO #CB-8928. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Marlisa and Randy McAlmond, Cedar Ridge, Alton, Missouri– MANY DOGS FOUND WITH WOUNDS/ LACERATIONS; REMOVED TAILS OF WEANED PUPPIES WITH UNACCEPTABLE “BANDING” METHOD. Injured dogs were found at Cedar Ridge again and again by state inspectors in 2016. In December 2016, the facility received a “direct” violation from the state when an Australian shepherd was found sitting in the corner of her pen licking an injured paw. Upon closer examination, the inspector noted the dog had numerous bite wounds, some of which still had fresh blood on them, but the licensee had not contacted a veterinarian about the injuries, according to the inspection report. During the same inspection, another Australian shepherd was found to be lame, and the inspector noted that two other dogs with leg injuries who had been identified at a prior inspection still had not been seen by a veterinarian.

Prior inspections documented injuries to several other dogs . In March 2016, an inspector found an underweight Australian cattle dog, five puppies who were coughing and two puppies who were lame. In addition, at least 13 puppies and dogs were found without water and a number of dogs were in cages that were too small.

In January 2016, the inspector noted that the licensee “was using a banding method to dock tails on weaned puppies,” which “is considered an unacceptable method to dock tails,” according to the state inspection report. “Banding” typically means wrapping a very tight rubber ring around the animal’s tail until it loses its blood flow and falls off; it is considered inhumane by many experts. In addition, the procedure is usually performed on puppies when they are five days old or younger and their tails are very tiny; it is not usually performed on weaned (older) puppies.

Also during the January 2016 inspection, a mother dog and her puppies were found in an enclosure so small that the mother dog could not even stand or sit in a normal manner within her shelter box, according to the state inspection report. In addition, an inspector found an underweight bloodhound with a body score of three out of nine (five is ideal). According to the December 2016 state kennel inspection report, the facility had almost 300 dogs and puppies on the property. MO #AC0003CG.  

Eli Miller, Hill Top Kennel, Clark, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER)– DOG WITH OOZING EYES, PUPPY WITH SCABS AND HAIR LOSS; FINED $1,920 BY USDA. In August 2016, USDA fined Eli A. Miller $1,920 (Docket #16-0027) and suspended his license for four weeks due to alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act and its regulations.

Although the August 2016 Consent Decision and Order stipulated that Miller must not be found with any additional repeat or direct violations for three years, more issues were found just months later, according to USDA inspection reports. Miller received a “Direct” violation, the USDA’s most serious category, in October 2016 due to two dogs with very visible eye and/or skin conditions. One of the dogs, a shih tzu, had a cloudy eye that was oozing a mucus-like discharge. The eye also had a “divot-like lesion” on the surface. The other dog was a pug puppy who had a small, sunken eye as well as hair loss and multiple “crusty, scab-like lesions.” At the same visit the USDA inspector found multiple additional violations, including unsafe housing conditions that could injure the dogs and dirty water bowls with a “green discoloration (algae like substance).”

In July 2016, the licensee failed to give access to inspectors when they arrived to conduct an inspection, according to USDA records. In July 2015, USDA cited the licensee for a pest control violation after several dogs were found to be heavily infested with fleas. Although several dogs were seen scratching, the licensee claimed he did not notice the problem, according to the USDA’s report.

A USDA inspection in October 2016 was compliant, but Miller’s federal license may be at risk due to the violation of the August 2016 consent decision.

The state of Missouri has also found violations at the kennel. In September 2016, a state inspector noted dogs that were in cages that were too small, some with dirty water receptacles, and some of the puppies had inadequate identification.

USDA # 43-A-5541; MO #AC000VSJ. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Renee Ray, RDR Transport, Unionville, Missouri [TRANSPORTER]– 53 PUPPIES DIED AFTER BEING LEFT ON CARGO TRUCK WITH SPACE HEATER RUNNING; VETERINARIAN NOT CONTACTED UNTIL EIGHT HOURS LATER. On Dec. 18, 2016, 53 puppies died in the care of RDR transport after a space heater was left running in the cargo area of a truck containing a total of 211 puppies, according to a Dec. 21, 2016 USDA report. Shockingly, even though dozens of puppies were taken off the vehicle in distressed condition, many of them dying or already dead, the transporter tried to treat the surviving dogs herself and didn’t contact a veterinarian until much later, according the USDA report. The report stated that the transporter “did not have a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the puppies,” “did not take any of the puppies to a veterinarian” immediately after the incident, and “did not speak to a veterinarian about the incident for at least 8 hours after the overheated puppies were discovered.”

Many technologies are available to monitor the temperature inside a vehicle both remotely and directly from inside. The accident, and the suffering of dozens of puppies who died or were injured, was entirely preventable. The failure to contact a veterinarian for at least eight hours afterward may also have resulted in the deaths of some puppies who might otherwise have been saved with emergency veterinary treatment.

When interviewed by the media about the incident, Ray seemed primarily concerned with her reputation, stating that she feared animal welfare groups would “try and vilify my business.” Yet the terrible accident was not the latest one linked to RDR Transport. In January 2017, a driver for the same company was involved in a box van accident in New York that put more than 100 puppies at risk, after the driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle hit a ditch and overturned, resulting in at least five puppies needing medical treatment, including one with a fractured jaw and another with a fractured leg, according to news sources.

On Feb.  24, 2017, The HSUS sent a complaint to the USDA about the two RDR Transport incidents and other similar incidents with other sellers, requesting an investigation. The HSUS requested greater collaboration between the USDA and law enforcement in the localities where the accidents occurred. USDA #43-T-0035.

Anna Mary Reiff, Latham, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER)– DIRTY CONDITIONS AND EXCESSIVE FECES; OUTDOOR DOGS HAD NO BEDDING TO PROTECT THEM FROM THE COLD. In October 2016, a USDA inspector found several unsanitary or unsafe conditions at Reiff’s facility, including a build-up of dirt and grime inside the kennel building that “increases the risk of disease hazards,” excessive feces that were swarming with “large numbers of flies,” and no bedding in the outdoor enclosures when the temperature had recently been in the 40s overnight. Additional unsafe or unsanitary conditions found by the USDA at prior visits included self-feeders that had a build-up of food debris and grime (July 22, 2015), and large gaps in some of the enclosures that contained small puppies, which were large enough to potentially entrap the puppies, as well as some enclosures that had sharp wires protruding into areas at the level of the puppies, risking injury (March 10, 2014). In addition, there were at least two attempted inspections during which USDA inspectors were not given access to the kennel even though someone associated with the property spoke with them and knew they were there (Sept. 14, 2016 and June 16, 2015).  USDA #43-A-4696. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Debra Ritter, Cornerstone Farms, Curryville, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER) – CONSUMER ALLEGEDLY HAD TO PAY $3,000 IN VET CARE TO SAVE HER SICK PUPPY; STATE VIOLATIONS FOR UNDERWEIGHT, SICK AND INJURED DOGS. Cornerstone Farms has been the subject of consumer complaints for several years due to allegedly selling sick puppies as well as puppies with questionable records, and state inspectors have found serious veterinary care problems at the kennel year after year.

In September 2016, reporter Chris Hayes with Fox2 in St. Louis confronted the facility owner, Debra Ritter, after receiving a complaint about a sick puppy sold in June 2016. That puppy, Kylie, reportedly required $3,000 in medical care to survive and also came with conflicting paperwork that seemed to indicate the puppy was many months older than promised.

A Rolling Stone magazine writer interviewed Ritter for the January 2017 article, The Dog Factory: Inside the Sickening World of Puppy Mills. When asked by writer Paul Solotaroff about the “11 straight years of state violations” that Hayes said he found during his research, Ritter referred to the violations as “nuisance charges.” Hayes also told Solotaroff he could find no evidence that Ritter ever paid a fine to the Missouri Department of Agriculture despite years of animal care violations, according to the article.

State inspections have found serious animal care problems year after year. In August 2016 alone, Missouri state inspectors found a dozen violations at the kennel, including an underweight dog, dogs with loose stools, dogs with fleas and missing fur, two lame dogs, a dog with signs of an ear infection, dirty conditions and more. They found similar violations during prior years as well.

As noted in our prior report, a state inspection dated Jan. 21, 2016 noted violations for a number of problems, including four puppies with bright red blood in their stools; additional dogs with “loose stool” and others with “dark, bloody stool;” a persistent strong ammonia (urine) odor; and excessive feces.  Some of the issues found between February and December 2015 included: two dogs who were underweight and had a body score of 3 out of 9 (5 is ideal); “many dogs” found scratching with fleas; several dogs who had patches of missing fur, eye disorders, diarrhea, and/or were coughing; a strong ammonia (urine) odor in one building that “can have detrimental effects to the health and well-being of the dogs;” inadequate bedding provided to dogs when the temperature was only 33 degrees; a puppy found with all four feet passing through the wire flooring (a significant risk of entrapment and injury); “numerous dogs” with matted hair; dogs with bloody, mucoid stools; expired medications kept for use on the dogs; dogs kept in buildings in temperatures over 90 degrees in the summer with no cooling mechanism in place; enclosures for some dogs that were too small according to minimal guidelines; a cocker spaniel who was found repeatedly shaking her head and who had “a build-up of a dark substance and a creamy-colored discharge in and around the ear canal;” and cages that were dirty, rusty, or coming apart.  Although many of the violations were corrected at subsequent state inspections, new violations were regularly found.

In addition to complaints received by The HSUS, several buyers have posted unfavorable reviews on Yelp.com and ComplaintBoard.com.

Cornerstone Farms appeared in two previous Horrible Hundred reports. In our 2014 report, we noted that the facility was selling puppies online without a USDA license. In August 2015, the USDA finally issued an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations to Cornerstone Farms for conducting regulated activity without a USDA license on at least 11 different dates. The facility is now licensed under USDA #43-A-6000; MO #AC00122Y. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Ellen Roberts, Rocky Top K-9s, West Plains, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER) –BOXER HAD BLEEDING, OPEN WOUND; ANOTHER HAD RIBS AND HIP BONES SHOWING; SIMILAR PROBLEMS FOUND REPEATEDLY. Even after appearing in our 2016 report due to having at least four years in a row of animal care violations, USDA inspectors found new repeat violations during July 2016 and December 2016 visits to Rocky Top K-9s. USDA inspectors found five different repeat violations at the July visit, including a male boxer with a “bleeding, open wound” and a female boxer who was so thin that her “ribs and hip bones were easily observed.” In addition, the temperature inside one of the buildings was excessively high (94 degrees Fahrenheit) and inspectors noted several repeat violations for unsafe housing conditions. In December, inspectors found problems with “excessive grime and mud” in two of the enclosures, and puppies who lacked any form of individual identification, which can lead to inadequate health care documentation.

Violations have been found during state inspections as well. In July 2016, a Missouri state inspector noted a number of problems, including a high concentration of flies, and several dogs and puppies in need of veterinary care which the licensee claimed to be treating, but he had no documentation of any treatments. And in December 2016, a state inspector found a bulldog with loose stool whom the licensee also had no record of being treated.

Violations noted in our May 2016 report included: an underweight boxer with ribs and backbone visible (March 2016); a boxer found with numerous ticks on her chest, neck and back (March 2016); two Boston Terriers with eye injuries (November 2015) and a bulldog who was squinting her eyes and rubbing her face, and had swollen tissue around her eyes and ears that was “dark red” with brown discharge (November 2015). Violations noted by USDA inspectors in 2014 included: a bulldog with “reddened skin and hair loss” and a boxer who was thin with easily visible ribs (October 2014); four 10-week-old English bulldog puppies who were coughing and seemed to be sick, but had not been treated by a vet, and a boxer with signs of mange (February 2014). Violations found by inspectors in 2013 included a nursing mothers with puppies who looked “very thin” with ribs and spinal arches prominent, four boxers with symptoms of mange, and two dogs who were squinting, with swollen skin around their eyes and discharge coming from their eyes (June 2013). In March 2013, a USDA inspector noticed a boxer puppy who was “very thin and had a hunched posture when she moved about. The hip bones, vertebrae and ribs were easily observed.” USDA #43-A-5445; MO #AC00124U. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Marilyn Shepherd, Pup 4 U, aka Marilyn Williams, Williams Kennel, Ava, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER)– DOGS FOUND WITH GAPING, DRAINING OR OPEN WOUNDS; OWNER REPEATEDLY FAILED TO GET VETERINARY TREATMENT FOR SICK AND INJURED DOGS; YEAR AFTER YEAR OF VIOLATIONS. Even after appearing in our May 2016 report for underweight, sick and/or injured dogs found four years in a row, Williams/Shepherd was found with more than a dozen additional sick and injured animals in the months to follow. During several state inspections between July and November 2016, injured dogs were found again and again at Pup 4 U. In some cases, the licensee failed to prove she had obtained any veterinary care for injured animals, even a month after some of the injuries were first pointed out by the state inspector. These animals included a Welsh terrier with hair loss and an open, crusted wound, a giant schnauzer with crusty discharge around the eye and ulcerated skin under the eye, a shih tzu with signs of an ulcerated cornea, and a skye terrier who had difficulty walking, all of which were first noted during a July 2016 inspection. Additional injured animals found in late 2016 included a schnauzer with a “gaping laceration” of the abdomen (August 30, 2016), a westie with “draining wounds” on the left ear (November 1, 2016) and numerous dogs who had signs of eye disease, skin problems or excessive matting.

As we stated in our prior report, in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, state inspectors found sick or injured dogs at Williams Kennel. Dogs found in need of medical care included: an underweight dachshund with “prominent vertebrae, ribs, and loss of muscle mass” who was nursing five puppies (January 2016); a fox terrier with a skin lesion that extended across its abdomen (January 2016); a miniature schnauzer with hair loss around the eye (January 2016); a lhasa apso with “bilateral mucopurulent discharge and pigmentation of the eyes” (Nov. 2015); a Brussels Griffon with ocular discharge, dental disease and overgrown nails (September 2015); a Bearded Collie who was limping and had a “wide strip of hair loss on his back” who was not taken to a veterinarian even though the licensee was instructed to have him treated (March 2015); a miniature poodle with eye discharge and gum disease who was not treated by a veterinarian even after the inspector requested it (March 2015), a Brussels Griffon with an eye disorder and a lump (August 2014); a shih tzu with eye discharge and crusty skin (August 2014), a Welsh Terrier who could not walk normally (Oct 2014), an Affenpinscher with patches of hair loss (August 2014), several dogs with bloody wounds or hair loss (March 2014), and a puppy with a gaping laceration on its head (March 2014). Repeated problems have also been found with dogs who didn’t have sufficient protection from the cold, and puppies with their feet passing through the wire flooring, which poses a significant risk of entrapment or injury. Williams has an active website at pup4u.com and also has many online ads for puppies on PuppyFind, a website that HSUS researchers have linked repeatedly to puppy mill operators and questionable breeders. MO #AC0002DJ. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Josh L. Souza, Chevorlet Ranch [SIC], Phillipsburg, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER)– DOGS FOUND PANTING IN JULY HEAT WITHOUT SHADE; VIOLATIONS FOUND AT 23 DIFFERENT USDA INSPECTIONS. Between May 2012 and July 2016, USDA inspectors found violations during 23 different inspections at Josh Souza’s kennel, and found acceptable conditions only a handful of times. Since the publication of our May 2016 report, new violations found at the facility include numerous dogs who were housed outside in July 2016 with no shade when the temperature was in the mid-90s. According to a USDA inspection report, many of the dogs were “panting heavily and had lolling tongues,” and one dachshund was seen sitting in her water bowl in an apparent attempt to cool down.

Prior issues documented at the kennel and mentioned in our previous report include a dog with such advanced dental issues that some of her teeth were encased in tartar and “the top gum lines were rough, reddened and receded with a yellowish/white substance in the receded area.” The licensee had been advised to get the dog dental care during a previous veterinary visit in February 2015, but apparently had not done so as of November 2015.

Souza was also cited on at least five different dates in 2015 alone for puppies he acquired or sold without the required documentation or that weren’t properly identified, an issue he was also warned about in previous years that could indicate he was selling animals from unlicensed puppy mills (November 2015; July 2015; Feb. 18, 2015; Feb. 10, 2015; and, Jan. 22, 2015). Souza was cited for the undocumented puppies repeatedly in 2014 and 2013 as well; in all, he was cited for the issue on 10 different dates between 2013 and 2015.

Additional violations documented in our previous reports include: sickly and underweight dogs who were not treated by a vet even after the licensee was instructed by the inspector to get them medical care; dogs so severely matted that at least one of them had difficulty moving around; dogs without enough protection from the bitter cold when the wind chill was just 16.2 degrees Fahrenheit; dogs forced to walk in their own feces because it covered 85% of their floor space (all in Feb. 2015 per USDA); and many other filthy and unsafe conditions. In November 2013, the USDA gave Souza an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations for six different violations found during six different inspections in 2012 and 2013, including a repeated failure to provide adequate veterinary care.

A recent USDA inspection in November 2016 was compliant, but The HSUS continues to have concerns about this kennel due to its record of recurring problems. USDA #43-B-3620. FOURTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Diana Stephenson, formerly S & S Family Puppies, Milan, Missouri (REPEAT OFFENDER) – ONCE-NOTORIOUS PUPPY MILL OPERATOR WHO WAS SHUT DOWN IN 2011 FOUND SELLING PUPPY THROUGH PET STORE IN 2017, POSSIBLY VIOLATING PRIOR AGREEMENT. As The HSUS first reported in May 2011, Diana Stephenson, formerly S & S Family Puppies, was finally shut down six years ago, after many years of documented animal care violations, including more than 500 pages of USDA enforcement records and consumer complaints about the sale of sick puppies. According to a consent agreement between Stephenson and the state of Missouri, Stephenson agreed to surrender her license, transfer all of the dogs, puppies, cats or kittens in her possession on or before May 31, 2011, and “refrain from all [AFCA-covered] pet adoptions or sales for at least eight (8) years.” Yet a consumer who purchased a puppy at a New York pet store in February 2017 found a Diana Stephenson of Milan, Missouri using a cancelled USDA license number listed as the breeder on the animal’s paperwork. The puppy had a birth date of Sept. 22, 2016.

Stephenson was associated with a few different business names, some co-owned with family members, including Charles Stephenson and Brandi Cheney. While Diana Stephenson and Brandi Cheney owned the same facility in Milan, Missouri (S & S Family Puppies, former USDA #43-B-0435), they accumulated USDA violations for many severe issues, including very thin dogs, sick dogs, wounded dogs, puppies found trapped in wire flooring, rusty and broken cages, and filthy and unsafe conditions (USDA enforcement records, 2009, 2008 and 2007).  

Brandi Cheney is now licensed in a new location under the name Circle B Farms, and the mother of the puppy registered to Stephenson who was sold by the pet store in 2017 was listed as “Circle B Cheyenne.”  The HSUS reported the sale to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the Missouri Department of Agriculture in April 2017.  APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN THE HSUS REPORT, MISSOURI’S DIRTY DOZEN.

NEW/ Tanya White and Samantha Chandler, Elites Tiny Paws, Taneyville, Missouri – PUPPIES HAD HAIR LOSS AND FLAKY SKIN; RECEIVED OFFICIAL USDA WARNING IN AUGUST 2016. In August 2016, the USDA gave White an official warning for two direct veterinary care violations. According to the warning letter, the violations occurred in June 2016 and May 2016. Although details of the violations were not immediately available due to the USDA’s removal of information from its website, a “direct” violation is one of the most serious violations that a USDA inspector can identify, because it indicates that an animal was found with a condition that is likely to have a direct impact on his or her safety or welfare.

During a state inspection in November 2016, inspectors cited White for selling a Yorkshire terrier puppy without any health records. In October 2016, she was cited for three Chihuahua puppies “who were observed to have significant hair loss, excoriations [abrasions], and flaky, moist skin.” When questioned about the puppies, the licensee claimed that they had been seen by a veterinarian, but had no documentation to prove they had been examined or treated, according to the inspection report. In addition, the licensee said she was about to sell the puppies at auction, but was advised by the inspector that the puppies should not be sold without veterinary care. Additional problems found at the October inspection included goat and cattle medications being used on the dogs, dogs sold or given away without rabies vaccinations, dogs missing from the kennel with no explanation for what had happened to them, dogs without adequate protection from the weather, and runny stools throughout the kennel. USDA #43-B-3761; MO #AC00186Z.

NEW JERSEY

NEW/ Diana Burden, Tall Pines Kennels, Orchard, Nebraska–RECEIVED OFFICIAL WARNING FROM THE STATE FOR INADEQUATE STAFF TO CARE FOR ANIMALS, FILTHY CONDITIONS WITH TWO WEEKS OF FECAL ACCUMULATION, RODENT INFESTATION AND POOR AIR QUALITY. In November 2016, the state of Nebraska issued an official warning to Diana Burden/ Tall Pine Kennels for numerous violations, including an accumulation of two weeks’ worth of feces and urine, a lack of adequate employees to take care of the kennel, a rodent infestation and mouse feces in the kennel, and a repeated problem with strong odors in the kennel. In addition, the warning noted that a Yorkie was found with “urine and feces clumping [in] fur” and other dogs were found with “feces attached near their anus area,” while another Yorkie was found with matted fur covering more than 10 percent of his body. The issue with matted feces around the anal area can occur when dog cages are so unclean that the dogs are left sitting in their own feces. Some of the issues, including the poor ventilation, excessive feces and poor sanitation, were first noted during an inspection in October 2016 and still had not been cleaned up adequately as of a follow-up inspection in November. As of November 2016, the facility had about 92 dogs and puppies, according to state records. The facility sells puppies online via classified websites such as NextDayPets.com and via its own website, www.tallpineskennels.com. NE # KN914.

Brenda Carroll, Carroll Sell Farms, Plattsmouth, Nebraska (REPEAT OFFENDER) – “ROUTINELY NONCOMPLIANT IN GENERAL HUSBANDRY,” PER STATE REPORT; FILTHY CONDITIONS, NOT ENOUGH EMPLOYEES TO CARE FOR MORE THAN 90 DOGS; SOME DOGS DID NOT EVEN HAVE ENOUGH SPACE TO STAND OR SIT COMFORTABLY. During several state inspections in 2016, numerous problems were found at Carroll Sell Farms, including dogs who did not have enough space to stand, sit or turn around freely (Sept. 8, 2016), a dog with an injured leg (Sept. 8, 2016), inadequate shelter for the dogs (Sept 8, 2016 and Feb. 4, 2016), filthy conditions (Sept. 8, 2016 and Feb. 4, 2016), and not enough employees to properly maintain the kennel (Sept. 14, 2016 and Sept 8., 2016). In addition, dogs were found without adequate weather protection in February 2016, an issue that Carroll had been repeatedly cited for in winters past.

Carroll appeared in our 2014 report due to dogs in four-degree temperatures with frozen water. In that report, we noted that the operation failed to meet state standards at four consecutive state inspections between January 2013 and February 2014. At all four inspections, dogs were found either with no water or water that was frozen. In February 2014, a state inspector noted that dogs were exposed to 4-degree temperatures and all the water was frozen. Inspectors had notified Carroll in January 2013 that dog flaps were needed on the outside dog houses and that the dogs needed fresh, unfrozen water, but she still had not corrected the problem on the 4-degree day more than a year later, according to state inspection records. A February 2016 inspection found the  same issue. As of September 2016, about 92 dogs and puppies were on the property, according to state records. NE #KN1109. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Barbara Crick, Crick’s Kennel, Burwell, Nebraska (REPEAT OFFENDER) – RECEIVED OFFICIAL WARNING FROM THE STATE IN 2016 FOR FILTHY CONDITIONS AND DOGS WITHOUT WATER; SHOT A DOG IN THE HEAD IN 2008; MANY ISSUES IN BETWEEN. Barbara Crick first appeared in our Horrible Hundred report in 2013, partly due to a USDA report indicating she had shot a golden retriever in the head in 2008. According to the 2008 report, the inspector found “a dead female golden retriever that had been tied to a post behind the east kennel and shot in the head with a .22 caliber gun.”  The operator was told that shooting a dog was not an acceptable method of routine euthanasia. USDA has cited the kennel for many repeated problems, including unsafe and shoddy housing, filthy conditions and an inability to protect dogs from extreme heat and cold.

Nine years later, the kennel still breeds golden retrievers, in addition to huskies, boxers and many other breeds, according to state photos. Two state inspections in 2016 found Crick’s Kennel with unsanitary and inadequate conditions. In May 2016, the state of Nebraska gave Crick an official warning for unsanitary conditions, excessive piles of feces and dogs without water. Yet despite this warning, another state inspection in August 2016 found that waste was still not being properly disposed of.

Similar problems had all been reported during prior USDA inspections as well. USDA #47-A-0426; NE #KN95. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Linda Hager and Edward Ruyle, Crab Orchard Kennel, Crab Orchard, Nebraska (REPEAT OFFENDER) –USDA CONTINUES TO PURSUE COMPLAINT IN 2017 RELATED TO UNLAWFUL SALES TO PET STORES; PRIOR VIOLATIONS FOR FOUL ODORS, MATTED DOGS AND FILTHY CONDITIONS. According to a March 2017 news report, the USDA has new information in its complaint against Linda Hager and Edward Ruyle for allegedly selling many puppies to pet stores after dropping Hager’s USDA license. A hearing was originally scheduled for mid-March 2017, but was suspended, according to the news report.

Linda Hager first appeared in The HSUS’ Horrible Hundred report in 2013 for repeatedly failing to let inspectors in to view her kennel, and she appeared again in 2014, after no fewer than 54 dogs were found in need of veterinary care during a USDA inspection (March 2014). A puppy died during the USDA’s inspection, and other dogs were found to be underweight or suffering from lumps, swellings, injuries, eye and skin disorders and infections.

After news of the horrific violations reached the public, Hager cancelled her USDA license in May 2014, but remained state licensed and continued to be found with substandard conditions by state inspectors.

Without a USDA license, Hager could still legally sell puppies directly to the public, but not to brokers, pet stores or online sight-unseen. However, The HSUS received evidence that Hager’s kennel was continuing to sell puppies to pet stores under the kennel’s co-owner’s name, Edward Ruyle. Ruyle also did not hold a USDA license. This information was provided to the USDA by both the HSUS and private citizens.

On Feb. 5, 2016, the USDA filed a complaint alleging that Hager and Ruyle had “in commerce, offered for sale, delivered for transportation, or transported, and/or sold 224 puppies” unlawfully without the required license (AWA Docket #16-0049).

Despite their disgraceful history, Hager and Ruyle are still licensed by the state of Nebraska in 2017. State records show that the kennel had noncompliant issues for problems such as foul odors, matted dogs and filthy conditions in prior years. The facility had 82 dogs and puppies at an August 2016 state inspection, at which time violations were noted for inadequate pest control and poor ventilation in the whelping area, with high ammonia levels. Former USDA #47-A-0410; NE #0315162 or KN162. FIFTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Daniel and Jaynell Schaaf, Kuddly Kritters Kennel, Atkinson, Nebraska (REPEAT OFFENDER) – DOGS FOUND IN NEED OF VETERINARY CARE FOR FIVE YEARS IN A ROW (2012-2016). Even after Kuddly Kritters appeared in our May 2016 Horrible Hundred report for repeated veterinary issues, two more dogs were found in need of veterinary care at the kennel in October 2016, according to a USDA report. Both dogs appeared to have advanced dental issues; one of them had a loose tooth and both had visible tartar buildup and swollen gums. Dental issues were found at the kennel during prior inspections as well; in November 2015, the USDA fined the Schaafs for repeated veterinary issues and other violations. A shih tzu was found with advanced dental disease in August 2015. Another shih tzu was identified during a January 2015 inspection as needing dental treatment; the buildup of hard grey/brown material on her teeth was so significant that it had built up into a pea-sized mass on one of the teeth and completely covered other teeth. In 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012, USDA inspectors found additional dogs in need of veterinary attention at Kuddly Kritters Kennel. These issues included a dog with a four-inch long abnormal growth (July 2014), a dog with a “red and oozing” open wound on her foot (July 2014), and a dog with dental disease and “green-colored mucus covering about 75 percent” of his eye (November 2014).

The kennel is also licensed by the state of Nebraska. In May 2016, it was found to have unsanitary conditions and in February 2016 it was found to have dirty food receptacles, according to state inspection records. USDA #47-A-0146; NE #021416. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Linda Simpson, Kirkwood Kennels, Tekamah, Nebraska– ALLEGEDLY SOLD PUPPY WITH URINE SCALDING, STAPH INFECTION AND URINARY TRACT INFECTION; NO VET PLAN FOUND AT TWO CONSECUTIVE INSPECTIONS. In January 2017, state records show that a puppy buyer filed a complaint about a sick puppy sold by Kirkwood Kennels. According to the puppy buyer, the house smelled bad, and she noticed scabs on the puppy she purchased. She claimed that when she took the puppy to a veterinarian, the vet determined that the puppy’s scabs were from “laying in its urine” and diagnosed the puppy with a staph infection and a urinary tract infection. When a Nebraska state inspector visited the property, the inspector claimed they did not see puppies in poor condition, but noticed that the house had an odor, it had no current veterinary plan and conditions were unsanitary. In addition, during its previous inspection in May 2016, the same issue had been flagged regarding lack of a veterinary plan, and yet it had still not been corrected as of the January 2017 visit, about eight months later. NE #KN1081.

Jo Ann Steiger, In God’s Hands Kennel, Randolph, Nebraska (REPEAT OFFENDER)– STATE INSPECTORS REPEATEDLY FOUND INADEQUATE VETERINARY RECORDS AND UNSANITARY CONDITIONS.

During four different state inspections in 2016 alone, inspectors found multiple deficiencies at In God’s Hands Kennel, usually in relation to unsanitary conditions and lack of veterinary records. In August 2016, an inspection found with unclean conditions, a mouse infestation and no individual health records on the dogs. In May 2016, the kennel had no written veterinary care plan and had dirty conditions and excessive rust that did not allow surfaces to be properly cleaned. In March 2016, state inspectors found no veterinary care plan, unsanitary conditions and inadequate waste disposal. In January 2016, cages were found to be in poor repair, with sharp points that could injure the dogs.

As we noted in our 2015 Horrible Hundred report, in January 2014, Steiger received an official warning from the state of Nebraska for dogs and puppies kept in “bitter temperatures” without enough protection from the cold, dogs with frozen water who had not had potable water for “at least 16 hours,” and accumulations of wastes and feces. Despite this warning, poor conditions continued to be documented at the kennel. In February 2015, Steiger received another warning for the very same issues, as well as the lack of a veterinary care plan, two injured dogs, and unsafe conditions.

Steiger appears to sell puppies online via www.ingodshandskennel.weebly.com although it is unclear if she has a USDA license, which would be required in order to ship puppies sight-unseen. On her website, Steiger says puppies “are available for delivery, pick up, and can even be crated and shipped.” NE #KN1104. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Paul Urbanec, Diamond in the Ruff, Pender, Nebraska (REPEAT OFFENDER) – INADEQUATE VETERINARY PLAN, EXCESSIVE FECES, UNSANITARY CONDITIONS. In September 2016, a Nebraska state inspector found five violations at Diamond in the Ruff, including the lack of a veterinary care plan, unsanitary conditions and excessive feces. In May 2016, a state inspection found that the facility had dirty conditions and inadequate pest control.

In addition to the state violations, USDA inspectors have found issues as well. As we noted in our 2016 report, in August 2015, the USDA fined Paul Urbanec $3,536 for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act regulations that occurred during three visits in 2014. The issues included injured dogs who had not been treated by a veterinarian, failure to maintain sanitary conditions, failure to protect dogs from extreme temperatures, and failure to make the facility available for inspection on two occasions. Yet it appears that Urbanec continued to violate the Animal Welfare Act regulations even after the fine, as evidenced by his November 2015 and December 2015 inspections. The November 2015 inspection resulted in yet another “no access” violation, and at the December 2015 inspection, unsafe housing conditions were found. Problems recorded at the kennel in 2014 (as noted in our 2015 report) included a mastiff with open wounds on both ears that were “moist and bright red” and had “numerous flies” on them. When questioned about whether the dog was being treated for the wounds, the licensee produced an ointment that had expired almost a decade previously. During the same inspection, two dogs were found with signs of dental disease so severe that a pus-like substance could be seen along their gums, and two German shepherds were found with hair loss and “bare skin was exposed” on the tips of the ears, which also had flies crawling on them. When questioned about the treatment these dogs were receiving, the licensee again pulled out the 10-year-old ointment, according to the inspection report (7/29/14). Additional problems found at the same inspection included excessive feces, unsafe housing and other unsanitary conditions.  USDA #47-A-0540; NE #KN838. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW JERSEY

William/Bill Roberts, aka John Roberts, Gloucester County, New Jersey (REPEAT OFFENDER)– CONSUMER COMPLAINTS ABOUT SICK PUPPIES; UNLICENSED DEALER PREVIOUSLY HAD ANIMALS SEIZED FROM HIS HOME. Roberts first appeared in our 2014 Horrible Hundred report due to allegations of sick puppies sold on PuppyFind.com. As recently as April 2017, Roberts was still advertising on PuppyFind.com, a website that The HSUS has repeatedly linked to unlicensed and questionable puppy dealers, including some in this report who have been charged with animal cruelty in the past.

The HSUS has also received consumer complaints about purchases from Bill Roberts as recently as August 2016. Roberts had 11 puppies listed for sale on PuppyFind.com as of April 6, 2017, in addition to ads on other classified advertising websites:

In December 2016, after receiving a new complaint, an HSUS undercover investigator called Roberts about puppies for sale. Roberts indicated that he re-sells puppies from other breeders in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Related: Governor Christie Just Delivered a Major Blow to Ending Puppy Mills in New Jersey

William Roberts has been accused of selling sick puppies on multiple occasions over the years, both as a broker and breeder. In 2008, 28 dogs were seized from his home and he was briefly jailed, but news sources say the charges were later administratively dropped. However, Roberts was found selling sick puppies again in 2012 and 2013. Roberts was the subject of an ABC 6 Action News report in November 2013 after a woman who purchased a shih tzu from him said the puppy died of Parvovirus a few days later: abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?id=9308028.

In 2012 the county issued a cease and desist order to Roberts after getting another complaint that he was illegally selling sick dogs. But ABC 6 Action News found him still selling puppies out of his car in October 2013. Action News found Williams selling the dogs under the name John Roberts. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW YORK

NEW/ Leon Nolt, LW Kennels, Dundee, New York – AT LEAST HALF OF THE DOGS HAD MATTED FUR AND LONG NAILS; FILTHY CONDITIONS. On May 24, 2016, USDA inspectors found numerous violations at Nolt’s kennel. The inspector noted that “at least 50% of the dogs in the kennel had matted fur and long nails that need to be trimmed,” adding, “matted fur pulls and separates from the skin which can be painful and cause skin irritations.” At the same inspection, a Maltese was found shaking his or her head and “when observed closer the ears were very dirty with a high potential of ear mites.” The Maltese also had dental problems. Other issues found during the same visit included a pug who had an abnormal eye and a bichon circling in a frantic and abnormal manner. Enclosures were in poor repair, enclosures and food receptacles were dirty and some areas were stained with urine and grime, and inspectors found multiple expired medications, including drugs that had expired in 2013 and 2011. USDA #21-A-0146.

OHIO

NEW/ Debra S. Baird, Salem, Ohio – WARNED ABOUT SALE OF UNDERAGE PUPPIES; REPEATEDLY FAILED TO HAVE RECORDS OF MEDICAL EXAMS ON DOGS AND PUPPIES. In June 2016, a state inspector noted several problems at Baird’s facility, including records that indicated that “multiple puppies were sold less than eight weeks of age,” which would be a violation of state law. There was also “no proof that the veterinarian has medically examined or visited each dog and/or puppy within the last year,” and no health plan at the facility. Upon re-inspection in July, the inspector noted that some issues had been corrected, but others still remained, including the lack of individual veterinary exams for each animal. When an inspector attempted another follow-up visit in August 2016, no one was “available” to give access to inspectors. It wasn’t until November 2016 that a state inspector was able to verify compliance with all the issues found in June, according to state inspection reports. OH #CB000729.

NEW/ Nathan & Sara Bazler, Little Puppies Online, LLC, Mount Vernon, Ohio – PUPPIES FOUND IN CRAMPED, UNDERSIZED CAGES; DEALER BOUGHT PUPPIES FROM UNLICENSED BREEDERS. Little Puppies Online is an internet broker that sells puppies via a website, littlepuppiesonline.com. They also sell on other classified ad sites such as Hoobly and NextDayPets.com, and promote puppies on Facebook. The puppies are shipped all over the United States, but come mostly from Ohio. On its website, the business states that they sell many breeds obtained from others, but the owners also “personally breed Dalmatians and long-haired miniature dachshunds.”

During a July 2016 USDA inspection, Little Puppies Online was cited with a “Direct NCI,” the most serious kind of violation, by a USDA inspector who found that most of the puppy enclosures were overcrowded. For example, three Dalmatian puppies were found packed in a cage that was only 24 inches by 36 inches (six square feet), while the USDA’s minimum cage size for three puppies of that size would be 16 square feet, according to the USDA report. The inspector noted that “at least 25 of the 37 enclosures were overfilled” with puppies. The inspection report also alluded to sick puppies, noting, “there have been medical issues in the recent past that may have been compounded by housing animals in below the minimum space requirements.”

The same report also noted that the dealer had obtained at least 18 puppies from unlicensed individuals, which is a serious concern because unlicensed breeders could easily be unlawful puppy mills. The HSUS recommends never purchasing a puppy sight-unseen from any website. USDA #31-B-0174.

Marvin Burkholder, Berlin Kennel, Millersburg, Ohio (REPEAT OFFENDER) – RECEIVED OFFICIAL WARNING FROM USDA IN JUNE 2016 FOR REPEAT VETERINARY ISSUES. In June 2016, the USDA gave Burkholder an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations due to veterinary violations that occurred on at least four prior dates. Despite the warning, USDA found more violations in August 2016, including puppies on wire flooring, which puts the puppies in danger of entrapment or injury, and expired medications.

As we noted in our May 2016 report, Burkholder accumulated repeat USDA violations in 2015 and 2014. During a September 2015 inspection, two repeat violations were found: a King Charles Cavalier spaniel had “signs of significant dental disease” and conditions were unsanitary with excessive feces. Problems found at Berlin Kennel in prior years included a Yorkie with a severe eye injury (Sept. 18, 2014), a Boston terrier with a “right eye that is cloudy and blue, with green thick discharge” (Jan. 15, 2015) and repeated issues with unsanitary conditions. In September 2014, a USDA inspector found that Marvin Burkholder sold at least two litters of underage puppies. One of the litters was only 46 days old, which is about six-and-a-half weeks; USDA requirements and many state laws require puppies to be at least eight weeks of age prior to sale for their health and safety. According to the USDA, sale of underage puppies “can cause additional stress, social anxieties, and lead to disease problems since immune systems have not [been] fully developed.” USDA #31-A-0224; OH #CB0003HW. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Gregory Fidoe, Canfield, Ohio – SOLD UNDERAGE PUPPIES AND REPEATEDLY FAILED TO GET VETERINARY EXAMS AS REQUIRED, PER STATE RECORDS. It is unlawful both under the federal Animal Welfare Act and state of Ohio law to sell puppies under the age of eight weeks, because puppies under that age are often highly susceptible to stress and illness and may not be ready to be fully weaned. Yet state records show that Fidoe’s kennel was found twice in 2016 with evidence that it may have been selling underage puppies. The issue was noted first in June 2016, when a state inspector noted that “various puppies had been sold [at] less than 8 weeks of age.” During the same inspection, the licensee was also instructed to have individual veterinary examinations on dogs and puppies as required by state law, and to have a written annual health plan at the facility. Yet when an inspector returned on July 12, 2016, only one issue had been corrected, and the licensee still did not have individual vet exams on each animal as required; in addition, the issue of underage puppy sales also remained, according to the inspection report. The issue with underage puppies was not corrected until another follow-up inspection on Aug. 23, 2016, according to state inspection records, yet at that inspection, Fidoe had still not obtained a veterinary examination for each of his dogs and puppies. That issue was not corrected until a third follow-up inspection in November 2016. OH #CB000KLS.

NEW/ Emanuel D. Keim, Baltic, Ohio– DOGS FOUND WITH HAIR LOSS AND SKIN CONDITIONS. During a Sept.  16, 2016 state inspection, “various Westie females were found to have hair loss and apparent skin conditions that were not being treated,” at Keim’s kennel. In addition, “fecal matter was not being removed from some primary enclosures daily” and unweaned puppies were not being properly identified, an issue which could make it difficult to match proper medical records with the correct dogs. When state inspectors returned to re-inspect the kennel on Sept. 29 and again on Sept. 30, no one was “available” to let them in, according to additional inspection records. It wasn’t until Oct. 3, 2016 that the issues noted in the Sept. 16 report were found to be fully addressed. USDA #31-A-0351; OH #CB000657.

NEW/ Sam Mast, Fresno, Ohio – SALE OF UNDERAGE PUPPIES; NO VET RECORDS ON DOGS; UNSAFE AND UNSANITARY CONDITIONS. State inspectors found a number of problems at Sam Mast’s facility in 2016, including unsanitary conditions, unsafe housing, which included bent and sagging floors and rusting areas of bare wire, no veterinary exams on the dogs, and the sale of underage puppies, according to a July 1, 2016 state inspection report. Mast was ordered to fix the conditions and was told that an inspector would return in about a month. When the inspector returned on Aug. 1, 2016, however, no one was available to let her in, according to state records. And when the inspector returned again a few days later, she found that the licensee still claimed to be working on the kennel and had “ordered supplies” to fix problems. But when she returned again on Sept. 6, 2016, the licensee was again not available, requiring yet another visit. The housing issues found on July 1 were not corrected until Sept. 9, 2016. OH #CB00101X.

James A. Miller, Millersburg, Ohio (REPEAT OFFENDER) – MATTED DOGS KEPT IN RUSTY CAGES; DIRTY CONDITIONS. State kennel inspectors found additional violations at James Miller’s kennel after he appeared in our prior report due to a sick dog and poor conditions. In September 2016, inspectors noted that many surfaces needed cleaning and that “multiple dogs throughout the facilities lacked adequate grooming.” Although it was not noted in the report, photos taken by state inspectors also showed dogs in wire, rusty cages, a common hallmark of puppy mills.

As we noted in our prior report, 2016 was not the first year in which problematic conditions were found at James Miller’s facility. During an inspection in September 2015, an Ohio state inspector found a male King Charles Cavalier spaniel on the property who was “extremely lethargic, weak and uncoordinated.” The dog required immediate veterinary care and was taken to a veterinarian at the insistence of the inspector. The inspector found many additional problems were found at the same inspection, including dogs and puppies who were in cages that were too small, no solid flooring or resting area in some of the enclosures, dirty conditions, no record of a health plan in place, and a failure to properly identify dogs or keep track of sales (which could make tracking veterinary treatments or disease outbreaks nearly impossible). In November 2015, a state inspector returned for a re-inspection and found that some of the issues had been corrected, but many problems still remained. OH # CB000NDU. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

John J. Nisley, Loudonville, Ohio (REPEAT OFFENDER) – DOG FOUND WITH SORES ON EARS AND HEAD; PRIOR VIOLATIONS FOR INJURED AND LETHARGIC DOGS. Even after appearing in our prior Horrible Hundred report due to injured and/or sick dogs found at the facility, another injured dog was found on Nisley’s property on Aug. 23, 2016. The dog, a male Siberian husky, had sores on his ears and head, according to a state inspection report. In photos included with the report, the husky also appeared thin, although no concerns about his body weight were noted in the report.  

As we stated in our prior Horrible Hundred report, in September 2015, a state inspector found a number of violations at Nisley’s kennel, including a poodle who was “limping excessively on her front left leg.” The owner “verbally confirmed that the dog was being ‘sold in a day,’ but made no affirmation that the dog was in pain until acknowledgement by the animal health inspector,” according to the inspection report. The inspector also noted that two boxers at the facility “appeared to be very lethargic” and were in need of immediate veterinary care. There was no documentation to show that a veterinarian had been to the facility or treated the dogs, according to the report.

During the same visit (Sept. 1, 2015), the inspector also found that “the majority of the dogs that are housed in the outside facilities are not provided with a sufficient amount of clean, drinkable water on a continual basis [but were] checked once a day or every few days,” according to the report. In addition, more than 75 percent of the food and water receptacles were unclean and many were filled with “inadequate and filthy water” or with “mud, feces and other undesirable materials lacking any type of sanitation.” The sick dogs were taken to a vet at the insistence of the inspector, and the food and water receptacles were cleaned for a follow-up inspection, but in November 2015, Nisley was cited again, this time for selling underage puppies. OH #CB0009Z7. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Daniel Schlabach/Evergreen Designer LLC, Charm, Ohio (REPEAT OFFENDER) – FIRE IN POLE BARN FILLED WITH “HUNDREDS OF DOGS” KILLED AN UNDISCLOSED NUMBER OF ANIMALS.  Daniel Schlabach first appeared in our 2013 Horrible Hundred report due to numerous violations that were documented under his previous USDA license number.  After that business became associated with a host of violations, Schlabach switched to a different business name and license number, but the property was still owned by the same person in the same location.

The business remained relatively free of known violations between 2013 and 2016. But a fatal fire in February 2017 cast some doubt on the safety of dogs at the kennel. According to the Coshocton Tribune, an undisclosed number of dogs were killed in the fire, which started in a pole barn. The local fire chief declined to investigate the fire because no human lives were lost, according to the article.

Amish owner Daniel Schlabaugh [SIC] was raising hundreds of dogs inside separate pens in a 30-by-90-foot pole barn,” according to statements the fire chief made to the newspaper. The report went on to state that the fire began in a room attached to the pole barn, near a “diesel engine and air compressor that pressurized a water system.” The fire chief added that the property and animals were not insured, that the kennel housed hundreds of dogs, but he did not know how many animals perished in the fire.

The accident is cause for concern due to the reportedly large number of dogs crowded into a property that apparently didn’t have effective fire prevention measures in place, and due to the fact that the property was linked to USDA violations in the past.

As noted in our 2013 report, in June 2010, the USDA gave Schlabach an Official Warning for Violation of Federal Regulations. USDA previously cited him for numerous issues, including dogs with untreated injuries and illnesses that required veterinary care, failure to protect the dogs from the weather, general filth and ammonia (urine) odor.

On May 10, 2011 Schlabach cancelled his USDA license.  On the very same day, a new USDA license was activated under the name Evergreen Designer LLC.  Ohio Secretary of State business registration records list Daniel Schlabach as the registered agent for Evergreen Designer LLC.  Despite the name change, conditions at this facility with nearly 300 adult dogs seemed to only get worse the following year. In addition to an increase in the number of dogs at the facility, the operator was cited in November 2011 for many dogs in need of veterinary care, including a dog with such severe skin problems that she had “thick, hairless skin covering her tail and around her rear end” and the same dog had a “firm, walnut-sized mass in her left mammary gland,” another dog was underweight, another had a runny nose and was coughing, another had “scabs and ulcerations” on the muzzle, an additional dog was limping and had “red, raw skin” on the paw, others were found with diarrhea; and there were unsanitary conditions, according to the report. USDA # 31-A-0412. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Marvin Schmucker/ Ervin Schmucker, Sugarcreek, Ohio – REPEATED VETERINARY CARE DEFICIENCIES; BICHON HAD SKIN LESIONS AROUND HER NECK AND ON LEG. Problems were found during several state inspections at the Schmuckers’ kennel in 2015 and 2016. In May 2015, a state inspector arrived to inspect the kennel, but no one was available to let the inspector in, and in August 2015, a state inspection found that the kennel selling underage puppies, according to state documents. In May 2016, an inspector found several problems, including a female Bichon with skin lesions around her neck and on her leg, no program of veterinary care for the kennel, no enrichment offered to the dogs, and unsanitary conditions. When the inspector returned to follow up in June 2016, she found that some of the conditions had been addressed, but there was still no program of veterinary care at the kennel, “to include exercise, behavioral [and] social needs” as well as no program for monitoring for canine brucellosis, a contagious disease which can cross the species barrier. The problems weren’t fully corrected until an additional follow-up inspection occurred on July 28, 2016, according to state inspection reports. USDA 31-A-0470; OH #CB0002Y4.

NEW/ Leroy Weaver, Walhonding, Ohio – DEAD PUPPIES FOUND DECOMPOSING IN YARD; SEVERELY MATTED DOGS. Leroy Weaver has only been licensed by the USDA since February 2016, but has already been cited for some serious violations. In September 2016, a USDA inspector found two “partially decomposed carcasses of neonatal puppies” outside in a yard that five adult dogs were able to access. The inspector noted, “Dead animal tissue can potentially cause illness in other dogs,” but there is no indication in the report that the inspector inquired about what had happened to the puppies, why or when. The inspector only cited the breeder with a housing violation.

During the same September 2016 visit, Weaver was cited with a “direct” violation, the most serious type, due to dogs who were so badly matted that it was “directly affecting their health and well-being.” One of these dogs was a male Yorkie who had “a strong odor of urine about him,” and there were indications based on the location of his mats that he was unable to void his urine directly onto the ground and was instead urinating on himself. The other dog was a female Yorkie who appeared to be so badly matted that she was limping, “possibly due to the discomfort of having the hair along the legs and feet matted and pulling constantly away from the skin.” In addition, three other dogs were found at the same visit who were also in need of grooming, including one who “has a small patch where hair has been pulled out of the skin because of the large mat.” A USDA inspector followed up on the matting issue during a focused inspection on Oct. 5, 2016, and noted that, while some of the other dogs had had their fur clipped, the dog with the missing patch of hair had still not been groomed. Former USDA # 31-A-0578.

NEW/ Abe R. Yoder, Millersburg, Ohio – UNSAFE FLOORING NOT CORRECTED UNTIL SEVEN MONTHS LATER AND MULTIPLE RE-INSPECTIONS; BICHON WITH EYE ISSUE HAD NOT RECEIVED SURGERY AS DIRECTED BY VETERINARIAN. State inspectors found several issues at Abe Yoder’s facility in 2015 and 2016, according to Department of Agriculture records. Issues found in 2015 involved unacceptable sagging, uncoated wire flooring that was not properly repaired until seven months later, in April 2016, despite multiple calls, re-inspections and reminders. (Allegedly, the licensee kept stating that he was waiting to receive materials, working on it, or waiting to have materials installed.) In addition, vet records showed that a bichon with an eye disorder that the veterinarian had said would need to be surgically corrected still had not received the surgery at the time that an inspector reviewed the records (September 2016). In addition, an excessive amount of flies were in all three buildings, according to a September 2016 report. According to state records, Yoder had 143 breeding dogs and had sold 353 puppies in the last year. There is no excuse for such a high volume breeder to fail to provide safe and secure housing or prompt veterinary care for all animals. USDA #31-A-0539; OH #CB0006FN

OKLAHOMA

Tom Coleman DBA Miguel Delgado, Chandler, Oklahoma (REPEAT OFFENDER): – DEALER PREVIOUSLY REVOKED IN GEORGIA, MOVED TO OHIO, NOW IN OKLAHOMA; HAS HISTORY OF SICK DOGS. Before moving to Ohio and then Oklahoma, Tom Coleman was state licensed as a pet dealer in Georgia, but in February 2012, the Georgia Department of Agriculture revoked his license for violations of the Georgia Animal Protection Act. The revocation stemmed from repeated incidents during which Georgia inspectors found sick and sometimes deceased dogs in Coleman’s kennel who tested positive for Brucellosis, a serious zoonotic disease, followed by Coleman’s failure to properly contain the disease and comply with a quarantine.

According to Georgia state records, Coleman’s facility, then known as Copper Lake Kennels, was placed under quarantine due to dogs in his facility testing positive for Brucellosis. During a February 2012 inspection of Coleman’s facility, it was discovered that he had violated the quarantine by removing the infected dogs. According to Georgia state records, Coleman told the Georgia Department of Agriculture that he had “moved to Utah and had taken the [quarantined] dogs with him.” The Georgia Department of Agriculture later discovered that he had actually “moved himself along with the dogs to Ohio,” according to state records. While in Georgia, Coleman was also USDA licensed, and had a history of problems found at his USDA inspections as well.

Canine Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that is highly contagious to other dogs and can be spread to humans or livestock. In recent years it has become more prevalent in Ohio and Oklahoma, and both states are attempting to contain its spread.

Related: San Francisco Pet Stores Can Now Only Sell Rescue Dogs and Cats

After revoking Coleman’s license, the Georgia Department of Agriculture contacted the Ohio Department of Agriculture to alert them of Coleman and the potentially contagious (Brucellosis positive) dogs that had crossed state lines. Ohio required Coleman to euthanize female dogs who tested positive for Brucellosis and test all of the puppies at the Ohio kennel. Ohio state records show that the state’s Department of Agriculture quarantined Coleman’s facility in March 2012 and again in May 2012, after being alerted about Coleman’s history and the disease risk. Coleman operated in Danville, Ohio, until April 2014 when he auctioned off the property.

After he sold his Ohio property, The HSUS did not know if Coleman had ceased selling dogs. But according to an Oklahoma kennel license list that The HSUS received in May 2016, a Tom Coleman DBA Miguel Delgado was listed in Chandler, Oklahoma.  Upon further investigation, it appeared that this Tom Coleman was the same one connected to the previous Georgia and Ohio kennels.

The HSUS reported information about Coleman’s history to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture in June 2016, believing he may be in violation of Oklahoma commercial dog breeder licensing requirements. According to Oklahoma’s Commercial Pet Breeders application, applicants must indicate and provide an explanation if they had a license revoked or suspended from another state or surrendered a license in another state, among other criteria. The HSUS shared Coleman’s history with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture due to concerns that he might have become licensed under false pretenses.

The HSUS has also received consumer complaints about Coleman/Delgado in recent years.

As we noted in a prior Horrible Hundred report, Coleman was once federally licensed but his USDA license was cancelled in January 2012. Animal Welfare Act violations cited on Coleman’s USDA inspection reports included: four schnauzer puppies with recently cropped “raw and unhealed” ears that were “laying on the wire in feces;” waste under the wire enclosures that had been “allowed to accumulate to excess for at least a week” and that was causing a strong odor; Yorkies in cages with wire flooring that had large openings (1.5 inches) that were causing their feet to fall through; and a cocker spaniel in a cage with her puppies that had “no clean area for the dogs to lay down” due to accumulated feces. OK # 344. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Jerry Hine/ Pink Poodle and Add Love Pets, Stroud, Oklahoma–  HSUS INVESTIGATORS FOUND STENCH AND CROWDED WIRE CAGES; WEBSITE OFFERS TO SHIP PUPPIES, WITHOUT THE REQUIRED USDA LICENSE. Jerry Hine operates a puppy store in Stroud, Oklahoma, and also breeds dogs in an adjacent building. Due to multiple complaints about the conditions in the store and kennel, The HSUS sent investigators to the property in December 2016 and again in March 2017. Although the investigators did not find signs of illegal animal cruelty, they did witness several signs of puppy mill like conditions, including a foul odor and dozens of dogs confined to small, crowded wire cages. The owner told one of the undercover investigators that the dogs were never taken out of their cages for routine exercise.

During a December 2016 visit to the pet store (Pink Poodle), an HSUS investigator heard a number of dogs barking outside and upon entering the store, a strong ammonia stench was prominent. Numerous puppies were on display, many of whom appeared to have ‘oozing, irritated-looking eyes,’ according to the investigator’s report. The puppies were housed in a row of cramped, wire cages.

In addition to selling puppies through his pet store, Hine offers them for sale online. Hine’s Add Love Pets website (addlovepets.com) offers a variety of breeds like Maltese, Yorkshire terriers and Weimaraners. The website offers, “I will ship nationwide.  Shipping starts at $250.” A USDA license is required for commercial breeders with five or more breeding females who ship puppies sight-unseen to pet buyers. Yet when the HSUS inquired about Hines’ license status with the USDA in March 2017, HSUS was told that there was no record of any entity called Jerry Hine, Pink Poodle or Add Love Pets holding a USDA license.

This was not the first time Hine has been investigated; according to news reports, in 2007, local authorities followed up on complaints of poor conditions and dogs living inside a trailer. A potential buyer witnessed dogs in stacked wire cages without water and noted a stench of ammonia. At that time, authorities cited Hine for not having the proper license. Hine is now state licensed in Oklahoma, but still does not have a USDA license. OK # 106.

PENNSYLVANIA

NEW / Evergreen Kennel, East Earl, Pennsylvania  – RECEIVED CITATION FOR SALE OF UNDERAGE PUPPIES; SOME DOGS NOT PROPERLY VACCINATED. Evergreen Kennel is located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and had 215 dogs and puppies during its most recent state inspection (February 2017), which was compliant. But state inspectors found a number of different problems during an October 2016 visit, including the sale of at least two underage puppies, and some adult dogs who were not vaccinated for rabies. Inspectors cited Evergreen Kennel for violations in 2013, 2012 and 2010 as well. In July 2010, the state ordered veterinary checks on six dogs based on the dog warden’s observations of their condition during an inspection; vet checks were also ordered during inspections in 2012 and 2013, and the kennel received written and verbal warnings twice in 2012. PA #02386.

NEW/ Fill-in-the-Gap Pets aka Infinity Pups, Gap, Pennsylvania FAILED FIVE STATE INSPECTIONS IN 2016; UNSAFE CONDITIONS, EXCESSIVE FECES. Fill-in-the-Gap Pets received at least three different citations and failed five state inspections in 2016 for multiple non-compliances, including missing veterinary records and acquisition records, dogs without enough space, inadequate ventilation, excessive feces, dirty conditions, unsafe conditions such as sharp points and edges that could injure the dogs, and not enough fire detectors or smoke alarms. One inspection in January 2017 was compliant. The establishment has at times offered puppies for sale on online classified sites such as GreenfieldPuppies.com and InfinityPups.com and on Facebook under “Infinity Pups.” They also offer AKC puppies for sale on their own website, purebredgoldens.weebly.com. PA #06648.

Garden Spot Puppy Haven, Parkesburg, Pennsylvania (REPEAT OFFENDER) PUPPIES FOUND IN THE COLD; DOGS HAD MATTED HAIR; DOGS DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH SPACE OR FRESH AIR; STATE ISSUED 11 CITATIONS OR WARNINGS AND ORDERED 10 VET CHECKS ON DOGS BETWEEN 2010 AND 2017. Even after appearing in both our 2015 and 2016 Horrible Hundred reports for failing multiple state inspections, Garden Spot Puppy Haven went on to fail even more state inspections, including one in October 2016 and one in January 2017. During the January inspection, the state found 12 different unsatisfactory issues, including puppies in a room that was only 45.8 degrees, matted dogs, including one so matted that it “could interfere with defecation,” poor ventilation that prevented the dogs from getting fresh air, and dogs who did not have enough space or an exercise area. Similar issues were found at the October 2016 inspection. And although the kennel passed a follow-up inspection in March 2017, the enforcement officer ordered a vet check on an unspecified number of dogs; it was the 10th time since 2010 that the kennel had been directed to get vet checks on dogs based on conditions seen during state inspections.

In our 2015 Horrible Hundred report, we noted that Pennsylvania’s Dog Law Enforcement Office had cited Garden Spot Puppy Haven for selling underage puppies in March 2015. Yet even after we published our 2015 report, state inspectors found problems during three additional inspections of Garden Spot Puppy Haven. The kennel was cited again in May 2015 for numerous issues, including unsatisfactory sanitation, maintenance problems and excessive feces. During the same inspection, veterinary checks were ordered on dogs, and a water analysis was ordered to determine if the water being given to the dogs was potable. Vet checks were ordered on dogs again during the next two inspections in July 2015 and November 2015.

Additional issues noted in our prior report(s) include:  a citation in October 2014 for two dogs without rabies vaccinations, and another vet check ordered in March 2013; in 2012, the facility received three verbal and written warnings from the state for many issues, including dogs in need of veterinary care, dirty conditions, dogs not protected from extreme temperature and poor air quality. The facility also received a citation in July 2012 for not using the required ventilation system, resulting in poor air quality. In 2010, the facility received a citation for a variety of issues, ranging from unsafe housing, puppies with their feet falling through the wire flooring, two dogs without current rabies vaccinations, and a verbal warning for unsatisfactory maintenance. PA # 06301.  THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Margaret (Molly) Graf, Eichenluft Working German Shepherds, Newville, Pennsylvania – DOGS FOUND SHIVERING IN THE COLD; REPEATEDLY FAILED TO PROTECT DOGS FROM HARSH WEATHER; FAILED SIX STATE INSPECTIONS IN 2016/ 2017; State kennel inspectors found dozens of animal care violations at Eichenluft Working German Shepherds during multiple visits between February 2016 and January 2017. In December 2016 alone, 35 different unsatisfactory issues were found, including unsafe housing conditions and dogs without adequate shelter from the cold, with “several dogs shivering and appearing to be uncomfortable. ” State inspectors also noted a strong smell of ammonia (decomposing animal wastes), excessive feces, poor ventilation, inadequate shelter to keep the dogs clean and dry, dogs without adequate space and unpotable water. A dog was in a crate that was so small that he couldn’t turn around freely. There was no written program of veterinary care for the kennel. The inspection also cited false statements by the owner of the kennel, who tried to hide the pregnancy of one dog when questioned about it (state kennel inspection report, Dec. 21, 2016). Many of these violations had been found again and again over the course of the year.

In January 2017, some of the issues had been corrected, but the dog warden still found 12 different violations that were new or remained uncorrected. The violations included dogs who still did not have adequate shelter from harsh weather, ventilation that was still poor, no veterinary records on some of the dogs, and no written program of veterinary care for the kennel (state inspection, Jan. 25, 2017). Problems at the kennel go back to at least 2010, when it received a verbal warning for multiple non-compliances, including unsanitary conditions and inability to prove rabies vaccinations for the dogs, according to state records.

Margaret Graf, the operator of Eichenluft Working German shepherds, has a history of criminal infractions, including failure to keep a kennel in sanitary and humane condition (2010, guilty plea), operating a kennel without a license (2010, guilty plea), and a pending 2017 case related to failing to keep a kennel in sanitary and humane conditions and false statements (no known final status as of April 11, 2017).

The kennel’s German shepherd puppies are offered for sale via workinggermanshepherd.com. The same property also appears to run a boarding and training kennel called Ritner Kennel, ritnerkennel.net.

While there is some indication that the state could be in the process of revoking Eichenluft’s  license, the license number was still listed as active on the Pennsylvania Office of Dog Law’s website as of April 6, 2017. PA #06585.

Hill Top Farm Kennel, Honey Brook, Pennsylvania (REPEAT OFFENDER) TEN WARNINGS OR CITATIONS FROM THE STATE SINCE 2010; VET CHECKS ORDERED AT LEAST NINE TIMES BETWEEN 2010-2016. Between January 2010 and August 2016, Hill Top Farm Kennel received seven warnings, three citations and a cruelty referral from the state Office of Dog Law. The agency issued the most recent warning in August 2016, after the kennel failed to prove it had a working and certified ventilation system, even after it was repeatedly notified about the need to provide fresh air for the dogs. The kennel was also notified about the issue in June 2016 and March 2016.

As noted in our prior report, a January 2016 citation included “Interference with Officer” after “the owner’s son ran ahead of wardens to turn on fan(s) in the kennel building, impeding the warden’s ability to inspect the kennel as is.” This violation was particularly problematic because the kennel had been previously warned about not running the required fans, thus depriving the dogs of adequate air circulation, humidity control and ventilation, according to a September 2015 inspection. The January 2016 inspection also found issues with inadequate ventilation, in addition to rodent droppings in the kennel.

The cruelty referral took place in September 2012, when dog wardens “observed two dogs in the kennel that exhibited signs of poor health.” Issues at the kennel go back at least as far as January 2010, when wardens found dogs, including a mother dog with puppies, in a barn with broken windows and no heat when the temperature was only 28 degrees. During the same inspection, a newborn puppy was found “screaming in pain, with a limp back leg” and fresh blood on the floor. The inspector wrote, “kennel [owner] thought maybe puppy with injured leg had been stepped on and that a bitch had miscarried that morning, this warden observed both dogs to be in need of immediate veterinarian care.” The puppy later died, according to the inspection report.

The kennel owner was also ordered to have dog(s) checked by a veterinarian in March 2016, June 2016 and September 2015, for issues that were not specified in the state inspection reports.

A state inspection in September 2016 and an inspection in January 2017 found no new non-compliances, but The HSUS continues to have concerns about this kennel due to its history of recurring problems. PA # 04370. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Jonathan Lapp, Ephrata, Pennsylvania: RECEIVED TWO WRITTEN AND VERBAL WARNINGS; VETERINARY ISSUES, EXCESSIVE FECES. Issues at Lapp’s kennels were found during several state inspections between January 2016 and March 2017. In January 2016, the kennel was issued a citation due to incomplete records and no proof of rabies vaccinations. In December 2016, the kennel received a written and verbal warning for various unsanitary conditions, including excessive feces both inside and under the dogs’ cages and a build-up of dirt and debris. During the December visit, a vet check was ordered on a Havanese dog “based on warden’s observations of the condition of dogs during the inspection.” And during a re-inspection in January 2017, the kennel was again issued a verbal and written warning due to inadequate sanitation. In March 2017, a vet check was again ordered on a dog based on the observations made during the inspection. Lapp has sometimes advertised puppies on LancasterPuppies.com and GreenfieldPuppies.com, two classified sites that are of concern to The HSUS due to the fact that they do not publish their breeders’ full names or other identifying information, making it difficult for potential buyers to know if they are dealing with a puppy mill. PA #12842.

Paul Ober, Celtic Farms and Kennels, Inc., Mohrsville, Pennsylvania (REPEAT OFFENDER) – EMACIATED DOGS FOUND REPEATEDLY; SOME DOGS HAD NO WATER; STATE ORDERED VET CHECKS ON DOGS YEAR AFTER YEAR.  Even after Celtic Farms and Kennels appeared in our last report due to repeated veterinary problems, state inspections found emaciated or sickly dogs  at three additional consecutive inspections in the latter half of 2016 (June 22, 2016, Aug. 1, 2016 and Nov. 10, 2016). In August 2016, three emaciated adult dogs were found, as well as a number with other veterinary issues. One of the underweight dogs was wasted away to the point that “his ribs, spine, shoulder blades, and skull bones were prominently visible.” The same dog also had crusty discharge in both eyes, and malodorous discharge coming from his ears. Additional dogs were found with other medical needs, such as a female dog with “mucousy, bloody diarrhea.” The dog warden had previously visited the kennel in June 2016 and noted similar issues, including “low body condition scores, growths on the eyes, legs, and underside, dental issues, lameness, and ear, eye and skin issues.” At the June visit, the dog warden had ordered the licensee to have the dogs examined by a veterinarian and to continue to monitor them for signs of illness. Also during the June visit, some of the dogs did not have access to water, and conditions were so filthy that maggots were visible in the drain of the main kennel, which was dirty and swarming with flies, according to the inspection report (June 22, 2016).

The year 2016 was at least the fifth year on record that a dog warden ordered veterinary examinations on dogs at Celtic Farms and Kennels. As we noted in our report last year, in May 2014, a cruelty referral was made to a local humane organization due to the poor condition of dogs found during an inspection. Vet checks were also ordered in 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2009.

In April 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Dog Law posted a January 2017 inspection report indicating that the kennel was “out of business.” But Ober still had 21 adult dogs and four puppies at the time of the “out of business” inspection, and there are indications that he continues to sell dogs beneath the numerical threshold required for the state license. Former PA #01225. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Runway Kennel, Gordonville, Pennsylvania: BULLDOG SEEN WITH LARGE, PAINFUL CYSTS ON TWO SEPARATE INSPECTIONS; SEVERAL OTHER DOGS HAD EYE OR SKIN PROBLEMS; SOME DOGS LIVED IN A DARK BUILDING WTHOUT A LIGHT SOURCE; KENNEL HAS BEEN RECEIVING CITATIONS AND WARNINGS SINCE 2010. Runway Kennel received a written and verbal warning from the state Dog Law Enforcement Office due to a number of veterinary issues found during a November 2016 inspection, but despite the warning, many additional violations were found during a January 2017 inspection a few months later, and a February 2017 inspection as well. Issues included a male bulldog named Dozer who had “multiple large, draining interdigital cysts on both of his front legs;” even though the issue was pointed out in November 2016, the dog still had the same condition during the January 2017 inspection, at which time even more dogs were found in need of medical treatment. The additional dogs found in need of vet care at the January 2017 inspection included two dogs with eye disorders, two dogs with patches of hair loss and crusty skin, and an unspecified number of dogs with matted fur and overgrown nails. In addition, during both the November 2016 and January 2017 inspections, some dogs were displaying aggressive behavior and were seen fighting, when they should have been kept separated from incompatible dogs. The kennel owner was also notified in January 2017 about the following violations: wire flooring that puppies could become entrapped in; sale of puppies under 8 weeks of age; dogs kept in darkness such that inspectors could not check on their conditions without a flashlight; dirty food and water receptacles; and unsanitary conditions.

In February 2017, even more violations were found, including: a dog with a fight injury, indicating that incompatible dogs were still not being separated; dogs had insufficient bedding to protect them from the cold weather; some of the dogs were still kept in such dark conditions that the warden needed a flashlight to check on them; conditions were still dirty and unsanitary; several dogs had signs of ill health, including a limping dog, a dog with hair loss (alopecia), dogs with paw problems, and dogs who were matted or had overgrown nails, among other deficiencies.

Issues at Runway Kennel have been recurring for many years. State inspectors ordered vet checks on dogs during 11 inspections between 2010 and 2017. In addition, Runway Kennel has received warnings or citations during at least nine different state inspections since 2010. PA # 03925.

NEW/ Sunny Slope Kennels, Honey Brook, Pennsylvania: VIOLATIONS FOR FIVE YEARS IN A ROW; RECEIVED WARNINGS FROM THE STATE IN 2016; KENNEL PREVIOUSLY CLOSED DOWN IN 2010 BUT REOPENED IN 2012. State inspectors found violations at Sunny Slope Kennels during four out of five different state kennel inspections in 2016, and the kennel received written warnings in February 2016 and again in December 2016 for repeated issues, according to state records. In June 2016 alone, nine different unsatisfactory issues were found, including: no program of veterinary care nor veterinary records on all the dogs; no ventilation system, and inadequate space for the dogs. Despite the June notification about the veterinary problems, at a follow-up inspection in August 2016, the dog warden found that the kennel was lacking a formal relationship with a veterinarian, and was still lacking a program of veterinary care and veterinary records for all of the dogs. During the August 2016 visit, a vet check was also ordered on an unspecified number of dogs, according to state records. The kennel did pass one inspection in September 2016 and one in January 2017, however, there are concerns about the kennel due to its history of recurring non-compliances. According to state records, the kennel was closed down in 2010 for “enforcement related” reasons, but re-opened in 2012. In September 2012, the kennel received a written and verbal warning for keeping dogs in such dark buildings that it was difficult to check on the health of the dogs and the cleanliness of the kennel, and for dirty, unsanitary and unsafe conditions. Additional problems were also found in 2013, 2014 and 2015 during state inspections, and vet checks were ordered during at least four different inspections between 2013 and 2016. PA #08642.

NEW/ Walnut Run, Strasburg, Pennsylvania– KENNEL WAS ISSUED TWO WARNINGS AND ONE CITATION IN 2016 FOR INADEQUATE, UNSAFE HOUSING AND OTHER PROBLEMS. Walnut Run Kennel failed several state inspections in 2016 and received two warnings and a citation from the state. In October 2016, the kennel received a citation for many issues, including dirty conditions, excessive feces, a repeated problem with puppies missing from the kennel who were not accounted for in the paperwork and inadequate veterinary records on the dogs. An April 2016 warning also involved dogs who were missing from the kennel with no explanation for what had happened to them, and other records violations (April 2016). In December 2016, the state issued yet another warning due to a lack of adequate housing and exercise conditions at Walnut Run. One inspection in February 2017 was compliant. PA #14644.

NEW/ Whispering Spring Kennel, LLC, East Earl, Pennsylvania – INSTRUCTED 12 TIMES TO GET VET CHECKS FOR DOGS BETWEEN 2010 AND 2017; RECEIVED WARNING AND CITATIONS AT SIX DIFFERENT STATE INSPECTIONS BETWEEN 2010 AND 2017. Whispering Spring Kennel is in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and had 104 dogs at its most recent (March 2017) state inspection. Over the past seven years, the kennel has been directed to get veterinary checks during 12 state inspections. The most recent veterinary checks were ordered during the March 2017 inspection, based on the dog warden’s “observations of the conditions of dogs during the inspection,” according to the state inspection report. During a January 2017 inspection, the kennel was told to get rabies vaccination for two of its dogs and received a citation. In 2016, Pennsylvania dog wardens required veterinary checks on dogs at Whispering Spring Kennel in both June and December. The kennel was also instructed twice in 2016 to keep the required records on dogs entering and leaving the kennel.  Such records are important because they ensure that the kennel is not obtaining dogs from unlicensed dealers or disposing of dogs improperly. PA #02470.

Marlin Zimmerman, Turkey Hill Kennel, East Earl, Pennsylvania (REPEAT OFFENDER)—INSTRUCTED EIGHT TIMES TO HAVE VET CHECKS ON DOGS BETWEEN 2010 AND 2016; ISSUED 10 WARNINGS OR CITATIONS SINCE 2010 FOR POOR CONDITIONS. Turkey Hill Kennel is located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Inspections have found issues at Turkey Hill Kennel intermittently for at least seven years. It received its most recent verbal and written warning from the Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement office in October 2016, when a warden ordered a vet check on dogs for unspecified issues. It was the eighth vet check required by wardens since 2010.

The kennel also received at least 10 warnings or citations from the state between 2010 and 2016 for poor conditions, including issues such as dogs housed in dark enclosures without adequate light, unhealthy air quality and filthy conditions. As noted in our 2015 Horrible Hundred report, at seven state inspections between June 2011 and December 2014, the inspectors noted that a “72 hour vet check” had been ordered during the inspections, but specific details about their veterinary concerns were not described in the reports.

The kennel houses more than 100 dogs, according to a state inspection in April 2017. The April 2017 inspection found no new non-compliances, but The HSUS continues to have concerns about Turkey Hill Kennel due to its problematic history. USDA #23-A-0268; PA #02459. FOURTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

SOUTH DAKOTA

NEW/ Nancy Ogle, Irene, South Dakota– DIRTY CONDITIONS, THREE DOGS IN NEED OF VETERINARY CARE. During a September 2016 inspection, USDA inspectors found a number of concerns at Ogle’s kennel, including three dogs in need of veterinary care for eye or dental problems. One of the dogs, a French bulldog, had “a buildup of bluish white discharge” in the center of one eye, and “dark green crusty material” around the eye. He had a moist discharge coming from the eye, “causing the hair around the eye to be wet,” but had not been seen by a vet for the condition as of the time of the inspection. Two other dogs found during the same visit had dental problems; their teeth had a thick buildup of tartar and their gums were swollen, dark red and receding, a condition that the inspector noted could be painful and could impact the dogs’ ability to eat normally. In addition, the inspector found dirty conditions that could indicate “daily spot-cleaning and frequent sanitation are not taking place,” according to the inspection report. USDA # 46-A-0390.

Joette Peterson, Freeman, South Dakota (REPEAT OFFENDER)– DOGS HAD OPEN SORES BUZZING WITH FLIES. Peterson has been found with multiple veterinary care violations in 2016, 2015 and 2014. In July 2016, four dogs were found with open sores or patches of hair loss around their ears or noses, where flies were bothering them. When questioned about the wounds, the licensee stated that “this happens every year during fly season.” She had ointment provided by her vet to prevent flies from bothering the dogs, but had not followed up with the vet about the dogs with open wounds, according to the inspection report. In addition, medications kept for use on the dogs were found to be either expired, unlabeled or stored in dirty conditions.

Violations noted in our prior Horrible Hundred report included: August 2014, two injured dogs with open wounds that were buzzing with flies, unsanitary and unsafe housing and a lack of pest control; January 13, 2016, seven of the facility’s dogs were found outside in the cold when the daytime temperature was 35.9 degrees (according to Weather.com, the weather in that part of the country reached lows of approximately zero degrees at night on Jan. 12, 2016, the night before the inspection); and in May 2013, Mr. Peterson actively refused to let an inspector take photographs of a noncompliant issue during an inspection in which multiple violations were found; that inspection was never completed due to Peterson’s refusal. USDA #46-A-0377. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

TENNESSEE

NEW/ George and Tabitha Doyle and Sandra Webb, Mercer, Tennessee—CONVICTED ON 47 COUNTS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY, YET STILL SELLING PUPPIES ON PUPPYFIND.COM; ACCUSED OF SELLING PUPPIES WHO WERE UNDERWEIGHT, SICK OR HAD MANGE. Complaints about sick and dying dogs sold by the Doyle-Webbs have been reported for many years. In April 2000, local law enforcement executed a search warrant and seized more than 100 animals from the property of Sandra and Tabitha Webb. The two were later charged and convicted of 47 of the 101 counts of animal cruelty, fined and banned from owning animals for a 10-year period. Despite this history, the Doyle-Webbs continue to be linked to the sale of sick puppies. Another breeder, George Doyle, who previously operated in Florida, married into the family and continued to breed and sell puppies in Tennessee.

Numerous complaints about sick and dying puppies sold by the Doyles and others have led to a lawsuit against PuppyFind.com, an online puppy marketplace through which several plaintiffs purchased sick puppies from the Doyles.

The Doyles sell mostly shar-peis. As described in the lawsuit, some of those dissatisfied buyers ended up with shar-pei puppies who were malnourished, and had mange, skin lesions, severe upper respiratory infections, parasites, skin sores and/or eye and ear infections. Some of the puppies had to be euthanized just a few weeks after purchase, to the devastation of their new families.

The amended lawsuit, which was filed in February 2017, alleges that defendant Puppies.com, LLC, doing business as PuppyFind.com, “engages in fraudulent and deceptive practices by creating and displaying on its website falsely high seller ratings” for inhumane breeders such as the Doyles, even when such breeders have been accused repeatedly of selling sick pets, and even when the puppy buyers provided detailed veterinary records showing the dogs were sick. PuppyFind’s alleged deceptive practices included, among other things, deleting negative user reviews of the Doyles and other problem sellers.

To further confuse and mislead potential buyers, the Doyles have used many aliases on PuppyFind.com and on other websites. On PuppyFind, they have at times identified themselves by the user names “Brian aka Santa’s Helper,” “House of Ashford,” or “Serious Inquiries Only.”

Tennessee once had a law requiring commercial breeders to be licensed and inspected. The Doyle-Webbs did not become licensed under that law, and now that the law has expired (sun-setted), there is no oversight at all which would allow the state to inspect the property.

Buyers who respond to the ads posted using the myriad of aliases the Doyle/Webbs have used are directed to meet in parking lots, allowing the kennel to remain hidden from the eyes of the public.

TEXAS

NEW/ Rachel and Seth Armstrong/ Rachel Pierson, AY RAAM Farms LLC, Kingsbury, Texas—AKC BREEDER FINED FOR SELLING PUPPIES WITHOUT A STATE LICENSE, UNSAFE AND UNSANITARY CONDITIONS FOR PUPPIES. In March 2016, the Armstrongs were fined for conducting business without a license in 2014. In 2016, the agreement was signed and the Armstrongs were penalized $1,500 (reduced from $3,000 originally). But the issues at the kennel did not go away when the Armstrongs became a state-licensed kennel. During a state inspection on October 28, 2016, a number of problems were found, including: sharp points and barbed wire in the dogs’ enclosures that could injure the animals, whelping areas that had dirt floors and puppies that were found lying in a hole, shelters that were not well constructed and did not provide enough protection from the wind or rain, dirty water receptacles with algae, and no preventative health care or vaccination records available on the dogs. The violations were sent to enforcement, according to state records. Ay Raam Farms breeds Australian Shepherds. The kennel is now state licensed, but The HSUS was unable, as of April 6, 2017, to find any indication that they have a federal (USDA) license, which would be required for selling puppies sight-unseen over the internet. They offer puppies for sale online via their website ayraamfarms.com as well as on the AKC’s Marketplace website, PuppyFind.com, and on Facebook facebook.com/ayraamfarms.  TX #332.

NEW/ Jack and Dorothy Foreman, Dorothy’s Perfect Pets, Marshall, Texas—FINED $1,500 FOR OPERATING A BREEDING KENNEL WITHOUT A LICENSE; DALMATIANS KEPT IN SMALL, STACKED WIRE CRATES IN DISMAL CONDITIONS. In April 2016, the state of Texas fined the Foremans for having an unlicensed kennel in 2015. Photos taken during the investigation showed full-grown Dalmatians housed in stacked wire crates of the size normally used to hold a dog for a few hours. The dogs appeared to have barely enough room to turn around. Some of the kennels appeared rusty and were in dirty, cluttered rooms.

The kennel was fined $1,500 for operating without a state license. As of April 6, 2017, it appears the kennel also lacks a USDA license, even though it appears to be selling puppies online.

According to the state’s investigative report, when a state inspector visited the kennel in October 2015 to check on reports of an unlicensed facility, he found a number of violations, including housing that appeared to be dangerous for the animals and a strong odor in the house due to lack of proper ventilation. The officer was given contradictory statements by the property owner, who stated that he was planning to end his business due to zoning issues, yet he was in the process of building new kennels outside and spoke of expanding, according to the report.

Dorothy’s Perfect Pets sells Dalmatians online via a website, dorothysperfectpets.net and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Dorothys-Perfect-Pets-254276421281386/?ref=br_tf.  TX Lic # 328.onfident dog at all probably cause he was abused and kept in a cage all day?

NEW/ Alejandro Franco, Fairytail Puppies, Mission, Texas—FINED $2,775 FOR SELLING UNDERAGE, SICKLY PUPPY; NOT LICENSED TO SELL PUPPIES ONLINE. In October 2016, Franco was fined $2,775 for selling a puppy who was only six and a half weeks of age to a buyer in California, according to state records. Texas law as well as USDA rules require puppies to be at least eight weeks of age prior to sale for their health and safety. Franco also failed to include the required records with the puppy, including detailed health records, according to the state’s complaint, and failed to respond to the buyers when they requested compensation for veterinary bills. The underage puppy appeared to be suffering from a congenital defect. According to the complaint; she was “diagnosed with megaesophagus- congenital, aspiration pneumonia, and coccidian.” The puppy was euthanized in April 2016.

Fairytail Puppies offers pug and Chihuahua puppies online at fairytailpuppies.com. The business does not appear to be licensed by the USDA (as of April 6, 2017), even though it offers many breeds of puppies online and offers to ship them sight-unseen, according to the website. A USDA license is required for any pet breeder with five or more breeding female dogs who ships puppies sight-unseen. The HSUS reported the issue with possible unlicensed sales to the USDA on April 17, 2017.   TX #278.

Susan Franz, Belton, Texas (REPEAT OFFENDER)– VIOLATIONS FOUND AT 12 USDA INSPECTIONS BETWEEN 2013 AND 2016; DOG HAD CRUSTED LESION AND RED, INFLAMED SKIN. Susan Franz appeared in our 2015 and 2014 reports due to at least eight noncompliant USDA inspections. In 2016, the USDA made at least four more visits or attempted visits to inspect Franz’s property, resulting in at least 12 visits total in which they found non-compliances. The most recent inspection report that HSUS was able to view was dated Oct. 31, 2016. During this inspection, several dogs were found with visible fleas and two of them were seen scratching themselves. One of these dogs had a crusted lesion on her neck and red, inflamed skin on her rear legs, according to the USDA report. The inspector noted, “Ineffective flea control resulting in large numbers of adult fleas […] can cause physical discomfort, result in tapeworm infestation, anemia [or] infection and contribute to medical complications such as hot spot formation.”

In addition, USDA questioned the licensee about four dogs who were listed in the records but were not found at the facility; she stated that one of them had died and three had been “donated,” according to the USDA report.

Violations noted in our 2015 report included: additional dogs who were crawling with fleas, an “overwhelming smell” in the puppy room, no evidence that a veterinarian had been at the facility for more than a year, despite a prior warning from USDA to have it done (May and June 2014), and dogs with dental and eye problems.

A March 2014 USDA inspection found a dog suffering from dehydration, puppies with their feet falling through wire flooring (a serious injury and entrapment risk), and dirty conditions. In December 2013, three dogs were found with hair loss or abnormal masses; piles of abnormal-looking feces on the floor of one kennel were crawling with live worms; and dogs were found with inadequate protection from the rain or cold. Many of these issues had been found at prior inspections as well, including the issues with fleas, dirty conditions, unsafe housing and/or food that was caked, deteriorating or contaminated. Former USDA # 74-A-1475. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Tiffany Harvey, Ace Deuce Ranch, Avery, Texas – FINED $550 FOR SELLING PUPPY WITHOUT PROPER HEALTH RECORD; OFFERS TO SHIP PUPPIES ONLINE VIA PUPPYFIND.COM BUT DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE THE REQUIRED USDA LICENSE. In July 2016, Harvey was fined $550 for allegedly shipping a puppy to a buyer without the necessary health records and allegedly making fraudulent claims about the dog’s breed. Records of the complaint state that the puppy was shipped via airline to the buyer although there is no indication that the breeder is USDA-licensed (per an HSUS review of the USDA license list on April 6, 2017), which would be a requirement for any breeder with five or more breeding female dogs who ships puppies sight-unseen. In addition, a state kennel inspection in December 2015 uncovered a number of issues at the kennel, including a failure to submit annual inventory, failure to have a vet-approved exercise, health care or breeding cycle plan and failure to have annual veterinary examinations. Harvey advertises puppies for sale on PuppyFind.com, a website that The HSUS has linked to numerous unlicensed and/or problematic puppy mills. As of April 21, 2017, Harvey had 13 puppies listed for sale on PuppyFind.com, and offers shipping worldwide, according to her business profile on the site. http://www.puppyfind.com/breeder_directory/breeder/?acct_id=368995; TX #295.

NEW/ Vicky and Frank Hines, Hines Hill Terriers, Quanah, Texas – AKC BREEDERS FINED $5050 BY STATE FOR BREEDING WITHOUT A LICENSE; SOME BREEDING MOTHERS WITH NEW PUPPIES WERE CONFINED TO TINY PLASTIC CRATES. On July 18, 2016, the Hineses were ordered to pay a fine of $5,050 in penalties to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, related to issues found during a February 2016 state inspection. Those issues included letting their license lapse in 2015 but continuing to sell puppies, failure to maintain safe enclosures, and failure to properly clean up feces or to properly clean and sanitize food and water receptacles. Additional issues that were found during state inspection included: failure to have preventive healthcare exams on each animal (none of the dogs used for breeding had been examined by a veterinarian in more than a year), lack of shade in outdoor kennels, and unsafe wire flooring that did not protect dogs’ feet from passing through the openings. Photos taken by a state inspector show that at least two of the whelping mothers with very young puppies were confined to tiny plastic crates of the size and type that are normally used for airline travel.

The photos taken as part of the state investigation also show that the Hineses were selling AKC puppies. The AKC has been exposed by The HSUS in the past for its regular opposition to bills that are designed to crack down on unlicensed breeding and puppy mills.

The Hineses still offer puppies, primarily Jack Russell terriers and border terriers, via their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/HinesHillTerriers) and on their website (hineshill.com). An HSUS review of USDA license lists on April 6, 2017 could find no indication that the facility had a USDA license, which would be required to sell puppies sight-unseen over the internet. The Hineses obtained a new state license, TX #304, but they would also require a USDA license to legally sell puppies online sight-unseen.

NEW/ Linda Lynch, Lynch Family Farm, Portland, Texas – UNLICENSED BREEDER FOUND WITH DOGS IN TINY CAGES, PILED UP IN HOARDER-LIKE CONDITIONS. In November 2016, Linda Lynch was given a warning letter for operating a dog breeding kennel without a state license; the breeder later obtained a state license. Shockingly, a letter sent to the property owner by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Enforcement Division stated it found “no signs of abuse or neglect,” even though photos taken inside the property showed dogs stacked in tiny, grimy plastic crates as many as three high, in hoarder-like conditions, surrounded by clutter and disarray. Photos taken of the outside enclosures also showed little or no protection from the elements, with muddy conditions, flimsy chain-link runs, and only dirty plastic dog crates for shelter. Despite the reported lack of excessive feces or odors, the photos taken by the department show miserable living conditions, with dogs kept in indoor crates that have barely enough room to move around. TX #324.

WISCONSIN

NEW/ Ryan Handly, DesignerPuppy.com and WisconsinPuppies.net, Black River Falls, Wisconsin– DOGS WERE FOUND WITH NO WATER, AND PUPPIES WERE FOUND IN OVERCROWDED CAGES, EVEN AFTER OFFICIAL WARNING FROM STATE; LETHARGIC PUPPY FOUND LYING IN A WATER BOWL. In August 2016, the state of Wisconsin issued an official warning to Ryan Handly for multiple non-compliances found during a July 2016 inspection, including a lethargic puppy who was found lying in a water bowl with pale gums; when questioned about the puppy’s condition, the operator admitted he had been aware of it, but no recent veterinary care had been provided; the puppy later tested positive for giardia and coccidia. Other violations found at the same inspection included: puppies sold without vaccination records; most of the dogs had no water and some were panting; some of the dogs who did have water had only dirty, contaminated water; multiple mother dogs with their puppies were found in cramped wire cages that didn’t give them enough space to allow sufficient movement; some dogs were very matted; conditions were dirty; some walls were made of unpainted plywood and the dogs were chewing holes in the walls large enough to stick their heads through.

Despite the warning, when state officials went back to re-inspect the kennel in September, they found many problems were still occurring, according to state records. Most of the dogs still had no water, and those that did have water had only dirty water; no medical records were available; no follow-up records were available on the lethargic puppy who had been seen in July; conditions were still dirty; and many of the cages with mother dogs and puppies in them were still overcrowded (Sept. 8, 2016). In November 2016, the state issued a second Official Warning notice due to the violations found during the September inspection.

Handly sells puppies he raises himself as well as puppies from other breeders. The puppies are sold via websites such as WisconsinPuppies.net and DesignerPuppy.com. The two websites offer shipping across the U.S., although HSUS researchers could find no indication that Handly had the federal license that is required for those who ship puppies online to unseen buyers (as of April 6, 2017). WI #268582

Alvin Martin, Pine Hollow Farm, LLC, Withee, Wisconsin (REPEAT OFFENDER) – “LISTLESS” PUPPY UNABLE TO WALK; TWO DOGS HAD EYE DISORDERS; LICENSEE REPEATEDLY FAILED TO TAKE ANIMALS TO THE VET. Even after appearing in our May 2016 Horrible Hundred report due to a repeated failure to obtain adequate medical care for dogs, three more dogs were found with veterinary problems at Pine Hollow Farm between May and November 2016. These dogs included a puppy found in November who was listless and whose back legs collapsed when the inspector tried to get him to stand; the puppy had “diarrhea pasted on his fur” near his rear end and his gums were pale, according to the inspection report. When questioned by the inspector the licensee stated that he had noticed the puppy was not quite right a few days prior, but had not taken the puppy to a veterinarian; instead he had given him a food supplement. Only when confronted by the inspector during the inspection did the owner call the vet. On May 18, 2016, two other dogs were found with symptoms of eye disorders; again, the licensee admitted he had noticed the problems, but had not called his vet. During the same visit, the licensee was asked how often he was disinfecting his primary enclosures; he replied that he didn’t do so and “wasn’t aware that he had to,” according to the inspection records.  

These veterinary violations were nothing new to Pine Hollow Farm. As stated in our May 2016 report, a USDA inspector found six dogs in need of veterinary care at Pine Hollow Farm in January 2016. One of them was a Boston terrier who had six three-day-old puppies. The mother dog appeared “extremely thin” with “ribs and hip bones [that] were easily visible.” The inspector noted “bloody discharge” on the floor of the nursing mother’s cage. In addition, five other dogs were found with eye problems during the same inspection, including dogs with cloudy, watering or weeping eyes. In September 2015, the operation was notified about a repeat violation for failing to acquire medical care for two dogs with signs of advanced dental disease, even after the inspector had instructed the licensee to have them treated the previous April. Inadequate veterinary care was also found by USDA inspectors during prior visits in 2014, 2013 and 2012, including a Boston terrier with a “cloudy film over its left eye,” a dog with hair loss, and dogs with dental problems and missing teeth.

Pine Hollow Farm may be one of the largest puppy mills in the state, with over 500 dogs and puppies counted during a recent USDA inspection (Nov. 30, 2016). USDA #35-B-0205; WI #403491. THIRD TIME IN THIS REPORT.

Alvin Nolt, Pine Ridge Pets, Thorpe, Wisconsin (REPEAT OFFENDER) –REPEATEDLY FOUND WITH UNSANITARY CONDITIONS AND PUPPIES ON UNSAFE WIRE FLOORING. Nolt appeared on our 2015 Horrible Hundred report after dogs were found with tumors and an open wound. He acquired new USDA violations in 2016 for several issues, including a shih tzu with an untreated eye condition, expired medications, and unsanitary and unsafe conditions. A needle was found in one enclosure housing two dogs, according to USDA reports, and a medicine cabinet was found to be dirty, with leaking liquids inside it. In addition, the licensee admitted to his inspector that he only sanitizes primary enclosures about twice a year; the USDA recommends that “primary enclosures must be disinfected once every two weeks and more often if necessary.” (USDA inspection, July 2016.)  

In addition to the USDA violations, Nolt was also cited for numerous violations on his state inspections in 2016, including many repeated issues that he had been cited for in the past. These issues included: dogs with overgrown nails (found in May 2016 as well as in 2015, 2014 and 2013); dogs with dental disease, missing and loose teeth and/or swollen gums (also found in 2014 and 2013); and puppies were found on wire flooring with gaps large enough for their legs to pass through (cited in May 2016 as well as in 2014 and 2013). On June 2, 2016, the state gave Nolt an initial Notice of Non-Compliance for several of the issues mentioned above. USDA #35-A-0248; WI #268017. SECOND TIME IN THIS REPORT.

NEW/ Skylar Vian, Sparta, Wisconsin – OVERWHELMING ODORS CAUSED INSPECTOR’S LUNGS TO BURN AND SHE “FELT ILL WITHIN SECONDS.” BREEDER WAS CITED FOR UNHEALTHY AIR QUALITY THAT “HAD BEEN CAUSING EXTREME DISCOMFORT TO THE DOGS.” In June 2016, a state kennel inspector arrived at Skylar Vian’s kennel to conduct a routine inspection. As she approached the building, according to the inspection report, she could “detect a strong odor.” When she entered, the inspector was “overwhelmed by the odor of ammonia,” referring to the natural ammonia caused by the decomposition of excessive urine and feces. She noted in her report that she began to “feel ill within seconds.” Shortly after entering the building, the inspector had to leave it due to “coughing and inability to breathe.” Even after leaving the building, the inspector “continued to cough and experience a burning sensation in her lungs” and reported that the burning sensation continued for an extended period of time. The inspection report noted that the dogs were likely experiencing a very similar “extreme discomfort” due to the lack of fresh air, and that the ammonia levels were “dangerous to the overall health and welfare of the dogs at the facility.” Many other problems were found during the same month, including several dogs in need of veterinary care and dogs without a dry or clean resting area to get off wire floors.

Documents from a re-inspection in November 2016 noted that the licensee had liquidated many of her dogs, but the records on where they had gone were incomplete. The inspector noted that one of the puppies still on the property seemed inactive, and insisted that he be checked by a veterinarian The inspection report also noted that numerous puppies purchased from Vian had become hypoglycemic, resulting in complaints to the State Department of Agriculture’s kennel inspection division. WI #400365.

John Zeiset, Lone Pine Kennels, Thorp, Wisconsin (REPEAT OFFENDER) – BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL INSPECTORS FOUND REPEATED PROBLEMS; LIMPING DOG, MATTED DOGS, UNSANITARY CONDITIONS. After the publication of our May 2016 Horrible Hundred report, both state and USDA inspectors found additional violations at Lone Pine Kennels. In July 2016, a USDA inspector gave Zeiset a “Direct NCI,” the most serious type of violation, for a shih tzu who was limping and had a noticeably swollen paw. The inspector also found several expired medications kept for use on the dogs. When a USDA inspector returned in November 2016, even more problems were found, including several dogs whose nails were so long that they were curling and sticking out sideways when the dogs put weight on their paws, more expired medications, and unclean conditions. The inspector noted that he was informed by the licensee that he only sanitizes enclosures “about once a month,” and the inspector warned him about sanitizing the enclosures more often.

State inspections also found multiple problems. In December 2016, a state inspector found dogs who were so significantly matted that at least one of them was showing signs of discomfort and pain. In February 2016, a state inspector found a Maltese whose ears were filled with blackish discharge, as well as dirty conditions, including whelping enclosures that had “a considerable accumulation of compacted feces [. . .] that created an unsanitary and unhealthy environment for the dams and their puppies.” State inspectors also noted excessive feces in the kennel in December 2016 as well as in prior years.

As noted in our 2016 Horrible Hundred report, similar problems have been cited previously at Lone Pine Kennels. In October 2015, Zeiset entered into a stipulated agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection due to multiple non-compliances, including excessive feces, a dog in need of veterinary care, and puppies kept on dangerous wire flooring which could entrap their feet and legs. Yet in December 2015, numerous sick or injured dogs were found during a new state inspection, including a bulldog puppy who could not use his back legs, another bulldog puppy who was “underweight and appeared sick,” a puppy with bloody stool, and a shih tzu with an eye injury who was rubbing her eye repeatedly with her paw, and other problems.

As we noted in our 2015 Horrible Hundred report, the following problems were found during an August 2013 state inspection: several adult dogs were in need of care, including some who were so badly matted that the matted hair “covered the entire length of their back,” one dog who was so badly matted that it seemed to be impairing her ability to see, and another who had dried feces adhered to the matted fur; multiple other dogs with signs of advanced dental disease, including missing teeth; and unsanitary and unsafe conditions.  A follow-up state inspection in November 2013 found a number of issues that still had not been corrected, including repeatedly housing puppies on 1-inch by 1-inch wire flooring, and a failure to demonstrate that animals were being properly vaccinated and treated. USDA # 35-A-0224; WI #268212. FOURTH TIME IN THIS REPORT.

 

 

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