Buyer Beware: “Dogs to the “Rescue” Ohio

Two-time horrible hundred puppy mill owner starts nonprofit rescue. 

©Bailing Out Benji 2020

We all know that puppy mills are shady; really shady. Besides making a living off of the suffering of living, breathing dogs, their job is to deceive the public. No one wants to support a puppy mill. Thanks to organizations like ours, we have made their lives a little harder in both aspects. Especially when it comes to exposing their business practices to the public. 

In recent years, it has become a trend for cities and states to pass legislation banning the retail sale of dogs and cats in pet stores from commercial breeders (puppy mills). Instead, these stores must get their puppies from rescues and shelters to help the homeless animals in their communities, as opposed to aiding in the pet overpopulation problem. That sounds wonderful, right? Bailing Out Benji has helped pass countless ordinances across the country on both the city and statewide level and have helped thousands of homeless animals find their forever homes. 

Unfortunately- where there is a will, there is a way and puppy mill owners sure have the will to want to make as much money as possible, while doing as little work as possible. Now these puppy mill brokering organizations are turning into  501c3 “nonprofit”  “rescues” in order to still sell puppies in towns with retail bans and in order to deceive the public.

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

Meet the IRS nonprofit “Dogs to the Rescue” Ohio owned by Nathan and Sara Bazler, as well as Opal Mustain. 

Provided by the IRS
Provided by the State of Ohio

 

Provided by the State of Ohio 

 

“Dogs to the Rescue” doesn’t have a website, a Facebook page, they aren’t on Petfinder and they don’t appear to be doing rescue work publicly.

Interestingly enough, they have the same address and owners as the two-time Horrible Hundred Puppy Mill  “Little Puppies Online” , owned by Nathan and Sara Bazler. The Bazlers also operate “Florida Puppies Online” , “Maryland Puppies Online” and “Georgia Puppies Online” . All are online websites that sell countless puppies to the public, while also offering a storefront location in some states. 

 

Provided by the USDA

 

Pulled from each of their websites

 

In both 2017 and 2020, Little Puppies Online and Florida Puppies online were each named one of the worst puppy mills in the country due to violations on the local, state and Federal level. According to information obtained by the HSUS from the Department of Animal Services in Collier County, Florida;

“As of early March 2020, at least 14 puppies had died at the Florida Puppies Online operation in 2019 and early 2020 alone, and the total number of puppies who died between 2017 and early March 2020 was at least 26. Some of the causes of death listed in the records were parvovirus, parasites, hypoglycemia and respiratory infections.”

 From January 1, 2019 to September 15, 2020 records that we obtained from the Ohio Department of Agriculture show that over 1,160 puppies left this address and went to out-of-state sellers and buyers. This number does not include Ohio citizens that purchased puppies from any of these sites. The Bazler’s currently hold a USDA broker license ( 31-B-0174 ) , an Ohio broker license ( CB000649 ) and an Ohio rescue license (  CB002A5A ) . Their current USDA dog count is reflected below. 

 

Their two most recent inspection reports had identical violations that show the facility neglected to provide the additional 6inches of space around the body of the dog that the USDA requires.

 

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In the case of the other sham rescues, they were selling puppies to pet stores in cities that had humane ordinances, in order to try and skirt the local legislation. It appears that the Bazlers are using their nonprofit rescue status to sell ‘damaged’ puppies through their own for-profit businesses.  

As of September 25, 2020 , they appear to have two ‘rescue’ puppies on their website. 

Photo taken from their website on 9/25/2020
Photo taken from their website on 9/25/2020

Photo taken from their website on 9/25/2020
Photo taken from their website on 9/25/2020

 

It is unclear at this time how many of their commercially bred puppies are being labeled as rescues in their own stores and on websites. 

At the time of this article being published, all of the entities listed have been reported to the IRS and the Attorney Generals in each of their states by Bailing Out Benji. Their associated business licenses can be found below. 

IRS: Dogs to the Rescue. 83-1133240

USDA: Little Puppies Online. 31-B00174

OHIO: Little Puppies Online: CB000649 and Dogs to the Rescue CB002A5A

MARYLAND: Maryland Puppies Online/Little Puppies Online: Z18311266

FLORIDA: Little Puppies Online/Florida Puppies Online: 26-4532307

GEORGIA: Little Puppies Online/Georgia Puppies Online: 19140419

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As animal advocates, it is not only our job to continue exposing the shady practices of pet stores and puppy mills, but to continue with educating the public about how to humanely and ethically acquire a pet. 

Here are few tips to avoid supporting puppy mills through pet stores. 

  1. Is there signage in the store connecting the pet store to a rescue or shelter?  Humane pet stores are proud of their rescue partners and would have flyers, business cards and signage pointing out the relationship. 
  2. Is the rescue or shelter hosting adoption events at the store? Shelters and rescues jump on the opportunity to host adoption events where the public can meet their adoptable animals face-to-face. Legitimate rescues and shelters would be actively hosting adoption events to ensure their pets are seen and find their forever homes.
  3. Does the rescue or shelter have a Facebook page, website and use pet adoption websites? Legitimate rescues have all of these things. All of them! Fact checking their existence is as easy as picking up your phone and searching for them. But it is up to you to do just that. 
  4. Is the rescue in your area? Rescues don’t ship their puppies to other states to get adopted site unseen. And if they do, they aren’t legitimate. If you are in a pet store and the puppies are being sourced from out of state- RUN, don’t walk away. 
  5. Are there adoption contracts for the animal and are they fully vetted? Again, legitimate rescues and shelters do not send out unaltered puppies/kittens to be sold to anyone who walks in with money. They also require adoption contracts to ensure the pet is going to a forever family, with a return clause in case it doesn’t work out.

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©Bailing Out Benji 2020

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

To make a donation or learn about other ways to support our efforts, click the image above
To receive action alerts and updates on our efforts, click the image above

Follow us on social media and get involved in the fight to #EndPuppyMills 

 

 

Contact us using the form below if you have any questions regarding the research of this article, if you unknowingly bought a “Dogs to the Rescue Ohio” puppy, or if you want to know more about where the puppy you purchased came from. 

Arizona Pet Store Chain Has Little Regard for State & Federal Laws

©Bailing Out Benji 2020

Drafted by Nicole Galvan

After a years-long investigation, Bailing Out Benji (BOB) and our partners at Animal Wellness Action (AWA) requested that the Tempe Police Department and the Tucson Police Department to investigate allegations that local pet stores known as “Puppies N’ Love” and “Animal Kingdom” are purchasing puppies from certain breeders in violation of Arizona state law.

You can read the in-depth investigative report done by Arizona Central News here. 

In 2016, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed SB1248 into law in an ill-fated attempt to stop pet stores from obtaining puppies from some of the worst puppy mills in the country, while simultaneously taking away the ability for Arizona cities to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs at the local level. The law stipulated that pet stores were not to buy dogs from breeders who have received direct violations of Animal Welfare Act in the last two years.

Arizona State Law Violations

Through a public records request to Arizona’s Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Bailing Out Benji obtained health records from 2017 to early 2020, which connect Arizona pet stores to the breeders they source from.  The records uncovered that more than 250 puppies from out-of-state breeders with direct violations of the Animal Welfare Act were shipped to the named pet stores during that timeframe, and re-sold to the public. 

    • Sugarfork Kennels: received a direct violation of the Animal Welfare Act in Oct 2017.  For the following two years, Puppies N love and Animal Kingdom pet stores imported approximately 250 puppies from this breeding facility. 

    • Wilbur Byler: received a direct violation in October 2019.  Since that time, at least 10 puppies have arrived in Arizona for resale.

The state law also provides that pet stores must list the name and license number of the breeder on each cage and in any electronic marketing, so that the public may research the breeders themselves.  The pet stores do not comply fully with this legal standard either.  BOB and AWA have documented instances of missing and incorrect information on cages, making it nearly impossible for buyers to receive the appropriate information about where their puppy came from.

This pet store chain had the Arizona state pet store laws written just for themselves and they lobby for them to stay in place every single year – yet they couldn’t even follow the laws that they helped write and pass for themselves. The scary thing is that other pet stores in other states are lobbying to copy this law – to preempt cities from banning these deplorable business practices outright. Not only has this law been incredibly difficult to get enforced, but it obviously didn’t deter these pet stores from getting puppies from puppy mills who commit egregious levels of abuse to the animals in which they make money off of.

Federal Animal Welfare Act Violations

In conducting research on the puppy mills used by this pet store chain, we also discovered that they are transporting the puppies from the puppy mills and brokers in the Midwest directly to a distribution center location, which is owned by Valley Pet/CPI in Phoenix.  

Instead of transporting the puppies directly to each pet store location, they are transporting them to their corporate property at 2001 N. Black Canyon Highway in Phoenix.  Here’s a sample of just one of the hundreds of Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), required for transport. These documents show that their puppies are coming from their respective puppy mill breeders and brokers and going to this one central distribution center:  

This location is not a pet store.  It is an industrial-type building and it is not open to the public. Former employees have come forward to tell us that the puppies are transported here, “cleaned-up,” and then sent to their respective pet store locations in the Phoenix metro area and Tucson.  Bailing Out Benji has hundreds of documents, covering 3 years of this company’s operation, showing that all of the puppies are going to this location when they enter the state and the state veterinarian’s office, via email, informed us that they are not able to find any Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) transport documents that show puppies going directly to the individual pet store locations.  

As an organization we regularly investigate pet stores and puppy mills across the country, and we have found this to be the only pet store chain in the United States that is operating a puppy distribution center like this – to our knowledge.  Every pet store we have investigated to date, has their puppies transported from the puppy mills and brokers directly to the pet store locations – even if one person or one company owns several stores.

The reason that other pet stores do not operate this type of distribution center may be that it is likely in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.  The USDA requires that “anyone taking custody of regulated animals in connection with transporting them on public carriers must be registered as an intermediate handler.  This requirement covers boarding kennels that take responsibility for shipping animals or receiving them after or during shipment.” USDA Guideline for Licensing and Registration Under the Animal Welfare Act

We have also caught this pet store chain violating the Animal Welfare Act by exhibiting animals without a license.  The most up to date USDA Guideline for Licensing and Registration Under the Animal Welfare Act defines the following for “Exempt Businesses”:

 “Retail Pet Stores—Anyone whose entire business consists of selling certain pet-type animals (such as dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, and domesticated ferrets) to pet owners in person, at a place where the seller, buyer, and animal are physically present, is exempt. However, if as part of your business you exhibit animals, you are not considered a retail pet store and may have to be licensed as an exhibitor. For example, you are not considered a retail pet store if you take animals outside the store for teaching or promotion or if you set up a petting display, sell wild or exotic animals, or sell regulated animals to other retailers, research institutions, exhibitors, or other animal dealers. You need to be licensed as an exhibitor if you display a monkey or other wild animal inside the store. Exemptions for retail pet stores are on an all-or-nothing basis. If you qualify for exemption, none of your business is regulated or inspected. If you do not qualify as a retail pet store and do not qualify for any other exemption, you are a full-fledged dealer, and all your regulated animals are inspected.”

Here are photos of an event they held on March 2018, where they exhibited animals at Arizona State University in Tempe:

We also obtained a document, created by the owners of Companions Pets, Inc., and their lawyers, in which they admitted to exhibiting animals by saying “we bring our puppies to nursing homes to visit residents.”

This is document that was given to state lawmakers by the pet store chain’s lobbyists in August 2019 as well as a social media post where they admit to exhibiting animals at nursing homes.

Bailing Out Benji an Animal Wellness Action have filed complaints with the USDA about these Animal Welfare Act Violations, but the USDA has yet to respond to our complaints.

We are hopeful that the USDA as well as the local agencies in Tucson and Tempe tasked with enforcing the state pet store laws will follow through with their investigations.

 

 

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

To make a donation or learn about other ways to support our efforts, click the image above
To receive action alerts and updates on our efforts, click the image above

 

Follow us on social media and get involved in the fight to #EndPuppyMills !

 

Miles for the Mill Dogs Virtual 5k

Welcome to the First Annual “Miles for the Mill Dogs Virtual 5k”

 

 

Whether you walk, jog or run we invite you to join us for our first ever virtual 5k benefitting Bailing Out Benji and our fight against the cruel puppy mill industry!

Lace up those shoes, grab that leash and hit the ground running with your best friend. You can walk in your neighborhood, run on your favorite trail or leisurely stroll through your local park!

Each registrant will receive a special 5k medal and has the option to receive an event shirt for an additional donation! 100% of the proceeds raised will go towards helping the puppy mill dogs!

Special prizes will be mailed to select racers who post their run on social media and use the hashtags #MilesForTheMillDogs and #BailingOutBenji . Don’t forget to wear your favorite Bailing Out Benji shirt when you race!

 

For questions or concerns, email our event chair Sara Yassin: syassin@bailingoutbenji.com

You can also RSVP to our Facebook Event to receive updates on the 5k! 

 

Click to register

 

 

To receive action alerts and updates on our efforts, click the image above

Follow us on social media and get involved in the fight to #EndPuppyMills 

 

Puppy Mills Profit from PPP loans

© Bailing Out Benji 2020

After millions of families and businesses across the country were affected by the coronavirus, the Federal Government provided financial relief to small businesses across the country. Small businesses were granted loans under the “Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program” and, according to their website,  these loans are “designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.”

Unfortunately, many puppy-selling pet stores received money from the Paycheck Protection Program. Thanks to this easy search engine of PPP loans , we were able to find many of those stores and make that list public below.

One thing that is very important to note is that many businesses applied for the PPP loan under their LLC name , which was very different than the store name they do business as. After researching these LLCs, we were able to determine that even though Petland’s Headquarters received between 2-5 million dollars through PPP funding, at least 15 of their locations received additional funding. One of the Petland stores that received the PPP funding is currently under investigation by the Florida Attorney General. 

Below you will find the list of puppy-selling stores and the range of funding they received. We also linked each store to our research which connects them to the puppy mills they source from. 

$1,000,000+

 

$350k- $1m 

 

$150k – $350k 

 

Sadly, our research has also exposed puppy mills and puppy brokers that received financial assistance from the government. 

$150k – $350k

 

Even though many states were under lockdown and had travel advisories, many of the above pet stores still imported hundreds of puppy mill puppies from the Midwest in order to continue doing business. This not only put the store employees in danger, but the customers and cross-country transporters as well. We researched this dangerous cross-county transports during the height of the pandemic. You can view our findings here

 

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For more ways you can help the dogs trapped in puppy mills, click here.

For more information, please visit our main Facebook page Bailing Out Benji . We also have educational materials that you can print to hang up in your own area.

©Bailing Out Benji 2020

All research and information was done by the volunteer team at Bailing Out Benji and must be cited as such when shared or quoted.

 

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

To make a donation or learn about other ways to support our efforts, click the image above
To receive action alerts and updates on our efforts, click the image above

 

Follow us on social media and get involved in the fight to #EndPuppyMills 

 

Buyer Beware: Blue Ribbon Puppies

©Bailing Out Benji 2020
All research and information was done by the volunteer team at Bailing Out Benji  and must be cited as such when shared or quoted!
To view the rest of our CVI data, 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, 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 obtaining government documents that track puppies from breeder to broker to pet store, so the public has a fighting chance to do their research before they buy a puppy.

In this case, we have requested those government documents, Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVIs),  on notorious dog broker Levi Graber of Blue Ribbon Puppies in Odon, Indiana. Graber not only sells puppies to pet stores all over the country, but he was the epicenter of the campylobacter outbreak that was investigated by the Centers for Disease Control. Campylobacter is a zoonotic disease that passes from dogs to humans and can result in hospitalization. You can read more from the CDC here and here.  Blue Ribbon Puppies was also named one of the worst puppy mills in the nation because they were the source of the outbreak. 

To view our puppy mill maps, click here. 

 

 

The tricky part with the secretive puppy mill industry is that the CVIs are only needed when a puppy is crossing state lines. So Blue Ribbon Puppies’ name is on those documents when a pet store gets the puppy- and rarely the name of the actual breeder. Customers and the state are rarely informed as to where the puppy actually originated. This is where we come in! Below you will find a list of all of the known facilities that Levi Graber sources from before they broker the puppies to pet stores from coast to coast. ( Please note: we won’t see any of the Indiana breeders that Graber sources from, because CVIs weren’t required for the initial transfer). 

As of right now, we have record of Blue Ribbon Puppies selling to pet stores in the following states: IllinoisMassachusetts, New YorkNevadaWisconsin, MichiganFloridaRhode Island, New HampshireColorado, MaineKansas, and Georgia

Below you will find a list of Missouri and Iowa breeders and puppy mills that Blue Ribbon Puppies sourced from in  2019 and 2020 organized by state that the puppies originated in. All of this data is backed up by government health records (CVIs) 

To view our interactive website and puppy mill maps, click here. To view our pet store research by state, click here


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To view our puppy mill maps, click here. 

Iowa

Levi Graber imported over 4,000 puppies from the state of Iowa in 2019 from the following facilities: 

  1. Adin Lambright, Bloomfield Iowa- 23 adult breeding cats and 27 kittens with a history of violations including: cats with eye discharge and swelling of eyes. *regular supplier* 
  2. Brian Felton. Centerville, Iowa- 20 adult breeding dogs, 21 puppies. 
  3. Daryl and MIldred Kendrick, Bluebird Hill Kennel. Bloomfield, Iowa- 12 adult breeding dogs, 11 puppies. 
  4. David and Anna Nisley, Cedar Grove Kennels. Drakesville, Iowa- 22 adult breeding dogs and 33 puppies with a history of violations including: emaciated dogs who are nursing litters without medical attention, use of expired medications. They also change their license number to avoid violations. *major supplier*
  5. Chris Kauffman. Moulton, Iowa- 31 adult breeding dogs and 8 puppies with recent violations including: an excessive buildup of feces where the majority of the floors are covered with more than a week’s worth of fecal matter. *major supplier*
  6. Marvin and Rosemary Mullet, Clover Ridge Kennel AKA Rosen Mary Kennels.  Corydon, Iowa- 96 adult breeding dogs and 36 puppies. This breeder also cancelled their former license (Rosen Mary Kennels) and started this new one in order to hide their long list of violations including: dogs with cloudy eyes, rusted kennels, expired medications used on dogs, medications not meant for dogs being used on them.  *Major supplier* 
  7. Daniel D Yoder. Bloomfield, Iowa- 11 adult breeding dogs. Yoder changes their USDA license often. *regular supplier*
  8. Daniel Kauffman, Dee Kay Bulldogs.  Bloomfield, Iowa- 16 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier* 
  9. David D Kauffman, Country Lane Kennels. Moulton, Iowa- 6 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier* 
  10. David F/E Lee. Cincinnati, Iowa- 88 adult breeding dogs, 26 puppies. Has operated breeding facilities in at least three states. *major supplier* 
  11. David Troyer, Breezy Crest Kennels. Bloomfield, Iowa- 54 adult breeding dogs, 34 puppies.  *major supplier* 
  12. Jeremy Rodgers, Daynes Ridge Kennel LLC. Moravia- Iowa- 23 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier* 
  13. Eddie and Rosemary Gingerich. Bloomfield, Iowa- 22 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier* 
  14. Eli D and Laura Schrock, Hillview Kennels. Drakesville, Iowa- 19 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier* 
  15. Edna and Eli W Gingerich. Drakesville, Iowa- 11 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier. 
  16. Elias H Mast, Shady Ridge Kennels. Bloomfield, Iowa-48 adult breeding dogs, 22 puppies. *major supplier* 
  17. Emily DeJong. Moravia, Iowa- 7 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier* 
  18. Erwin J Yoder, Yoder Kennels. Bloomfield, Iowa- 39 adult breeding dogs and 17 puppies. *major supplier* 
  19. Fred L Borntrager, Clear View Kennel. Seymour, Iowa- 40 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier* 
  20. Harley Yoder. Chariton, Iowa- 40 adult breeding dogs and 40 puppies. *major supplier*
  21. Henry and Lisa Byler. Seymour, Iowa- 41 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier*
  22. Ida Kauffman. Hazleton, Iowa- 18 adult breeding dogs. 
  23. James E and Sarah Yoder, Taylor Ridge Kennels. Bloomfield, Iowa- 63 adult breeding dogs with a history of violations including: using expired medications and having a severe fly problem in their kennels. They operate under two separate licenses. *major supplier* 
  24. John Andrew Yoder, Brookside Kennels. Bloomfield, Iowa- 11 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier*
  25. Kenneth L Miller, Ramsey Creek Farm. Kalona, Iowa- 44 adult breeding dogs. 
  26. Mark Yoder, Acorn Ridge. Bloomfield, Iowa- 53 adult breeding dogs, 32 puppies. *major supplier*
  27. Marvin E Yoder. Moulton, Iowa- 22 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier* 
  28. Marvin Nisley. Seymour, Iowa- 64 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier* 
  29. Melvin G and Mary Yoder. Seymour, Iowa- 46 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier* 
  30. Melvin Miller, Windy Knoll Kennel. Cincinnati, Iowa- 37 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier* 
  31. Melvin Nisley. Seymour, Iowa- 41 adult breeding dogs and 53 puppies. *regular supplier* 
  32. Levi Yoder, Oak Ridge Kennel. Seymour, Iowa- 55 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier* 
  33. Samuel and Clara Mast, Howling Hill Kennels. Bloomfield, Iowa- 16 adult breeding dogs and 33 puppies. *major supplier*
  34. Vernon Troyer and Joseph Troyer, Shadow Valley LLC AKA Echo Valley Kennels. Bloomfield, Iowa- 93 adult breeding dogs and 45 puppies. *major supplier*
  35. Stephen Schrock, Shady Lawn Kennels. Bloomfield, Iowa- 36 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier*
  36. Ivan Troyer, Stoney Creek Kennel LLC. Bloomfield, Iowa- 43 adult breeding dogs and 49 puppies. *major supplier*
  37. Levi and Esther D Schlabach, That’ll Do Kennel. Seymour, Iowa- 19 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier* 
  38. Eli Gingerich, Trail End Acres FKA Midwest Newfoundland LLC. Winterset, Iowa- 35 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier*
  39. Larry Yoder and Nelson Yoder, Triple Y Kennels. Bloomfield, Iowa- 30 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier* 
  40. Vernon Kauffman. Drakesville, Iowa- 13 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier* 
  41. Edwin Stutzman, Walnut Ridge Kennel. Corydon, Iowa- 65 adult breeding dogs. *major supplier* 
  42. Aaron Kropf. Lorimor, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.  
  43. Aden Troyer. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.  
  44. Allan Helmuth. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.  
  45. Alta Daniels. Centerville, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.  
  46. Andy Nisley. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.  
  47. Ayrand Robinson. Centerville, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.  
  48. Dale Troyer. Moulton, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.  
  49. David E Bontrager. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.   *regular supplier* 
  50. David W Bontrager. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier* 
  51. David Packnett. Afton, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.   *regular supplier* 
  52. Elizabeth Schooley. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  53. Enos R Detweiler. Drakesville, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  54. Everett and Ryan Miller. Kalona, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier*
  55. Firman Miller. Seymour, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  56. Lonnie and Harley Gingerich. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  57. Harvey Byler. Seymour, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  58. Howard Yoder. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  59. Joel Swartzentruber. Afton, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier* 
  60. Kenneth Schrock. Drakesville, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  61. John D Gingerich. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  62. Justin Yutzy. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  63. Larry Yoder. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  64. Marcie Benge. Floris, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  65. Margaret Huff. Keosauqua, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  66. Timothy and Marlin and Nathaniel Gingerich. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier*
  67. Marvin Mast. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier*
  68. Mervin Ezra Yoder. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier*
  69. Nathan Miller. Pulaski, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  70. Nelson Yoder. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  71. Norman Lee Mast. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  72. Norman Nisley. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  73. Orlie Yoder. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier* 
  74. Patty And Marty Brown. Moravia, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier* 
  75. Raymond D Yoder. Bloomfield, Iowa-  is an unlicensed breeder.
  76. Robert Sommers. Cincinnati, Iowa-  is an unlicensed breeder.
  77. Ron and Patty Self. Unionville, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier* 
  78. Timothy L Gingerich. Drakesville, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier* 
  79. Wayne and Lucy Gingerich. Seymour, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  80. Wayne and Lucy Gingerich. Seymour, Iowa (different address)- is an unlicensed breeder.
  81. Wayne Troyer. Moulton, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier* 
  82. Wilbur Nisley. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.
  83. Will Yoder. Bloomfield, Iowa- is an unlicensed breeder.

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To view our puppy mill maps, click here. 

 

Missouri

Levi Graber imported over 2500 puppies from the state of Missouri in 2019 from the following facilities:

  1. Daniel Yoder, Yoder Kennel. Princeton, Missouri- 159 adult breeding dogs, 90 puppies. *major supplier* 
  2. Randall and Sheree Bonnette. Chillicothe, Missouri- 149 adult breeding dogs, 61 puppies. 
  3. Pam Wilson. Gallatin, Missouri- 39 adult breeding dogs, 8 puppies. This breeder has skipped her last two inspections and was named one of the worst puppy mills in the nation, twice.  *regular supplier* 
  4. Ura Troyer, Countryside Kennel. Bethany, Missouri- 106 adult breeding dogs, 69 puppies. *major supplier* 
  5. Betty S Fetters, Fetters Furry Friends. Novinger, Missouri- 123 adult breeding dogs, 78 puppies. *major supplier* 
  6. Leroy Yoder. Princeton, Missouri- 78 adult breeding dogs, 70 puppies. *major supplier* 
  7. Alvin Jay Mullett, Prairie View Kennels. West Plains, Missouri- 68 adult breeding dogs, 59 puppies. *major supplier* 
  8. Rhoda and Stephen Detweiler, Timberline Kennel. Princeton, Missouri- 50 adult breeding dogs, 29 puppies. *major supplier* 
  9. Samuel and Rachel Mast. Trenton, Missouri- 40 adult breeding dogs and 23 puppies. * major supplier* 
  10. Jonathan Detweiler, Shady Oak Frenchies LLC. Princeton, Missouri- 58 adult breeding dogs, 74 puppies. 
  11. Sam and Jacob Schwartz, Autumn View Farm. La Plata, Missouri- 38 adult breeding dogs, 19 puppies. Has changed their USDA number at least 5 times. *major supplier* 
  12. Chris Gingerich, Falcon Acres. Jamesport, Missouri- 12 adult breeding dogs, 17 puppies. *major supplier* 
  13. Dale and Janet Lovland, Loveland Kennel. Macon, Missouri- 17 adult breeding dogs, 6 puppies. * major supplier* 
  14. Devon Schlabach, Honey Locust Kennel. Princeton, Missouri- 41 adult breeding dogs, 18 puppies. * major supplier* 
  15. Duane Schlabach , Joseph and Leroy Detweiler; Cedar View Kennel AKA Sunset Ridge. Princeton, Missouri- 31 adult breeding dogs, 39 puppies. * major supplier* 
  16. Leon and Esther Troyer. Jamesport, Missouri- 66 adult breeding dogs, 15 puppies. * major supplier* 
  17. Karli and Sandra Provorse, Phantom Hollow Kennel. Trenton, Missouri- 24 adult breeding dogs, 6 puppies. * major supplier* 
  18. Anna Mae Good, Playful Puppies. Rutledge, Missouri- 88 adult breeding dogs, 44 puppies. 
  19. Velma and Steven Kurtz. Jamesport, Missouri- 16 adult breeding dogs, 29 puppies. *regular supplier* 
  20. Reuben Yutzy, Little Paw Kennels. Jamesport, Missouri- 47 adult breeding dogs, 47 puppies. *regular supplier* 
  21. Elmer Bontrager, Bon Acres. Mount Vernon, Missouri- 41 adult breeding dogs, 17 puppies with recent violations including: gaps and holes in the kennel flooring where the dogs’ feet can pass through. 
  22. Samuel W Miller, Echo Ridge Kennel. Bethany, Missouri- 35 adult breeding dogs, 15 puppies. 
  23. Melvin Yoder, Pondview Kennel LLC. Greentop, Missouri- 28 adult breeding dogs, 22 puppies. *regular supplier* 
  24. Jonas L Hostetler. Jamesport, Missouri- 10 adult breeding dogs. *regular supplier* 
  25. Kathie Detweiler , Delbert Beechy, Detweilers Dogs. Jamesport, Missouri- 11 adult breeding dogs, 27 puppies. *regular supplier* 
  26. Ida Graber and Sue Beechy. Jamesport, Missouri- 8 breeding cats. 
  27. Elam and Rachel Bradenburger, Kuntry Pups Kennel LLC. Queen City, Missouri- 39 adult breeding dogs, 27 puppies. 
  28. John Troyer. Bethany, Missouri- does not hold a USDA license, is state licensed. 
  29. Aaron Hostetler. Jamesport, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  30. Amanda Coffman. Princeton, Missouri-is an unlicensed breeder.
  31. Ammon Hershberger. Spickard, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  32. Andy Zook. Spickard Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  33. Benjamin Brummit. Unionville, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  34. Bill Johnston AKA Johnathan Bill . Mount Vernon, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  35. Ethan, Raymond and Luanna Yoder. Unionville, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  36. Jerry Stutzman. Spickard, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  37. Jim Foster. Shelbina, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  38. Jonas Hershberger. Spickard, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  39. Justin Horst. Edina, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  40. Katie Hershberger. Spickard, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  41. Kevin Martin. Downing, Missouri-is an unlicensed breeder.
  42. Mary Ella Burkholder. Baring, Missouri-is an unlicensed breeder.
  43. Michael Hansen. Worthington, Missouri-is an unlicensed breeder.
  44. Miriam Kramer. Jamesport, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  45. Mose Slabaugh. Spickard, Missouri-is an unlicensed breeder. *regular supplier* 
  46. Paul Sommers. Unionville, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  47. Randy Craig. Novinger, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  48. Ricki Higgins. Greentop, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  49. Rudy and Kathryn Kurtz. Jamesport, Missouri-is an unlicensed breeder.
  50. Ruth Hoover. Rutledge, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.
  51. Toby Hershberger. Spickard, Missouri- is an unlicensed breeder.*regular supplier* 

———————————

Once Levi Graber  (the broker) receives the puppies, they are then resold and transported up to 25 hours in the backs of semis and transport vans to pet stores all over the country. All before the puppy is even 9 weeks old. To view the rest of our pet store research, click here.

To put an end to this cruel industry, we must stop putting money into the pockets of the businesses that are fueling puppy mills. Don’t shop at pet stores that sell puppies and don’t buy a puppy online or through a newspaper without meeting the parents first.

©Bailing Out Benji 2020
All research and information was done by the volunteer team at Bailing Out Benji  and must be cited as such when shared or quoted!

 

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

To help us continue exposing pet stores and puppy mills, please make a tax deductible donation today.

Follow us on social media and get involved in the fight to #EndPuppyMills !

 

 

 

** To those consumers that have bought a family member from a pet store or a questionable breeder, and are wondering about their actual background -please feel free to fill out the form below with any questions or paperwork that you have and we will confidentially research the breeder your pup came from.

No Pet Store Puppies Day!

Each year on July 21st, Bailing Out Benji celebrates “No Pet Store Puppies Day” and this year we are asking all of you to celebrate with us! 

Photos from our 2016 protest in Ames, Iowa.

As you already know, Bailing Out Benji committed to ending the sale of commercially bred puppies, kittens and rabbits in pet stores! Through research, education and local ordinances we are ending the puppy mill to pet store pipeline, which is causing many puppy mills to greatly downsize and even close.  July 21st is National “No Pet Store Puppies Day” and it is a day meant to educate your friends and family about where pet store puppies actually come from. This is also the perfect opportunity to remind everyone that you should boycott buying toys, food or other supplies from stores that sell puppies. 

Puppy Mills are a huge problem in this country. With documented cruelty and neglect regularly occurring inside of thousands of “licensed and inspected facilities”, the answer falls on the public to demand change. The adult breeding dogs are often living in small, oversized, wire kennels with little-to-no veterinary care. They aren’t able to run and play on the grass, play with toys or even have a sleeping area that is clean from their urine and feces. Once their puppies are 5-7 weeks old, they are taken away and prepped to be sold to pet stores or online websites. Once the public learns about this cruel connection and stop demanding the puppies, the mills will go out of business once and for all. 

Today we are asking YOU to put “No Pet Store Puppies Day”  on your calendar and help us flood social media (and the real world) with our message that puppies, kittens and rabbits should not be sold in a retail setting! 

Here are a few easy things you can do to help: 

  1. On July 21st, post a selfie of you wearing our “Say to NO Pet Store Puppies” shirt on social media using the hashtags #NoPetStorePuppies #BailingOutBenji and #EndPuppyMills  . If you don’t have a shirt yet, you can buy one here.  50% of each sale comes back to help us fight the cruel puppy mill industry! 
  2. Help us educate about where pet store puppies really come from by sharing our store-specific research. We are committed to exposing pet stores across the country by linking them to the exact facilities they are sourcing from. 
  3. Where applicable, email your city council and ask them to pass a humane ordinance! We will help with the language and educational materials. 
  4. Share our family-friendly PSAs and help us educate the public about where to humanely acquire a pet! We have one version about supply and demand and another about puppy mills and where they sell to. 
  5. Submit a Letter to the Editor in your local paper to help raise awareness about puppy mills and their connection to pet stores and online websites. Here is a draft that you can copy and paste or use for inspiration: LTE- No Pet Store Puppies Day 
  6. Make a donation in honor of the puppy mill dogs still trapped. Help us continue our important work fighting this cruel industry! 

 

To make a donation or learn about other ways to support our efforts, click the image above

The animals trapped in puppy mills (and kitten mills, rabbit mills, etc) are counting on us today and every day in order to create a better world for them. Thank you so much for your ongoing support and for helping us make this the biggest No Pet Store Puppy Day ever!

For more educational resources about the puppy mill industry: 

What is a puppy mill? 

What does the USDA have to do with puppy mills? 

Where are puppy mills located? 

Where does my local pet store get its puppies from? 

Predatory lending and pet stores. 

More ways you can help the dogs trapped in puppy mills. 

Contact us about getting more involved. 

 

To receive action alerts and updates on our efforts, click the image above

 

Follow us on social media and get involved in the fight to #EndPuppyMills 

 

Firework Safety

Fireworks can be incredibly stressful on our pets, as well as wildlife. The days leading up to and following the Fourth of July are very busy for shelters and rescues, as many pets become startled and lost due to the loud noises and flashing lights. With your help, we can keep the pets in your community safe and with their families this firework season. 

To keep your pets safe, follow our five simple steps outlined below! 

1. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and has a tag with your current contact information. If your pet ever becomes lost, a tag with your phone number is the quickest way to get them home as soon as they are found! Tags that have old phone numbers on it make it harder to get your beloved pet back home. 

2.  Update your pet’s microchip information. When a pet is found without tags, they are often scanned for a microchip. It is very important to keep this information up-to-date as well. If your pet is not microchipped, consider contacting your veterinarian to get this simple procedure done. Microchips help reunite families in the case that their collars are removed or the tag information is not up to date. 

3. Make sure your fence is secure. Keeping your pets inside during fireworks is very important in keeping them safe, but sometimes your neighbors will set them off unannounced. Make sure that your fence is secure and any escape routes are fixed. If your pet lives outside, please consider bringing them in to your home while fireworks are going off. 

4. Contact your veterinarian to refill anxiety medications. If your pet is in severe distress during storms and fireworks, have a conversation with your veterinarian about potential medications they can prescribe to help keep your pet calm. 

5. Get a quiet area prepared. Turn on the TV, get a comfy pet bed and help keep your best friend distracted during the height of the fireworks. 

If you find a lost pet, call the name on their tag and try to get them home. If the pet does not have a tag, contact your local shelter or veterinary clinic to get them scanned for a microchip. If you post a photo to social media, please make sure the family has proof the pet is theirs before reuniting them. 

 

We can’t do our important work without your help. 

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

 

To make a donation or learn about other ways to support our efforts, click the image above

To receive action alerts and updates on our efforts, click the image above

Follow us on social media and get involved in the fight to #EndPuppyMills !  

 

Covid-19 and Puppy Mills

Copyright Bailing Out Benji 2020 

All research was done by Bailing Out Benji and must be cited as such. 

Written by Mindi Callison, Founder and Executive Director of Bailing Out Benji. 

 

While the pandemic has shut most of the world down, it came as no surprise to us that the pet store and puppy mill industry was still booming. Pet stores were deemed essential and, because of that, puppy-selling stores found room to keep importing and selling puppies to the public. Due to the sheer number of stores that were still open, we filed FOIA requests with the Department of Agriculture in Iowa, Missouri and New York to see just how many puppies were being sold to states that had been hit the hardest by Covid-19. 

Keep in mind: we did a limited FOIA request on puppies coming into the hotbed states leaving only Iowa and Missouri. This is not the full amount of puppies leaving or entering these states during the pandemic and does not reflect all pet store imports across the country. 

The records we obtained show that 878 puppies left Missouri and 1103 puppies left Iowa during a six week period from the end of February to the end of March. This means that almost 2,000 puppies left MO and IA and traveled to pet stores in New York, Washington, New Jersey, Idaho and California. 

Picture taken by the Paramus Police Department after 67 puppy mill puppies were rescued from an unmanned van parked in freezing temperatures. 2016

Why is this concerning?

For weeks, government and health officials have been telling the public to limit their travel and only go out for essential items in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Businesses have been closed, families have been put out of work, all for the greater good to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Puppy mills, puppy brokers and pet stores have no issue disregarding public health in order for profit.

These weekly transports from the Midwest traveling to the hotspot states are not only non-essential, but they are dangerous. For puppies leaving Missouri and heading to New York, the transport drivers cross 7 states and drive for almost 20 hours (approx. 1,243 miles) . For puppies leaving Iowa and heading to Washington, the transport drivers cross through 5 states and drive for 26 hours (approx. 1,672 miles). These times do not include the drivers stopping for gas, food, to sleep or to make stops at puppy stores along the way. This reckless behavior puts countless people at risk from the citizens they encounter on the way, to the employees and customers of these puppy-selling stores. It is also extremely important to note that Midwest states like Iowa and Missouri are behind the slope of the Covid-19 crisis, meaning the states have not yet reached their peak and cases are climbing each day. The transport companies and puppy mills are putting Midwest citizens at a higher risk for contracting the disease by bringing it back from these hotbed states.

Puppies for sale in a pet store

New York State

New York has been the hardest hit area for Covid-19 in the United States, with 319,000 positive cases and nearly 20,000 deaths. This did not prevent nearly 50 New York puppy-selling stores from importing 1,121 puppies from Iowa and Missouri during the peak coronavirus times. These weekly transports brought on average 186 puppies to all of these stores. Our volunteer team filed complaints with the New York Attorney General and the Governor of New York State and while pet sales are not considered essential, there is no order preventing these stores from importing from Midwest states. To view our breakdown of NY stores and the puppy mills they buy from, click here

Washington State

Washington State had the first known case of the coronavirus in the United States and citizens have been on strict orders to stay at home to prevent the spread. Even though the state has over 15,462 confirmed cases and 841 deaths, the puppy-selling stores still chose to keep their doors open and import 433 puppies from Iowa and Missouri. Our volunteers filed complaints with the Washington State Auditor who deemed puppy-sales nonessential and encouraged us to file complaints with the local agencies. Both the Pierce County Animal Control and the Olympia Police Department agreed with the Auditor and encouraged the two pet stores to stop selling puppies. The stores have defied those orders and are continuing to do business as usual. Since being ordered to close, Puppyland and Puppyworld have imported 105 additional puppies into their stores. To view our research on Washington pet stores and the puppy mills they buy from, click here.

New Jersey

New Jersey is another hotbed state for the coronavirus, with positive cases totaling 128,000 so far and 7,910 deaths. These high numbers are not enough to stop 17 pet stores in the state of New Jersey from importing 227 puppies from Iowa and Missouri in the month of March. We filed complaints with the New Jersey Attorney General regarding these dangerous cross-country transports but there is no order deeming this practice as nonessential. To view our research on the New Jersey pet stores that source puppies from puppy mills, click here

California

California citizens have been on “safe at home” orders for several weeks now, because their positive cases have reached over 55,000. Many businesses were ordered to close in order to protect Californians, but the puppy-selling stores chose not to comply. Which isn’t surprising to us because many of these stores have been involved in the puppy-laundering scheme wherein they break the state law by selling puppy mill puppies under the guise of “rescue”. Our research into these Covid-19 transports proved very interesting for us. Not only are the stores putting themselves and their customers in danger by importing almost 100 puppies and having transport companies drive 26 hours through 7 states, but they are buying directly from puppy mills, which is against state law. Our volunteers filed complaints with the California Governor’s office who deemed puppy sales as nonessential and ordered those businesses to close! Because we have solid proof these stores are breaking California State law, we are also working on enforcement of the law and making sure these stores are properly fined.

Idaho

Outside of the FOIA request we filed, we also received records on one pet store in the state of Idaho. Our records show that the pet store in Meridian imported 131 puppies during the pandemic and all of those puppies came from JAKS puppies, the puppy broker that was investigated for charity fraud by the state of Iowa. While their fake rescues were ordered to close down and were fined, JAKS is operating as usual and is still shipping puppies all over the country during the pandemic.

The minimum cage requirements of puppies or dogs in USDA facilities is 6 inches around the body. This image is from the USDA site.

The Puppy Mills

On top of tracking which pet stores the puppies are going to, we keep diligent records on which breeders the dogs came from. Again, it was no surprise to us that some of the worst puppy mills in the nation were the facilities who were sending puppies to those hard-hit states. More than 100 facilities in Iowa and Missouri sent puppies to the states mentioned above. Many of them have hundreds of adult breeding dogs and a history of violations. 

Tiffanie’s LLC, a dog broker out of Frankford, Missouri, was one of those sending facilities. Owner Tiffanie Kurz was named a Horrible Hundred Puppy Mill in 2019 after a state inspector found that 35 puppies at her facility had died of Parvo in a six month period. Tiffanie’s LLC supplies puppies to pet stores in at least 11 different states, including almost 500 puppies to stores in the states mentioned above during the height of the coronavirus. 

JAKS Puppies, is a 2019 Horrible Hundred Puppy Mill and they were recently investigated and sued by the Iowa Attorney General. JAKS sent upwards of 600 puppies to pet stores in states hit hard with the coronavirus. This puppy broker also sells to pet stores in at least 12 states. 

The Transport Companies

The biggest focus of this piece is that these cross-country transports are not only nonessential, but they are putting countless people in danger because of the coronavirus. Some might argue that the transport companies have protocols they follow regarding cleanliness and sanitation, but history proves that isn’t the case. Not only have many of these puppy mill transport companies made the news because of their lack of care for the puppies in-transit, but they have also been in trouble with the USDA and have been named Horrible Hundred Puppy Mills. 

Hakuna Matata Transports out of New Sharon, Iowa is owned and operated by notorious puppy mill owner Debra Pratt. Pratt had her USDA breeding license revoked after 19 pages of violations. After that, she auctioned off more than 200 dogs, many of whom tested positive for the very contagious disease, brucellosis. Shortly after, the USDA allowed Pratt to start a transport company and house puppies at her facility. Hakuna Matata Transports makes weekly trips to deliver puppies to these hotbed states at the height of the coronavirus. 

Puppy Travelers, owned by Kallie and Josh Bateman, is another transport company that has been in hot water because of their transport practices. In 2018, 24 puppies had to be rescued from their transport vehicle after investigators found them in small cages covered in urine and feces. They were headed to Petland stores in Florida. Puppy Travelers operates under at least 11 different company names and were listed as a Horrible Hundred Puppy Mill in 2018. While they supply puppies to pet stores in 11 states that we have record of, they are making weekly transports to states hit hardest by the coronavirus. 

The USDA

On March 27, 2020 the USDA sent out an email to their stakeholders, stating that they would no longer being holding normal inspections and licensed facilities across the country due to the coronavirus. The only way they would inspect a facility is due to a “serious animal welfare concern.” Our volunteers emailed the USDA to see if they were going to temporarily stop cross-country companion animal transports for the same reason, and we did not receive a response.

In Closing

Our volunteers not only worked tirelessly to comb through these records so we can share the data with you, but we also filed numerous complaints across the country to try and stop these practices. In the state of Colorado, for example, there was an order in place that stopped all importation of companion animals. While rescues and shelters followed the order, almost every Colorado puppy-selling still imported puppies from other states. All of the stores were reported to local agencies and were ordered to stop importing puppies. Note: the import order and since been lifted. Pet stores in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Texas and other states are all still importing and selling puppies to the public– even during this pandemic.

It isn’t a surprise to us that these businesses do not care about the health or well-being of their customers or employees during a pandemic. Many of these puppy-selling stores have been linked to the zoonotic disease, Campylobacter, which passes from puppies to humans. Campylobacter has caused hospitalization in some people and prompted a CDC investigationinto the stores where numerous people tested positive for the disease and became ill. These CDC investigations are still ongoing, as more customers and employees are coming forward after becoming infected with the disease. 

At this time, there is no way of tracking how many people have or will contract the coronavirus due to coming in contact with these puppy-selling stores or the transport companies involved. 

In order to help the dogs trapped in puppy mills, we have to keep educating consumers on where to humanely acquire pets. Buying through a pet store or an online website that ships to you is the quickest way to support this cruel industry.  Learn more about puppy mills and what we are doing to fight and expose them here

Written by Mindi Callison, Founder and Executive Director of Bailing Out Benji. 

Copyright Bailing Out Benji 2020 

All research was done by Bailing Out Benji and must be cited as such. 

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

To make a donation or learn about other ways to support our efforts, click the image above

For more information or media requests, please fill out the form below: 

 
To receive action alerts and updates on our efforts, click the image above

 

Follow us on social media and get involved in the fight to #EndPuppyMills 

 

Bailing Out Benji: 2019 in Review

2019 has been an amazing year! Thanks in large part to your support, we have been able to celebrate many successes for the dogs trapped in puppy mills across the country. We wanted to highlight as many of those successes with you as we look ahead at 2020! 

If you are able, please consider making a year-end donation to support our work! 

 

2019 “Person to Watch”In January of this year, our founder was named one of the Des Moines Register’s  “2019 People to Watch”  because of her leadership with Bailing Out Benji. Mindi Callison founded BOB when she was 21 years old in Ames, Iowa and in the last few years has expanded to 23 states in the US. Our volunteers work tirelessly across the country to educate about the cruel puppy mill industry and create change in their communities for the dogs still trapped. 

Ag Gag Law Struck Down in Iowa– We have been involved in a lawsuit against the state of Iowa since 2017 in order to overturn the Ag Gag law because it infringes on our first amendment right. We were thrilled when we won the suit in January of this year, however the state of Iowa rushed to pass a nearly identical law in order to give special protection the animal production industry. Alongside the ACLU and ALDF, as well as other plaintiffs, we filed a second lawsuit against Ag Gag 2.0 and were thrilled when the Iowa courts announced that Ag Gag laws couldn’t be enforced while the lawsuits are ongoing. This is a huge win for the animal in Iowa, who will no longer be invisible within puppy mills and other animal agricultural facilities.

 

 

Research Uncovered Sham Rescues; Results in Investigations-  As you know, Bailing Out Benji focuses heavily on researching the puppy mill industry in ways that set us apart from other advocacy organizations. We track CVIs from puppy mills and link them to the pet stores they are selling too. Through this research we have been able to expose several puppy mills-turned-rescue : Hobo K9 Rescue, Rescue Pets Iowa , Pet Connect RescueThese businesses exist to launder puppies from puppy mills through a shell “rescue” group, in order for those puppies to be sold in cities and states where laws prevent commercially bred puppies from being sold. Again, we partnered with the ALDF and sued a chain of pet stores and the fake rescues they are using. Because of our lawsuit, the chain of California stores have closed down (as have several others), Rescue Pets Iowa has closed and we have assisted the Iowa Attorney General in their investigation into the fake Iowa rescues for charity fraud. Our research has created a domino effect of awareness and activism across the country and we will be focusing on this issue a lot in 2020. 

 

If you are able, please consider making a year-end donation to support our work! 

Bailing Out Benji Featured on Animal Planet- This year we were honored to, again, partner with Panda Paws Rescue to raise awareness about the puppy mill industry on their Animal Planet TV show “Amanda to the Rescue” . In both Season 1 and Season 2 we were able to showcase midwest puppy mill survivors and educate a worldwide audience about this cruel industry. 

 

Millions of People Learned About Puppy Mills- None of this would be possible without the countless hours our volunteers have put in across the country. By hosting over 350 educational events, hundreds of pet store protests and almost 100 educational seminars, our small-but-mighty nonprofit has educated millions of people and gave them the tools they need to fight puppy mills in their own community. We are the country’s leading grassroots, nonprofit organization that is focused solely on fighting the puppy mill industry and our work is held in high regard and is used by other animal welfare nonprofits. 

 

 

First-Ever Nationwide Movie Theater Campaign- At the end of every year we turn our attention to creating public service announcements that will reach the puppy-buying public ahead of the Holiday shopping season. This year we took our animated PSA and turned it into a movie theater commercial. With the help of area organizations such as Safe Pets for Joliet, Humane Naperville, Virginia Pawsitivaty and Spay/Neuter Arkansas, we were able to educate close to 2 million people with our 21 theater locations (and hundreds of screens) as well as 11 billboards. 

If you are able, please consider making a year-end donation to support our work! 

 

Animated PSA Wins National Award- In early 2019 we released our animated PSA in both English and Spanish. Little did we know that the PSA would be nominated and selected to win  the 2019 “Professional Choice Award” by the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement and Hill’s Pet Nutrition for our animated PSA! It is an amazing honor that is given to one PSA each year. 

 

 

More Retail Bans Passed- 2019 was another huge year for the puppy mill dogs and the advocates who fight for them. Over 45 humane ordinances have been passed this year which prevent pet stores from being able to sell commercially bred puppies and kittens. Our volunteers and our research have been crucial in passing many of these bans. Our pet store research and puppy mill search engine have helped countless advocates and citizens get physical proof on the puppy mill industry to use in their own communities. 

 

In The News- Our volunteer teams have been working hard all over the country to create big change for the puppy mill dogs. Below you will find a few headlines that you may have missed! 

Nebraska Dog Breeders are on the Decline

Rock Island to Block Retail Puppy Mill Puppies

Holliston Pet Shop Closes Due to Puppy Mill Allegations

Davenport Group Protests Pet Stores

Iowa Department of Agriculture Seeks New Regulations

Local Organization Helps Stranded Animal Rescue Transport

Puyallup Area Puppy Mill Regulations 

In 2020 we will be even more focused on fighting the puppy mill industry through research, education and activism. We will be able to build upon all of these successes and push for even more oversight on the pet store/puppy mill industry across the country. With your support, we can continue our important work. Can we count on you, so the puppy mill dogs can count on us? 

To make a one time donation or to sign up to be a sustaining supporter, which will allow us to continue our various programs that expose the puppy mill industry, click the donate button below.

To receive action alerts and updates on our efforts, click the image above

Follow us on social media and get involved in the fight to #EndPuppyMills !  

 

 

 

2019 Holiday Puppy Mill Awareness PSAs

Every Holiday Season (and all year long)  Bailing Out Benji works tirelessly to raise awareness about the pet store/puppy mill connection. This is the busiest time of year for pet stores and puppy mills, because the public makes decisions with their hearts and they don’t do the proper research. 

This is why we turn our focus to creating big public PSAs over the Holidays. We take our message straight to the public in hopes of stopping potential puppy buyers before they give their money to a very cruel industry. 2019 is our biggest year yet for educational PSAs and we couldn’t be happier! We took our animated PSA and turned it into a commercial to be played in movie theaters across the country! Below you will find the locations of where our ads and billboards will be. 

* We might also be adding to this list based on donations and support * 

If you are interested in donating to our current PSA fundraiser, you can do so here. We can’t continue doing all that we do without your support. 

THEATER ADS: 

These 60 second ads will play before every single movie in the theaters below, from Black Friday to the New Year. We also have educational posters in each of these locations! These ads alone will reach over ONE MILLION PEOPLE next month. With hits like Frozen 2, Jumanji 2 and the latest Star Wars movie- we are reaching a wide variety of consumers. You can view our  our animated PSA here or in person at any of the following theaters:

ILLINOIS: 

St Clair 10 Cinema- Fairview Heights, IL 

Hollywood Palms Cinema- Naperville, IL 

IOWA: 

Sycamore Cinema- Iowa City, IA 

Century 20 Jordan Creek Cinema- Des Moines, IA 

Legacy 3 theater- Shenandoah, IA 

Royal 3 Theatre- Le Mars, IA 

MINNESOTA: 

Safari Cinema- Moorhead, MN 

Rochester Galaxy 14 + IMAX – Rochester, MN 

MISSOURI: 

Eagles Landing 8 Cinema- Lake Ozark, MO 

NEBRASKA: 

Edgewood Cinema- Lincoln, NE 

Askarben 10 Theater- Omaha, NE 

Pioneer 3 Theater- Nebraska City, NE 

New Jersey:These ads will run:  12/20-12/26

AMC Garden State 16: Paramus Mall Theater. Paramus, NJ

AMC Mountainside 10. Mountainside, NJ

VIRGINIA – These ads will run: 11/20- 12/5 and 12/20-12/26

Fairfax Corner 14- Fairfax, VA 

Fredericksburg 14- Fredericksburg, VA

Valley View Grande Stadium 16- Roanoke, VA

Legacy Theaters- Staunton, VA 

WISCONSIN: 

Campus Ripon Cinema- Ripon, WI 

Ho-Chunk Cinema- Tomah, WI 

Southgate Cinema- Milwaukee, WI 

If you are interested in donating to our current PSA fundraiser, you can do so here. We can’t continue doing all that we do without your support. 

 

BILLBOARDS: 

We are also putting billboards up in strategic areas across the country. These billboards will be placed near stores that are selling puppies from puppy mills. 

ARKANSAS / MISSOURI: 

Jane, Missouri- Right at the state line as people enter Arkansas

Benton County- past the exit in Lowell with a South facing billboard

 Washington County- Johnson Exit coming into Fayetteville

ILLINOIS: 

North Riverside- Cermak (22nd St) and First Ave (north facing)

North Riverside- Cermak (22nd St) and First Ave (south facing)

Joliet- Route 59, WS, at Theodore, FS – Digital

Bolingbrook – Boughton Rd, N/S, 25’ E/O Janes Ave, Facing East

IOWA:

Davenport: 713 Harrison Ave. 

WASHINGTON: 

Puyallup, WA : River Road/76th Ave; Canyon Road/128th St; Meridian St E/160th St; Canyon Road/84th St; AND 112th St/98th Ave. 

If you are interested in donating to our current PSA fundraiser, you can do so here. We can’t continue doing all that we do without your support. 

If you are interested in getting a billboard or commercial up in your town, please contact us! BUT FIRST: Individuals can start by identifying a nearby billboard location or theater company and finding out the fee to rent the space. If you wish to rent the ad space, or can get the sign owner to donate the space for free, we will provide all artwork and PSAs at no cost. We cannot, however, fund additional ads at this time without donor support. 

* WE WILL CONTINUE TO UPDATE OUR LIST ABOVE AS WE GET MORE LOCATIONS ADDED*

Do YOU want to be a walking billboard? Then make sure you order one of our #EndPuppyMills t-shirts here and wear it everywhere you go! 

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

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Follow us on social media and get involved in the fight to #EndPuppyMills !