Iowa Puppy Mills Rank 3rd in Humane Society’s Bad Dog Breeders Report

A national animal welfare group says Iowa is the third company it has identified as ‘puppy mills’, saying the puppies and dogs at some of them live in ‘dirty and unsafe conditions’ without adequate care.

The Humane Society of the United States released its annual report on Monday. “Horrible Hundred” report that lists dog breeders who they believe are not providing adequate care for dogs and puppiesbased on state and federal inspections, public complaints and secret investigations.

Missouri had the most companies on the list with 21, followed by Ohio with 16 and Iowa with 11. Rounding out the top five, Nebraska and Pennsylvania each had eight breeders on the list, reported the group.

He noted that the list is not exhaustive because “many puppy mills are not inspected at all, so there are no verifiable records of their conditions.”

He estimates, however, that there are 10,000 puppy mills across the country. They often produce large numbers of animals in unsanitary and inhumane operations that ignore the needs of the puppies and their mothers, the group says, adding that puppy mill dogs can be sick and unsocialized.

Many businesses are licensed and “still in business despite years of animal care violations, including citations for injured and emaciated dogs, dogs and puppies exposed to extreme weather, and dogs found living in dirty and miserable conditions,” the Washington, DC-based Humane Society said.

The group said the issues it found follow “a history of increasingly weak oversight” by the US Department of Agriculture, “where animal care standards were already low”.

The app has become “even weaker due to a decline in in-person visits during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Humane Society said. At the same time, more housebound Americans were buying pets, the group said.

He revealed that in Iowa, a company received a dog breeder‘s license after a woman associated with it was accused of animal neglect nine years ago, when enforcement officials des lois raided her home and found five dead dogs.

Ricky and Mary Brodersen of Mystical Cockers, in Kiron

The report cites a September 2020 animal welfare inspection by the Iowa Department of Agriculture inspector who said Mary Brodersen was operating a breeding establishment without a license. The inspector said Brodersen told him she had 35 cocker spaniels and a litter of puppies and agreed she needed a license. A state license was then issued to Ricky Brodersen.

In 2012, Mary Brodersen was sentenced to prison for 44 counts of animal neglect and sentenced to pay nearly $3,000 in restitution after authorities raided her home and seized 87 dogs and found all five dead, the Dennison Bulletin-Review reported.

Tax records indicate that Mary and Ricky Brodersen own two properties – one that was raided in 2012 and the other where Mystical Cockers is licensed, the group said.

Lady Abagail, 10, walks her pen in front of AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport in De Soto, Iowa, August 1, 2019. More than 200 dogs were sold to a puppy mill in May 2019, and Amy Heinz bought 31 for find them each emergency homes.  Despite lacking an official diagnosis, Lady is among 31 dogs quarantined for almost three months due to possible risks of spreading canine brucellosis.

The Humane Society said its biggest concern during last fall’s state inspection was that the dogs were kept in small cages, “living in stacked 2-by-3-foot enclosures,” sometimes two to three levels, with wire-mesh floors—”classic puppy mill conditions.”

“While not necessarily illegal, permanently housing dogs in such enclosures is not indicative of a quality dog ​​breeder, regardless of kennel club affiliation,” the Humane said. Society.

Mystical Cockers says it is registered with the American Kennel Club, even though the group suspended Mary Brodersen for 15 years and fined her $3,000 in 2013 for “conduct harmful to pedigree dogs”, a said the Humane Society.

Mary Brodersen declined to comment on Monday.

Here are the other Iowa companies cited by the Humane Society in its report:

Ruth “Ruthie” Ewoldt of Furkids, in Toronto

Inspectors found issues during four state visits in 2020 and 2021, including “smell and stench,” excessive feces, cluttered conditions and poor veterinary care. They said the company appeared to have sold to at least one pet store without a proper license.

Ewoldt said Monday that many issues have been resolved and she is working on some of the remaining issues, such as repairing a dog playpen. She said her dogs are well cared for. Being called a puppy mill, she says, is upsetting. “It’s just awful,” she said, adding that many of her clients refer her business to others.

Connie and Harold Johnson of Furbabies Forever, formerly CW’s Quaint Critters, at Melvin

When state inspectors visited in February, they discovered a number of issues, including a lack of “substantial solid resting surfaces”, incomplete vaccination paperwork and outdated veterinary records, three apparently neglected dogs and three dogs that had nails that were too long. The inspector ordered the dog grooming operation. This was the sixth time the company has featured in the Humane Society report.

Furbabies Forever could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Steve Kruse of West Point’s Stonehenge Kennel

In March, a USDA control discovered that Kruse had six dogs that needed care, including an emaciated Boston terrier, a bulldog who couldn’t put weight on his leg and a Wheaten terrier with badly matted hair – “thick and tight” on his chest and his legs, the inspector reported . A follow-up inspection showed that the kennel was in compliance. This is the fourth time the company has featured in the Humane Society report.

Stonehenge Kennel could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Kurt and Hollie Pille from St. Anthony

State inspectors reported that some dogs had no protection against the cold and most only had frozen water in January; they also found what they said were violations for numerous dirty and unsafe conditions. An inspection in March showed that the installation was in compliance.

Kurt Pille said Monday that the report was unfair and that the company responded to concerns raised by the state.

Chris and Tammy Riddle of the 6R Uplands kennel in Gilman

State inspectors found nine different issues during a June 2020 inspection, including unsafe housing, dirty conditions, standing water, fecal discharge that was not drained or properly disposed of, the crowding in part of the kennel and “the strongest smell of urine”. in the farrowing kennel. Inspectors also said they found an “open bag of rat poison, unused and improperly stored out of sight”. The operation has passed two more recent inspections.

The Humane Society can “say whatever it wants,” Chris Riddle said Monday. “We are not a puppy mill and we pass annual inspections.”

Tim Shimek of Shimek’s AKC Siberian Huskys at Waucoma

The breeder was cited for the facilities “requiring extensive repairs and major cleaning”; inspectors were concerned about “the number of dogs handled by one person”.

Shimek’s AKC Siberian Huskys could not be reached for comment Monday.

Henry Sommers of Happy Puppies in Cincinnati, Iowa

A USDA report cited repeated problems with foul odors and unsanitary conditions and said poor housekeeping left dogs with “a higher risk of getting sick”. The breeder has had recurring issues since 2014. This was the fifth time the company was named in the report.

Happy Puppys could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Vickie Ubben de Milo

The state inspector noted a “significant” strong odor, some dogs in three-stacked wire cages, some dogs had “no comfortable resting areas” and some did not have enough room to spread their legs. The facility passed an inspection in September, with the inspector noting that previous issues had been resolved. For example, the kennels had been “thoroughly cleaned” with comfort cushions added so the dogs had space to lie down.

Ubben did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Charles Vogl of SCW Frenchies in the Atlantic

The company failed two state inspections for issues including “dogs shaking noticeably” in the cold, a dog with “excessive diarrhea,” lack of proper vaccinations, excessive feces and decrepit conditions. It passed an inspection in December.

SCW Frenchies could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Anita Wikstrom of Unforgettable Schnauzers in Ames

State inspectors said they found smells of feces and urine, unsanitary conditions and poor housing. An inspector recommended Wikstrom’s downsizing [the] herd” and noted “kennel rooms, outdoor enclosures and outdoor [of property] are cluttered with trash, debris and dirty bedding.”

“Clutter prevents proper cleaning/sanitation and increases the risk of vermin infestation inside and outside the kennel building,” the state said. The incumbent complied in December. This was the second time in the company’s report.

Unforgettable Schnauzers could not be reached for comment on Monday.

The Humane Society encourages families looking for puppies to purchase them from a responsible breeder, who is usually willing to meet them in person and show where the puppies were born and raised. Puppy mills typically sell on the internet, flea markets and pet stores, he noted.

Donnelle Eller covers agriculture, environment and energy for the Register. Contact her at [email protected] or 515-284-8457.