What is Fostering?

Written by Becky Monroe

I was scrolling Tik Tok the other day and found the most adorable foster story out of California. Hippo, a pit bull looking dog, was up for euthanasia when the organization I Stand with my Pack , pulled him from the shelter and a volunteer started fostering him. 

Click photo to view the Tiktok in full

Hippo is the sweetest, cutest dog. The kind of dog you start to consider traveling across the country to adopt, but he now has thousands of followers and I would be a little surprised if his foster family didn’t adopt him themselves.

But, what I noticed when I started following Hippo’s journey was all the comments asking about fostering.

After over a decade in this world of animal welfare, there are many things I take for granted. Knowing what fostering a homeless animal is, is one of them.

Hippo’s story and the numerous inquiries about fostering made me realize that it might be a great topic for this blog. While many of our followers might know what fostering is (and have done it themselves) maybe it would be a good blog to share with friends and family who do not.

Right now shelters and rescues find themselves over capacity. Sadly, many of the animals who found their way into homes during the pandemic are now being relinquished — a fear many animal advocates had two years ago.

The reasons are wide spread, but the reality is in order to save the lives of so many unwanted pets, shelters and rescues desperately need people to step up and foster. 

 

Foster? What does that mean?

Fostering a dog (or any animal) for a specific rescue or shelter means that you are agreeing to temporarily care for that dog like you would a dog of your own. However, all the expenses of the dog are usually paid for by the rescue or shelter until the dog is adopted.

This means all the dog’s food, vet bills, medicines, necessary training etc… are paid for while you are caring for the dog.

Fostering can be super temporary like a matter of days depending on if the dog is healthy and immediately ready for adoption and/or if the dog only needs a place to land in-between transports.

Fostering can last longer — meaning weeks, months or years depending on the situation. Some families choose to get involved with what we call Hospice Fosters. These dogs tend to be seniors who come into rescue late in life with potentially numerous health problems and are deemed unadoptable or likely hard to place because of their age and medical needs. However, these dogs are often super lovable and sweet and just need a quiet, loving home and family to live out their lives.

Fostering is a critical component to saving lives. Many rescues rely on foster homes because they do not have a shelter to house dogs in. These rescues can only pull dogs from shelters if they have a place to put them. When they don’t, dogs sit in shelters, shelters fill up and eventually, dogs are euthanized to make space. It is the harsh reality of unwanted pets. 

Jack before rescue
Jack after being fostered

Many shelters offer their own foster programs in their communities as a way to save more lives than they have capacity for. If they can place some of their dogs in homes, they have more shelter space to take in relinquished animals.

You are literally saving lives when you foster. You are saving the life of the dog you take in and you are saving the life of another dog who needed space in a shelter.

You truly become a dog hero when you foster.

The great thing about fostering is you can find a rescue or shelter who meets your needs. Whether you want to foster a pit bull like Hippo or a Shih Tzu or would like to get involved with Hospice fostering, there is a group out there who needs you – NOW.

You will fill out an application, likely have a meet and greet, a home check and they will help coordinate a foster situation that works for your lifestyle, your current pets, family, home situation, etc.

If you are an avid trainer, they will likely match you to a dog in need of better manners. If you have experience with medical issues, perhaps a dog who needs medicine or therapy would be a great fit.

Right now there are dogs of all shapes and sizes in need of a foster home.

Maybe your family has been considering adopting a dog. Fostering is a great way to see how your family responds to living with a pet.

That said, fostering isn’t something you go into with the idea that if it doesn’t work out in a few days, you walk away. Rescues who pull dogs knowing that they have foster placement, need those fosters to be serious and committed to that dog.

What many of us have experienced during our foster opportunities is what we call, “Foster Fails.”

This does not mean we failed at fostering the dog or did anything wrong. It means that instead of finding the dog a new home, we decided that we wanted to adopt the dog ourselves.

I have foster failed twice. Jack, a mixed breed (pictured above), who was hit by a car and left for dead. Alice, a Shih Tzu, (pictured below) was rescued at an auction. After caring for them, I just couldn’t imagine my life without them in it. 

Many talk about the emotional attachment and the difficulty of handing over the dog you cared for to a new family. It is tough. Heck, I have burst into tears after just two days of being a temporary foster for a transport. Our hearts grow attached fast and sometimes it is just impossible to say goodbye.

But, even through the tears, handing over the dog to his new family is so rewarding. Knowing that you were able to be a part of what saved that dog’s life and gave him the second chance he deserved, well, there just aren’t many other opportunities in life that give you such a rewarding feeling.

When you decide to look into fostering, I would keep a few things in mind. Each rescue and shelter operates differently, so you want to ask a lot of questions so you find one that feels right to you.

Some organizations allow the foster home to choose the adoptive family while others might only allow their feedback. Some organizations are very stringent on who they will adopt to — that might or might not sit well with you.

Some organizations give the foster home first right of refusal to adopt the dog while others might just go by their adoption waiting list and allow someone else to adopt the dog first.

Shelters and rescues want to make the foster experience a good one for all involved, so it is just important to ask questions and get a really solid feel for what you are getting into.

As someone who has fostered many animals and foster failed along the way, I will attest that it is such a wonderful experience. I would say that our whole family benefited from our fostering. Our daughter learned how to care for sick animals. Our friends and families learned so much about animal rescue and the need for foster and adoption. I would even say that our various packs benefited from having new dogs join in here and there.

If you are considering fostering, I would ask you act on it today. Across the country shelters and rescues are begging for help. There are simply just too many dogs in need right now and without the help of more individuals getting involved, good dogs will needlessly be euthanized due to no fault of their own.

Honestly, if you need a bit more motivation, I would suggest you go on Tik Tok and watch Hippo from the beginning. Or, watch Dr. Bewley’s fostering of Travolta at the Kentucky Humane Society.

When you see the transformations of these two dogs or watch any transformations of dogs in need and realize what a profound impact you can have on a dog and how that dog can impact your own heart and soul — it is near impossible not to want to be a part of something so beautiful.

Fostering really is an opportunity of a lifetime that provides so many benefits to those involved.

Fostering saves lives and who doesn’t want to save an animal?

**Just a reminder – if you would like to share your Puppy Mill Survivor’s story with our supporters, I would love to publish it on Tails and Truths! Just email me at bmonroe@bailingoutbenji.com.**

Buyer Beware: Boondogs Rescue

©Bailing Out Benji 2022
All research and information was done by  Bailing Out Benji and must be cited as such when shared or quoted!
To view the rest of our research, click here.

In recent years, there has been a massive movement across the country calling for cities and states to pass legislation banning the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores from commercial breeders (puppy mills). This effort was started to end the puppy mill to pet store pipeline with the goal of causing the largest and worst puppy mills in the midwest to downsize and close. Once these laws and ordinances are passed, former puppy-selling stores must now get their puppies, kittens and sometimes rabbits from rescues and shelters to help the homeless animals in their communities, as opposed to aiding in the pet overpopulation problem. To date, more than 420 localities have passed their version of this ordinance, as well as six states. 

Bailing Out Benji’s role in passing these ordinances is to provide our research to local advocates and policy makers so they can not only see what is happening inside of puppy mills, but they can see data on how local puppy stores are playing a key role in keeping the industry alive. Because of growing public awareness and the passing of these ordinances, it has become a lot harder for puppy mills and breeders with violations to sell through stores. This caused the birth of the nationwide puppy-laundering scheme through the creation of sham rescues. 

Sham rescues are now being created by USDA dog breeders and puppy brokers in order to falsely label commercially bred puppies as “rescues” in order to still sell puppies through retail stores in communities where it has been outlawed. These breeding facilities are getting rescue names and business licenses, even sometimes taking the additional step to become an official 501c3 charity, all with the intent of selling mislabeled puppies to stores. Litters of puppies are often split up in transport, half being sold as rescues and the other half being sold as commercially bred puppies, ignoring the fact that they were born at the same place. This is a new trend in the commercial dog breeding world, one that our nonprofit organization is leading the way on investigating and ending.

Our investigations into two sham rescues in Iowa ( Hobo K9 Rescue and Rescue Pets Iowa ) led to the Iowa Attorney General shutting them down, and our investigation into a sham Missouri rescue ( Pet Connect Rescue ) led to lawsuits and the passage of a stronger statewide bill in California. Other investigations that we have done (Dogs to the Rescue Ohio) have led to major news networks covering the story. We are also beyond honored that our research was used in Sony’s new investigative series “Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin“, a podcast that does a deep dive into the sham rescue world. 

Our work is never done, it seems, as every time we help shut down one of these fake rescues, another one pops up. 

Interestingly enough, we didn’t uncover this latest sham rescue through government health records. 

We learned it through a press release that the owner of Petland Oklahoma City and Petland Tulsa put out themselves

An excerpt from Petland's press release.

On June 14, 2022 Petland put out a press release to announce that they “are excited to announce their new partnership with Oklahoma rescue, Boondogs Rescue, to support local adoptions.” To be clear, Petland would still be offering commercially bred puppies for sale but, according to this press release, they will now be offering space to a local rescue. 

Except that local rescue was founded by a USDA commercial dog breeder in Oklahoma. A dog breeder that also sells puppies to pet stores across the country. Janet Donnelly of Inola, Oklahoma is the owner of both her breeding facility and the newly formed Boondogs Rescue. 

A quick public records request showed us that the addresses for the ‘rescue’ and the commercial dog breeding facility were one and the same. We have redacted the private addresses for the sake of this article. 

Donnelly's USDA license and her shelter license.
The most recent animal count on Donnelly's property.

While neither Tulsa, OK or Oklahoma City, OK have humane pet store ordinances yet, Petland’s announcement and partnership with this sham rescue seemed very important to point out. To date we have never seen a Petland store use sham rescues or be an active part of the puppy laundering scheme. If you would like to see which breeders Petland Oklahoma City and Petland Tulsa obtain animals from, you can click here

Historically, when ordinances have been passed, Petland has either complied and stopped selling puppies or they relocate to another state. Carl Swanson, owner of both Petland Oklahoma locations, had his Illinois stores affected by the local and state ordinances that were passed. 

A few CVIs we have connected Donnelly's breeding facility to pet stores and puppy brokers across the country.

At this time, Boondogs Rescue is not an active 501c3, so no donations are tax deductible. They have solely taken steps to become an Oklahoma state licensed rescue.  In the aforementioned press release, Petland did say that “The relationship with Boondogs Rescue began during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when Oklahoma Petland stores donated truckloads of dog food to Boondogs Rescue. Both organizations are grateful for the opportunity to further develop the relationship.” According to the documents we obtained from the state of Oklahoma, Donnelly first applied to be a rescue on August 4, 2021- more than a year and a half after the start of the pandemic.

We are currently awaiting another public records request to determine where Boondogs Rescue is obtaining their dogs, beyond Donnelly’s own breeding facility. 

Meanwhile, the ‘rescue’ dogs have already made their way to the social media channels of Petland Tulsa. 

The Nationwide Puppy Laundering Scheme has affected thousands of customers who thought that they were adopting puppies from legitimate rescues. Many lawsuits have happened in the past and even more are coming down the line. This type of operation is the definition of consumer and charity fraud. 

If you are a customer of Petland Tulsa or Petland Oklahoma and you believe that you purchased a “rescue puppy” and want to know more about where it was born, please feel free to email us below. We also suggest filing a complaint with the Oklahoma Attorney General about the potential mislabeling of your “rescue” puppy. 

©Bailing Out Benji 2022
All research and information was done by  Bailing Out Benji and must be cited as such when shared or quoted!
To view the rest of our research, click here.

Buyer Beware: JAKS Puppies

©Bailing Out Benji 2022
All research and information was done by Bailing Out Benji  and must be cited as such when shared or quoted!
To view the rest of our research, click here. 

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 to meet the parents, 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 projects that Bailing Out Benji focuses on is independently auditing government health records 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 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVIs),  on notorious dog broker, JAKS Puppies. JAKS Puppies is based out of Britt, Iowa and not only sells to pet stores all over the country, but they started one of the nation’s first sham rescue operations. Because of their role in this, JAKS was investigated by the Iowa Attorney General due to puppy laundering and they are linked to other sham rescue organizations that have been sued in the state of California.

After the investigation was over, the Iowa Attorney General ordered JAKS Puppies to shut down their sham nonprofits and pay a fine to the state. While they are legally still allowed to sell commercially bred puppies, they are no longer allowed to label them as “rescue puppies”.  

Jolyn Noethe of JAKS is now also the subject of a new podcast produced by Sony and Neon Hum Media. “Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin”. 

Americans are used to being on the lookout for a scam, but authorities are warning of a new kind of fraud. Puppy Kingpin shines a spotlight on Jolyn Noethe, a secretive businesswoman from Iowa who is accused of laundering puppies much like drug money. Investigative reporter Alex Schuman exposes the scheme and an underground part of the industry bringing us the pets we love. From Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment. Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin is available June 16th, 2022. Subscribe on apple podcasts to binge all episodes or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts.

The tricky part with the secretive puppy mill industry is that the CVIs are only needed when a puppy is crossing state lines. So the JAKs name is on those documents when a pet store gets the puppy- and rarely the name of the actual breeder. This is where we come in!

Below you will find a list of all of the known facilities that JAKS buys from before they broker the puppies to pet stores from coast to coast. Please note: we won’t see any of the Iowa breeders that JAKS sources from, because CVIs weren’t required for the initial transfer.

So far, our research has discovered that JAKS Puppies sells to pet stores in Massachusetts,  New Jersey,  Nevada,  Pennsylvania,  New York,  Florida,  Virginia,  Kansas,  Georgia,  Texas, California,  Arizona,  Nebraska,  Missouri, and Illinois . We are still pulling records on additional states. 

Below you will find a list of the facilities that JAKS Puppies sourced from in 2021 organized by state that the puppies originated in. 

Based on the records we audited, we were able to determine that JAKS Puppies imported at least 8,500 puppies from facilities outside of Iowa. This number is likely much higher, as we know that JAKS buys from several Iowa facilities. Our research also determined that 47% of the facilities that JAKS buys from are unlicensed and unregulated. 

*All of these connections below came from records obtained from the Iowa Department of Agriculture.*

 If you would like to donate to help us continue our research, you can do that here. 

Illinois 

      1. Bennie Chupp. Arcola, Illinois- appears to be unlicensed. 
      2. Raymond Yutzy, Melinda Yutzy, and Rebecca Yutzy. Liberty, Illinois-was USDA licensed but canceled and doesn’t currently hold a state or USDA license. 
      3. Stephen Yutzy. Liberty, Illinois- appears to be unlicensed. 

Indiana

      1. Ada Wagler. Loogootee, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      2. Allen R Stoll. Logootee, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      3. Anna Mae Graber and Daniel K Graber. Odon, Indiana- At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 8/18/2021, Graber had 23 adult breeding dogs and 35 puppies. 
      4. Ben Wagler. Odon, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      5. Dave Knepp. Loogootee, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      6. David Glick. Middlebury, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      7. Elmer Raber. Odon, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      8. Elmer L Wagler. Montgomery, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      9. Fred Yoder. Middlebury, Indiana- there is no address on the CVI, but we are unable to locate a USDA or state license for a ‘Fred Yoder’ in Middlebury. 
      10. Herman Raber, Raber’s Frenchies. Montgomery, Indiana. At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 3/2/2021, Raber had 28 adult breeding dogs and 29 puppies. 
      11. James Otto and Maryann Otto. Topeka, Indiana- At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 8/19/2021, Otto had 16 adult breeding dogs and 29 puppies. 
      12. Jerry Miller, Play More Kennel. Lagrange, Indiana- At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 2/1/2022, Miller had 16 adult breeding dogs and 6 puppies. 
      13. Jerry Wingard. Goshen, Indiana- At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 9/21/2021, Wingard had 9 adult breeding dogs and 15 puppies. 
      14. John Otto, Red Barn Kennels. Ligonier, Indiana-  At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 3/28/2022, Otto had 30 adult breeding dogs and 33 puppies. 
      15. Kevin Graber. Montgomery, Indiana- hasn’t been USDA licensed since 2016. Graber canceled shortly after receiving 4 USDA violations. 
      16. Levi Wagler and Janet Wagler. Loogootee, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      17. Lonnie Lambright. Shipshewana, Indiana-  At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 4/19/2022, Lambright had 10 adult breeding dogs and 5 puppies. 
      18. Lucas Miller. Shipshewana, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      19. Marcus Lengacher. Odon, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      20. Francis Wagler and Margaret Wagler. Loogootee, Indiana- At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 2/10/2022, Wagler had 36 adult breeding dogs and 24 puppies. 
      21. Marion Mishler. Lagrange, Indiana- there is no address on the CVI, but we are unable to locate a USDA or state license for a “Mishler” in Lagrange. 
      22. Martin Miller. Lagrange, Indiana- At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 8/10/2021, Miller had 43 adult breeding dogs and 38 puppies. 
      23. Mary Yoder. Shipshewana, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      24. Mervin Raber, Pine Hill Pets. Montgomery, Indiana- At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 10/7/2021, Raber had 17 adult breeding dogs and 14 puppies. 
      25. Michael Yoder. Topeka, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      26. Orlie Otto and Julie Otto, Natureview Puppies. Topeka, Indiana- there is no address on the CVI, but we are unable to locate a USDA or state license for an “Orlie or Julie Yoder” in Topeka. 
      27. Richard Frey. Topeka, Indiana- At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 10/7/2021, Frey had 29 adult breeding dogs and 24 puppies. 
      28. Richard Yoder. Topeka, Indiana- there is no address on the CVI, but we are unable to locate a USDA or state license for a “Richard Yoder” in Topeka. 
      29. Steve Kauffman. Middlebury, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      30. Steven Mullett. Goshen, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      31. Vernon and Kathryn Lambright, Peaceful Hollow pets AKA Clearspring Kennels. Wolcottville, Indiana- At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 11/6/2019, Lambright had 81 adult breeding dogs and 78 puppies with a history of violations that resulted in them being named one of the worst puppy mills in the country. 
      32. Virginia Wagler. Loogootee, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      33. Walter Schwartz. Monroe, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      34. Wayne Miller and Karen Miller, Rowe Eden Kennels AKA Woffer Kennels. Middlebury, Indiana- At the time of their most recent USDA inspection on 9/8/2021, Miller had 131 adult breeding dogs and 121 puppies. This facility was also named one of the worst puppy mills in the country in 2020. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS. 
      35. Willard Beechy. Shipshewana, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 
      36. Willis Schwartz. Monroe, Indiana- appears to be unlicensed. 

Iowa

      1. Edwin Gingerich, Winginger Kennel. Seymour, Iowa- At the time of their last IDALS inspection on 11/29/2021, Gingerich had 15 adult breeding dogs and 3 puppies. This facility became licensed after Bailing Out Benji filed a complaint about their unlicensed breeding facility in October 2021.

Kansas

      1. Audrey Sinn. Mahaska, Kansas- appears to be unlicensed. 
      2. Jane Waterman, Waterman Kennels. Atwood, Kansas- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 4/5/2022, Waterman had 229 adult breeding dogs and 110 puppies. This facility was named one of the worst puppy mills in the country in 2020. 

 

Michigan

      1. Daniel Lambright and Marcus Lambright. Grand Junction, Michigan- At the time of their last USDA inspection on September 8, 2021, Lambright had 22 adult breeding dogs and 24 puppies. 
      2. Jacob Lambright and Samuel Lambright. Bloomingdale, Michigan- This facility canceled their USDA license after receiving 7 USDA violations, including one critical violation during their two June 2021 inspections. These violations were pertaining to outdoor housing facilities, primary enclosures, dogs chained to logs, lack of water, and cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping and pest control. At the time of their last inspection, Lambright had 38 adult breeding dogs and 28 puppies. 

 

Minnesota

      1. Angie McDuffee and Wanda Kretzman, AJ’s Angels AKA Clearwater Kennel. Cushing, Minnesota- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 10/20/2021, AJ’s Angels had 786 adult breeding dogs and 386 puppies. This facility has also been named one of the worst puppy mills in the country twice. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS. 
      2. Ashley Freeburg. Tracy, Minnesota- appears to be unlicensed. 
      3. Craig Kleven and Linda Kleven, Fair View Kennels. Walnut Grove, Minnesota- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 2/1/2022, Kleven had 56 adult breeding dogs and 19 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      4. Jim Christian. Currie, Minnesota- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 3/23/2022, Christian had 56 adult breeding dogs and 17 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      5. John Henry Miller. Utica, Minnesota- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 7/7/2021, Miller had 51 adult breeding dogs and 31 puppies. 
      6. Justin Sawyer, Foot Hills Farm. Backus, Minnesota- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 8/13/2019, Sawyer had 159 adult breeding dogs and 82 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      7. Melvin Lien. Garvin, Minnesota- appears to be unlicensed.

Missouri

      1. Amos Schwartz. Princeton, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 10/19/2021, Schwartz had 25 adult breeding dogs and 24 puppies. Schwartz was named one of the worst puppy mills in the country in 2013 and has been downsizing their kennel over the last few inspections. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      2. Andrew Borntreger. Princeton, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 8/27/2021, Borntreger had 95 adult breeding dogs and 92 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      3. Anna Hoover, Wilmer Hoover and Janet Sloan, Tailspin Kennel. Versailles, Missouri- This facility has two USDA inspected sites on the same property. Site 2 was inspected on 3/15/2022 and had 43 adult breeding dogs and 8 puppies. Site 1 was inspected on 5/24/2021 and had 13 adult breeding dogs and 5 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      4. Anna Leinbach. Versailles, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      5. Athea Stutzman and Sarah Stutzman. Jamesport, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      6. Chris Mast, Shady Ridge Kennel. Bogard, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/10/2022, Mast had 74 adult breeding dogs and 25 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      7. David Blackburn and Denise Blackburn, D&D Blackburn Kennel. Jamesport, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/5/2022, Blackburn had 50 adult breeding dogs and 69 puppies. 
      8. Dana Farr, A Cute Puppy. Stewartsville, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 11/15/2021, Farr had 23 adult breeding dogs and 16 puppies. This facility is a regular supplier to JAKS.
      9. Daniel Shirk. Chula, Missouri- At the time of their 12/4/2020 USDA  inspection, Shirk had 40 adult breeding dogs and 23 puppies. Their most recent inspection was a focused inspection for a small amount of animals (1 adult, 4 puppies). This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      10. Darla Reiff, Playful Pals Country Kennel. Versailles, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 3/30/2022, Reiff had 46 adult breeding dogs and 15 puppies. This facility is a regular supplier to JAKS.
      11. David Blaine. Greentop, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      12. David Mast. Jamesport, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      13. David Rhinehart. Jamesport, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      14. David Stutzman and Katie Stutzman. Jamesport, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/4/2022, Stutzman had 54 adult breeding dogs and 28 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      15. Edwin Shirk and Annetta Shirk, Willow Dell. Chula, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/11/2021, Shirk had 78 adult breeding dogs and 36 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      16. Emery Shetler. Mercer, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      17. Enos Mast. Bethany, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      18. Eva Mae Rissler and Ruben Rissler, R&R Kennel. Barnett, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 8/18/2021, Rissler had 83 adult breeding dogs and 24 puppies. 
      19. Eva Martin and Isaac Martin, Cedar Line Kennel. Fortuna, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 10/5/2021, Martin had 26 adult breeding dogs and 21 puppies. This facility has been named one of the worst puppy mills in the country twice
      20. Gary Simmons and Victoria Simmons. Amity, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 3/28/2022, Simmons had 53 adult breeding dogs and 49 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      21. Geri Higgins, Higgins Kennel. Kirksville, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 7/22/2021, Higgins had 48 adult breeding dogs and 25 puppies. This facility is a regular supplier to JAKS.
      22. Gladys Martin and Edward Martin, Circle M Kennels. Versailles, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      23. Glenn Bontrager. Hamilton, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      24. Ivan Yutzy and Reuben Yutzy, Stoney Creek Kennel AKA Little Paw Kennels. Jamesport, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 2/9/2022, Yutzy had 47 adult breeding dogs and 55 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      25. Jacob Wagler. Gilman City, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      26. James Ranes and Ryan Ranes, Double R Cattle Co. Jamesport, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/5/2021, Ranes had 43 adult breeding dogs and 47 puppies. 
      27. John Hall. Ava, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      28. John Yoder. Ravenwood, Missouri-  appears to be unlicensed. 
      29. Jonas Hostetler, Shady Maples Kennel. Jamesport, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 2/14/2022, Hostetler had 21 adult breeding dogs and 3 puppies. 
      30. Junior Detweiler, Echo Valley Kennel. Princeton, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 10/7/2021, Detweiler had 104 adult breeding dogs and 69 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      31. Katie Borntrager and Aaron Borntrager, A-N-K Kennel. Princeton, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 3/1/2022, Borntrager had 18 adult breeding dogs and 6 puppies. 
      32. Levi Kurtz and Martha Kurtz. Jamesport, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 2/14/2022, Kurtz had 14 adult breeding dogs and 10 puppies. This facility is a regular supplier to JAKS.
      33. Lukas Miller, K9 Kreations. Jamesport, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/11/2022, Miller had 38 adult breeding dogs and 16 puppies. 
      34. Lydia Stauffer, JL Farm. Versailles, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 10/21/2021, Stauffer had 28 adult breeding dogs and 26 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      35. Mabel Zimmerman, Prairie Dog Kennel. Latham, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 8/31/2021, Zimmerman had 38 adult breeding dogs and 21 puppies. This facility is a regular supplier to JAKS.
      36. Marcee Bryant and John Bryant, Puppy Junction. Seneca, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 8/12/2021, Bryant had 89 adult breeding dogs and 14 puppies. Bryant also had 2 violations on this inspection pertaining to veterinary care and housing facilities. 
      37. Marilyn Zimmerman, Sky High Kennel. Latham, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/19/2022, Zimmerman had 32 adult breeding dogs and 8 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      38. Mary Lou Blaine, Sunny B’s Kennel AKA Blaine’s Kennel. Greentop, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 2/15/2022, Blaine had 10 adult breeding dogs. 
      39. Matthew Zimmerman and Angie Zimmerman, Oak View Farm. El Dorado Springs, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 10/26/2021, Zimmerman had 9 adult breeding dogs. 
      40. Michael Yutzy, Shady Hollow Kennel. Jamesport, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/4/2022, Yutzy had 118 adult breeding dogs and 80 puppies. 
      41. Michelle Detweiler. Jamesport, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      42. Mike Murphy. Albany, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      43. Phillip Hoover, Show Me Puppies. Memphis, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/6/2022, Hoover had 445 adult breeding dogs and 144 puppies. This facility is a regular supplier to JAKS.
      44. Roman Bontrager. Bethany, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      45. Roman Detweiler. Princeton, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      46. Samuel Mast and Rachel Mast, Puppy Love Kennels. Trenton, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 10/6/2020, Mast had 38 adult breeding dogs and 23 puppies. This facility is a regular supplier to JAKS.
      47. Sam Packnett. Hughesville, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      48. Samuel Hershberger. Spickard, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      49. Sarah Webb, S&C Precious Puppies. Gilman City, Missouri- This facility canceled their USDA license. Prior to that, Webb had 35 adult breeding dogs. 
      50. Sherry Hughs and Kenny Hughs, Racoon Creek Kennel. Trenton, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 9/8/2021, Hughs had 17 adult breeding dogs and 11 puppies. 
      51. Terry Hall. Ava, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 
      52. Timothy Hostetler. Jamesport, Missouri- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/11/2022, Hostetler had 9 adult breeding dogs. 
      53. William Troyer. Bethany, Missouri- appears to be unlicensed. 

 

Ohio

      1. David Burkholder. Millersburg, Ohio- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 9/22/2021, Burkholder had 29 adult breeding dogs and 8 puppies. 
      2. Marie Burkholder. Holmesville, Ohio- appears to be unlicensed. 
      3. Mose Troyer. Millersburg, Ohio- appears to be unlicensed. 
      4. Robert Yoder. Frederickstown, Ohio- appears to be unlicensed. 

 

Pennsylvania

      1. Harvey Martin. Denver, Pennsylvania- appears to be unlicensed. 

 

South Dakota

 

      1. Calvin Kroger, Kroger Kennel. Hudson, South Dakota- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 12/14/2021, Kroger had 45 adult breeding dogs and 19 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      2. Steve Thiesse and Judy Thiesse, TZ Kennel. Mitchell, South Dakota- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 3/2/2022, Thiesse had 15 adult breeding dogs and 6 puppies. 

 

Wisconsin

      1. Alvin Martin, A&E Farm AKA Pine Hollow Farm. Greenwood, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 10/19/2021, Martin had 191 adult breeding dogs and 109 puppies. This facility has also been on the horrible hundred puppy mill list in 2014, 2016 and 2017This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      2. Adam Miller. Cashton, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      3. Benuel Allgyer. Platteville, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 4/22/2022, Allgyer had 10 adult breeding dogs and 18 puppies. 
      4. Ben Borntreger. Tomah, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      5. Christy Borntreger and Eli Borntreger, Shady Valley Kennels. Tomah, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 4/22/2022, Borntreger had 47 adult breeding dogs and 54 puppies. Borntreger also received and official USDA warning after violations they received in December 2021. Because of that, Borntreger was named one of the worst puppy mills in the country. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      6. Clyde Horst, Red Barn Kennel. Stanley, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 12/14/2021, Horst had 95 adult breeding dogs and 23 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      7. Dan Yoder, Rainbow Ridge Kennels. Cashton, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 8/30/2021, Yoder had 12 adult breeding dogs and 6 puppies. 
      8. David Nisley. Wesby, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 2/17/2022, Nisley had 161 adult breeding dogs and 82 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      9. David Miller. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 10/15/2021, Miller had 39 adult breeding dogs and 42 puppies. 
      10. Dorothy Nolt and Gerald Nolt. Thorp, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 3/1/2022, Nolt had 106 adult breeding dogs and 26 puppies. 
      11. Earl Horning. Stanley, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      12. Ella Mae Brubacker, Northwood Kennel. Thorp, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 4/13/2022, Brubacker had 126 adult breeding dogs and 55 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      13. Elmer Miller. Wesby, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 10/13/2021, Miller had 10 adult breeding dogs and 7 puppies. 
      14. Emma Horst. Stanley, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      15. Ester Nolt and Alvin Nolt. Thorp, Wisconsin- Canceled their USDA license after a history of violations. This facility was also named one of the worst puppy mills in the country in 2017 and 2015
      16. Miriam Hoover and Raymond Hoover, Farm House Kennel. Stanley, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 3/9/2022, Hoover had 48 adult breeding dogs and 65 puppies. This facility also received 5 violations on their 3/2/2022 inspection. 
      17. Henry Hershberger and Henry Nisley. Wesby, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 4/24/2019, Hershberger had 37 adult breeding dogs and 22 puppies. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      18. Jacob Stoltzfus. Fennimore, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      19. Jesse Miller. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- After a history of violations, this facility canceled their USDA license. This facility had 63 adult breeding dogs and 21 puppies at their 1/28/2020 USDA inspection. 
      20. John Nolt, J&A Acres. Withee, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 9/28/2021, Nolt had 111 adult breeding dogs and 69 puppies. 
      21. Lamar Martin. Boyd, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      22. Leroy Borntreger. Granton, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 11/2/2021, Borntreger had 12 adult breeding dogs and 7 puppies. 
      23. Lewis Miller. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      24. Marvin Burkholder and Malinda Burkholder, Pooch Kennel. Greenwood, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 1/11/2022, Burkholder had 13 adult breeding dogs and 11 puppies. 
      25. Marvin Miller. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      26. Mary Ann Bontrager. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 12/7/2021, Bontrager had 57 adult breeding dogs and 37 puppies. This facility is a regular supplier to JAKS.
      27. Mervin Miller. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      28. Noah Martin. Withee, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 12/11/2019, Martin had 114 adult breeding dogs and 82 puppies. This facility is a regular supplier to JAKS.
      29. Reuben Schrock, Premier Kennels. Westby, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 11/16/2021, Schrock had 45 adult breeding dogs and 12 puppies. This facility also received two violations on this report due to primary enclosures and veterinary care. This facility is a major supplier to JAKS.
      30. Samuel Bontrager. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      31. Steve Miller. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- appears to be unlicensed. 
      32. Warren Brubacker, Twilight Kennel. Thorp, Wisconsin- At the time of their last USDA inspection on 12/28/2021, Brubacker had 38 adult breeding dogs and 45 puppies. This facility supplied JAKS prior to obtaining a USDA license. 

Once JAKS Puppies receives the puppies from the breeders listed above, they are then transported up to 25 hours in the backs vans and resold to pet stores all over the country. All before the puppy is even 9 weeks old. To find out where these puppies end up,  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.

Please consider making a donation to our nonprofit organization to help us continue researching, exposing and fighting the puppy mill industry. 


Meet the Survivors: Eleanor

Written by Becky Monroe

Sweet Eleanor just celebrated her 6th birthday and for the first time in her life, she was able to celebrate it in a comfy home surrounded by people who love her. To a dog who suffered terribly in one of the worst puppy mills, nothing could be a better gift than a forever family to spoil her. Eleanor spent the first five and a half years of her life in a puppy mill owned by Daniel Gingerich. Gingerich’s mill located in Iowa incurred over 200 USDA violations in only a ten month period.

Before suspending his license, the USDA allowed Gingerich to auction off 350 of his dogs at a puppy mill auction in Missouri. By this time he had already received more than 100 violations.

By a stroke of fate or luck, Havaheart Rescue was in attendance of the auction and saw Eleanor on the auction block. She was listed as a female Golden Retriever and pregnant. Havaheart noticed that Eleanor had whelped puppies in July and it was only August, so they asked Gingerich how the dog could be pregnant so soon.

What came next will break your heart. 

“My male dog is choosy, so what we did was we opened her up, took her uterus out, artificially inseminated her and sewed her back up, “ Gingerich explained to the Havaheart representative.

Without hesitation, Havaheart purchased her. Immediately, they realized Eleanor was very sick and rushed her to the veterinarian where she underwent emergency surgery. During the surgery they found out she had been sewn up with fishing line which had caused multiple infections in her uterus including pyometra which is extremely serious and often life threatening.

If Eleanor had been sold to another breeder, she would have died.

Bailing Out Benji had covered the Gingerich case extensively and was working tirelessly to shut them down. Mindi was very involved with the case and, after learning about the auction and Eleanor’s story, kept in touch with Eleanor’s foster mom so she could follow Eleanor’s progress.

Mindi really thought the foster family would adopt Eleanor themselves because they loved her so much, but when she was posted for adoption, Mindi and her husband, Jason, applied immediately. They were just drawn to this sweet soul and her story.

Eleanor’s life changed forever when she became a part of Mindi and Jason’s family. On top of that, she became a special addition to Bailing Out Benji team where Eleanor has been known to help educate for better animal welfare laws.

Eleanor is only the second puppy mill survivor to actually join the Callison family, but they have rescued and fostered countless others. Eleanor is, however, the first non black lab mix to join the pack.

Mindi explained, “My husband and I have always saved black dogs because they are often overlooked in shelters and rescues. But adopting her reminded me (and reminds me every day) that I am fighting to end puppy mills so no dog ever has to suffer like she did.”

Mindi believes that every dog is unique no matter the breed or background and Eleanor is no different. “She is a goofy, smiley girl that has some fears she is working through, but her zest for life is so clear, “ described Mindi.

After what Eleanor survived, it is obvious she will carry physical and emotional baggage for some time. Eleanor happens to be afraid of open spaces. 

To help ease Eleanor’s fears, they take short walks in town where things are busier and louder to help her learn city life. And then they take long walks in the woods where it is quiet and she appears to be more at peace.

In the beginning, Eleanor was afraid to eat anywhere except their couch! In time, they slowly started moving her bowl to different spots like dog beds and now she is eating next to her buddy, Mose, on an elevated feeding station.

“We learned early on that Eleanor always looks for a “safe spot” before doing something scary. So, we strategically placed dogs beds around our home (in the kitchen, on our deck, etc), so Eleanor has a spot to sit that she feels safe and comfortable in while exploring. This helped her overcome a lot of fears very quickly and we are so proud of her,” said Mindi. 

Eleanor watching the world on 'her' chair outside.
Mose and Eleanor

What would Eleanor tell humans?

“Do not buy a puppy without meeting the mom!”

Eleanor’s story has been viewed on Tik Tok and videos all over social media hundreds of millions of times. People cannot believe that anyone can be so cruel to a dog, but some of those people still don’t make the connection between pet stores and puppy mills. It was purchases from the public that kept her puppy mill owner in business.

In only six months, Eleanor has come such a long way. Her presence on social media is educating so many people on the cruel realities of puppy mills. She helps Mindi educate policy makers to end puppy mills. 

Eleanor is truly a hero – who overcame so much and now goes on to teach others. “She overcame something that was so incredibly cruel and inhumane, but she still trusts humans. I think Eleanor has taught the world about resilience. This brave girl takes steps every single day to overcome her past trauma and is learning how to be a real dog,” Mindi expressed. 

And while Eleanor is learning, Mindi learns from Eleanor. She has learned to wake up every morning and shake off the bad vibes from the past. Every day is a gift.

And this new life full of unconditional love, extra treats, soft beds and baskets of toys is surely the best gift Eleanor could have ever received for her birthday!

If you would like to donate in honor of Eleanor’s 6th Birthday and help Bailing Out Benji keep fighting to end puppy mills, you can do that here.

”Eleanor is proof that truly amazing dogs can come out of traumatic experiences. If you are looking to adopt a dog, please consider looking at the quiet dogs and the shy dogs. Their transformations that come after they feel love and safety is nothing short of a miracle to be a part of,” Mindi added.

Sweet Eleanor I am so happy you were rescued and found your way to the amazing life and family you have always deserved. 

You can also follow Eleanor on Facebook and Instagram to watch her journey as she learns to navigate this new world. 

Eleanor will also be a guest of honor at Bailing Out Benji’s Bark After Dark Gala. Click here to learn how you can meet Eleanor in person! 

Jason, Eleanor and Ellie

**Just a reminder – if you would like to share your Puppy Mill Survivor’s story with our supporters, I would love to publish it on Tails and Truths! Just email me at bmonroe@bailingoutbenji.com.**

2022 Horrible Hundred Puppy Mills

Bailing Out Benji is a nonprofit organization that researches the puppy mill industry and independently audits government health records, such as CVIs, to connect breeders to the businesses they sell through. All of the pet store connections below were done by our research team and must be cited or quoted as such. 

If you would like to support our efforts, you can find ways to do that here

 

 

Every year in May, the Humane Society of the United States publishes a list of 100 examples of problematic breeders and brokers in the country. 

You can view the full details of their 2022 list here. Many of the facilities appeared on our Quarter 1 USDA violation report, which can be viewed here, along with the copies of the inspection reports. In the Humane Society’s report, they recount the USDA violations in great detail and also, at times, connect the breeders to pet stores. We highly suggest reading their report! 

Below you will find the list of 2022 Horrible Hundred Puppy Mills that was collected by the HSUS and any connections to pet stores or online websites that we have obtained through CVIs.

We have listed all of the 2022 Horrible Hundred offenders in a short list, whether or not they sell to stores. 

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Arkansas

1. Alta Madewell, M&M Toy Kennel. Fayetteville, Arkansas. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Pups N Stuff (Virginia), Petland Fredrica (Florida), Crosby Pet Center (Texas), and two locations of The Puppy Store (Utah), 

2. Bill Nored, Dry Fork Kennel. Fayetteville, Arkansas. Dry Fork Kennels has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years:  2022, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Fantastic Puppies FKA Puppy Boutique (Nevada), The Dog House (Connecticut), Puppy Avenue (Florida), Westchester Puppies and Kittens (New York), Luxury Puppies (New York), Puppy Avenue (Florida),  Luxury Puppies (Florida), Honey Pets (Florida), Glamorous Puppies (Florida), Sunshine Puppies (Florida), Palm Beach Puppies (Florida), Reliable Grooming (New York), Tropical Pets (New York), King of Pet Grooming (Florida

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Georgia

1. Buddy Johnson and Serena Johnson, J2 Kennel AKA J2 Pups, Quitman, Georgia. 

2. Kathryn Barber, K-Bar Kennels. Patterson, Georgia. K-Bar Kennels has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2013. 

3. Steven Wilson and Blaze Wilson, Wilson Puppies. Wray, Georgia. 

4. Tonya Lewis, Tonya’s Tiny Companions. East Dublin, Georgia. Tonya’s Tiny Companions has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2021 and 2017. 

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Indiana

1. Agne Tatro and Leo Tatro, Noah’s Puppies. This brokering facility owns their own pet store in Indiana, which relocated from Illinois. 

2. Mervin Ramer. Argos, Indiana. 

3. Patty Talcott. Hardinsburg, Indiana. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: The Dog House (Connecticut), Gentle Jungle (Connecticut), Puppy Avenue (Florida), Wet Kisses (Florida),  Petland Fort Myers (Florida), Forever Love Puppies (Florida

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Iowa

1. Anita Wikstrom, Unforgettable Schnauzers. Ames, Iowa. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2021, and 2019.

2. Brian Felton. Centerville, Iowa. We have record of this facility selling to puppy broker Levi Graber of Blue Ribbon Puppies since 2020. 

3. Bruce Hooyer, JKLM Farm AKA Shaggy Hill Farm. Sioux Center, Iowa. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2020, 2019, and 2018.

4. Carolyn Anderson, Anderson’s Yorkies. Mason City, Iowa. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred List during the following years: 2022 and 2020. 

5. Charles Vogl, SCW Frenchies. Atlantic, Iowa. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred List during the following years: 2022 and 2021. 

6. Dennis Van Wyk and Donna Van Wyk, Prairie Lane Kennel. New Sharon, Iowa. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred List during the following years: 2022 and 2018. 

7. Helene Hamrick, Wolf Point Kennel. Ackworth, Iowa. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016. 

8. Henry Sommers, Happy Puppys. Cincinnati, Iowa. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2018, 2017, and 2016.

9. Jake Kruse, K&E Kennels Inc DBA Kruse Farm Enterprises Inc. Salem, Iowa. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Petland Iowa City (Iowa), Petables Puppy Boutique (Pennsylvania), The Pet Warehouse (North Carolina), BFF Puppies (Florida), Petland Orlando East (Florida), Northern Aquarium Pets (New York), Petland Shavano Park (Texas), Puppy Palace (Nevada), Playful Pets (Pennsylvania), Petland Knoxville (Tennessee), Puppy Dreams (Texas), Pet Wonderland (Pennsylvania), Petland Wichita (Kansas), Glamorous Puppies (Florida), Groomingdalz of Mt Kisco (New York), Pawfinity and Beyond (New York), Northern Aquarium Pets (New York), Shake A Paw (New York), Texas Puppy Store (Texas), Noah’s Puppies (Illinois, now Indiana), Astoria Pets (New York), American Kennels (New York), Worldwide Puppies and Kittens (New York) , Pet and Aquatic Warehouse (Virginia), Petland Racine (Wisconsin), Petland Pensacola (Florida), Petland Fort Walton Beach (Florida), Petland Bolingbrook (Illinois, now closed), Petland Batavia (Illinois, now closed), Petland Hoffman (Illinois, now closed),  Breeders Pick (Florida), Diamonds And Doggies (Florida), Fashionable Pets (New Jersey)

10. Ken Van Der Zwaag and Rhonda Van Der Zwaag, Van Der Zwaag German Shepherds. Hull, Iowa. 

11. Larry Albrecht, Coldwater Kennel. Greene, Iowa. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Westchester Puppies (New York), Bronx Zoo-Rama Pets (New York), XO Pups (Virginia), Puppy Paradise (New York), Crosby Pet Center (New York), and Teacup Pup Corp (New York).

12. Lavern Nolt, Twin Birch. Charles City, Iowa. 

13. Lloyd Yoder, Valleyview Premium Puppies. Riverside, Iowa. This facility is located on the same property as Loren Yoder, another 2022 Horrible Hundred Offender. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: The Puppy Experience (New York), and Brookside Pups (Pennsylvania).

14. Loren Yoder. Riverside Iowa. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2019. This facility is located on the same property as Lloyd Yoder, another 2022 Horrible Hundred Offender. Loren Yoder likely sells to the same pet stores that Lloyd Yoder does. 

15. Menno Gingerich. Albia, Iowa. 

16. Steve Kruse, Stonehenge Kennel. West Point, Iowa. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2021, 2020 , 2017 , and 2016. Kruse used to sell to many stores directly, but has likely transitioned to selling through brokering companies to keep the facility names off of CVIs. 

17. Woody Wiley. Cantril, Iowa. 

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Kansas

1. Beth Johnson. Baxter Springs, Kansas. 

2. Dorothy Stewart, Stewart Ranch and Dorothy’s Pet Shop. Chapman, Kansas. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2019, and 2018. 

3. Krista Kirkwood, Kristas Poodles AKA Krista’s Quality AKC Toy Poodles and Miniature Poodles. Bluff City, Kansas. 

4. Joyce Cairns, Unicorn Kennels. Glasco, Kansas. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2020, 2019, and 2018. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Pup Slope (New York), Hey Pets (New York), American Kennels (New York), Astoria Pets (New York), Northern Aquarium Pets (New York), Puppies of Kendall (Florida), Puppy Secret (Florida), Royalty Puppies (Florida),  Puppy Secret (Florida), Gorgeous Puppies (Florida), Nessy’s Puppies of Kendall (Florida), Palm Beach Puppies (Florida), Vanity Pups (New York), Glamorous Puppies (Florida), Puppies World of Miami (Florida), and  Breeders Pick (Florida)

5. Mary Moore, D&M Kennel. Uniontown, Kansas. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Selmer’s Petland (New York) and Puppies of Westport (Connecticut). 

6. MerryLou Gumm and Amy Gumm, Nightshades and Firestorm Border Collies. Douglass, Kansas. 

7. Samuel Roman and Summer Roman. Tree of lIfe Kennels AKA Arise Up LLC. Conway Springs, Kansas. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2021. 

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Michigan

1. Lori Shavalier, Up North Trading Co. Fremont, Michigan. We have record of this brokering facility receiving many shipments of puppies from Indiana breeders.

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Mississippi

1. Annette Eccles Down Home Dachshunds. McNeille or
Carriere, Mississippi.

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Missouri

1. Beverly Hargis, Hargis’ Sunshine Kennel. Hallsville, Missouri- This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2016 and 2013. 

2. Brian Letsinger, Arrowhead Springs Kennel. Ava, Missouri. We have record of this facility supplying the following stores since 2020: Puppies N Love (Arizona) and Animal Kingdom (Arizona). 

3. Carol Prothe and Gary Prothe, Carol’s Kennel. Urbana, Missouri. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2021 and 2015. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Puppies of Westport (Connecticut

4. Cory Mincey, Puppy Love Kennel AKA Cory’s Cuties. Elkland, Missouri. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2020 and 2019. 

5. Dawn Boyles, Atbay Kennels. Chula, Missouri. We have record of this facility selling puppies in 2021 to Iowa puppy broker Select Puppies. 

6. Daniel R Borntreger, Monroe County Puppies AKA Mon Co Puppies. Madison, Missouri. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Yuppy Puppy (Pennsylvania), Puppy Paradise (New York), Petland Orlando South (Florida), The Puppy Store West Jordan (Utah), The Puppy Store Washington (Utah), The Puppy Store Vineyard (Utah), the Puppy Store Saratoga (Utah), Petland Shavano Park (Texas), Petland Katy (Texas), and Petland Frisco (Texas).

7. Donna Taber, Jet Kennels. Wasola, Missouri. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2016.

8. Duane Barnett, Barnett’s Incredible Puppies. Rocky Comfort, Missouri. 

9.Edna Troyer and Elmer Troyer, Timber View Kennel. Clark, Missouri. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2020. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Selmer’s Petland (New York) , CT Breeder (Connecticut), Puppy Boutique (New York), Puppy Paradise (New York), Petland Katy (Texas) , Canine Corral (New York), Pet City Houston (Texas), Luxury Puppies (New York), Pet Warehouse (North Carolina), Petland Orlando South (Florida), Forever Love Puppies (Florida), Noah’s puppies (Indiana), Cedar Pet Supply (Utah), and The Puppy Store Vineyard (Utah). 

10. Ellen Roberts, Rocky Top K9s. West Plains, Missouri- This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016, and 2015. 

11. James Whatley and Alberta Whatley, Candy Coated Doxie AKA Hush Puppies. Mooresville, Missouri. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Puppy Love (Connecticut), Zoo Rama Pets (New York), NY Breeder (New York), NYC Breeders (New York), Astoria Pets (New York), American Kennels (New York), The Puppy Experience (New York), The Paw Palace (Arizona), Petland Bradenton (Florida), Puppy Secret (Florida), Crosby Pet Center (New York), Diamonds and Doggies (Florida) Forever Love Puppies and Grooming (Florida), The Pet Warehouse (North Carolina), and Pet City Houston (Texas). 

12. Jered Smith and Summer Smith, Premier Puppies AKA Premies Puppies AKA Buy Puppies Today. West Plains, Missouri. 

13. John Bontrager and Lizzie Bontrager. Clark, Missouri- We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Cedar Pet Supplies (Utah), The Puppy Store Vineyard (Utah), The Puppy Store West Jordan (Utah), The Puppy Store Washington (Utah), and the World Q Puppy (New York), 

14. Jonas A. Miller, Country Lane Kennel. Clark, Missouri- We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020:  CT Breeder (Connecticut), Dog Academy (North Carolina), Family Pet Center (Virginia), Arcadia Pets (New York), Selmers Petland (New York), Westchester Puppies and Kittens (New York), NY Breeder (New York), Canine Corral (New York),  Puppy Paradise (New York), NYC Breeders (New York), and Citipups (New York). 

15. Kandy Hale, Kandy’s Puppies. Milan, Missouri. We have record of this facility regularly selling to Canton Trade Days AKA Dog Alley

16. Kevin Beauchamp,  Jerry Beauchamp and Linda Beauchamp, Beauchamp’s Puppy World. Lebanon, Missouri. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2017 and 2016. We have record of this facility selling to Petland Wichita (Kansas) since 2020. 

17. Kevin Harrison, Kevin’s Hilltop Kennels. Marceline, Missouri. We have record of this facility selling to The Puppy Boutique (New York) since 2020. 

18. Leon Troyer and Esther Troyer, Pleasant Hill Kennels. Jamesport, Missouri. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Petland Webster (Texas), Petland Iowa City (Iowa), and puppy broker Levi Graber of Blue Ribbon Puppies

19. Magdalena McGowan, Orchard Kennel. Cabool, Missouri. 

20. Mary Ann Smith,  Smith’s Kennel. Salem, Missouri. This facility appeared on the HSUS “Dirty Dozen” report, before they began creating the Horrible Hundred list. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Millionaire Mutts (California), Puppy Town (Nevada), Canine Corral (New York), Luxury Puppies (New York), Puppy Paradise (New York), Astoria Pets (New York), Westchester Puppies and Kittens (New York), The Left Paw (New York), OMG Enterprise (New York), Vanity Puppies (New York), Sue’s Pet Castle (Utah), Hey Pets (New York), Family Pet and Aquarium (New Hampshire), LI Puppy Sales (New York), Petland Topeka (Kansas) , The Paw Palace (Arizona), Ashley’s Lil Angels (Florida), Gorgeous Puppies (Florida), Heavenly Puppies (Florida), Palm Beach Puppies (Florida), Tiny Paws (Florida), Nessy’s Puppies of Kendall (Florida), Lil Rascals (Florida), Boutique Puppies (Texas), Forever Love Puppies and Kittens (Florida), Petland Katy (Texas), Petland Leon Valley (Texas), Petland Vineyard (Texas), It’s A Puppies World (Arizona), Glamorous Puppies (Florida), and Quality Doggies (Florida)

21. Maureen Butler, PugPekinPoo-Tzu. West Plains, Missouri. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2017 and 2015. 

22. Mervin W. Yoder and Lizzie Yoder. Clark, Missouri. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Pet Aquatic Warehouse (Virginia), Astoria Pets (New York), and World Q Puppies (New York). 

23. Noah Miller. Keytesville, Missouri. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Canine Corral (New York), Tea Cup Pups (New York), Puppy Paradise (New York), Sportsman’s Kennel (New York) and Luxury Puppies (New York). 

24. Rachel Davis, Virgel Davis and Vickie Davis, Davis Kennel. Seymour, Missouri. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2015. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Westchester Puppies and Kittens (New York), OMG Enterprises (New York), LI Puppy Sales (New York), Luxury Puppies (New York), Manhattan Puppies (New York), The Left Paw (New York), Family Pet and Aquarium (New Hampshire), CT Breeder (Connecticut), Petland Topeka (Kansas), Puppy Town (Nevada), Sue’s Pet Castle (Utah), The Puppy Experience (New York), NY Breeder (New York), Hey Pets (New York), and Reliable Grooming (New York).

25. Sandra Kozlowski, Sho-Me Labradors. St. James, Missouri. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019. 

26. Wendy Laymon AKA Wendy Faith Steffensmeier, Frenchie’s Puppies AKA A French Bulldog AKA Shadow Mountain Kennel. Rogersville, Missouri. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2019 and 2013. As well as the HSUS “Dirty Dozen” reports prior to the Horrible Hundred list. 

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Nebraska

1. Clem Disterhaupt Jr, Ponca Creek Kennels. Spencer, Nebraska. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2021 and 2015. 

2. Douglas Brosh and Mary Jane Brosh, Brosh’s Kennel. Pender, Nebraska. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2021 and 2015. We have record of this store selling to CT Breeder (Connecticut) in 2021. 

3. Megan Mahlin, Flying High Aussies. Madison, Nebraska. 

4. Wanda Reed, Wanda’s Little Pets. Wilcox, Nebraska. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2020. 

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New Mexico

1. Frances Reed Higgins, Pampered Pet Care. Silver City, New Mexico. 

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New York

1. Bridget Hewson ADK Puppy Patch Childwold, New York. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2021.

2. Classy Creations. Lyons, New York. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2018.

3. Crestwood Acres. Lyons, New York. 

4. Curtis Martin and Joleen Martin (Jolene Martin), Summerset Farms. Seneca Falls, New York.This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2016.

5. Dorene Duffy and Marie Duffy, Lotta Spots Ranch. Livonia, New York. 

6. Fronnie McClendon, Your Dream Puppy Acres. Rochester, New York. 

7. Helen Camlakides, Sportsman’s Kennels. Manorville, New York. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2021.

8. James Leach, Leach Sheep and Goat Station. Martville, New York. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2021. 

9. John David Shirk. Penn Yan, New York. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2020. 

10. Rainbow Creek South. Butler, New York. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2020 and 2018. 

11. Samuel Brubacker, Hilltop Country Kennels. Dundee, New York. 

12. Twilight Valley Toys. Lyons, New York. 

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North Carolina

1. Lois Baker.  Anders, North Carolina. 

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Ohio

1. Andy Nisley, Nunda Valley Kennels. Howard, Ohio. 

2. Reuben M. Schlabach, Sharp Run Kennels AKA A 1 Bundles of Joy. Millersburg, Ohio. 

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Oklahoma

1. Cynthia Paula Jack, Coal Creek Kennel. Stringtown, Oklahoma. 

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Pennsylvania

1. Blanche S Plute. McDonald, Pennsylvania. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2019. 

2. Bobbie Yoder, Little Mountain Doodles. Myerstown, Pennsylvania. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2021.

3. John King, Sunrise Kennel AKA Peaceful Pets. Narvon, Pennsylvania. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2019. 

4. Margaret Graf, Eichenluft Working German Shepherds. Newville, Pennsylvania. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017. 

5. Steve Musser and Kendra Musser, Treehouse Family Puppies. Jonestown, Pennsylvania. 

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South Dakota

1. Vickie Hines, Lar-Kie Kennel. Woonsocket, South Dakota. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022, 2020 and 2014. 

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Texas

1. Danya Bueno, Buenos Little Bulldogs. Andrews, Texas. 

2. Lorraine Johnson, Johnson’s Call of the Wild. Killeen, Texas.

3. Patricia Fenton, T’s Chi’s Kennel. Daingerfield, Texas. 

4. Robert Snyder, To-Ho-Wi Kennels. Quinlan, Texas.

5. Tiffany Harvey, Ace Deuce Ranch. Avery, Texas. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2017.

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Wisconsin

1. Amos Allgyer, Pawfect Paws. Platteville, Wisconsin. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2021. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: CT Breeder (Connecticut), Westchester Puppies and Kittens (New York), NY Breeder (New York), Wet Kisses (Florida), NYC Breeder (New York), Puppy Experience (New York), Puppies-Go-Round (Florida), Petland Fort Myers (Florida), Nessy’s Puppies (Florida), and Puppy World Miami (Florida), 

2. Christy Bontrager and Eli Borntrager, Shady Valley Kennels. Tomah, Wisconsin.

3. Daniel A. Schrock. Hillsboro, Wisconsin. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Puppy Paws (New York) and Puppy City (New York). 

4. Jesse Lambright and Timothy Lambright, Country Boy Kennels. Hillsboro, Wisconsin. This facility has appeared on the Horrible Hundred list during the following years: 2022 and 2019- although the 2019 report was heavily redacted due to the USDA Blackout. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Puppy Paws (New York).

5. Joseph Hochstetler, Sideline Kennel. Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Pups Unlimited (New York) and they also sell puppies through Southpaw Pets, a Missouri puppy broker. 

6. Moses Lee. Wilton, Wisconsin. 

7. Vernon Bontrager, Grand Valley Kennels. Markesan, Wisconsin. We have record of this facility selling to the following pet stores since 2020: Puppy City (New York), Petland Iowa City (Iowa), Pet City Baja (Colorado), and Pet City Chapel Hill (Colorado).

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Bailing Out Benji is a nonprofit organization that researches the puppy mill industry and independently audits government health records, such as CVIs, to connect breeders to the businesses they sell through. All of the pet store connections listed in this report were done by our research team and must be cited or quoted as such. 

Stop Assuming the Worst

Written by Becky Monroe

We Need to Stop Assuming the Worst so We CAN Make the World Better for Animals

The other day I was scrolling Tik Tok and a video of a couple relinquishing their dog to a shelter popped up. I believe the point of the video was to show the heartfelt pain the woman experienced giving up her dog, but the comments that followed were anything but empathetic.

According to the brief description given, the woman had cancer and they just weren’t able to manage her illness and care for the dog. The woman also happened to have numerous tattoos which led to comments like, “If you can afford all of those, you can afford your dog.”

People also being snarky and saying how they beat cancer AND kept their dog

I didn’t read every comment, but I saw enough to know that the negativity was overwhelming and so very disappointing to me.

I don’t know the woman. I don’t know her story. Not a single person commenting knew her whole story. Yet, so many were willing to judge and throw stones instead of encourage and bless or even attempt to slightly understand her situation.

The photo above shares a similar story on Wisconsin Humane’s Facebook page. We commend how they handled this situation. 

I relinquished a dog once. We had adopted him from a Golden Retriever rescue and when I found myself getting divorced and going through a lot, we had to give him back to the rescue. It was what I had to do at that point in my life. I am not proud of it, especially as an animal welfare advocate, but I also think it made me more compassionate and understanding that not everything in life is black and white. Often, you have to make difficult choices you never thought you would.

In the last few years I have heard a lot of commentary about rescues – many suggesting how “judgy” they are.

Adoption procedures aside, I do think that animal welfare advocates can come off as judgmental. And I will be honest, I have found myself to be that way numerous times.

Let’s take an easy one… you are walking around the park and you see a dog owner with a retractable leash. Most of us will have that instant reaction, “Idiot.”

It is just something that has been engrained in our animal loving blood. Retractable leashes are awful. They are dangerous. “All the good dog owners know this.”

I think sometimes we are often so disgusted that we don’t even bother to try and educate the dog owner and explain in a nice way why they might want to consider a different leash.

I don’t know exactly what it is, but I venture to guess that when you spend not just years in the field of animal welfare, but you actually lose a part of your soul in it, it gets harder to empathize with people whom you have determined, in a generalized way, to all be assholes.

It is the truth. We have seen so many people let so many animals down or treat them cruelly that it is hard to have faith in genuine human kindness anymore.

I get that – 100%.

However, I strongly believe that if we don’t re-evaluate our approach, we will lose on so many opportunities to make things better for animals and people.

As much as our experience has shown us the selfish, greedy, mean behavior of people, the reality remains that they are not the majority and we shouldn’t assume the worst of individuals based on generalities.

I think no matter what your passion, education, specialty, occupation is you become entrenched by it. Over time you learn so much more about it than most other people ever will know. However, that knowledge and experience we gather often becomes our weakest attribute because it causes us to be less understanding, less tolerant, less willing to teach because we assume everyone else knows what we know and is purposely or selfishly doing “it” wrong.

How could they not know what we know?

Here is the thing – while we scroll social media and are inundated with reasons not to use a retractable leash, the rest of the population is NOT. They don’t see the memes that call out retractable leashes on a daily basis.

While we see in our feed hundreds of dogs a week being rescued from puppy mills and taken to safety, the rest of the population does not.

While we see a local shelter advertising adoption fees are waived because they are overcrowded, the rest of the population does not.

While we see numerous cases a day of families being taken advantage of at pet stores by buying sick, poorly bred puppies and then financing them for unspeakable interests rates, the rest of the population does not.

This means that all these things that rile us… that stir us to our core… are NOT something most people know anything about, but we often act like they should.

Instead of gently educating, our passion and our desire to protect the animals causes us to scream. I think we need to re-assess this.

There will always be bad people or ignorant people who don’t care, but we need to acknowledge them as a minority not the majority.

We need to look out at our communities with the hope that people want to do the right thing when given the facts and the opportunity.

If we really want to change the world for animals, we have to embrace this chance to teach and to share and to empathize with people and what they are going through. We have to trust that they want to do what is right and kind.

I say it often… people like us were given a heart that is both a blessing and a curse. We feel so much for animals that often empathizing with humans is difficult. But in order to ensure we create a kinder, gentler world for all animals, we need to embrace humans like we do the animals who come into our care. We need to be patient. We need to be compassionate. We need to fully realize that they are doing the best they can right now and as they know better, they will do better.

If we continue to assume the worst of people and choose to be disgusted instead of hopeful, we will fail the animals. This life is a journey for all of us with the intent of making each of us better humans and the world a better place. We are each here to make a difference. We can’t let the negativity get in our way of teaching others how to be humane and showing everyone the beauty in animals. 

Meet the Survivors: Lacy

Written by Becky Monroe

Lacy and Willow in the boat

Lacy’s mom, Sarah, wrote in the interview that she read a quote somewhere that said, “Everyone thinks they have the best dog and none of them are wrong.” The quote is by W.R. Purche and sure is fitting for these mill survivor blogs.

Each time I sit down to start a new story about a mill survivor, I find myself in tears. Tears for what they have endured, but also tears of joy. The love these once unwanted dogs experience with their forever families is so heartwarming and so inspiring and Lacy’s story is no exception.

I wiped tears numerous times as I felt the love and compassion Lacy’s short life was filled with in the end.

Lacy, a yellow Labrador Retriever was rescued by the Greater Dayton Lab Rescue (https:// www.gdlrr.org) in Ohio around the age of 5 from a puppy mill. She had been living in a foster home for about six months when Sarah and Eric adopted her.

Six months seems like a long time to be in foster care, but Sarah attributed it to Lacy’s age, her extremely shy temperament and her breathing issues.

At the time Sarah and Eric were trying to find a gentle companion for their then 13 year old white German Shepherd after their chocolate Lab passed away.

Lacy was a great match. 

Lucy at the beginning

In rescue, Lacy was named Gracie, but her adoptive family had started a tradition of naming their dogs after plants. It started with Lily then Dahlia and so on. Lacy would be short for Queen Anne’s Lace. She was called all sorts of versions of it: Lacy Mae, Lacy Mayday parade, Lacy’s Thanksgiving parade, Party Lacy… etc…

I, personally, love that this family plants the plant the dog is named after when they pass as a memorial to cherish for years to come. How perfect.

According to her foster family, out of the 42 dogs who had come through their care (bless them for fostering so many) Lacy was the most shy and nervous they had ever seen.

“In the beginning, everything was fear-inducing for Lacy. She was absolutely terrified of hats and doorways,” Sarah explained to me.

Lacy also was afraid of being on a leash, going new places, noises and car rides. And while she had mental obstacles, she also had physical limitations due to bad genetics, lack of vet care and the harsh environment she spent her first five years of life in.

Over time, as Lacy was seen by varying vets, they all agreed that her genetic ailments and the complications that came with them, could have been prevented if she could have had basic care from the start.

Sarah explained that Lacy was their first mill survivor. However, both Lily and Dahlia were given to them by people who had purchased the dogs at a local pet store which was later busted for using puppy mills to supply their store with puppies. 

Lacy and Lily cuddling

It was fortunate for Lacy to have Lily to help Lacy begin to overcome all that was scary to her. Sadly, Lily passed away only three months after Lacy joined the family. Lily was over 13 years old.

But before Lily passed, Lacy knew to always be gentle with her. Lily’s hip dysplasia kept her from doing a lot in her older years. Lacy would stay with Lily wherever she was in the house and lay and cuddle with her. That was comforting to everyone.

Knowing Lacy would do better in a home with another dog, they adopted Willow, a five month old Husky.

Willow helped Lacy to learn to play and to be confident.

To foster Lacy’s confidence, she went to the dog park almost every day to help her be more social. The other dog owners got to know Lacy really well and soon everyone not only knew her triggers and how best to make her comfortable, but Lacy melted their hearts and had them all wrapped around her paw!

Willow was great at looking out for Lacy in the dog park and whenever they went for walks. Willow would turn around and always make sure Lacy and Sarah were keeping up.

Lacy did have breathing issues, so they always had to be aware of her limitations. They kept things to short walks and always just let her do as much as she was comfortable with. When things got more difficult, they got a dog stroller for her and that opened up a lot more opportunities for her to get out and explore at her pace without causing too much strain on her.

She also happened to love wearing clothes, so that helped protect her skin from all the pollen that caused her issues. 

In time, Lacy’s shyness became sassiness and she exuded this sweet, happy personality. One of her nicknames was “happy cow” because when she would run, she looked a lot like a bouncy calf with legs flying everywhere!

“She would even do this flying leap with all four paws off the ground to try and catch tennis balls,” Sarah described.

She also happened to be a full-on bed hog. Sarah said that when they went camping they shared a tiny air mattress. Not only is Eric 6’10” but now they had Lacy snuggled in between them.

“She would let out a deep sigh every time she snuggled up between us as if she couldn’t believe we were in her way and taking up all the room on HER bed.”

The few times they ever had to get stern with her in an effort to keep her from eating stuff she shouldn’t, she would make this face like there is no way you can actually be mad at me and start wagging her tail and prancing around. Confirming she could get away with almost anything!

While she started off as really shy and nervous, her personality blossomed in time. Sarah described some of Lacy’s funny habits such as how she would make these goofy deep breathing noises when she got excited or when she wanted food. She said the noises Lacy would make actually sounded like, “Oooh – what you got there?” 

She brought large plastic dog dishes into the living room and played with them. She took on the robotic vacuum as a playmate in typical Lab fashion. She had the goofiness of a Lab and made everyone smile.

Sadly, Lacy’s days of being a joyful, playful Lab were cut short and she passed on Christmas Eve of 2021. Her life had finally just begun and it was time to say goodbye.

When I asked what had Lacy taught them, Sarah said, “First and foremost she taught us just how horrible puppy mills are. Almost everyone knows that puppy mills are bad, but loving a puppy mill breeder dog shows you the depth of the mill’s cruelty. Lacy taught everyone she met how to find happiness and pure joy after being through hell. Her resilience was inspiring and many people who knew her were just as proud as a we were to see her fight her way out of the darkness over the three years we had her.” 

What would Lacy want to tell other humans?

“End puppy mills now. Don’t support pet stores – they probably use mills. Know that if you buy a dog without meeting the parents that they are most likely a mill dog and there is a breeder dog suffering deeply behind the scenes. Give puppy mill survivors a chance at a new life through adoption and be patient there is a personality under all that trauma. They just need time to know they’re safe and loved to show it.”

Lacy spent most of her days just being spoiled. But, she did go to a lot of places in the unfairly short time they had her and told everyone they met about her being a puppy mill breeder dog. “Our goal was never to shame anyone but to just let them know to spread the word around to anyone they knew that  puppy mills are all around Ohio and to do research into how to spot mills. And, hopefully, in the future adopt or rescue their next pet,” expressed Sarah as to what accomplishments Lacy achieved.

Sarah also commented on the question,”What is special about this dog?” with the following, “Dogs have this amazing quality where their existence makes our lives better and they instinctively want to bond with humans which makes puppy mills even more sickening. To treat animals as machines for profit and deny them of at least a humane life when they are totally dependent on us for their physical and emotional care should have never been legal in the first place, let alone that puppy mills are still a booming business today.” 

Despite the sadness that surrounds both puppy mills and the survivors who find freedom, they do go on to teach us important life lessons as Sarah summed up here,” I have learned that you can pull yourself out of a dark spot when shown love and given a safe place to recover. Even if the bad things that have happened to have caused layers of damage you can still find a way to be happy in spite of it all.”

Lacy was certainly a beautiful testament to the healing power of love and compassion, dancing and prancing her way into the hearts of all who met her. Her life started awful but ended surrounded by people who loved and adored her. Thank you to Sarah and Eric for helping Lacy to overcome her fears and for allowing Lacy to experience so much in her short time of freedom. Run free Lacy – Run free! 

This very special collage above shows just how sassy and confident Lacy became. Lacy decided to sneak into the tub to get the peanut butter her sister didn’t eat during bath time.

**Just a reminder – if you would like to share your Mill Survivor’s story with our supporters, I would love to publish it on Tails and Truths! Just email me at bmonroe@bailingoutbenji.com.**

2022 USDA Violations: Quarter 1

Bailing Out Benji is a national nonprofit organization that independently audits government health records and inspection reports in order to connect puppy mills 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 1 of 2022. This time period is from January 1st, 2022 to March 31st, 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. 

Quarter 1 : January 1 to March 31

Arizona

Shell Abbott and Ranelle Abbott. Maricopa, Arizona- At their March 22, 2022 inspection, Abbott received 2 USDA violations pertaining to access and inspection of records and property and housing facilities. Shell Abbott Ranelle Abbott 3.22.2022

Colorado

Alvin Mullett, High County Kennels. Monte Vista, Colorado- At their March 8, 2022 inspection, Mullett received 1 USDA violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. Alvin Mullett 3.8.2022

Illinois

Nathan Mast. Arthur, Illinois- At their January 12, 2022 inspection, Mast received 4 USDA violations pertaining to housing, cleaning, and veterinary care. Nathan Mast 1.12.2022

Raymond Hostetler, Timber Acres. Tuscola, Illinois- At their March 3, 2022 inspection, Hostetler received 2 USDA violations pertaining to housing facilities. Raymond Hostetler 3.3.2022

Teske Pet and Garden Center. Moline, Illinois- At their March 8, 2022 inspection, Teskes received 2 USDA violations pertaining to Procurement of dogs, cats, and other animals and veterinary care for dogs. Teskes 3.8.2022 To view where Teske’s gets their puppies from, click here

Indiana

Enos Miller, Pigeon River Pups AKA All Star Family Pets AKA Hoosier Canines. Shipshewana, Indiana- At their January 13, 2022 focused inspection, Miller had 4 USDA violations pertaining to record keeping, primary enclosures, feeding and veterinary care. Focused inspections are when USDA inspectors look at a limited scope of issues or previous violations. This usually means the dog count is lower and only shows the animals that were a part of the focused inspection.. Enos Miller Focused 1.13.2022 . 

Envigo RMS, Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana- This research facility holds a Class A Breeder license. At their March 8, 2022 inspection, Envigo received 5 USDA violations- two of which were pertaining to direct animal care. Those violations included veterinary care, housing facilities, primary enclosures, and compatible groupings. Envigo RMS 3.8.2022

Melvin Otto and Wanda Otto. Lagrange, Indiana- At their January 20, 2022 inspection, the Ottos received 2 USDA violations pertaining to time and method of identification and veterinary care for dogs. Melvin Otto Wanda Otto 1.20.2022

Neal Ramer. Tippecanoe, Indiana-  On their January 11, 2022 inspection, Ramer had 1 USDA violation pertaining to record keeping. Neal Ramer 1.11.2022

Patty Talcott. Hardinsburg, Indiana- On January 14, 2022 Talcott received an official warning from the USDA due to violations on their October 12, 2021 report. Patty Talcott USDA Warning –  Patty Talcott 10.12.2021

Richard Lambright. Lagrange, Indiana- At their January 11,2022 inspection, Ramer had 2 USDA violations pertaining to veterinary care. Richard Lambright 1.11.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies through PuppySpot

Iowa

Allen Stutzman, AE Kennels. Seymour, Iowa- At their March 7, 2022 inspection, Stutzman received 4 USDA violations pertaining to: attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care; sheltered housing facilities; and veterinary care for dogs. Allen Stutzman 3.7.2022

Brian Felton. Centerville, Iowa- At their January 26, 2020 inspection, Felton received 5 USDA violations. Those violations were pertaining to their outdoor housing facilities, feeding, and watering. Brian Felton 1.26.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies through the broker Blue Ribbon Puppies

Carolyn Anderson, Anderson’s Yorkies. Mason City, Iowa- Anderson has received 16 USDA violations so far in 2022. These violations pertain to time and method of identification, record keeping, housing, primary enclosures, and attending veterinarian and veterinary care. Carolyn Anderson 2.8.2022Carolyn Anderson 2.2.2022Carolyn Anderson 1.25.2022. Anderson also received an official USDA warning due to these violations. Carolyn Anderson USDA Warning

David Grove, Glenda Grove, Eric Grove and Adam Grove, Iowa Fox Creek Kennels. Unionville, Iowa- At their March 14, 2022 inspection, the Groves received 4 USDA violations pertaining to: housing facilities; cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control; and veterinary care for dogs. Grove 3.14.2022

DJ Cobler and Melissa Cobler, Back Road Soul Puppies. Moravia, Iowa- At their March 8, 2022 inspection, the Coblers received 1 USDA violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. Cobler 3.8.2022

Ethan Zumbach and Garry Zumbach, Zumbach Yorkies. Monticello, Iowa- At their February 16, 2022 inspection, the Zumbachs received 2 USDA violations pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. Ethan Zumbach Garry Zumbach 2.16.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in New York, Florida and Texas

Henry Sommers, Happy Puppys. Cincinnati, Iowa- At the time of their January 11, 2022  inspection, Sommers received 6 USDA violations, including one directly pertaining to animal care. These violations were pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, record keeping, housing facilities, veterinary care, cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping and pest control. Henry Sommers 1.11.2022

Holly Iben, Iben Family Puppies. Monticello, Iowa- At their February 3, 2022 inspection, the Ibens received 2 USDA violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and veterinary care, as well as time and method of identification. Holly Iben 2.3.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in New York, Colorado and Texas

Jake Kruse, K&E Kennels. Salem, Iowa-  At their January 19, 2022 USDA inspection, Kruse received 3 USDA violations. These violations were pertaining to housing facilities, cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping and pest control. Jake Kruse 1.19.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in at least 17 states across the country. 

Julie Halverson. Monona, Iowa- At their March 4, 2022 inspection, Halverson received 6 USDA violations pertaining to: attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care; housing facilities; primary enclosures; cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control; and veterinary care for dogs. Julie Halverson 3.4.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies through the broker JAKS Puppies

Kayla Mulder. George, Iowa- At their January 31, 2022 inspection, Mulder received 1 USDA violation. Those violations were pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. Kayla Mulder 1.31.2022

Larry Albrecht, Coldwater Kennel. Greene, Iowa- At their March 8, 2022 inspection, Albrecht received 3 USDA violations pertaining to primary enclosures, feeding and watering. Larry Albrecht 3.8.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Connecticut, New York and Virginia. 

Lavern Nolt. Charles City, Iowa- At their February 2, 2022 inspection, Nolt received 4 USDA violations. These violations pertained to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, record keeping, and primary enclosures. Lavern Nolt 2.2.2022

Loren Yoder. Riverside, Iowa- At their February 28, 2022 inspection, Yoder received 6 USDA violations pertaining to housing facilities, cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control, and veterinary care for dogs. Loren Yoder 2.28.2022

Linda Thompson, Rolinda Acres Country AKA Thompson’s Puppies. Waterville, Iowa- At their March 10, 2022 inspection, Thompson received 9 USDA violations, including 1 direct violation, pertaining to: attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care; time and method of identification, record keeping; housing facilities; exercise for dogs; feeding; and cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. Linda Thompson 3.10.2022

Lloyd Yoder, Valleyview Premium Puppies. Riverside, Iowa- So far in 2022, Yoder has received 21 USDA violations pertaining to: attending veterinarian and veterinary care; housing facilities, and cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control; requirements and application; record keeping; outdoor housing facilities; feeding; and veterinary care for dogs . Lloyd Yoder 2.28.2022 (1)Lloyd Yoder 2.28.2022 ; Lloyd Yoder 3.15.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Texas and Virginia

Melinda Weimann, Wie Wag Kennels. Donnellson, Iowa-  At their March 9, 2022 inspection, Wiemann received 1 USDA violation pertaining to housing facilities. Melinda Wiemann 3.9.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Illinois and Iowa

Menno Gingerich. Alba, Iowa- At their February 16, 2022 inspection, Gingerich received 4 USDA violations- including one that directly pertained to animal care and one critical violation. His violations were due to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, and housing facilities. Menno Gingerich 2.16.2022. Menno Gingerich also received an official USDA warning due to these violations. Menno Gingerich USDA Warning

Woody Wiley. Cantril, Iowa- At their February 17, 2022 inspection, Wiley received 4 USDA violations- one of which pertains to direct animal care. These violations included attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, record keeping, and exercise. Woody Wiley 2.17.2022. Woody Wiley also received an official USDA warning due to these violations. Woody Wiley USDA Warning

Kansas

Cindy Jensen and Richard Jensen. Neodesha, Kansas- At their February 10, 2022 inspection, the Jensens received 2 USDA violations pertaining to housing facilities and watering. Cindy Jensen Richard Jensen 2.10.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in at least six states.  

Jim Kramer, Auction House. Arcadia, Kansas- At their February 26, 2022 inspection, Kramer received 2 critical USDA violations pertaining to access and inspection of records and property and handling of animals. Jim Kramer 2.26.2022

Joyce Cairns, Unicorn Kennels. Glasco, Kansas- Cairns has received 5 direct USDA violations and 1 regular violation so far in 2022. These violations were pertaining to watering, attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, outdoor housing facilities cleaning, sanitization housekeeping and pest control. Joyce Cairns 1.5.2022 –  Joyce Cairns 1.12.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in at least 4 states. 

Michigan

Alvin Zehr and Irene Zehr. Hillsdale, Michigan- This facility received an Official USDA Warning due to violations stemming from their December 13, 2021 inspection. Zehr USDA Warning Zehr 12.13.2021

Jesse Hochstedler. Colon, Michigan- At their January 12, 2022 inspection, Hochstedler received 2 USDA violations pertaining to housing facilities and veterinary care. Jesse Hochstedler 1.12.2022

Reuben Miller and Linda Miller. Coldwater, Michigan- At their January 12, 2022 inspection, the Millers had 1 USDA violation pertaining to veterinary care. Reuben Miller Linda Miller 1.12.2022

Missouri

Brian Letsinger. Ava, MIssouri- On January 20, 2022, Letsinger received an official USDA warning due to violations on their November 17, 2021 inspection. Brian Letsinger USDA Warning Brian Letsinger 11.17.2021

Candy Fields, Fields Farm. Green City, Missouri- At their March 8, 2022 inspection, Fields received 1 USDA violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. Candy FIelds 3.8.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in at least 7 states. 

Carol Prothe. Urbana, Missouri- At their March 2, 2022 inspection, Prothe received 1 USDA violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. Carol Prothe 3.2.2022

Chrissie Gingerich. Clark, Missouri- At their January 5, 2022 inspection, Gingerich received 3 USDA violations pertaining to record keeping, watering and veterinary care. Chrissie Gingerich 1.5.2022

Deborah Gay Earnest, Debco.  Stover, Missouri- At their February 7, 2022 inspection, Debco received 1 USDA violation pertaining to outdoor housing. Debco 2.7.2022

Edna Troyer and Elmer Troyer, Timber View Kennel. Clark, Missouri- At their February 15, 2022  inspection, the Troyers received 6 USDA violations. These were pertaining to housing facilities, sheltered housing, outdoor housing, primary enclosures, watering, and veterinary care. Edna Troyer Elmer Troyer 2.15.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in at least 6 states. 

Ellen Roberts, Rocky Top K-9s . West Plains, Missouri- At their January 19, 2022  inspection, Roberts received 5 USDA violations. Those violations were pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, outdoor housing facilities, primary enclosures and veterinary care. Ellen Roberts 1.19.2022  We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Florida. 

Jered Smith and Summer Smith, Premies Puppies AKA Premier Puppies AKA Buy Puppies Today. West Plains, Missouri- At their January 18, 2022  inspection, the Smiths received 2 USDA violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care and housing facilities. Jered Smith Summer Smith 1.18.2022

John Bontrager and Lizzie Bontrager. Clark, Missouri- At their January 12, 2022  inspection, the Bontragers received 3 USDA violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, primary enclosures and watering. John Bontrager Lizzie Bontrager 1.12.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Utah

Jonas Miller, Country Lane Kennel. Clark, Missouri- At their March 1, 2022 inspection, Miller received 3 USDA violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care and housing facilities. Jonas Miller 3.1.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in at least 4 states. 

Karen Hubbard, Karen’s Kennel. Gainesville, Missouri- At their January 25, 2022 USDA inspection, Hubbard received 1 USDA violation pertaining to veterinary care. Karen Hubbard 1.25.2022

Kenneth Orrell, Pug NS Ville USA. Bolivar, Missouri- At their January 10, 2022  inspection, Orrell received 4 USDA violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, record keeping, primary enclosures, and  feeding. Kenneth Orrell 1.10.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in New York

Mervin Yoder and Lizzie Yoder. Clark, Missouri- At their January 26, 2022  inspection, the Yoders received 2 USDA violations pertaining to housing and veterinary care. Mervin Yoder Lizzie Yoder 1.26.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Pennsylvania and Virginia

Monica Dodson, E Z Duz It Kennel. Purdy, Missouri- At their February 8, 2022  inspection, Dodson received  3 USDA violations pertaining to housing, cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping and pest control, and veterinary care. Monica Dodson 2.8.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Florida

Petie Schwartz, Lake Hill Kennel. Collins, Missouri- At their March 7, 2022 inspection, Schwartz received 1 USDA violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. Petie Schwartz 3.7.2022

Rachel Davis, Vickie Davis and Virgel Davis, Davis Kennel. Seymour, Missouri- On February 11, 2022 this facility received an official USDA warning due to violations stemming from their December 7, 2021 inspection. Davis Kennel USDA Warning Davis Kennel 12.7.2021 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in at least 5 states. 

New York

Classy Creations. Lyons, New York- At their March 1, 2022 inspection, Classy Creations received 3 USDA violations pertaining to housing facilities, veterinary care and cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. Classy Creations 3.1.2022

Earl Ray Nolt. Dundee, New York- At their January 20, 2022 USDA inspection, Nolt received 1 USDA violation pertaining to veterinary care. Earl Ray Nolt 1.20.2022

Samuel Brubacker, Hilltop Country Kennel. Dundee, New York- At their January 20, 2022  inspection, Brubacker received 3 USDA violations pertaining to sheltered housing facilities, primary enclosures and cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. Samuel Brubacker 1.20.2022

Twilight Valley Toys. Lyons, New York- At their March 8, 2022 inspection, T.V. Toys received 2 USDA violations pertaining to feeding and cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. Twilight Valley Toys 3.8.2022

Ohio

Andy Nisley. Howard, Ohio- Nisley received an Official USDA Warning on January 20, 2022 due to violations stemming from their November 18, 2021 inspection.  Andy Nisley USDA Warning Andy Nisley 11.18.2021

Marvin Yoder, Willow Lot Kennels. Millersburg, Ohio- At  their January 10, 2022  inspection, Yoder received 2 USDA violations pertaining to housing facilities and watering. Marvin Yoder 1.10.2022

Tri Star Pets. Millersburg, Ohio- At their February 14, 2022  inspection, Tri Star Pets received 1 USDA violation pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care. Tri Star Pets 2.14.2022

Oklahoma

Cynthia Paula Jack, Coal Creek Kennel. Stringtown, Oklahoma– At their February 10, 2022 inspection, Jack received 6 USDA violations, including 3 direct violations, pertaining to: attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care; record keeping; housing facilities; cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control; and veterinary care for dogs. Cynthia Paula Jack 2.10.2022 . Cynthia Paula Jack also received an official USDA warning due to these violations. Cynthia Paula Jack USDA Warning

Pennsylvania

Daniel Stoltzfus, School Lane Kennel. Gap, Pennsylvania- At their March 9, 2022 inspection, Stoltzfus received 1 USDA violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. Daniel Stoltzfus 3.9.2022

Jacob Stoltzfus, Sunrise Kennel. Doylesburg, Pennsylvania- At their January 4, 2022 inspection, Stoltzfus received 1 USDA violation pertaining to housing facilities, general. Jacob Stoltzfus 1.4.2022

John Stoltzfus, Pondlea Puppies. New Holland, Pennsylvania- At their March 2022 inspection, Stoltzfus received 1 USDA violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. John Stoltzfus 3.9.2022

Levi Stoltzfus. Manheim, Pennsylvania- At their February 28, 2022 inspection, Stoltzfus received 1 USDA violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. Levi Stoltzfus 2.28.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Virginia

Marlin Sauder, Rocky Ridge Kennel. Denver, Pennsylvania- At their January 19, 2022 inspection, Sauder received 1 USDA violation pertaining to Veterinary care for dogs. Marlin Sauder 1.19.2022

South Carolina 

Siberia Husky Kennel. Hamer, South Carolina- At their February 14, 2022 inspection, Siberia Kennel received 1 USDA violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. Siberia Husky Kennel 2.14.2022

 

Texas

Cephas Kropf, Southland Puppies. Itasca, Texas- At their February 18, 2022 inspection, Southland Puppies received 2 USDA violations pertaining to housing facilities and feeding. Southland Puppies 2.18.2022

Wisconsin

Amos Allgyer. Platteville, Wisconsin- At their January 5, 2022 inspection, Allgyer received 2 USDA violations pertaining to time and method of identification and record keeping. Amos Allgyer 1.5.2022 This facility sells puppies to pet stores in at least six states. 

Ben Beiler. Platteville, Wisconsin- At their January 11, 2022 inspection, Beiler received 5 USDA violations pertaining to: attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care; time and method of identification; record keeping; housing facilities and veterinary care for dogs. Ben Beiler 1.11.2022

Benjamin Lambright. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- At their March 7, 2022 inspection, Lambright received 2 USDA violations pertaining to identification and cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. Benjamin Lambright 3.7.2022

Christy Bontrager and Eli Bontrager, Shady Valley Kennels. Tomah, Wisconsin- The Bontragers received an official USDA warning after violations stemming from their December 15, 2021 inspection. Shady Valley Kennels USDA Warning Shady Valley Kennels 12.15.2021

David Bontrager. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- At their January 4, 2022 inspection, Bontrager received 2 USDA violations pertaining to primary enclosures and veterinary care for dogs. David Bontrager 1.4.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Minnesota

David Miller. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- At their February 28, 2022 inspection, Miller received 1 USDA violation pertaining to primary enclosures. David Miller 2.28.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Minnesota

Jesse Lambright and Timothy Lambright. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- At their January 10, 2022 inspection, Lambright received 2 USDA violations pertaining to housing facilities and veterinary care for dogs. Jesse Lambright 1.10.2022

Joseph Hochstetler, Sideline Kennel. Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin- At their March 14, 2022 inspection, Hochstetler received 1 USDA violation pertaining to housing facilities. Joseph Hochstetler 3.14.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Connecticut.  Hochstetler also received an official USDA warning due to violations stemming from their December 13, 2021 inspection. Joseph Hochstetler USDA Warning –  Joseph Hochstetler 12.13.2021

Miriam Hoover and Raymond Hoover, Farm House Kennel. Stanley, Wisconsin- At their March 2, 2022 inspection, Hoover received 5 USDA violations pertaining to attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care, method of identification, record keeping, exercise, and veterinary care for dogs. Miriam Hoover 3.2.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Iowa. 

Philip Bontrager. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- At their January 26, 2022 inspection, Bontrager received 1 USDA violation pertaining to veterinary care for dogs. Philip Bontrager 1.26.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Minnesota and through broker JAKS puppies

Samuel Beiler. Platteville, Wisconsin- At their January 6, 2022 inspection, Beiler received 1 USDA violation pertaining to cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control. Samuel Beiler 1.6.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies to pet stores in Kansas and Iowa

Timothy Schwartz. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- At their February 28, 2022 inspection, Schwartz received 2 USDA violations pertaining to watering and veterinary care for dogs. Timothy Schwartz 2.28.2022

Titus Yoder. Hillsboro, Wisconsin- At their February 8, 2022 inspection, Yoder received 3 USDA violations pertaining to method of identification, record keeping and primary enclosures. Titus Yoder 2.8.2022 We have record of this facility selling puppies through broker JAKS puppies

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Misguided Assumptions That Hinder Animal Welfare

 

Misguided Assumptions That Hinder Animal Welfare

Written by Becky Monroe

Well, it is only Tuesday, but it has been an eye-opening week already. Yesterday, I was on the beach in the morning when I saw two young children with their mom. The two young kids, both under 5, were chasing the small shore birds we call Snowy Plovers.

Snowy Plovers are protected on the island as they are becoming rare, but the state run commission, Florida Fish and Wildlife (and all wildlife animal agencies), teach not to chase all birds as they are typically on the beach resting between flights or nesting for the season.

I am not a confrontational person in anyway. Heck, my voice, at its loudest, can barely be heard across a small table. But, certain things like chasing birds and puppy mills, will get me to respond.

I made eye contact with the mom and gently said to the boy, “You should not chase birds.”

To which his mother looked at me and said, “They have only chased three.”

I thought to myself, “Well, as far as I know, the only right number is zero.”

When I got home, I went on Facebook and posted in a few groups what had taken place and used it as a friendly reminder that chasing birds is not acceptable and in fact, harmful to the birds.

There is scientific evidence to prove this and that can be found here

Snowy Plovers at Ocean Beach / Photo by Lee Karney

One of the FB pages I chose for my post is a community page for people who love our island. Within seconds, numerous people were agreeing with me and sharing their own stories.

Numerous comments have been made now on that page and while not all of them are 100% in agreement, it wasn’t until this morning one was made that just sent me into a tailspin.

His first comment was to say that my concern was a first world problem for a rich person. His second comment was that if kids playing on a beach was my only problem, I was lucky and that I shouldn’t shame families who are having fun.

Needless to say, I had a few replies for him.

However, his commentary really got me thinking about these two separate but often made assumptions and how they apply to animal welfare, in general. 

The first one which implied that only rich people care about animals is not only ignorant, but unfounded.

I have had the beautiful opportunity to help at low cost clinics in the challenged neighborhoods of Chicago thanks to the organization Lost Dogs IL. Each time I went, I was reminded that income does not in any way suggest how much someone loves his or her pet.

Most of the pet owners at these events got in line hours before we opened and often walked miles in any kind of weather to get there — just so their pets could get the things they needed.

For some, it wasn’t even the cost it was the availability of resources in their area. When the resources were there, they made sure to utilize them to benefit their pets.

I did a story years ago about homeless people and their pets. I was able to get in contact with the group, Pets of the Homeless. They shared with me how they help provide food and veterinary care to the pets of the homeless because they know, despite the obvious circumstances, those pets are loved and cared for better than many living in suburban America.

What could make a dog happier than spending every single day hanging with his human? 

I think between my volunteer opportunities and my own research, hearing what that man was saying in response to my Facebook post made me even angrier as I know that income and compassion do not slide together on any scale.

And, I think assumptions like this one have also made adopting a pet more difficult for those with financial hardships. This judgement that if you can’t afford the adoption fee, you can’t afford the pet is heard in the animal welfare community a lot.

I would only argue that with so many dogs and cats being euthanized simply due to lack of space, surely those animals would be grateful to join a family and feel love regardless of that family’s income level.

At the very minimum, I think it is critical to be aware of these types of broad judgments that not only are inaccurate but can create a very negative impact on the number of animals rescued and adopted. 

On a recent episode of "Truth, Lies and Puppy Mills" Bailing Out Benji discussed ways we can all collectively do better to address and support both human AND animal well being

His second comment that suggested I shouldn’t shame a family who is just having fun (chasing birds) is also one that relates to domestic pets.

How many Facebook posts have you seen showing a child riding a dog or pulling his ears or laying on him? These posts usually have a meme stating, “This is not cute.”

Like the birds who deserve to be left in peace, domestic animals also should not have to tolerate any type of behavior that is stressful, painful, or irritating.

Sure it might make the child happy to ride the dog, but it is important that children learn at a young age to respect animals as sentient beings. We don’t have the right to put our pleasure above their well-being.

Those children on the beach could have been swimming in the ocean, building a sandcastle, playing catch or flying a kite. There are many fun activities to do on a beach. Chasing innocent birds should not be considered one of those activities.

It angers and saddens me to believe that some people really don’t get it. They don’t see animals in the way that I do (or you do). Since I was a child, I have felt genuine empathy and compassion for animals. It is near impossible for me to understand a person who does not.

This man reminded me that our job of educating others on animal welfare whether they are domestic or wild is never ending.

I have often said that it is both a blessing and curse to be born with a heart for animals. A blessing because we get to share this amazing connection to animals. A curse because it can really hurt when other people don’t share our kindness. 

We have to always remember that these animals we love so dearly don’t have a voice and even when it feels uncomfortable to speak up or when words exchanged get personal, we have to keep speaking up for them.

If we choose to be silent not only are we wasting the precious gift we were given, we are letting down the animals we hold so close to our hearts and allowing others to continue to mistreat them.

 

We have to be their voice. Always. 

Meet the Survivors: Trixie and Trudie

Written by Becky Monroe

This week we spotlight two adorable Toy Poodles: Trixie and Trudie who were rescued not just from a puppy mill, but from one of the HSUS’s Horrible One Hundred puppy mills. Blue Moon Kennel is one of the most notorious mass breeding facilities. Lucky for Trixie and Trudie they found a way out.

Their owner, Lisa, adopted them from Safe Haven Bichon and Friends rescue in Wisconsin. Safe Haven acquired them at an auction in Missouri.

Their story has a few bumps in the road. Lisa was originally their foster home for 8 months. She patiently worked with them so they could join a family as “normal dogs.” Eventually a nice woman wanted to adopt them and brought them to Illinois. Unfortunately, four years later she had to downsize and was not able to take Trixie and Trudie with her. Lisa said she was an amazing mom to the girls and Lisa still sends pics and keeps her updated on them regularly. “She adored them,” Lisa expressed. 

Pictured below: photos of Bichons, possibly Trixie and Trudie, taken at Blue Moon Kennel.

Lisa stepped up to foster them right away and in time adopted them herself. They have been part of Lisa’s family for nearly 5 years and are about eleven years old.

Lisa wasn’t new to the struggles of puppy mill survivors. Trixie and Trudie joined her Bichons, Frida and Heidi, who were also rescued from a large USDA breeder in Wisconsin. As well as little Lucy, a miniature Poodle who came from a puppy mill in Missouri.

Lisa knows the ups and downs of taking in these survivors and the struggles they work through. Between Frida, Heidi and Lucy, Lisa had a lot of previous experience to offer the two new Poodles.

Lucy’s puppy mill experience proved detrimental to her upbringing. To this day, she is still fearful of open spaces and the cold. Lots of things are still scary for her, but she, too continues to grow and has learned it is okay to play with Lisa and that not all humans are out to hurt you.

As for Trixie and Trudie they are still working on potty training, but have made a lot of progress along the way. The pair are precious to Lisa and she is just grateful they are back in her life. 

Between the girls’ first mom and her rescued poodles and Lisa’s pack, Trixie and Trudie have had many teachers to help them acclimate to the good life. Lisa said both girls are very obedient and LOVE to go for car rides. Lisa’s Bichon, Frida, was a wonderful mother figure to them and to all the dogs who came through the house. She offered a calmness to the others’ anxieties and with Frida’s passing that is still sadly missed today.

Lisa believes Frida’s spirit has gone on to live in Trixie and that when Frida passed she helped Trixie (and Trudie) to find their way back to Lisa.

The poodle pair are the same breed, same age, but very different personalities. From the beginning, Trixie has wanted love and been loving and cuddly and friendly, while Trudie has always been shy and reserved. But, together they are just the perfect peas in a pod.

Interesting how their experience in a puppy mill shaped their lives so differently, but, luckily, they have each other to face life with. It seems from the beginning they were a bipolar bonded pair. Lisa explained that Trudie has a bad habit of attacking Trixie when there is excitement in the household. She really will show her dominance, but at the same time they like to snuggle together and play and are best friends.

It is unknown if the two are related in any way. While the same breed, Trudie stands taller and has a deeper chest, while Trixie is shorter and could become plump if given the opportunity. Perhaps they were littermates – we will never know.

Both are full of energy and have adapted to all of the homes they went to, but lucky to land at Lisa’s as their forever one and remain together.

Originally, Lisa owned a home-bred Bichon and when that dog passed, she started thinking about adopting a rescued Bichon. Eventually, she found herself on petfinder.com and found Frida and Safe Haven Bichon and Friends Rescue. The rest is history as Lisa has become emerged in animal rescue and fostering. 

Lisa said that above all else she has learned how resilient dogs are, especially mill survivors. Despite everything they have been through, they continue to make progress and eventually are able to trust and to show love and affection.

When asked about tips for living with a mill survivor, Lisa offered this, “Never expect perfection (or even close) and to adopt them for what YOU can do for them. Learn to love all that they are because of where they come from. They have been failed by humans but now have a chance to be reborn into a whole new life.”

She also added, ”They would probably do best not being the only dog in the house.” 

It is true: puppy mill survivors tend to learn much quicker when they have another already trained dog in the household.

Trixie and Trudie help get the word out about puppy mills. They attended the Great Iowa Pet Expo and shared their stories and educated the public on the truth about pet stores and puppy mills.

If the Poodle pair could tell humans one thing, what would it be?

“Dogs deserve to be treated with compassion and kindness – no exceptions.”

Absolutely, Trixie and Trudie. We are so glad that you were given a second chance (kind of even a third) and now have lives full of love, compassion and kindness. 

**If you would like to share your Mill Survivor’s story with our supporters, I would love to publish it on Tails and Truths! Just email me at bmonroe@bailingoutbenji.com.**