When it comes to the puppy mill industry, there is no shortage of “key players” in the game. You have breeders, brokers, transport companies, pet stores and online websites. In this day and age, there is no true way to know where your puppy is coming from unless you visit the facility yourself, or adopt a pet from a local rescue or shelter.
Unfortunately, the dog breeding business is clouded in secrecy and, unless you know how to ask the right questions, you will constantly be searching for answers. One of the main focuses that Bailing Out Benji has is obtaining government documents that track puppies from breeder to broker to pet store, so the public has a fighting chance to do their research before they buy a puppy. In this case, we have requested those government documents, Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVIs), on notorious dog broker, Crittersville Enterprises LLC. Crittersville currently sells to pet stores in Colorado and Massachusetts, and likely many others. The tricky part with the secretive puppy mill industry is that the CVIs are only needed when a puppy is crossing state lines. So Crittersville’s name is on those documents when a pet store gets the puppy- not the actual breeder. This is where we come in! Below you will find a list of all of the known puppy mills that Crittersville Enterprises buys from before they broker the puppies to pet stores from coast to coast.
As it turns out, Crittersville is also not picky about where they obtain their puppies for resale. In fact, Crittersville sources puppies from puppy mills that have been named the worst in the nation no fewer than 15 times. Below you will find the breeders that Crittersville sourced from in 2017 and 2018 (that we know of).
- Robin Fedders, Fedders Farm. Sioux Center, Iowa- 12 adult breeding dogs with a history of violations including (from 2015): Injured dogs unseen by vets, broken metal poking into kennels, holes in concrete full of water.
- Linda and Marv Mulder, Limi Je M Kennel. Boyden, Iowa- 25 adult breeding dogs.
- Stan, Bethany and Linda Korver. Orange City, Iowa – 14 adult breeding dogs.
- Lora and Loren Kooiman, Riverview Kennels. Doon, Iowa- 11 adult breeding dogs. Riverview Kennels was also named one of the worst puppy mills in the entire nation.
- Jean Gortmaker, Gortmakers Acres. St Lawrence, South Dakota- 59 adult breeding dogs.
- Bob and Charlene Fischer- Goodwin, South Dakota- 18 adult breeding dogs
- Cindy Hubers, Da Pa Kli Kennels. Harrison, South Dakota- 137 adult breeding dogs with a history of violations including: Dogs with eye issues, dogs needing vet care without having it provided,dogs with green mucus covering eyes, dogs with severe matting with feces stuck in fur and dogs with missing fur and open wounds. Hubers was also named one of the worst puppy mills in the country.
- Bonnie Versteeg, Platte South Dakota- 83 adult breeding dogs.
- Cal and Karen Veurink, Dakota Kennels. Harrison, South Dakota- 50 adult breeding dogs with a history of violations including: numerous dogs with severe dental disease; dogs with extremely long toenails; dogs with eye injuries, face injuries and injuries to their bodies/paws.
- Bev Nydam Varilek. Stickney, South Dakota-77 adult breeding dogs.
- Robert Engbrecht. Marion, South Dakota- unable to access records.
- Doug Kroger. Beresford, South Dakota- 28 adult breeding dogs.
- Keith Jensen. Freeman, South Dakota- 30 adult breeding dogs.
- Jared Feldhaus. Howard, South Dakota- 13 adult breeding dogs.
- Carla Pederson, Pederson Farms. Freeman, South Dakota- 27 adult breeding dogs.
- Faye and Kelley Degen, Prairie Wind Kennels. Parkston, South Dakota- 23 adult breeding dogs.
- Tina Brennan, Brennan Kennels. Pukwana, South Dakota- 19 adult breeding dogs.
- Jennifer Johnson. Corsica, South Dakota- 29 adult breeding dogs, missed first and only inspection.
- Kathy Zomer, Kathy’s Kountry Kennel. Corsica, South Dakota- 69 adult breeding dogs.
- Travis and Kara Zomer. Tabor, South Dakota- 18 adult breeding dogs.
- Elvina Johnson, Johnson Kennels. Plankinton, South Dakota- 20 adult breeding dogs with a history of violations including: No vet had visited the facility in three years; dogs had “thick yellow-green discharge” from eyes; dogs with ulcerated skin lesions; and puppies housed in poor conditions. Johnson was also named one of the worst puppy mills in the country.
- Nancy Ogle, Irene South Dakota- 51 adult breeding dogs (down from 85) and close to 100 puppies on site, with a history of violations including: missed inspections, filthy kennel conditions, dogs in need of veterinary care, dogs with eye issues, dogs with dental disease, and excessive brown grime in kennels. Ogle was named one of the worst puppy mills in the country in 2017.
- Joette Peterson. Freeman, South Dakota- 31 adult breeding dogs with a history of violations including: dogs with open wounds and flies buzzing around them; dogs with no food and water; and dogs living in the cold with no protection from the elements. Peterson was named one of the worst puppy mills in the country in 2018 , 2017 , and 2016.
- Shelli Kershner, Walnut Creek Kennel. Rush, Center Kansas- 171 adult breeding dogs (down from 201 adults) with 96 puppies on the property. Kershner has a long history of violations including: missing inspections, failure to provide adequate veterinary care, failure to provide safe housing for dogs, dogs with eyes crusted shut, dogs with excessively long toenails, and dogs with dental disease. Kershner was given an Official Warning from the USDA and was named one of the worst puppy mills in the country.
- Rita Schroeder. Great Bend, Kansas- 11 adult breeding dogs.
- Lori and Curtis Slate, Slate Kennels. Jewell, Kansas- 23 adult breeding dogs.
- Clair and Susan Carlisle, S&C Farms. Coldwater, Kansas- 40 adult breeding dogs with a history of violations including outdoor dogs with no windbreaks as protection from the elements.
- Bill and Jodi File. Beloit, Kansas- 15 adult breeding dogs and a history of violations (from 2016) including: dogs with no identification; broken concrete runs with excessive feces and debris filling in the holes; and general excessive amount of feces.
- Jeanne Becker. Osborne, Kansas- 71 adult breeding dogs with a history of violations (from 2017) including: dog with severe dental disease that had not been seen by a vet; medications in facility without veterinarian directions.
- Jacky ( Jacqueline) Roesener. Mcdonald, Kansas- 100 adult breeding dogs. To View USDA photos of this kennel, click here.
- Doug and Loretta Gurtler, D&L Kennels. Beattie, Kansas- 12 dogs (down from 25) with a history of violations (from 2016) including: missed Inspections: food bowls covered in bird feces, frozen water bowls covered in bird poop, outdoor dog houses covered in bird poop, No pest prevention.
- Challen and Mike Ramsey, Triple R Kennels. Randall, Kansas- 11 adult breeding dogs.
- Marcia Smith, Smith Puppies. St. John, Kansas- 27 adult breeding dogs.
- Rebecca Eiler, Creekside Kennel. Oberlin, Kansas- 365 adult breeding dogs and 166 puppies on the premises. Eiler also runs a puppy mill in Nebraska that was named one of the worst puppy mills in the country.
- Roxanne Castens. Ludell, Kansas- 33 adult breeding dogs with a history of violations including: dogs so thin you could see hips and spine, giving dogs “cocktail” of medications without directions from a vet, and for not having an adequate veterinary program . Castens received a fine from the USDA for not allowing an inspector on the property. Castens was also named one of the worst puppy mills in 2015 and 2014.
- Zola and Steve Price, Laverne Vet Hospital. Laverne, Oklahoma- 118 adult breeding dogs (down from 287 dogs)
- Debra Tignor, Quail Court Kennel. Sayre, Oklahoma- 53 adult breeding dogs.
- Steve and Carol Haley, Haley Kennels. Sayre, Oklahoma- 112 adult breeding dogs.
- Mark and Ray Range. D&B Kennel. Arnett, Oklahoma- unable to access current dog count, but has a long history of violations and was named one of the worst puppy mills in the country in 2016, 2015, and 2014.
- Louann Gillespi, Lu’s Little Poodle Place. Rosston, Oklahoma- 13 adult breeding dogs.
Once the broker receives the puppies, they are then resold and transported to pet stores all over the country. All before the puppy is even 9 weeks old. To view the rest of our pet store research, click here.
To put an end to this cruel industry, we must stop putting money into the pockets of the businesses that are fueling puppy mills. Don’t shop at pet stores that sell puppies and don’t buy a puppy online or through a newspaper without meeting the parents first.