HSUS releases list of 101 “problem” puppy mills in the U.S.

Missouri topped the HSUS “101 Puppy Mills” 2014 list with 22 citations for “federal or state inspectors for grave or repeated animal care violation.”

Earlier this week, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) revealed their picks for the worst puppy mills in the United States. Their list of unscrupulous breeders comes at the start of the organization’s eighth annual Puppy Mill Action Week and National Pet Week, held during the first complete week in May.

The list for 2014 includes 101 of the worst offenders from all around the country, one more mill mentioned than last year’s list, “A Horrible Hundred.” Many factors went into choosing the facilities for the 2014 list of shame, including the quantity or severity of violations found in reports against breeding operations, the number and availability of consumer complaints against these operations, and the number of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) warnings or fines against the operations. The organization also made sure to include only mills that hadn’t been included on any of their past worst puppy mill lists.

Missouri takes the cake for the state with the most mills to make the list. A whopping 22 out of the 101 mills mentioned are in operation in The Show-Me State. Joanna Steele, irresponsible breeder in this state, admitted leaving a severely wounded and near-dead Pomeranian to suffer alone for three excruciating days without any medical intervention. On another Missouri mill, authorities discovered a 4-week-old Shih Tzu puppy whose body was found frozen solid in an outdoor enclosure where overnight temperatures dipped to a dangerous 9 degrees below zero.

Officials believe one of the main reasons so many Missouri mills made the 2014 list is actually a positive one. After the passage of the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act, which mandates higher standards of care at commercial breeding facilities, state inspectors are now stepping up their game and providing more detailed documentation of infractions found at mills.

Taking second place with 13 mills to make the list is Kansas. Nebraska puppy mills came in third, 12 making HSUS’s list.

According to Wayne Pacelle, the President and CEO of HSUS, a minimum of three of the mill owners put on notice in the organization’s report are suppliers of the Hunte Corporation, which is thought to be the number one broker of pet store puppies.

Pacelle explains that while many of the descriptions included in the HSUS list are graphic, the conditions in the mills themselves are too disturbing to properly put into words.

“That’s the consequence of the industry’s general callousness toward animals, along with its commitment to fighting meaningful government and industry humane standards at every turn,” Pacelle writes in his HSUS blog.

While the puppy mills included on the 2014 worst list are indeed awful, the HSUS says their list is by no means exhaustive. Some mills were not included because they are under active investigation by authorities. Others had no available inspection records to analyze.

Perhaps the organization’s 2014 list will have the same effect as the one issued last year. The HSUS reports that of the 100 puppy mills listed in 2013, 15 have since shut their doors or had their licenses revoked — a small but sweet victory in the eyes of animal advocates. Among the now-shuttered operations is Dake’s Kennels, where USDA inspectors in Missouri once discovered the decomposing body of a puppy on the roof of a dog house; North Carolina’s Royal Acres Kennel, whose owner has since pled guilty to charges of animal cruelty; and the Puppy Parlor, formerly of Lisle, Illinois, where sickly dogs were once stacked in small wire cages from floor to ceiling.

“We have a long way to go before no dog will die, unloved after spending a lifetime in a crate, because some irresponsible breeder did not care enough to feed or water her, or bring him inside in sub-zero temperatures,” Pacelle writes.

For more information about the Humane Society of the United States and their efforts to put a stop to cruel and irresponsible breeders, or to read the 2014 worst puppy mills report in full, check out the HSUS website today.

List of facilities/people cited in the report, “101 Puppy Mills: A Sampling of Problem Puppy Mills in the United States” (read the report for the actual charges):

Arkansas (5):

Back Forty Kennels (Sulphur Springs)

Bill Nored, Dryfork Kennel (Prim)

Bogan Ranch & Kennels (New Hope)

Drycreek Kennel (Maynard)

G.R.R. Acres (Springdale)

California (2):

Janet Barreto (unknown current address in California)

La Chic Puppy/Teacup Puppy Couture (El Dorado Hills)

Colorado (2):

Barbara Bowman (Delta)

Momma’s Minis (Holly)

Georgia (2):

Brinks Puppy Pagoda (Buena Vista)

Low Country Kennel (Statesboro)

Illinois (2):

Christiansen Kennels (Poplar Grove)

Lettier Kennel (Caledonia)

Indiana (2):

Amos Beiler (Williamsburg)

Playful Paws Kennel and Country Boy Pets LLC (Williamsburg)

Iowa (6):

Faithful Friends Kennel (Bedford)

Julie’s Jewels (Jewell)

Kelley’s Kennel (Kellerton)

Kute Kozy K (Redding)

Pee Vine Kennels (West Point)

Platinum Puppies (West Point)

Kansas (13):

Blue Moon Kennels (Melvern)

Crabtree Kennel (St. Francis)

D&L Kennels (El Dorado)

Dot’s Little Doggies, Inc. (Lyndon)

Grandview Kennel (Seneca)

Irene Finley (Herington)

Marilyn Soukup (Wilson)

Pierce’s Kennels (Narka)

Plum Crazy Kennel (Elk City)

Rock Creek Kennel/DBA Clover Acres Farm (Kansas City)

Roxanne Castens (Ludell)

Sellin Kennel (Chapman)

Walnut Creek Kennel (Rush Center)

Maryland (1):

Stephanie’s Designer Puppies (Conowingo)

Michigan (1):

Chien d’Or Kennel/Gabriels Ark Kennel (Farmington Hills)

Minnesota (5):

Deloris and Dick Richards (Marshall)

Gloria Brouwer (Jasper)

Michelle Sonnenberg (Detroit Lakes)

Sharon Lanz (Pine River)

Valley View Kennel/A Maze N Farmyard LLC (Eden Valley)

Missouri (22):

Ana-Mos Kennel (Barnett)

Barb’s Pups (Vienna)

Brenda Ponting (Hale)

Chevorlet Ranch (Phillipsburg)

Circle H Rotts & Labs (Williamstown)

Cloverleaf Kennel (Willow Springs)

Cornerstone Farms (Curryville)

David and Esther Troyer (Clark)

Dog-N-Ass Farm (Lebanon)

Havanese Haven (Elkland)

High Point Kennel (Montgomery City)

Hoffman’s Kennel (Freeburg)

J&M Kennels (Stover)

Jeffrey and Judy Gray (Rothville)

Locust Creek Farm (Versailles)

Lone Sycamore Kennels (Gorin)

Rafter “G” Kennel (Rocky Comfort)

Rocky Branch Kennel (Latham)

Rocky Creek, Inc. (Niangua)

Rowe’s Family Kennel (Sheridan)

Stacy Farley (Lancaster)

Watson’s Puppies 4 U (West Plains)

Nebraska (12):

Brenda Carroll (Platsmouth)

Daniel and Lizann Miller (McCook)

Darcy and Jane Perkins (Avoca)

Heavens Blessings (Bancroft)

Jamie Bailey (Beaver City)

Julia Hudson (Malcolm)

Kevin and Anne Marie Williams (Ashton)

Larry and Pat Peters (Taylor)

Marlon Thomsen (St. Paul)

Michelle and Michael Hellbusch (Belgrade)

Mitch and Alisa Pesek (Swanton)

Norma Jean Harders (Boelus)

New Hampshire (1):

Briarbrook Kennel (Pittsfield)

New Jersey (1):

Bill Roberts (aka John Roberts) (Gloucester County)

New York (3):

Frances and Isaac Zimmerman (Dundee)

Marjorie’s Kennel (Harpursville)

Sunset Kennels (Port Crane)

Ohio (4):

Ohio Puppy (Youngstown)

Rose Run Kennels (Sugarcreek)

Sugar Valley Puppies (Sugarcreek)

Woodland Kennel (Fredericktown)

Oklahoma (4):

Blue Creek Kennels (Porter)

Country Line Kennel (Grove)

D&B Kennel (Arnett)

Jan Seals (Welch)

Pennsylvania (4):

Deep Run Kennel (Lebanon)

JR’s Kennel (Quarryville)

Ronks Kennel (Ronks)

Run Way Kennel (Gordonville)

South Dakota (4):

Da-Pa Kli Kennels (Harrison)

Jason Riggs (Ethan)

Lar-Kie Kennel (Woonsocket)

Lisa Hanten (White Lake)

Texas (2):

Celebrity Puppy Boutique/Boutique Teacup Puppies (San Antonio/Spring Ranch)

Susan Franz (Belton)

Wisconsin (2):

Lone Pine Kennels (Thorpe)

Pine Hollow Farm, LLC (Withee)

Source: HumaneSociety.org