©Bailing Out Benji 2021
Did you know that backyard breeders and puppy millers often sell their puppies at flea markets? Did you know that in Canton, Texas there is an entire flea market dedicated to selling puppies, piglets, kittens, and other animals?
This flea market, known as “Dog Alley”, is held the first weekend of every month during Canton Trade Days. Breeders from Texas and surrounding states, many of them unlicensed, peddle their puppies to their customers. Unsuspecting customers may end up purchasing a puppy with severe health conditions (the market is known to be infected by Parvo) and supporting a breeder that is neglecting and possibly abusing their dogs.
In 2013 Humane Society of the United States performed and undercover investigation of the market and found “lethargic, underweight, and sickly-looking puppies, animals without water in the high heat, and puppies for sale who were so young that their eyes weren’t open yet.” To view this report in full, click here.
In addition, the organization “Animals’ Angels” also did an undercover inspection of Dog Alley, in which they noted, ” Investigators noted that multiple dealers had posted signs stating “don’t let the puppies lick your fingers,” and were providing hand sanitizer to potential buyers. Upon striking up conversations with several different sellers and visitors, investigators were advised that the Trade Grounds were known to be infected with Parvo, a highly contagious viral illness. The virus manifests itself in two different forms. The more common form is intestinal, which is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of appetite. The less common form is the cardiac form, which attacks the heart muscles of very young puppies, often leading to death. The virus can easily be transmitted by just touching an infected dog and then touching another dog, as well as by simply walking over contaminated soil or infected feces.” You can read that full report here.
Based on our research on the puppy mill industry, we were able to connect the following breeding facilities as having sold through Dog Alley in 2020 and 2019:
- Arlene and Arlyn Swartzentruber, Country View Kennel. Hughesville, Missouri- 16 adult breeding dogs. This facility cancelled their USDA license after federal violations that included: dark green material coating water bowls; dogs with visible fleas crawling on fur. Swartzentruber still holds a state license.
- Christy Doogs, Touch O’ Country Kennel. Sedalia, Missouri- this facility is a very regular supplier to Dog Alley.
- Marsha Cox, Doggie Door AKA Mar-Don Kennel. Chillicothe, Missouri- This facility cancelled her USDA license after being named one of the worst puppy mills in the country in 2013. Cox changed her kennel name and is now state licensed.
- Jay Blackburn and Julie Snidow, Attitudes Kennel. Galt, Missouri- 179 adult breeding dogs and 93 puppies.
- Josh Headings. Buffalo, Missouri- Does not appear to be USDA or state licensed.
- Kandy Hale, Kandy’s Puppies. Milan, Missouri- This facility had their USDA licensed revoked after Vincent Losacco was facing charges for his New Jersey pet store that he bred puppies in Missouri for. Over 450 dogs were auctioned off in 2016, yet the facility still remains state licensed.
- Karen Highland, Rocky Ridge Kennels. Milan, Missouri- 81 adult breeding dogs.
- Shellie and Shelly Weaver, Elk Horn Creek Kennel. Smithton, Missouri- 150 adult breeding dogs and 52 puppies. This facility hasn’t had a USDA inspection since 2019 but had violations at that inspection including: dogs with severe dental conditions.
- Frank and Teresa Doogs, FTD Farms and Wee-Bark Kennels. Sedalia, Missouri- this facility is a very regular supplier to Dog Alley.
- Tom Petersen, Petersen Farms. Buffalo, Missouri- 85 adult breeding dogs and 53 puppies.
- Valente Rios, Rios Kennel. Galt, Missouri- 281 adult breeding dogs and 143 puppies, with a history of violations including: excessively thin dogs (could see hips and ribs, dogs so matted they are unable to poop, dogs with feces stuck in fur, dogs with injuries, sharp points on dog food bowls, kennels unsafe and many, many more. Rios was also listed as one of the worst puppy mills in the entire country in 2013.
At Bailing Out Benji we are committed to exposing this to those that may want to visit the Market. Our newest billboard is I-20, just outside of Canton. Everyone attending the Trade Days from the Dallas/Fort Worth area will drive past and ask themselves “what are puppy mills?”
Texas also has a huge pet store problem. To view some of the pet stores and the out-of-state puppy mills they are buying from, click here.
You can also follow our efforts on Facebook.