Missouri’s Worst Animal Breeders RevealedPosted on December 6, 2013
Animal Legal Defense Fund Calls on Government to Shut Down Law-Breaking Kennels in “Puppy Mill Capital of America”
For immediate release:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
ST. LOUIS — After extensive review of the inspection records of commercial breeders in the state of Missouri—notoriously known as the puppy mill capital of America—the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a formal letter this week to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), singling out the worst of these breeders and demanding the agency enforce the law against horrific violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). ALDF’s review shows animal cruelty routinely goes unpunished by federal authorities in Missouri, and the group is urging the USDA to move suffering animals to reputable shelters where they can receive veterinary attention. Furthermore, the letter calls on the USDA to apply civil penalties and revoke the licenses of commercial dealers that have violated the AWA on multiple, documented occasions, including:
- Antech, Inc. (Barnhart) injected carbon dioxide into a 55-gallon drum to euthanize 60-90 pound dogs who could barely fit into the container.
- Simply Puppies (Hannibal) kept a dog living in an outdoor enclosure with a dead dog. In addition, the breeder failed to provide bedding in 52 enclosures containing a total of 94 dogs, though the temperature was well-below freezing.
- Hill Top Kennel (Clark) allowed 15 puppies to live in wire-floored cages with holes large enough that their feet fell through. On August 18, 2011, the kennel did not provide adequate veterinary care to a dog who gave birth to a litter of puppies during the night and ate most of them by the morning.
- Valente Rios (Galt) failed to provide adequate veterinary care to a dog with a bone protruding from his tail. The breeder admitted the tail was recently docked using scissors without sanitation or anesthesia.
- Cloverleaf Kennel (Willow Springs) failed to provide dogs with access to water in an outdoor facility with temperatures registering 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Inspectors observed mouse droppings on every surface and at least one dead mouse in a food receptacle.
“The failure to provide basic care for these animals is shocking,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “We implore the USDA to act on violations documented by their own agency, and to do their job to protect Missouri’s animals. Until then, puppy mills will continue to profit while dogs suffer behind closed doors.”
ALDF’s letter and a complete list of abusive breeders are available by request.
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