Publication name: Komo News
URL for more info: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Loophole-lets-accused-puppy-mill-operator-sell-dogs-online-192901401.html
SEATTLE -- A controversial commercial dog breeder who has been repeatedly fined, had her license suspended, and served jail time near Seattle for animal-related violations continues to sell dogs over the Internet because of a loophole in federal regulations, a KOMO News Problem Solvers investigation has found.
Breeds: Miniature Pinchers, Pomeranians, Great Danes, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Poodles, Shih Tzus, more.
The temperature at the time of the investigation was 84 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny on 06/07/12 and 86 Fahrenheit and cloudy on 06/14/12.
Building Type #1:
I arrived at Robert Osburn’s place around 1 pm after contacting him on the phone. I approached a woman spraying down the waste in the kennels with a live stream, with the dogs presently in the kennels and subject to being sprayed with the feces or the water at high pressure. Dogs should be removed from kennels when using live stream if there is potential they will be harmed, wetted or distressed in the process (3.11 (a) Cleaning, sanitation, housekeeping and pest control). She then referred me to Mr. Osburn himself who showed me the kennels.
In the indoor/outdoor kennels, no air conditioning or fans appeared to be on, however, there were fans in the indoor portion of the kennel that were powered off. It was warm enough for the dogs to need air conditioning at 85 degrees Fahrenheit (3.1(d)-Housing facilities, general) (3.2(a) & (c)-Indoor housing facilities) (3.3(a) & (c)-Sheltered housing facilities).
At least four Pomeranians could be seen in one enclosure. This didn’t meet minimum space requirements for four dogs of this size in one location. With the dogs being an estimated 10 inches in length, this would require the dogs have at least 1.78 sq ft of space per dog, or 7.11 sq ft total. There did not appear to be more than 3 or 4 sq ft of space. (3.6 (c) Primary enclosures).
Space requirements are determined as follows:
The mathematical square of the sum of the length of the dog in inches (measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail) plus 6 inches; then divided by 144.
(length of dog in inches + 6) x (length of dog in inches + 6) = required floor space in square inches.
Required floor space in inches/144 = required floor space in square feet.
(10+6) x (10+6) = (16) x (16) = 256 = 1.78 sq ft. per dog, or 7.11 sq ft per 4
144 144 144
The more prominent example of the conditions from Osburn’s kennel came from the state of the four adult breeding dogs he gave me because he did not want them anymore. I received a total of 4 Miniature Pincher dogs, 2 males, and 2 females. The red male and female were both about 4 years old, the black male 9, and the black female 7. As Mr. Osburn was attempting to retrieve the dogs to give them to me, they were very hard to catch and appeared very afraid of him. He made a remark that “when he goes inside the dogs go outside and vice versa.”
Once I received the first Min Pin, I immediately took him to Dr. Brett E. Herrin DVM of Herrin Animal Hospital in Cassville, MO. Dr. Herrin told me that the dog had been fed low quality dog food because his coat was very rough and full of dry skin. The dog had a very enlarged prostate due to overbreeding which can be very painful and dangerous to a dog, and his biggest and most painful problem were his teeth. The male black Miniature Pincher had 3 teeth remaining that were very infected. These teeth now need to be removed and are very painful to the dog, and once they are removed he will only be able to eat soft food. This issue should have been acknowledged years ago by a veterinarian and taken care of. (2.40(a) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care) (2.40(b)(2) & (3) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care).
The red Min Pins and the female black Min Pin were very terrified of people and wouldn’t let any person, myself included, come within a 5 foot span of them without struggle. Dogs behaving this way have obviously been neglected and are in serious violation of adequate veterinary care. (2.40(a) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care) (2.40(b)(2) & (3) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care).
Breeds: Noted: Yorkshire Terriers, Pugs, Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Standard Poodles, Miniature Poodles, Wheaten Terriers, Persian Cats
The temperature at the time of the investigation was 93 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny.
Building Type #1:
I arrived at Ms. Jacobs’s home around 3 pm. She said that her state inspector had just left and the inspection went well, passing with few violations. She mentioned that the relationship with your inspector can completely make or break your inspection and that luckily hers liked her. During the time of my investigation, I noted several violations. Several dogs were kept in her home, including one nursing poodle with several puppies, which were in a laundry basket. She stated these were for sale and not pets. There was trash and clutter all over the home, making the area unsuitable for proper sanitation and organization (3.1(b) Housing facilities, general).
Building Type #2:
I was only able to visit one of Ms. Jacobs’s shelters, mostly holding puppies ready for or almost ready for commercial sale and several brokerage puppies. This enclosure was completely indoors and provided no outdoor access for the dogs. This is in violation of the new revisions to the Missouri Canine Cruelty Prevention Act, which require unfettered outdoor access for all dogs.
In this building, two puppies, one Shih Tzu and one Yorkshire Terrier, were isolated from their littermates due to weakness and/or illness. Ms. Jacobs, said that they were normal for their size and age. The puppies appeared lethargic and unresponsive. Small dogs can quickly become hypoglycemic and/or have various health issues that can be treatable by a veterinarian. Ms. Jacobs instead told me that small puppies (under 1-2 pounds) are often very sick and hard to keep alive to a sellable age, and this was not preventable other than by treating these dogs with NutriCal, a calorie supplement.
The dogs’ illnesses clearly surpassed normalcy and instead were more serious issues that needed veterinary care. It was implied these dogs would remain untreated and their current state is unknown. If a licensed veterinarian does not conduct daily observations, a mechanism of direct and frequent communication is required so that timely and accurate information on problems of animal health, behavior, and well-being are being conveyed to the attending veterinarian. This was not established for these dogs (2.40(a) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care) (2.40(b)(2) & (3) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care).
Breeds: Yorkshire Terriers, Pugs
The temperature at the time of the investigation was 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Building Type #1:
I arrived at L & L Kennels around 5 pm. Ms. Howard greeted me at the door along with a pet Yorkshire Terrier. After showing me the few dogs she had left at her facility after a recent downsize, I took interest in a Yorkie. She stated she didn’t usually sell to the public but was willing to sell me some of her Yorkies under the table to avoid taxes. A licensee must report all sales directly or through an auction to research facilities, dealers, exhibitors, retail pet stores, and persons for use as pets in an annual report to determine licensing fees (2.7 (b) Annual report by licensees).
Breeds: Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Cocker Spaniels, more.
The temperature at the time of the investigation was 82 degrees Fahrenheit and cloudy.
Building Type #1:
In the outdoor kennels, adult dogs were kept in pens with enclosed wooden dog houses for shelter. All walls, boxes, houses, dens, and other surfaces in contact with the animals in sheltered housing facilities must be impervious to moisture. Wood is not impervious to moisture and is therefore a sanitation concern (3.3 (e) (iii) Sheltered housing facilities).
Building Type #2:
In the whelping room, no outdoor access was provided. This is in violation of the new revisions to the Missouri Canine Cruelty Prevention Act. These revisions require unfettered outdoor access for all dogs. One Shih Tzu was seen with a bad infection and mucus discharge coming from its right eye. This appeared untreated and had clearly been a health concern for an unknown amount of time. If a licensed veterinarian does not conduct daily observations, a mechanism of direct and frequent communication is required so that timely and accurate information on problems of animal health, behavior, and well-being are being conveyed to the attending veterinarian (2.40(a) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care) (2.40(b)(2) & (3) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care).
At the time of the investigation, fecal accumulation was noted for over 24 hours of buildup. Excreta and food waste must be removed from primary enclosures daily, and from under primary enclosures as often as necessary to prevent an excessive accumulation of feces and food waste, to prevent soiling of the dogs or cats contained in the primary enclosures, and to reduce disease hazards, insects, pests and odors (3.11(a) Cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping and pest control).
Breeds: Yorkies, Shih Tzus, Beagles, Maltese, Bichon Frise, more.
The temperature at the time of the investigation was 90 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny.
Building Type #1:
All dogs were housed in wire kennels suspended from the ceilings of an indoor barn. No bedding was provided for these dogs (3.4(b)(4) Outdoor housing facilities). No outdoor access was provided. This is in violation of the new revisions to the Missouri Canine Cruelty Prevention Act, which require unfettered outdoor access for all dogs. There was an abundance of flies in the kennel that Ms. Bixenman vocally acknowledged were always there (3.1(c)(3) Housing facilities, general) (3.11(d) Cleaning, sanitation and pest control). This indicates lack of waste disposal and/or a bad drainage systems (3.1(f) Housing facilities, general). She told me that the barn had originally been used to house hogs and that part of the reason there were pests was because of bad drainage. These systems must be replaced if they are causing pests (3.4(c) Outdoor housing facilities).
At one point, a female Beagle started coughing and Ms. Bixenman acknowledged the dog and told it to cut it out. This dog may have needed veterinary care (2.40(a) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care) (2.40(b)(2) & (3) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care). When I took interest in a 2-week-old Shih Tzu, Ms. Bixenman picked the dog up improperly, causing the dog to squeal loudly. This is considered improper handling (2.100(a) Compliance with Standards and Holding Period) (2.131(b)(1)Handling of animals).
Water bowls must be accessible to all dogs. The water bowls in the whelping/nursing room were more than twice the height of the 6 Shih Tzu puppies located in the kennel. This is not considered potable for the dogs (3.6(a)(2)(viii) Primary Enclosures) (3.10 Watering).
Publication name: Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation
URL for more info: http://www.maal.org/los-angeles-says-no-to-missouri-puppy-mills/
The Los Angeles City Council voted NO to puppy mill cruelty. It did so by passing an ordinance prohibiting the sale of dogs in pet stores in the City of Los Angeles. The only exceptions are for dogs obtained from a municipal animal shelter, non-profit rescue, or humane organization. The ban also prohibits the sale of cats and rabbits in pet stores.
This is a commendable effort to halt the cruelty of puppy mills and it will have a direct impact here in Missouri. The City Council recognized that many pet stores in Los Angeles were nothing other than puppy mill outlet stores. The Council realized that if citizens of Los Angeles continued to purchase puppies that originated from Missouri, the cruelty of puppy mills would continue unabated. The Council acknowledged that the ultimate solution to puppy mill cruelty rests at the retail end of the business.
Undercover at the Hunte CorporationAn Expose of America's largest Supplier of Pet Shop Puppies
Thousands of dogs will soon enjoy a better life -- and they have you to thank.Missourians voted YES! on Prop B, and chose to save dogs suffering in Missouri puppy mills.
You made this victory happen. Whether you donated to keep our TV ads on the air, spent your nights phone banking for Prop B, hit the pavement with leaflets, gathered signatures from registered voters, or engaged your friends and family in Missouri -- you helped show millions of Missouri voters what Prop B would mean for dogs.
We are grateful to the citizens of Missouri for voting to crack down on puppy mill abuses and establish common-sense standards for the care of dogs at large scale facilities. Finally these creatures will have relief from being crammed into small and filthy cages, without veterinary care, exercise, or human affection. If we can do it here in the nation’s largest puppy mill state, we are more likely to see similar reforms enacted in other states, where the industry is not nearly as strong and entrenched.
Dogs should be treated like family pets, not like breeding machines or a cash crop. We look forward to working with commercial breeders to transition to more humane systems and setting a new high bar within this industry. Missouri lawmakers and state officials should heed this message from the people, and immediately step up enforcement efforts to crack down on inhumane breeding operations.
How dogs are treated is so important to all of us -- and even more important to the dogs who have been suffering every day in Missouri’s puppy mills. Together, we fought for a better life for puppy mill dogs, and together, we won.
Missourians for the Protection of Dogs / YES! on Prop B
P.S. For the latest news and next steps, please continue to visit YESonPropB.com.
If you haven't called yet, this takes 2 minutes. SB 113 guts the Missouri puppy mill bill, Prop B. Pet factory owners have narrowly passed a bill to take protection for breeding dogs out of their state. The vote was 85-71, meaning the governor COULD veto this. WE WANT HIM TO VETO 113! Call Gov. Jay Nixon today at (573) 751-3222.
Leave a message. This is IMPORTANT.
For more information, visit the Animal Law Coalition page or click here.