Minnesota’s Scariest Breeders Under Fire from Animal AdvocatesPosted on October 30, 2013
Animal Legal Defense Fund Calls on USDA to Shut Down State’s Animal Horror Houses
For immediate release:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
MINNESOTA — After extensive review of inspection records for commercial breeders in the state of Minnesota, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has singled out those with the most ghoulish violations of federal law—and today, ALDF sent a formal letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), demanding that the agency enforce the law against Minnesota breeders for horrific violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). ALDF’s review revealed that animal cruelty has routinely gone unpunished across the state. ALDF’s letter implores the USDA to transfer suffering animals to reputable shelters so they can receive veterinary attention, and to apply civil penalties and revoke the licenses of the following frightening facilities:
- Moulton’s Chinchilla Ranch in Rochester, Minn., Facility No. 41-B-0239, which sells animals to pet stores and laboratories, has violated sanitation guidelines with soiled food bins and water lines—in addition to inadequate veterinary care and illegal transportation. On June 23, 2011, the facility’s improper transportation routine caused six chinchillas to die from heat stroke and suffocation.
- Deloris and Dick Richards in Marshall, Minn., Facility No. 41-A-0016 have been cited for failing to maintain clean facilities or provide adequate veterinary care. Inspectors observed an immense buildup of excrement and an infestation of flies that resulted in scabbed ears and open sores on the bodies of several dogs.
- Larry and Carole Harries, Harries K-9 Ranch in Alpha, Minn., Facility No. 41-A-0023, were allowed by the USDA to close their doors without punishment—despite numerous documented violations that include not providing adequate veterinary care for sick and injured dogs, failing to give facility access to inspectors, and filthy, dangerous enclosures.
- Wanda Kretzman, of Clearwater Kennel Inc. in Cushing, Minn., Facility No. 41-B-0190, a commercial dog breeding facility with more than 1,000 animals, has also repeatedly violated the AWA without punishment since 1997. According to APHIS inspections, animals in this facility were found in standing water. Inspectors documented a foul odor so strong it burned their own eyes and noses. At least eighteen enclosures, affecting thirty-six dogs, had excessive feces. Several animals had swollen, bloody feet, and one dog could not bear weight on her foot. More than 24 dogs were kept in enclosures with beetles crawling upon them and their food.
“Hundreds of animals are suffering in these houses of horror,” said Stephen Wells. “The USDA must act on these reports and protect animals under the law—as Congress intended when it established the Animal Welfare Act.”
ALDF’s letter is available by request.
Contact John Kinsella at the USDA and demand that the violators listed above be held accountable.
Phone: (919) 855-7100