Shirley Osterman’s kennel was a single-story building about 20 feet wide and 30 feet long,, with vinyl siding, a shingled roof, a door for access on each of its longer sides, and two windows on the longer side facing the house. The doorway facing the house opened to an office area. The office contained an open bag of dog food (3.1(e)-Storage).
In the office there was an open doorway immediately to the left that accessed a hallway that led to the kennel. On a table in the hallway were cleaning supplies, a refrigerator, and a variety of medications not arranged in shelving (3.1(e)-Storage). In the corner of this hallway opposite the table was a three-foot-high pile of full and empty feed bags against a wall directly next to an air conditioning unit (3.1(e)-Storage) (3.1(b)-Condition and site). The hallway wall facing the kennel area had brooms and mops hanging on it and two, four-foot--high plastic trash cans against it (3.1(b)-Condition and site).
The main kennel area to the right of the hallway opening was about 15 feet wide and 15 feet long. In the middle of the room were six cages raised 2.5 feet off the concrete flooring on wooden stilts. The cages were made of painted wood painted and were about two feet wide, four feet long, and two feet high long. The cages were divided in half with wooden board and a doggie door connecting the two halves of each cage. One end of the cage was accessible through a treated-wire door while the other end was accessible through the hinged wooden wall. The owner, Shirley Osterman (now Brown), did not walk the investigator through the kennel to see the dogs, but the investigator was able to see a single adult Shih Tzu in a cage.
At the end of the cages was a small table containing medications and a refrigerator. The medications were on the table and not in shelves (3.1(e)-Storage).
A doorway led to another room about five feet wide and 15 feet long that had nine cages lined up against the wall opposite the doorway. The painted-wood cages had treated-wire doors and wooden floors. They were about two feet wide, two feet long, and two feet high. Doggie doors led to outdoor treated wire cages of the same dimensions. Each cage contained two to three adult Shih Tzus, Pekingese, or Poodles.
The indoor cages contained water dishes and metal self-feeders hung on the doors. The self-feeder of one cage containing three Shih Tzus was floor and did not minimize the chance of contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding).
One pen with three Poodles and another pen with three Lhasa Apsos had feces smeared and dried on the cage walls (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning).
Next to the doorway accessing this room were empty feed bags stacked about three feet high against a wall (3.1(b)-Condition and site).
Another doorway on the opposite wall led outside to the outdoor cages. These cages were similar to those inside except they sat over a metal sheet raised about six inches off the dirt. The sheet was covered in rust and more than two weeks’ accumulation of feces (3.1(c)(1)(i)- Surfaces) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). Ms. Brown indicated on 10/3/04 that her husband was going to tear out the metal flooring and replace it with concrete flooring.
Breeds: Beagles, Shih Tzus, Poodles, St. Bernards, Newfoundlands, Shiba Inus, Boxers, Maltese, Black Labradors, and Golden Retrievers.
The temperature at the time of investigation was 38 degrees and the sky was cloudy.
This is the third time I visited the property. The owner, Barb Crick, is in her 60s, lives alone, and has no employees. The first two times I went there, I didn’t get the footage I wanted.
The property was surrounded by trash piles (3.1(b)-Housing facilities, general).
Building Type #1:
The first enclosure was a mobile home made into cages. The cages were attached to the sides of the mobile home and were raised about three feet off the ground. They were about 3 feet long by 3 feet wide and housed two to three dogs per cage. These cages were completely covered by tarps and trash bags cut in half. The dogs had no light or bedding (3.4(b)(1)(2)(3)(4)-Outdoor housing facilities).
The area was located in the backside of the trailer where the dogs cannot be seen at all from anywhere on the property but the road. The tarps were supposed to keep the wind, rain, and snow from getting into the cages. Since the corners of the tarps were not sealed and the trash bags did not go all the way to the ground, the dogs were still exposed to the elements (3.4(b)(1)(2)(3)(4)-Outdoor housing facilities).
The cages and the ground underneath were covered in feces and there was a strong, repugnant smell coming from them (3.11(a)-Cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control).
Building Type #2:
Walking towards the house, I could see the back of the property. There was a large barn to the right of the house with a horse inside.
To the left of the house was another building that had a row of kennels housing St. Bernards and Newfoundlands. Ms. Crick did not answer the door so I walked over to the trailer kennel to see if she was inside. Outside the door, adult dogs came out and started barking. I could hear many puppies crying from inside the trailer. There was a row of raised cages on this side of this mobile home as well. All the cages had feces in them (3.11(a)-Cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control).
Building Type #3:
There was a row of chain-link kennels outside, to the right of the trailer. They were approximately 6 feet long by 6 feet wide with dirt floors. The kennels had metal roofs and housed one to two Golden Retrievers. These kennels only had cheap, plastic dog houses in them, with no heat or air conditioning (3.1(d)-Housing facilities, general). The kennels also had feces and the dogs didn’t have water. (3.11(a)-Cleaning, sanitization, house-keeping, and pest control) (3.10-Watering).
One of the kennels had two Cocker Spaniels with matted fur on the ears, legs, and feet (2.40(b)(2)-Attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care).
Building Type #4:
There was another row of chain-link kennels with a barn across the driveway from the trailer. These kennels held St. Bernards, Newfoundlands, what appeared to be a Black Lab, and a Golden Retriever. The outside kennels were about 4 feet long by 6 feet wide with concrete floors. All the dogs had matted fur (2.40(B)(2)(3)-Attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care).
The dogs appeared to have severe diarrhea, which accumulated on the floor (2.40(a)(1)(b)(2)-Attending veterinarian and adequate veterinary care)(3.11(a)-Cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control)
The bowls of water were iced over (3.10-Watering).
The flaps that covered the entrance to the inside barn were filthy with dirt, hair, and feces. (3.11(b)(3)(iii)-Cleaning, sanitization, housekeeping, and pest control).
While I was looking at the large kennels, Ms. Crick came out of her house. I asked her about the puppies she had shown me back in November 2010. She had mentioned they would be ready to sell by December 2, 2010. When I asked if she still had them, she informed me that the one puppy died and the other was sold to a broker.