Neon Hum Media, in partnership with Sony Productions, has released a 7 part investigative podcast series about JAKS Puppies and their connection to the puppy laundering world. You can listen to all 7 episodes right away on Apple Podcasts or listen weekly on your preferred podcast app.
From Neon Hum: “Smoke Screen: Puppy Kingpin” shines a spotlight on Jolyn Noethe (of JAKS Puppies), a secretive businesswoman from Iowa who is accused of laundering puppies. Noethe grew up working at her parents’ dog breeding operation until, years later, she started a business of her own: selling puppy mill dogs to pet stores. Her multi-million dollar scheme allegedly skirted local laws and operated successfully for years.
Puppy Laundering and Sham Rescues
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.
To date, our research has been able to assist in the closure of two Iowa sham rescues that were connected to USDA puppy broker JAKS Puppies. While our California lawsuit against these sham rescues and associated stores was ongoing, the Iowa Attorney General brought a case against JAKS Puppies and their two businesses Hobo K9 rescue and Rescue Pets Iowa. In March 2020, JAKS puppies was ordered to permanently stop operating rescues in the state of Iowa and was ordered to pay $60,000 to the state. Their for-profit brokering company is still allowed to sell puppies to pet stores.
While this is a huge win and we applaud the Iowa Attorney General for their work on this case, more sham rescues are popping up across the country. Our nonprofit is the only organization that researches these businesses and works to shut them down through public awareness and through governmental agencies like State Attorney Generals.
A few of the sham nonprofits we have investigated include: Hobo K9 Rescue, Rescue Pets Iowa, Pet Connect Rescue, Dogs to the Rescue Ohio, Little Paw Animal Rescue , Mother Dog Rescueand Boondogs Rescue.
Because of your support, we are able to continue doing what we do. Click here to learn more about the active sham rescues we know about and our research that we provide on the puppy mill industry. If you are able, please consider making a donation today to support our work fighting the cruel puppy mill industry.