What is a puppy mill?

What is a “puppy mill”?

A “puppy mill” is a breeding facility that puts the profit ahead of the welfare of the dogs (and cats rabbits and other small animals). Think of it as a factory farm for puppies.

The adult animals are bred every heat cycle until their bodies give out. They are forced to live in cramped cages their entire lives, their paws never touching the ground. These parent dogs are not always fed healthy food or clean water and they are very rarely (if ever) seen by a vet for illness or injury. 

A puppy mill can be obvious, or it can be well hidden.

What are the worst states when it comes to puppy mills?

The Midwest has the highest concentration of puppy mills, although there are other mills across the country. The Midwest is commonly referred to as “The Puppy Mill Belt”. Missouri and Iowa are the highest offenders when it comes to the sheer number of mills, but Ohio and Pennsylvania are horrible when it comes to unlicensed mills and violations. Puppy mills operations are easily hidden among agriculture buildings. 

If puppy mills are so bad, why do they exist? 

One of the most common questions we receive is, “Why are puppy mills legal”? The answer, plain and simple, is that the USDA and state agencies allow them to exist. Not every USDA licensed dog breeder runs a horrible operation. But they are all required to follow the same very lax laws the USDA set forth in the Animal Welfare Act. According to the AWA: 

-Cage size: must be 6 inches larger than the size of the dog, on all sides
-Up to 12 dogs can be housed in one cage
-Dogs never have to be let out of their cages. Breeders only need to have an exercise plan
-There is no limit to the number dogs a breeder can have—many have over 1,000
-There is no age limit for breeding dogs. If a dog is able to produce puppies for ten years, that’s how long they could be in the facility.

– The inspections are “risk based”. Meaning if there are no violations, the breeder might not see an inspector for a few years. 

The AWA does NOT cover emotional well-being. 

And there are a 115 inspectors to inspect for every single USDA facility… in the entire United States. That includes breeding facilities, factory farms, zoos, circuses, transport vehicles, testing facilities, labs and more…. 115 people to cover over 12,000 facilities.  Do you think that is enough?
For more information on the AWA, click here. 

Where are puppy mill puppies sold? 

Thousands of puppies are sold from puppy mills each year– and the general public is completely unaware of where they just got their new puppy. The breeder will “meet you half way”, so you don’t have to make the full trip, the breeder will ship the puppy on an airplane to you, or buyer doesn’t even know the purchaser because the transaction was made through a pet store. The BEST way to avoid purchasing a puppy from a puppy mill, is to adopt. But that isn’t always something the public is willing to do. So the next best way to make sure you are not buying from a puppy mill is to check out the parents, see the facility (all of it) and resist temptation from saving a puppy from a place that you deem non-reputable. You are only creating a hole for the breeder to fill with more puppies. 

Pet Store: According to the ASPCA: Breeders who sell puppies to pet stores must hold a USDA dealer license, and many states also require breeders to obtain a license to have a dog-breeding kennel. So the statistic is that 99% of puppies in pet stores are from puppy mills. They come from breeders that have enough dogs to constantly keep the cages full of puppies. And the stores will sell puppies like they would a pair of jeans, to anyone with a credit card. They don’t care where that puppy is going or how it will end up. The fact of the matter is, no reputable breeder would sell through a third party. They would want to know exactly where the puppy is going, and more often than not, they require an application and the puppies are required to come back to them if the family can not care for them any longer. 

Do you have a pet store near you? Click here to see the the paper trail between your local pet store and the puppy mills they buy from. Bailing Out Benji and our volunteers have been doing the research so we can show you exactly where those puppies came from. 

Internet: Fancy websites and Craigslist are a very easy way to sell a lot of puppies and keep people off of the property at the same time. The ASPCA and the HSUS both agree that you should never ever buy a puppy from the internet (alone). You MUST see the property where the puppies are born and raised. Anyone can design a fancy website, but you should look for these red flags. 

– If the breeder has several breeds of dogs available. 

– If they ship puppies to you

– If they offer to meet offsite. 

– If they are selling their puppies on CraigsList

– If they won’t allow you to see their property

Newspapers: Classified Ads are way that puppy mills get rid of their puppies. You would have no way of knowing what kind of breeding facility they run, because they ad is only a few sentences long. 

Dog Auctions: Dog Auctions are horrible events in which breeding dogs and puppies are sold to the highest bidder. The dogs are very rarely in good condition. The breeders selling the dogs may be going out of business, they could be getting rid of a certain breed, or they could be getting rid of the dogs that are too old. For an inside look on an auction, click here

Don’t the puppies deserve homes too? What happens to them if they don’t sell? 


This is another one of the most common questions that we are asked. The puppies always sell, because there is always someone that doesn’t know about the pet store/puppy mill connection. What will happen, and what has been happening, is that the public is becoming slowly more aware. This means that the puppies are staying longer in the stores, showing that there isn’t a high demand for them. When the puppies sit longer, the store puts them on sale and keeps dropping the price until they are sold. If they aren’t selling quickly, the store will order less for next month and *hopefully* the breeder will see that the demand is dropping and there isn’t a need for as many dogs on their property. But this all starts with YOU. YOU shouldn’t buy that puppy. 

Are there puppy mills near me? 

At Bailing Out Benji, we work tirelessly to educate about the horrors of puppy mills, without sharing the graphic photos. One way we have been successful in educating about and exposing these puppy mills is by showing YOU, the consumer, what is really in your back yard. Through the USDA website and, when easily accessible, state department of Agriculture websites, we have pinpointed and color-coded the puppy mills that are lurking in the United States. To view our puppy mill maps, click here.  You can also view our new interactive website here

To view all of our completed puppy mill maps, click on our link above
 

How can I help?

There are many ways you can help the dogs trapped in puppy mills. They vary from being active, to just being an advocate. 

1. If you SEE something, SAY something. If you were someone that unknowingly stumbled upon a bad breeding facility to purchase a puppy, you need to report it! You can either report it to the USDA, your state agency, your local rescue or shelter, or you can contact us and we can point you in the right direction! 

2. Be an educator. One of the best ways you can help is by educating your friends, family and coworkers. By sharing this article and making a status about where you shouldn’t buy a dog could deter someone you know! Our organization firmly believes that educating the general public will be the end to puppy mills. Join our growing list of teams and help us fight the industry through education and advocacy! 

3. Be an advocate. Look in your area for pet stores that sell puppies and educate about your local problem. Hang up flyers (we can help!) or even start a local protest (we can help with that too!) Getting the word out locally, will break the lies of the pet store and will bring more awareness about puppy mills to your community. 

4. Contact your legislators. By letting your legislators know what you care about, it tells them how to vote. You can send a quick email to your legislator and just ask them where they stand on common sense animal issues, especially puppy mills. You may be shocked to find out that not everyone is an advocate for the animals. 

5. Don’t give pet stores that sell puppies your money. By boycotting a pet store that sells puppies, you are showing them that you can’t support their business. You can even tell the owner why you are choosing not to shop at their store anymore. To view a list of pet stores across the country that are selling puppy mill dogs, click here

6. Look for a reputable breeder in your area. If you are set on buying a puppy and you haven’t checked your local rescues or shelters, then ask your local canine club about reputable breeders. Just remember to always check out their facilities! 

7. USE SOCIAL MEDIA….. Spread the Word. Use the hashtag #ShowMeTheMommy on social media to stress the importance of asking to see the parent dogs before purchasing a puppy. You can also use #EndPuppyMills and #BailingOutBenji ! 

8. Stay updated. Like our facebook page , twitter and instagram. Stay updated on how you can help in your area. Don’t forget to SHARE!  

 

We are a small nonprofit organization that makes big changes with very few resources. Our research is used by the leading animal welfare organizations across the country, because what we do is so unique and important.  To make a one time donation or to sign up to be a sustaining supporter to allow us to continue our various programs that expose the puppy mill industry, click the donate button below.

 

 

2022 USDA Violations- Quarter 3

Bailing Out Benji is a national nonprofit organization that exists to provide transparency into the puppy mill industry. We forensically audit government health records and inspection reports in order to connect puppy mills and commercial dog breeders to the various outlets in which they sell. We pay for many of these documents and then make them available for free on our website and to the public in order to provide the transparency that the public deserves before buying a puppy. 

To see our pet store and online broker research, click here.

According to the USDA: An inspection report documents an inspector’s observations and professional assessments of compliance at facilities regulated under the AWA. Below we have compiled a list of all of the USDA dog breeders and brokers that have had violations in Quarter 3 of 2022.

This time period is from July 1st, 2022 to September 30th, 2022.

Editors note: USDA inspectors have 5 days to give a copy of their inspection to the licensee and 30 days to publish their reports online. There may be additional facilities we add to this list once more inspection reports are added to the database.

Omitted from these violations are missed inspections and teachable moments. The list below also only reflects dog and cat breeders and brokers (licenses A and B).

This list of violations below was obtained from the USDA APHIS search engine. Any pet store connections were obtained from various state departments of agriculture. 

You can view our previous 2022 violation reporters here: 

Quarter 1 Violations

Quarter 2 Violations

This time period is from July 1st, 2022 to September 30th, 2022.

Alabama

Hoof or Paw. Detroit, Alabama- Hoof or Paw also received violations and an Official USDA Warning in Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their September 12, 2022, USDA inspection, Hoof or Paw received 5 non-critical violations pertaining to time and method of identification, housing facilities, outdoor housing facilities, primary enclosures, and cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. This facility appears to be a rescue or shelter organization. At their September 12, 2022, focused inspection, Hoof or Paw received 1 direct violation pertaining to watering. Hoof or Paw 9.12.2022 and Hoof or Paw 9.12.2022 Focused 

Arkansas

Cindy Garner and Dwayne Garner. Booneville, Arkansas- At the time of their September 12, 2022, USDA inspection, Garner received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to contingency planning and veterinary care for dogs. We have record of this facility selling to pet stores in at least three states.  Cindy Garner 9.12.2022

Dorothy O’Bar, Jodot Farm. Booneville, Arkansas- At the time of their August 16, 2022, USDA inspection, O’Bar received 3 non-critical violations pertaining to contingency planning, housing facilities, and veterinary care for dogs. We have record of this facility selling puppies to at least one pet store in Maine. Dorothy O’ Bar 8.16.2022

Elisa Brandvik. Ozark, Arkansas- At the time of their August 1,  2022, USDA inspection, Brandvik received 4 non-critical and 1 direct violation pertaining to primary enclosures, watering, cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. At the time of their August 11, 2022 inspection, Brandvik received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. This facility received an Official USDA Warning on September 8, 2022, due to the violations on August 1, 2022.  Elisa Brandvik 8.1.2022 Elisa Brandvik 8.11.2022 USDA Warning Elisa Brandvik

Jerrie Joyce Gray. Searcy, Arkansas- At the time of their September 19, 2022, USDA inspection, Gray received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to contingency planning. Jerrie Gray 9.19.2022

Katherine Reece and Don Reece, Reece Kennel Cattery. Danville, Arkansas- At the time of their August 26, 2022, USDA inspection, Reece received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to access and inspection of records and property; submission of itineraries. Katherine & Don Reece 8.26.2022

Mia Prince, AR Premium Pets. Center Ridge, Arkansas- At the time of their August 24, 2022 USDA inspection, this facility received 1 non-critical violations pertaining to access to water. AR Premium Pets 8.24.2022

Michele R. George. Hindsville, Arkansas- At the time of their September 8, 2022, USDA inspection, George received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to sheltered housing facilities. Michele George 9.8.2022

Phil Weymouth and Yolanda Weymouth. Subiaco, Arkansas- At the time of their September 13, 2022, USDA inspection, Weymouth received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to contingency planning. Phil Weymouth & Yolanda Weymouth 9.13.2022

Shelba Canfield, Brooklyn Hill Kennels. Scranton, Arkansas- At the time of their September 13, 2022, USDA inspection, Canfield received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to contingency planning and veterinary care for dogs. We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in at least two states.  Phil Weymouth & Yolanda Weymouth 9.13.2022

Sherry Crossno and Steve Crossno, Painted Bluff Farm. Dardanelle, Arkansas- At the time of their August 24, 2022, USDA inspection, Crossno received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to contingency planning. Sherry Crossno & Steve Crossno 8.24.2022

Indiana

Daniel F. Wingard, Valleyhill Pups. Bristol, Indiana- At the time of their August 30, 2022, USDA inspection, Wingard received 1 direct and 1 non-critical violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. This facility received an Official USDA Warning October 5, 2022 due to violations received on August 30, 2022. We have record of this facility selling puppies to at least one pet store in Pennsylvania. Daniel Wingard 8.30.2022 USDA Warning Daniel Wingard

Harvey Wagler. Odon, Indiana- At the time of their June 15, 2022, USDA inspection, Wagler received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to records. Harvey Wagler 6.15.2022

Kevin Wagler, K&R Farms. Montgomery, Indiana- At the time of their September 15, 2022, USDA inspection, Wagler received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to records. Kevin Wagler 9.15.2022

Willis Knepp. Montgomery, Indiana- At the time of their August 2, 2022, USDA inspection, Knepp received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to time and method of identification, and veterinary care for dogs.Willis Knepp 8.2.2022

Click here to learn more

Iowa

Alicia Krogmann. Mount Vernon, Iowa- At the time of their July 6, 2022, USDA inspection, Krogmann received 3 non-critical violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, records, and veterinary care for dogs. We have record of this facility selling to at least one pet store that has locations in Illinois and Iowa. Alicia Krogmann 7.6.2022

Alta Z Martin. Ionia, Iowa- At the time of their August 2, 2022, USDA new site inspection, Martin received 9 non-critical violations pertaining to requirements and application, attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, records, housing facilities, and veterinary care for dogs. At the time of their August 18, 2022, new site inspection, Martin received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. At the time of their August 30, 2022, new site inspection, Martin received 1 non-critical violation again pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. Alta Martin 8.2.2022  Alta Martin 8.18.2022  Alta Martin 8.30.2022

Brian Felton. Centerville, Iowa- Felton also received violations in Quarter 1 of 2022. At the time of their August 9, 2022, USDA inspection, Felton received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to housing facilities. We have record of this facility selling puppies through at least one broker. Brian Felton 8.9.2022

Carolyn Anderson, Anderson’s Yorkies. Mason City, Iowa- Anderson has received 38 USDA violations so far in 2022, as they also received violations in Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2022. At their July 19, 2022, USDA focused inspection, Anderson received 5 non-critical and 1 critical violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, records, housing facilities, watering, and veterinary care for dogs. At the time of their August 22, 2022, focused inspection, Anderson received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to records. Carolyn Anderson 7.19.2022 Carolyn Anderson 8.22.2022

Edwin Burkholder and Lucille Burkholder. Riceville, Iowa-  Burkholder also received violations in Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their July 28, 2022, USDA inspection, Burkholder received 8 non-critical violations pertaining to records, housing facilities, exercise for dogs, and veterinary care for dogs. Edwin & Lucille Burkholder 7.28.2022

Elliot Remick. Mount Pleasant, Iowa- At the time of their August 15, 2022, USDA inspection, Remick received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to requirements and application. Performing regulated activities without a USDA license. Elliott Remick 8.15.2022

Heather Anderson. Farmington, Iowa- at the time of their July 13, 2022, USDA re-license inspection, Anderson received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to primary enclosures. The inspection was a re-license inspection for a Class A license.Heather Anderson 7.13.2022

Henry Sommers, Happy Puppy. Cincinnati, Iowa- Sommers also received violations in Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their August 16, 2022, USDA inspection, Sommers received 8 non-critical violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, housing facilities, primary enclosures, cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, pest control, and veterinary care for dogs. We have record of this facility selling puppies to at least one pet store in Nevada. Henry Sommers 8.16.2022

Ida Kauffman, Backyard Kennels. Hazelton, Iowa- Kauffman also received violations in Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their  August 16, 2022, USDA inspection, Kauffman received 8 non-critical violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, records, housing facilities, sheltered housing facilities, and veterinary care for dogs. We have record of this facility selling to puppy stores and a major puppy broker in at least four states. Ida Kauffman 8.16.2022

Loren Yoder. Riverside, Iowa- Yoder also received violations in Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their September 12, 2022, USDA inspection, Yoder received 1 direct and 6 non-critical violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, time and method of identification, records, housing facilities, primary enclosures, and feeding. Loren Yoder 9.12.2022

Lloyd Yoder, Meadow View Premier Puppies formerly known as Valley View Premium Puppies. Riverside, Iowa- This facility also received 21 violations in Quarter 1 of 2022. At the time of their September 12, 2022, USDA inspection, Meadow View Premier Puppies received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to records and cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. On the same date, Valleyview Premium Puppies received 1 violation pertaining to records. This facility cancelled their license under the name “Valley View Premium Puppies” and began a new license under Meadow View Premier Puppies after receiving numerous violations this year. Meadow View Premier Puppies 9.12.2022  Valley View Premium Puppies 9.12.2022

Samuel Borntreger. Northwood, Iowa- Borntreger also received violations in Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their September 7, 2022, USDA inspection, Borntreger received 6 non-critical violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, time and method of identification, records, housing facilities, primary enclosures, and veterinary care for dogs. Samuel Borntreger 9.7.2022

Steve Kruse, Stonehenge Kennel. West Point, Iowa- Kruse also received violations in Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their August 17, 2022, USDA re-license inspection, Kruse received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, and housing facilities. Steve Kruse 8.17.2022

William Davenport. Thayer, Iowa- At the time of their July 26, 2022 USDA Inspection, Davenport received 2 violations pertaining to requirements and application and access and inspection of records. William Davenport 7.26.2022

Kansas

Danell Rife and Joseph Rife. Westphalia, Kansas- At the time of their July 27, 2022, USDA inspection, Rife received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to housing facilities, cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. Danell Rife 7.27.2022

Greg Jones. Parsons, Kansas- Jones also received violations in Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their August 30, 2022, USDA inspection, Jones received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to records. Greg Jones 8.30.2022

Michigan

Catitude. Calumet, Michigan- At the time of their August 23, 2022 USDA Inspection, this facility admitted that they were conducting regulated activity without a license. That violation led to an official warning from the USDA.  Cattitude 8.23.2022 USDA Warning Cattitude

Nathan Steury. Camden, Michigan- Steury also received a violation in Quarter 1 of 2022. At the time of their July 27, 2022, USDA inspection, Steury received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to records. Nathan Steaury 7.27.2022

Minnesota 

John Henry Miller. Utica, Minnesota- At the time of their July 19, 2022, USDA inspection, Miller received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to minimum age requirements for resale. Miller sells to pet stores in at least 4 states and through one major dog broker. John Miller 7.19.2022

Mississippi 

Lynn Thompson, Furry Little Angels AKA Lynn Creek Chihuahuas. Brooksville, Mississippi- Thompson also received violations in Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their September 16, 2022, USDA inspection, Thompson received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to contingency planning and veterinary care for dogs. Lynn Thompson 9.16.2022

Missouri 

Bernetta Williams. Norwood, Missouri- At the time of their August 2, 2022, USDA inspection, Williams received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care and time and method of identification. Bernetta Williams 8.2.2022

Bobbie Lyell and Charleen Lyell, Royal Heritage Kennel. Hartville, Missouri- At the time of their August 8, 2022, USDA inspection, Royal Heritage Kennel received 1 direct and 1 non-critical violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, and handling of animals. This facility received an Official USDA Warning October 19, 2022, due to violations received on August 8, 2022. We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in at least two states.  Royal Heritage Kennel LLC 8.8.2022 USDA Warning Royal Heritage Kennel LLC

Carolyn Lansdown and Clifford Lansdown, TLC Kennels. Hartville, Missouri- At the time of their July 13, 2022, USDA inspection, Lansdown received 1 direct violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate care. This facility received an Official USDA Warning on August 28, 2022, due to the violation on July 13, 2022. Carolyn Lansdown 7.13.2022 USDA Warning Carolyn Lansdown

Jacob Zook (ES), Zooks Kennel. Tunas, Missouri- At the time of their July 14, 2022, USDA inspection, Zook received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to time and method of identification. Jacob ES Zook 7.14.2022

John Reiff AKA Anna Mary Reiff, Rocky Branch Kennel. Latham, Missouri- After being listed as one of the worst puppy mills in the nation in 2017 and 2014, Reiff cancelled their previous license and began a new one at the same address but under a different name. At the time of their September 14, 2022, USDA re-license inspection, Reiff received 3 non-critical violations pertaining to removal and disposal of tags, records, and primary enclosures.  John Reiff 9.14.2022

Mary Ann Smith, Smiths Kennels. Salem, Missouri- At the time of their July 19, 2022, USDA inspection, Smith received 3 non-critical violations pertaining to housing facilities, watering, and veterinary care for dogs. We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in at least 6 states.Mary Ann Smith 7.19.2022

Melissa Bilbruck. Bates City, Missouri- Bilbruck received an Official USDA Warning stemming from violations they received on June 9th, 2022. USDA Warning Melissa Bilbruck

Ruben Rissler and Eva Mae Rissler, R&R Kennel. Barnett, Missouri- At the time of their September 7, 2022, USDA inspection, Rissler received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. We have record of this breeder selling puppies through at least one dog broker. Ruben Rissler & Eva Mae Rissler 9.7.2022

Stephen A. Bennett. Theodosia, Missouri- At the time of their September 28, 2022, USDA inspection, Bennett received 4 non-critical violations pertaining to time and method of identification, records, and veterinary care for dogs. Stephen Bennett 9.28.2022

Tina Martin and Troy Martin, TNT Puppies. Holden, Missouri- At the time of their September 21, 2022, USDA inspection, Martin received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. Tina Martin & Troy Martin 9.21.2022

Montana 

Jack’s Pet Center. Great Falls, Montana- At the time of their June 30, 2022, USDA inspection, Jack’s Pet Center received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to housing facilities. Jack’s Pet Center 6.30.2022

 Nebraska 

John Troyer, Andrew Troyer, and Jim Troyer, Troyer Kennel. Milford, Nebraska- At the time of their August 24, 2022, USDA inspection, Troyer received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to records. John, Andrew, & Jim Troyer 8.24.2022

 

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New York 

Aaron Zimmerman. Dundee, New York- Zimmerman also received violations during Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their July 28, 2022, USDA inspection, Zimmerman received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. Aaron Zimmerman 7.28.2022

Barbara Ann Miller, Millers Country Puppies. Panama, New York- At the time of their August 1, 2022, USDA inspection, Millers Country Puppies received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to housing facilities and cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. Millers Country Puppies 8.1.2022

Daniel Yoder and Sadie Yoder. Jasper, New york- At the time of their August 19, 2022, USDA inspection, Yoder received 1 critical and 1 non-critical violation pertaining to housing facilities and attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. This facility received an Official USDA Warning on October 5, 2022, due to violations received on August 19, 2022. Sadie & Daniel Yoder 8.19.2022 USDA Warning Sadie & Daniel Yoder

Ohio

Andy Nisley, Nunda Valley Kennels. Howard, Ohio- Nisley received an Official USDA Warning during Quarter 1 of 2022. At the time of their September 13, 2022, USDA inspection, Nisley received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, pest control, and veterinary care for dogs. Andy Nisley 9.13.2022

David R Yoder, Waterfall Puppies. Dundee, Ohio- At the time of their September 27, 2022, USDA re-license inspection, Waterfall Puppies received 4 non-critical violations pertaining to primary enclosures, cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, pest control, and veterinary care for dogs. Waterfall Puppies 9.27.2022

Dennis Hershberger, Hershey Puppy Pals. Charm, Ohio- At the time of their September 29, 2022, USDA inspection, Hershberger received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. Dennis Hershberger 9.29.2022

Dennis Mast and Susan Mast Yoder, Alpine Lane Paws LTD. Dundee, Ohio- At the time of their August 22, 2022, USDA re-license inspection, Alpine Lane Paws received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to housing facilities. Alpine Lane Paws LTD 8.22.2022

Harvey Troyer, Sunrise Kennel. Baltic, Ohio- At the time of their September 28, 2022, USDA inspection, Troyer received 5 non-critical violations pertaining to records, primary enclosures, and veterinary care for dogs.  Harvey Troyer 9.28.2022

​​Henry Wengerd. Dundee, Ohio- At the time of their September 26, 2022, USDA inspection, Wengerd received 5 non-critical violations pertaining to housing facilities, feeding, cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, pest control, and veterinary care for dogs. Henry Wengerd 9.26.2022

Melvin E. Troyer, Dutch Fork Harness Horses. Apple Creek, Ohio- At the time of their September 26, 2022, USDA inspection, Troyer received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to records and veterinary care for dogs. Melvin Troyer 9.26.2022

Mose Miller, Maple View Miller AKA Maple View Kennel. Baltic, Ohio- At the time of their September 28, 2022, USDA inspection, Miller received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. Mose Miller 9.28.2022

Nathan Bazler and Sarah Bazler, Little Puppies Online AKA Dogs to the Rescue Ohio. Mount Vernon, Ohio- This facility received an Official USDA Warning on August 17, 2022 due to violations stemming from a December 21, 2021 USDA inspection. Official USDA Warning Little Puppies Online

Ronnie Coblentz, Woodland Puppies LLC. Millersburg, Ohio- At the time of their September 27, 2022, USDA inspection, Woodland Puppies received 3 non-critical violations pertaining to exercise for dogs and veterinary care for dogs. Woodland Puppies LLC 9.27.2022

Oklahoma

Chris McGill, Horseshoe Lane AKA Chris’s Kennel. Mcalester, Oklahoma- McGill received an Official USDA Warning due to violations received on May 19, 2022. You can view those violations in our Quarter 2 report. USDA Warning Chris McGill

Cynthia Paula Jack, Coal Creek Kennel. Stringtown, Oklahoma- Jack also received violations in Quarter 1 of 2022. At the time of their June 28, 2022, USDA inspection, Jack received 1 direct violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. Cynthia Paula Jack 6.28.2022

Teresa Graham, Graham’s Kennels. Garvin, Oklahoma- At the time of their August 24, 2022, USDA inspection, Graham received 2 direct violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care and indoor housing facilities.  This facility received an Official USDA Warning on October 5, 2022, due to violations received on August 24, 2022. Teresa Graham 8.24.2022 USDA Warning Teresa Graham

Pennsylvania 

Amos King and Rebecca King. Blain, Pennsylvania- At the time of their August 11, 2022, USDA inspection, King received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. Amos & Rebecca King 8.11.2022

John Jay Lapp, Peaceful Acres Puppies LLC. Millerstown, Pennsylvania- At the time of their August 2, 2022, USDA inspection, Peaceful Acres Puppies received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to records. Peaceful Acres Puppies LLC 8.2.2022

Jonas Stoltzfus, True Dreem Kennel. Rebersburg, Pennsylvania- At the time of their August 10, 2022, USDA inspection, True Dreem Kennel received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to exercise and veterinary care for dogs. Tru Dreem Kennel 8.10.2022

Tennessee

Barbara Bridges, The Dog House. Enville, Tennessee- At the time of their August 9, 2022, USDA Inspection, Bridges received 3 non-critical violations pertaining to time and method of identification, and veterinary care for dogs.  Barbara Bridges 8.9.2022

Washington 

Puget Sound Doodles LLC. Lyman, Washington- At the time of their September 20, 2022, USDA inspection, Puget Sound Doodles received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. Puget Sound Doodles LLC 9.20.2022

Wisconsin

Andrew Miller. Abbotsford, Wisconsin- At the time of their September 7, 2022, USDA inspection, Miller received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to time and method of identification. Andrew Miller 9.7.2022

Daniel L. Yoder, Rainbow Ridge Kennels. Cashton, Wisconsin- At the time of their July 20, 2022, USDA inspection, Yoder received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. We have record of this facility selling puppies through at least one dog broker. Daniel Yoder 7.20.2022

Esther Schlueter, El Ranchito Pets INC. Cazenovia, Wisconsin- At the time of their July 27, 2022, USDA re-license inspection, El Ranchito Pets received 2 non-critical violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, and veterinary care for dogs. We have record of this facility selling to at least one pet store in Wisconsin. El Ranchito Pets INC 7.27.2022

Harley E. Bontrager. Cambria, Wisconsin- At the time of their July 27, 2022, USDA inspection, Bontrager received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. Harley E. Bontrager 7.27.2022

Jill Kane  and Clinton Kane, Tri Valley Resources LLC. Spring Green, Wisconsin- At the time of their September 28, 2022, USDA inspection, Tri Valley Resources received 1 non-critical violation pertaining to primary enclosures.Tri Valley Resources LLC 9.28.2022

Junior Yutzy. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- Yutzy also received violations in Quarter 2 of 2022. At the time of their August 24, 2022, USDA inspection, Yutzy received 4 non-critical violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, time and method of identification, primary enclosures, cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. Junior Yutzy 8.24.2022

Paul Zimmerman. Boyd, Wisconsin- At the time of their July 5, 2022, USDA re-license inspection, Zimmerman received 4 non-critical violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, primary enclosures, and veterinary care for dogs. Zimmerman also missed his follow up inspection on September 6, 2022. Paul Zimmerman 7.5.2022

 

You can view our previous 2022 violation reporters here: 

Quarter 1 Violations

Quarter 2 Violations

 

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1,000 Hours, Looking Back on 5 Years

I don’t even know what to say…. 5 years ago was our very first protest in front of Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe. It was my first protest ever. I was scared as hell and had no idea what to firstexpect. It was chilly, it was spitting rain and we were not sure what would happen. We had a larger group join us, as we did quite often back then and we (of course) faced a lot of anger from Dale, the store owner by way of shouting and threats to sue us.Bailing Out Benjiwas only 6 months old, but our passion was truly ignited that day.

In 2011, when these protests first began, Dale Dyvig was quoted by a local newspaper saying that “We are trying to get along the best we can,”  (due to the protester’s presence) and  “I’m not sure what they want, but I get to be the victim.”. To this day, Dyvig stands by his choice to use Century Farm Puppies and New Design Kennels as their puppy supplier- even though they have a history of having hundreds of dogs on their property and a history of violations. This is the third pet store that Dyvig has owned, while buying from the same two puppy mills, and he still doesn’t see that the parent dogs are the victims– which is why we are still there.  The breeders each currently have over 150 dogs on their property (which has dropped down from over 450 dogs in recent years).

Fast forward five years and we have been in front of this particular lolastore for over 1,000 hours in the last five years (that is 60,000 minutes!!)- not to mention the other two Iowa protests and the protests across the country we helped inspire and coach. Our organization put up the first puppy mill PSAs in Iowa (on three bus ads), we have an ongoing puppy mill billboard just blocks from Dyvig’s AND we have two big things coming to Texas soon. We have also seen the number of puppy mills in Iowa go from over 450 to just over 220 in the last 5 years. This is, in large part, due to increased public awareness about the puppy mill industry! 

Over the years our “fight” against this local pet store has moved away from the sidewalk into the courthouse, so to speak. While there has never been a lawsuit against Bailing Out Benji or its volunteers (because everything we say is 100% backed up with facts), Dale Dyvig has tried at least twice to prevent us from doing our civic duty. The first came in February of 2014, just 4 months after our first two puppy mill PSAs became live here in Ames. It turns out, Dale had been contacting the CyRide (Bus) board every month in hopes of getting our ad removed because he claimed it “directly targeted his store”. After so much harassment, the board finally voted to have the issue put on the agenda for their next meeting. A few volunteers and I stated our case as to why we chose to have our ad here in Ames and why we worded it the way we did. If you aren’t familiar with our bus ad, here it is: 

busad

After 3 hours of debate and discussion, we were allowed to keep our bus ads up! It wasn’t because we were “right” however… It was because Dyvig let two puppy mill owners speak for him and they were less than professional. Nancy Carlson of New Design Kennels actually accused us of having invisible drones flying over her property daily (which prompted a snicker from all of the businessmen on the CyRide board) and Rob Hurd, mill owner who had his license revoked and was given a hefty fine, accused us of being political activists who want to end all animal ownership. Hurd also said he would go right down to the bus barn right then and “fix” our sign for the bus company, which caused several board members to tell him to calm down and they reminded him that vandalism is a serious crime. After that circus and all of our examples of other ads put up across the country (animal related and non), we were allowed to keep our bus ads going! And, to this day, you will see them rolling across town on two huge buses! 

The second (third and fourth…) time Dale Dyvig tried to drastically change what we do and how we do it is when he citycouncilrequeststarted a petition to the city council to inflict harsh regulations on protesting. He literally had a few hundred friends, family and customers sign a petition asking the city council to make us protesting his store illegal. When he presented his petition to the Ames City Council, he had insane regulations including: no out of state protesters (later changed to them needing their own permit), signs had to be small, no umbrellas, no dogs, no children under 18 (later changed it to 10), and he wanted us to have to pay for a monthly permit. This made the news, and once it was time for the city council to hear the case, they voted unanimously to uphold the first amendment and not look into this issue any further. 

So yes, a lot has happened in the last five years between us and Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe… But what he fails to see is that this issue has always been bigger than him versus us.  Our volunteers work tirelessly every single day to raise awareness about the puppy mill industry, not just this one pet store. 

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Moving past the store, the last 5 years have been a whirlwind for Bailing Out Benji. Here are a few of the “highlights”. 

Perhaps the biggest thing to have happened to us over the last 5 years is being  featured in the Dog by Dog documentary, which is set to come out everywhere in early 2017. From being filmed, to being lucky enough to travel with the documentary crew and bring this film to almost 10,000 people in various screenings across the country, we have helped groups from all over the country find their voice and start peaceful protests of their own! 

This year, itself, was also crazy! I was chosen as a 2016Advocate We Loveby the Humane Society of the United States.  I was also invited to be the guest speaker at the “2016 Nebraska Humane Lobby Day.” A few months later, Bailing Out Benji was named one of the top 5 organizationsin the entire country who is fighting puppy mills.

On top of all of this, our website has reached (and educated) almost 400,000 people to date, our social media accounts reach thousands of people daily, we educate thousands of people a year in front of the store and we mailed out hundreds of packages of educational materials to people across the country to want to educate in their home towns. That’s not too shabby for a group that is entirely volunteer based- not to mention us all having day jobs.

Wait- Did I mention that Bailing Out Benji now has volunteer teams in Texas and in Nebraska, too? We are so honored to have had volunteers reach out and ask us to help them educate in their state. This has resulted in dozens of educational events in both states and hundreds of people learning about puppy mills and their connection to pet stores! 

I mean it when I (always) say that Bailing Out Benji has the best volunteers. Whether it is -40 degrees, 110 degrees or anywhere in between, our amazing men and women don’t hesitate to grab a sign, set up an educational table, hop in the car to save dogs, or spend hours doing puppy mill research. Every single life we have touched has made a ripple effect of education that can never be felt. So, when people say “Wow, you have been protesting Dyvig’s for five years and they are still open?!”, I smile and just say “Yeah”.

Because this is bigger than Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe.

 it’s bigger than Ames, Iowa.

We won’t stop until we have taken down the whole puppy mill industry. One pet store and one puppy mill at time.

Thank you all for your love and support over the years. Whether you are a volunteer, donor or silent supporter, thank you so much for keeping this small nonprofit afloat. 💙

(This picture is from my very first protest on Black Friday, 2011 )

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— Mindi Callison, Founder of Bailing Out Benji 

#EndPuppyMills
#BailingOutBenji

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“The Dog Lover” – My Unsolicited Movie Review

I am a dog lover. I adopt dogs. I rescue dogs. I transport dogs. I protest puppy mills that sell puppy mill puppies. I research and write articles about puppy mills and pet stores they sell to. And, yes, I have been to several puppy mills and dog auctions.. So when I heard about this movie, “The Dog Lover”, formerly known as “The Wrong Side of Right” , I knew I had to watch it. Not because I would agree with the film, but because I needed to say what the “other side” was trying to push onto the general public. The other side, being the large-scale commercial dog breeding side. I don’t know how much of a “movie review” this will be, as me pointing out the blatant mistruths that have been strategically placed throughout this “touching” film.  Let’s start by sharing the official movie trailer and the IMDB synopsis of the film, in case you haven’t heard of it.

poster   

Sara Gold is a rising star at the United Animal Protection Agency (UAPA), a major animal rights organization that conducts animal rescues and lobbies for better animal welfare laws. Handpicked for a major assignment, Sara goes undercover as a college intern to infiltrate a suspected “puppy mill” run by the enigmatic Daniel Holloway.

– Written by ESX Entertainment

From here on out, THERE ARE SPOILERS for anyone who hasn’t seen the film. 

………………………..

Before I really get into the absurdity of this movie, I want to point out two HUGE red flags that tear down the validity of the claims. The biggest draw to this film is that it is “based on a true story”, it even says so right at the beginning of the film; which definitely tugs at the heartstrings as you watch and feel sorry for a man losing everything he (well… his dogs) has worked for. The breeder that this film is based off of, Dan Christensen, even says the film is about 95% accurate…. But he is only referring to the last act of the film (his words). The rest was made up for the audience (my words). This is proven at the end of the film when the filmmakers put this at the end of the credits.

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“The events and characters depicted in this motion picture are fictitious and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.  (sorry for the blurriness, I took a photo of my TV when I saw this and laughed)

Again… This was at the very end of the film. Buried way after the credits, in hope that no one sticks around to see that. But, it does protect them from a lawsuit from anyone associated with the case. 

Forrest
Forrest Lucas… Yes, the owner/founder of Lucas Oil

If that doesn’t take away at least a little bit of the credibility, then this will. The executive producer of this film, Forrest Lucas, has made it a point to attack animal lovers and at every turn. In fact, he even founded the hate organization “Protect the Harvest” to fight any type of common-sense animal legislation that comes up. Here is a snippet of his resume: 

  • In 2010 Forrest Lucas spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to bankroll the opposition to Proposition B in Missouri, which voters approved to set common-sense standards for the care of dogs in large-scale commercial breeding operations (their statement against Prop B can be found here). Lucas then supported an effort in the Missouri legislature to weaken and repeal parts of the voter-approved measure, before it even had a chance to take effect.
  • In 2012, Forrest Lucas spent more than a quarter-million dollars opposing Measure 5 in North Dakota, which sought to establish felony-level penalties for malicious cruelty to dogs, cats and horses.
  • In 2013, Protect the Harvest lobbied against a local ordinance in Harrison County, Indiana, to promote the spaying and neutering of pets and help reduce pet overpopulation, and in Crawford County, Indiana, to provide adequate shelter for dogs and protect them from the elements.

To put it lightly, Forrest Lucas is NO friend to the animals. Which is why he was happy to help create a film that would spread confusion and misinformation among the general public. In an interview seen here, Forrest admits that he will be putting out a movie like this every 2-3 months now that “The Dog Lover” has officially been released. Four other movies are ready and the sixth one is almost finished being written. The next one, Running Wild, stars Sharon Stone and is about horses. I can’t wait to see what underlying agenda that movie has in store. 

Now we can move on to “The Dog Lover” and just how far it strays from the truth. Again, Major spoilers coming your way if you haven’t seen the film (although I recommend still reading).

The story that very loosely inspired this film, originated in Turner County, South Dakota, where 172 of  Dan Christensen’s hunting dogs were seized in 2009. During her search on August 27, Rosey Quinn (then current director of the Second Chance Rescue Center) said she saw dogs who were sick with Parvo and intestinal parasites and the conditions they were living in were “deplorable”. This prompted a warrant and the seizure of all of the animals.  Animal cruelty charges were later dropped after a judge determined that Quinn misled a judge to get the search and seizure warrant. 

The seizure of the dogs and the fact that he was allowed to get them back is where the similarities of this film and the true story end. Even down to the number of dogs (movie claims 100, real breeder had 172). 

dog-lover
Movie Photo: Sara Gold inside one of the breeding buildings that houses over 100 adult dogs. The film strongly pushes the fact that “100 dogs isn’t a puppy mill”.

The film paints a picture of the United Animal Protection Agency (a knock off version of the Humane Society of the United States) and how they encourage a young woman to be an undercover intern at this dog breeding facility. Her job is to go on the property to get as much evidence as she can in order to save the dogs from the puppy mill, including hidden cameras. This never happened. Dan Christensen never took on interns. While two undercover volunteers did come to his property  and take photos while they were “looking to buy a puppy”, that is where the story ends. There was no intern living on his property, and there was no love story between his son and an HSUS representative. This fake story line creates the entire movie. Sara Gold, the intern, struggles between what she feels is wrong vs right; she struggles with her new found love; and, at the end, she fights with her employers because they took her undercover footage and manipulated it to tell the story they wanted. Again, none of this ever happened, but it sure makes for a good movie and it creates a distrust between the public and organizations that help educate about and rescue dogs from puppy mills.

Back to Dan Christensen claiming this film was 95% accurate in the last chunk of the film… Now even that is a stretch. In the movie, Holloway (owner of the puppy mill) punches a UAPA member during the raid, he suffers a heart attack when seeing the “awful” conditions that his dogs are living in upon getting into rescue, and he faces a jury trial to deem whether or not the dogs were abused and neglected. None of this ever happened. Are you seeing a recurring theme here? Not much of this film is “based on a true story”. Now back to real life: 

Dan Christensen never went to trial, however there  were motion hearings over the course of several days that focused on the validity of the search and seizure warrant. While there was limited evidence, there was no jury; No one from the HSUS took the stand, and neither did Christensen. The only similarity between real life and film was that the warrant was thrown out and all charges were dropped because Quinn  the judge ruled that Quinn misled him  about the evidence used to obtain it. 

I want it to be stated more clearly…. These dogs were returned to the breeder because the warrant wasn’t obtained correctly NOT because the animals were being cared for and Christensen deserved them back. At the end of the article, I will post photos from Christensen’s puppy mill. They aren’t pretty, and I want to give our readers a chance to read the full article without fear of seeing them. 

The overall message of the film is “Learn the truth, investigate before you donate”, that phrase even pops up on the screen as the movie ends.  It isn’t hard to tell when you are watching “The Dog Lover” who the enemy is supposed to be. Protect the Harvest, who routinely attacks the HSUS in real life, created this propaganda film to attack them and other animal welfare organizations on the silver screen. Over and over again the UAPA employees and high-up executives are constantly talking about money, getting raises/promotions and openly discuss tinkering with footage to advance the case. This glaring attack makes it very easy to ignore the fact that Holloway (film) had over 100 dogs living in cages on their property, getting human contact twice a day when they are being fed. It is easy to see that the filmmakers are trying to subconsciously get the public to realize that large-scale dog breeding operations are humane.

So, there you have it. My unsolicited movie review in 1700 words. I hope this helped you realize that not every film that says “based on a true story” is, in fact, true. 

— Mindi Callison

Founder/President of Bailing Out Benji

An organization that works tirelessly to educate about puppy mills and rescue animals from all walks of life. 

——————- If you don’t want to see photos from ———————-

——————- the actual puppy mill, stop reading here. ——————–

A personal note from Mindi:

I want to end this article by saying that not all dog breeders are puppy mills. This is a fact that is hard for some people to accept. While you may not agree with breeding in general (which is your right),  a small, reputable breeder is a far cry from a puppy mill. And this is something that we must remember as animal advocates. There will always be members of the general public who insist on buying a puppy. It is our job to not only show them some adorable adoptable animals, but to  educate them on how to avoid purchasing from puppy mills. Demand #ShowMeTheMommy when buying, visit the facility, meet the parents, NEVER buy a puppy in a pet store and absolutely do not ever agree to meet a breeder offsite or have them ship to you. 

Here are photos taken the day of the raid on the Dan Christensen property. What do you think? Is he a reputable breeder like the film would have you believe? 

 

Little Wonders Puppy Emporium: Buyer Beware

As you know, we are a small nonprofit based primarily out of the Midwest. So how, might you ask, did a pet store all the way in Sayville, New York catch our attention enough to merit an article?

Well, this Little Wonders Puppy Emporium made the grave mistake of not only buying puppies from horrible puppy mills here in the Midwest, but they actually accused our nonprofit organization of paying people to protest outside of their store. Every weekend… 1,179 miles away. Since we are so interesting to them, we thought we would look a little deeper into the puppy mills they proudly support. Unsurprisingly, we were appalled at the lies the store owners tell their customers just to make a profit. We hope to expose the store and its puppy mill suppliers, while educating their future customers about where to humanely obtain their next pet. If you are in the Sayville area, please reach out to the wonderful ladies at Puppy Mill Free Long Island NY and they can help you find a pet to adopt! 

LWPE
Let’s start by showing everyone that Little Wonders Puppy Emporium is listed on the ASPCA’s NoPetStorePuppies.com site as a store NOT to shop at. Another nationally recognized organization is against this pet store… Should be a red flag.

When it comes to exposing puppy mills and the pet stores they sell to, Suffolk County NY  made our jobs awfully easy by requiring all pet stores to prominently display which USDA licensed breeders pet stores are buying from. So our goal with this article is to help potential customers do their research BEFORE buying a puppy mill puppy.  Since Little Wonders Puppy Emporium isn’t picky and buys from A LOT of puppy mills, we thought it was best to organize them by state. 

SickPuppy
A YELP review recently left by an unsatisfied customer who purchased a sick dog.

What would drive a pet store to buy from puppy mills that are over 1,300 miles away? What would make them think that puppies sitting in a cramped, dark van for over 21 hours is a good idea? The only answer is cost. LWPE is getting a heck of a deal by buying puppies from so far away. Pet stores generally buy puppies for $25-$50 a piece and sell them for thousands. Please keep in mind that these puppies are taken away from their mothers and siblings too early, thrown into kennels and driven thousands of miles just to be sold in a pet store. Sadly, many of these puppies come to Little Wonders (and other out of state pet stores) very ill because of those very reasons.


Here are the *known* puppy mills that Little Wonders Puppy Emporium has purchased from in the past. 

OKLAHOMAFrom here it takes the puppies between 21 and 23 hours to leave each breeder just to sit in a pet store cage. 

Jeff Adams/Adams Kennel  Durant, OK 74701 USDA 73-A- 2670 … 35 adult dogs. Time it takes for puppies to get to the store:  23 hours, 47 minutes . 

Karen Buffalohead KCZ Amazing Pets Langley OK 74350 USDA 73-B- 1843 …. 12 adult dogs. 21 hours, 30 minutes to the store. 

Cindy Johnson Purple Rose Kennel  Jay OK 74346 USDA 73-A- 2169… 17 adult dogs. 21 hours, 33 minutes from breeder to store. 

SOUTH DAKOTA — It takes 21 hours, 56 minutes from this breeder to the pet store. 

Calvin Kroger/Kroger Kennel Hudson, SD 57034 USDA 46-A- 0420… 23 adult dogs. pet store. 

MINNESOTA— These puppies ride over 21 hours to get to the pet store.

Angeline Mc Duffee AJ’s Angels Cushing MN 56443 USDA 41-A- 0484 *Formerly known as Wanda Kretzman of Clearwater Kennel 3/9/2016 she cancelled license. Same day daughter-in-law obtained license for the very same kennel… 594 adult dogs, 402 puppies .  This is one of the worst puppy mills in the entire country. 

Justin Sawyer Backus MN 56435 USDA 41-A- 0482 … 70 adult dogs, 61 puppies

LWPE

ARKANSAS—  It takes the puppies over 21 hours to get to the store. 

Judy Willis  Jasper, AR 72641 USDA 71-A- 0992… 33 adult dogs.

Jonathan Miller Huntsville, AR 72740 USDA 71-A- 1257… 28 adult dogs. 

Charles & Susan Delozier C&T Kennels  Green Forest, AR 72638 USDA 71-A- 0995… 24 adults dogs.

IOWAIt takes 21 hours for these puppies to travel from Iowa puppy mills to Little Wonders Puppy Emporium

Colleen Ries/Wishbone Kennels Ryan, IA 52330 USDA 42-A- 0950… 36 adult dogs. Noteworthy violations: Dogs with open and untreated wounds on legs

J.A.K.S Puppies  Britt IA 50423 USDA 42-B- 0271 (Broker). 97 puppies. 

MISSOURIIt takes 19 hours from puppy mill to pet store. 


Carol Hyatt /Shangrila Kennel LLC Fredericktown, MO 63645 USDA 43-A- 5630… 10 adult dogs. 

Breedloves
Breedloves Unique kennel allows all of their dogs to live their lives in rabbit hutches. 24/7. THIS is the mother of your pet store puppy.

Alisa Breedlove/Breedloves Unique Kennel Waynesville, MO 65583 USDA 43-A- 4023 … 80 adult dogs. To see more footage of her kennel click here

Sherri GillumUnionville, MO 63565 USDA 43-B- 3701… 54 adult dogs, 30 puppies

Randall & Sheree Bonnette Chillicothe, MO 64601 USDA 43-A- 2151… 80 adult dogs

Josie & Paul Swartzentruber Buffalo, MO 65622 USDA 43-A- 4184… 13 adults dogs.

AH12.32
Lonewolf Kennel. Has past USDA violations for having dogs in outdoor enclosures with no wind/weather breaks.

Allison Hedgpeth/Lonewolf Kennel Iberia, MO 65486 USDA 43-B- 3435… 47 adult dogs.

Bill & Mona Paulson Prairieview Kennel  Washburn, MO 65772 USDA 43-A- 2974 … 102 adult dogs, 41 puppies

LW.png
Undercover footage of David Miller’s property. THESE are the mothers of your pet store puppy.

David Miller  Oronogo, MO 64855 USDA 43-A- 5221… 149 adult dogs, 58 puppies. 

SOBRAD LLC/Pinnacle Pet Neosho, MO 64850 USDA 43-B- 3750 & 43-T- 0063 (Broker) … 353 puppies

Hunte Corporation Goodman, MO 64843 USDA 43-B- 0123 (Broker)… Upwards of 1000 puppies. Here is a video exposing where the Hunte Corporation gets their puppies. 

Semi

But after all of this, Little Wonders Puppy Emporium not only stands proudly by their breeders, but they claim they only use breeders with no violations (which is very untrue and easily fact checked).

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Because of this, a group of concerned Sayville citizens have been protesting outside of Little Wonders Puppy Emporium every weekend since March of 2015. The protests started before the store officially opened, to raise awareness about the issue. After, two of the women chose to have a sit-down meeting with the owner, Frank DiStefano and tried to educate him about the puppy mill issue. After asking him to consider going humane and ending the sale of puppies in his store, Frank said, “It would never happen” and the two groups went on their separate ways.  Since the protests started in Sayville NY outside Little Wonders Puppy Emporium, the protesters have assisted over a dozen consumers with the adoption process instead of them purchasing puppies. They’ve shared with consumers: petfinder.com, breed specific rescues and for those that insisted upon buying, they’ve even taken the time to research true, responsible breeders. 

While it is so hard for pet store owners to stop asking “why me” and see the bigger picture, this is about putting an end to puppy mills; not ending all breeding and not ending pet ownership. And while DiStefano and other pet store owners insist on profiting off of the suffering of thousands of adult dogs, groups like Bailing Out Benji and Puppy Mill Free Long Island NY will be out there educating current, past and future customers. 

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How can you help?

Call Little Wonders Puppy Emporium 

(631) 244-7877 …  If you feel strongly enough (and are brave enough), contact the owner this way. Ask him directly about the puppies and the welfare of the  parent dogs.  We do not want to see a local business close down, instead we want the owner to choose a more humane business model by  either not selling puppies at all, or choosing to help shelter dogs instead! 

Contact Little Wonders on Facebook

Share this article on their wall, tag their store, do whatever you can to raise awareness about this store and their connection to known puppy mills. Here is their page. 

Visit the protesters on the weekend! 

Whether you join them and hold a sign, or just drive by to honk- your support means the world to the girls who are giving their voices to the dogs that have none. 

THIS NEXT PART GOES FOR EVERYONE, IN EVERY CITY, IN EVERY STATE

Don’t give your business to pet stores that sell puppies and kitties. Pet overpopulation is a terrible problem in our country and only the consumers can help change that. If you are looking for a new pet PLEASE visit your local shelter. Over 35% of dogs in shelters are purebred, they are just overlooked. If you can’t find what you are looking for at your local shelter, please try Petfinder It is a tremendously helpful site! You can search for ANY BREED, anywhere. And don’t forget, if you are looking to buy a puppy, ALWAYS demand to #ShowMeTheMommy! 

— Mindi 

Founder/President of Bailing Out Benji

Editors Note: Little Wonders Puppy Emporium is nothing special. Pet stores across the country are buying puppies from out of state mills and passing them off as “local, respectable breeders”. Iowa alone exports over 100,000 puppies annually to pet stores across the country. This is a very inhumane business model that pet stores have adopted to make a quick buck. Help us put an end to this industry! If you see puppies in the store, WALK OUT THE DOOR! And always shop at humane pet stores that don’t sell animals! Together, we will put an end to this industry. 

IAPm
Iowa exports over 100,000 puppies a year!

Buyer Beware: The Dark Truth About Online Pet Sales

There are over 10,000 puppy mills across the United States. Some of them are licensed, some of them aren’t; but almost all of them sell site unseen through websites, forums and Craigslist.

Translation: The internet is full of puppy mills…. Don’t believe me? Google “puppies for sale near me”. Go ahead. I will wait….

What websites popped up?

Various Breeders? PuppyFind.com ? Oodle.com? Hoobly.com? NextDayPets.com?

These are all forums for puppy mills to hock their products. By products, I really mean puppies… But puppy mills don’t view puppies (or dogs for that matter) as living, breathing souls. They see them as money, as a cash crop. We are starting a new educational series “Buyer Beware”, where we focus on exposing online puppy mills as just that. Fancy websites that are a front for a very cruel and inhumane industry. Not only will this educate a few people about how easy it is for puppy mills to lie, BUT anytime anyone searches for these breeders in particular, our articles will pop up 🙂 And hopefully catch a few more potential puppy buyers. 

(*cough*… Puppy Mills…. *cough*….)

For our first edition of “Buyer Beware” we wanted to start close to home and we wanted to start by showing how easy it is to get wrapped up in the puppy mill world when trying to add a new furry friend to your family. In this day and age, the internet is where we go to for everything. Movie times, restaurants, news, weather…. So why not use it to find an adorable new puppy? The general public doesn’t know the rules of buying from a reputable breeder; getting on a list, visiting the parents, contracts, etc. What they do know is that it is easy to click, buy and ship. So I started from the beginning. 

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In less than a minute I was given 465,000 results. That is a lot of information to click through, especially for someone who just really wants to buy a puppy. So, for good measure, I clicked on a few breeders that appeared on the first two pages. 

I found Century Farm Puppies, Coldwater Kennel and Cuddles and Snuggles Place…. Let’s start by talking about what these pages have in common. 

√  Pictures of cute puppies (in front of blankets/tarps) 

√ Health guarantee

√ Offer to ship 

√ USDA License

√ Far away photos/Descriptions of their perfect farms 

It sounds perfect! Those puppies all looks so adorable AND the breeders take all major credit cards. What more could a person want? 

Well… Here is what they aren’t showing you. 

CuddlesSnuggles
44 adults, down from over 75

 

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Lots and lots of dogs
Larry2
A depressing amount of dogs… 

You see. Legally, these puppy mills don’t have to disclose their actual number of dogs to potential buyers. In fact, they can keep you as far away from the property as they want (which is why they offer to ship or meet you halfway!) Now think back to those fancy websites… What didn’t they show you? Photos of the actual parents!! You get so swept up in seeing the pictures of adorable puppies, that you don’t give a second thought to the parent dogs! 

LarryAlbrechtLarryAlbrechtInsp

Actual photos of dogs from Coldwater Kennel. In the metal kennel to the right are actual boxes the mothers are kept in.  Follow this link to see a video from inside Coldwater Kennel.

CFP
Century Farm Puppies also admits that none of their puppies are raised in their home. 

Now lets look at some of the red flags on those websites. 

√ Offer to ship/meet off site

√ Breeder sells lots of different breeds

√ Cuddles and Snuggles says right on their site that they are “not responsible for any Bills including Medical Bills  and Vet. Bills incurred by the purchaser of the dog”. 

√ Always has puppies available for sale

√ Accepts all major credit cards 

√ Century Farm Puppies admittedly sells their “cheap” dogs to a pet store in Ames. We have also exposed their puppy mill before.

√ Inspected and in good standing with the state/USDA

On top of the things they aren’t showing you and the numerous red flags, lets not forget the very lax rules that USDA inspected kennels are required to follow: 

-Inspections are “Risk-based,” meaning that facilities that meet a certain criteria are inspected “as seldom as once every 2 to 3 years.”
-Cage size: must be 6 inches larger than the size of the dog, on all sides
-Up to 12 dogs can be housed in one cage
-Dogs never have to be let out of their cages. Breeders only need to have an exercise plan
-There is no limit to the number dogs a breeder can have—many have over 1,000
-There is no age limit for breeding dogs. If a dog is able to produce puppies for ten years, that’s how long they could be in the facility.

For more information, click here.

USDA

So how can you avoid a puppy mill? 

  1. Consider adoption first.There are thousands of puppies and adult dogs who are waiting their forever home in your local shelter or rescue! Petfinder.com is a fantastic resource. 
  2. Find a responsible breeder and visit the premises. #ShowMeTheMommy is our rule! Always always always demand to see the parent dogs. 
  3. Absolutely DO NOT “rescue” a puppy mill puppy by buying him.If you are visiting a breeder and you disagree with anything that you see, RUN don’t WALK away and make sure to contact us! 
  4. Don’t get a puppy from a pet store. Ever. Pet store Puppies ARE puppy mill puppies
  5. Don’t fall for “USDA” licensed or “AKC” registered. Those aren’t safety blankets and those breeders can absolutely be puppy mills. 
  6. Do your part: Help us educate about puppy mills! Share our mission and educate your friends, family and coworkers! 

 

Stay tuned for the next edition in our Buyer Beware chronicles! Until then, don’t forget to check out our facebook page and stay update on all that we do to help the dogs trapped in puppy mills. 

And don’t forget… A little bit of investigation can go a long way. 

Iowa-Map

Mill Dog Monthly; May 2016

Hi, everyone! It’s Mindi, the founder of Bailing Out Benji! This is a very special edition of #MillDogMonthly because Bailing Out Benji is…. FIVE YEARS OLD! That’s right! This month we have been celebrating our five-year anniversary! That is five whole years of making the world a better place through education, rescue, transports and advocacy! We couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate this special occasion than by sharing stories from wonderful people we have helped, as well as behind the scenes photos and plans for the future! Thank you so much for reading and for helping us relive the successes we have had over the past five years! I can’t wait to see what is in store over the next five years!

The Beginning

If you have followed us from the beginning, you know that Bailing Out Benji started off as an educational blog. It was my way of connecting with the public and sharing my journey into this world of animal advocacy. I was 21 and honestly had no idea that things were this tragic when

All time views
All time article views (as of 5/30/2016

it came to animal welfare. Iowa was (and still is) one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to puppy mills and we are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to animal welfare laws.

 In the beginning, I was ecstatic to be getting a handful of views a month. The early articles were written in disbelief and were a little disorganized. But month after month, my article hits grew as my readers were learning and the relationships that were being created were life-changing. I was connecting with real people who were learning about these issues for the first time and I could see that a difference was being made. Now, five years later, our articles get thousands of views a week and every day we are hearing from someone new who had no idea about puppy mills. Like Jennifer M.

 

Jennifer-  “I have always been an animal lover. I volunteered at a vet clinic as a teenager, had many pets as a child and got my first dog in my early twenties. I wasn’t allowed one as a child because I was allergic, but I didn’t care and toughed it out anyways to have a beloved dog. I got a dachshund because I had wanted one for years. I found a breeder and picked her up at 8 weeks old. As much as I loved animals, I had no clue about rescue or the horrors that so many dogs endure due to puppy mills. I discovered rescue a few years later and adopted my second dog from a dachshund rescue and was feeling good about saving a life. Still, I had no idea what a puppy mill was. I was just browsing Facebook one day about 4 or 5 years ago, and one of the dachshund pages I follow showed a link to an article about puppy mills written by Bailing out Benji. I was horrified, cried tears and felt enraged that this horrific suffering was going on and so many people either don’t know about it or are the people who are perpetuating it. From that moment on, I   have been active about educating the people I know about puppy mills, as well as doing my part to be sure not to support those who support mills in any way. I’m educating my daughters now, and I can guarantee my girls would never “buy” a pet. Bailing out Benji is a great wealth of information teaching so many about the perils of puppy mills and pet store puppies, but even more Bailing out Benji is also a group of dedicated advocates making a difference.”

Every day, people like Jennifer are interested in learning more and they are searching for “puppy mills in Iowa” or “Puppy mills near me” and they are coming across one of the almost 100 articles that we have written on the topic. One great thing about our website/blog is that we connect real puppy mills and their websites to their USDA inspection reports and numbers. So when someone is looking for “Century Farm Puppies” or “Randy Stoen, Dows” they come across the truth and hopefully RUN the other way.

WorldWide
Our website and articles have been viewed in almost every country in the world.

 

Turning Education into Advocacy
It wasn’t until I started looking at the local puppy mill problem that I realized this issue was in my own backyard. I went into a local pet store, “Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe” with a few friends and saw that they were selling puppies. When asked where the puppies come from, the store owner told us “Century Farm Puppies” and gave us the address. After checking out the inspection reports and seeing that they had over 400 adult dogs on their property, we knew we had to visit and see things firsthand.  We saw the puppy mill and we decided that we had to educate about whereMarley those adorable pet store puppies really come from.

But not before we convinced the mill owner to let us “adopt” one of the dogs that couldn’t be used for breeding anymore (no money was exchanged). Little did I know,  “Marley” was going to be the first of many puppy mill survivors that we would be helping to free from this horrible life over the next five years. Marley was a 3 year old King Charles Cavalier used for breeding “cavachons” at Century Farm Puppies. What the breeder told us: Her uterus dropped during her last litter and she needed an emergency c-section and spay. What the breeder did not tell us: She had luxating patellas, cherry eye, long nails and horrible teeth/ears. With the help of a local shelter, we took this sweet girl to her foster-turned-forever home and she got all of the vet care and love she truly deserved. In her short three years, it is estimated that she had at least 4 litters and made the breeder almost $20,000.
Shortly after our visit to CFP, we contacted Dale Dyvig again to warn him about how awful the breeder was… He laughed…. HE LAUGHED and told us that he had been using the same breeders for decades and they were just fine. That ignited something inside of me that I honestly had no idea existed. Again, for those of you that have followed our organization for a while, knows what happened next 😉 We protested. And protested. And protested. Since Black Friday of 2011, we have protested every single Saturday and Sunday, with a few -20surprise protests during the weeks and our “theme” protests in which we protest every day for 30 days ( #ThirtyDaysThirtyProtests ) for puppy mill awareness month and the #12ProtestsOfChristmas where we catch last minute puppy buyers the two weeks leading up to the holidays.  

That means we have protested this one pet store for over 75,000 minutes over the last five years *(not including our protests in front of Pet’s Playhouse and Petland) . In the negative temperatures, in the extreme heat, in the rain, and in the snow. We are there no matter what, because the dogs in the puppy mills are forced to live in these conditions. In that time we have educated thousands of people about this issue and its connection to our local pet store, and we have turned away so many potential puppy buyers and helped them find reputable breeders and rescues.

 

golden
 

A breeder surrender from Missouri, we transported to RAGOM. (He was stretching his legs while we waited for the rescue to meet us!  

 

Speaking of the dogs…

 

Between owner surrenders, breeder releases and auction rescues- Bailing Out Benji has helped hundreds of dogs (and cats) find safe haven among the no-kill, nonprofit rescues that we partner with. We make the connections, we transport and (when we have the funds) we donate towards the vet care of the animal.  Not all every rescue we assist with makes it to facebook, but we do often post those photos to instagram.

We couldn’t be more thankful for the relationships and connections that we have made when saving these lives. It has truly been an eye opening experience! Here is what Cindy Goodin from Little White Dog Rescue has to say: 

Teddy“Bailing out Benji is an amazing organization. Not only do they educate the public about the plight of dogs that are caged their entire lives, but they have partnered with my organization in getting some dogs released and placed into rescue. Some of these dogs come with no medical care and in deplorable condition. Bailing Out Benji is a great champion for these dogs and without them these dogs would continue to suffer. I can’t say enough great things about them!”

Rescues like Little White Dog Rescue, FluffyButts Rescue and the Pug Partners of Nebraska (to name a few) are a few amazing no-kill rescues that never hesitate to step up and take animals when we ask! 

Friendships, Honors and Achievements

DBDTo say that I and Bailing Out Benji have been blessed over the last 5 years is a huge understatement. What we do, we do for the dogs, 1000%. We don’t do it for the recognition and certainly not for the glory. But we are very blessed in the fact that our hard work and educational efforts have moved mountains and have garnered respect across the world.


In 2014, we were blown away when 5414 productions reached out to us and wanted to include Bailing Out Benji in their puppy mill documentary, Dog by Dog. It was so unbelievable that I honestly thought it was a cruel joke at first! But they came! Director Christopher Grimes and Filmographer Travis Edwards came to my home to interview me and filmed our protest the next day- even though it was -14 degrees! If that wasn’t exciting enough, the next year and a half was indescribable. I was able to travel across the country with the film for various premiers and meet hundreds animal lovers-turned friends- who truly wanted to make a difference for the puppy mill dogs. Protests were started, connections were made and, because of that, countless people have been educated. 

During this time, Best-selling Author, Janetta Harvey reached out to us and a friendship began. After learning about our efforts, Janetta included Bailing Out Benji and our story in her book “Saving One More” and we couldn’t be more proud! Not just the fact that this is another way we are able to educate, but it shows solidarity in this fight against the puppy mill industry. From the United Kingdom all the way to Iowa, we are united in this fight.

Janetta Harvey, Author & Campaigner
“Since being introduced to the dedicated work of Mindi and her Bailing Out Benjisaving one more team, I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the strength and commitment to the dogs that they regularly show. It’s been awe inspiring to witness the weekly peaceful protests, the awareness events Bailing Out Benji attend, and the billboards they fund. Truly impressive for a small group. I’m in the UK and many times wish I could be with Mindi in person to support her and absorb some of the tenacity she shows to keep battling to get the voices of dogs heard, both in her local community, but also much further afield. It was an honour to include her story in my book, “Saving One More” and I look forward to meeting her one day and celebrating the end of the nasty puppy breeding and selling industry that we campaign against, united across the world.”

HSUS

And in 2016, shortly before Bailing Out Benji turned five, I was given an amazing award by the Humane Society of the United States- Puppy Mill Campaign. Out of everyone in the country who works tirelessly to give a voice to those that have none, I was one of 14 people awarded the HSUS “Advocates We Love” award. I was so honored to accept the award on behalf of all of the hard work that our volunteers have done. 

These last five years have been unbelievable. It is hard to imagine what amazing things will happen in the next five years! 

 

 

Education Knows No Borders!


Over the past 5 years, Bailing Out Benji has physically traveled all over Iowa and Nebraska to educate about puppy mills and other animal issues. The rescue events we attend, the expos and the booths we host have helped us reach and educate thousands of people about these issues! We also send out educational brochures, flyers and posters for animal lovers to hang in their own communities to raise awareness.

We are soRoundrock excited to say that we are taking the leap and expanding our volunteer base to another state! We have a group of committed animal lovers in Texas who want to start hosting educational tables and events to raise awareness about puppy mills in their area and we are so happy to help! The past few weeks we have been working nonstop to create a database of puppy mills in Texas to create a Texas Puppy Mill Map for them, like we made for Iowa. While this Texas BoB is a work in progress, we are very excited for what this means for our organization! Who knows where another volunteer team will pop up next!

 

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A few examples of our educational outreach PSAs

What does this mean?

Five years of hard work and we couldn’t do ANY of it without Y.O.U. The shares, the articles views, the likes on Facebook, the donations– all of our success and educational outreach has been possible because of your help. $5Fri

Bailing Out Benji is 100% volunteer based, meaning that no one is reimbursed for their time or efforts. As you know and have read, we are completely dedicated to exposing puppy mills and the pet stores they sell to by educating the public. Our billboards, bus ads and newspaper ads educate thousands of people on a daily basis.

Can you help us celebrate our birthday? Make a donation today, of ANY amount and help us continue our important work! Click here for ways to donate. Every dollar helps us in our mission to put an end to puppy mills once and for all. All donations are tax deductible and will help us greatly. We created a new spot on our website to thank any individual or business who donates over $500 (at one time). We will link the thank you to your business or organization as our way of thanking you. With the high traffic of our website, our amazing supporters will appear on the side of every article and page on our site!

MDM_May_Cartoon


 Never did I think that my little blog would have changed my life, and the lives of countless animals and humans, forever. Thank you all. Thank you for the constant love and support to our small, but mighty organization. We couldn’t do it without you <3 

 

— Mindi 

 

Mill Dog Monthly; April 2016

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As always, a HUGE thank you to Matt and Brandi (Webber Designs) for their hard work in creating this month’s Mill Dog Monthly! 
For more information on the groups mentioned, please visit their facebook pages. 
Twinklets
Susie-Belle Schnauzer
Oscar’s Law
Pug Partners of Nebraska
Harley
Teddy
Puppy Love Campaigns
Little Lena
Good Karma Animal Rescue of MN
Dog by Dog
Humane Society of Northeast Iowa