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Investigations

View CAPS undercover investigation reports and videos of puppy mills and pet shops.

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  • Owners: Knust, Les
  • Business name: L&C Kennels
  • Address: 56328 200th Avenue
  • City, State Zip: Lacona, IA 50139
  • Year: 2007
  • USDA License: 42-A-0942
  • Date of CAPS Investigation: 2007-07-01
On the premises at the time of investigation: approximately 250 dogs

Breeds: Shetland Sheepdogs, Dachshunds, Shih Tzus, Jack Russell Terriers, Beagles, Pugs, Puggles, Poodles, and Schipperkes.

The main facility housing dogs on Les Knust’s property was a single, large shed, approximately 30 feet long and 10 feet wide. This kennel had a row of approximately 15 elevated cages installed along the outside of each length of the building. Beneath these outside elevated cages were fenced-in runs that each measured approximately six feet long and two feet wide. These runs housed mostly Shetland Sheepdogs, although one or two housed Beagles.

Elevated cages
The outside elevated cages, housing the smaller-breed dogs, were made of wire and were separated by wooden boards. Each cage held at least two dogs, many of them three or four dogs. The wire used in the floorings of these cages seemed to irritate the feet of the dogs. The feet of many of the dogs slipped through this wire flooring (3.6(x)-Primary Enclosures).

Urine and feces dropped through the floorings onto a plastic white platform installed below the cages. While this platform prevented waste from falling into the runs below, it was covered in dog hair, feces, and urine. Feces not dropping through the flooring of the elevated cages collected in piles in the cages (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

The elevated cages were each connected to a small indoor wooden pen by a metal doggie door. Clumps of dog hair and feces had accumulated over what appeared to be a lengthy period of time on another plastic platform installed under the indoor pens.

Fenced-in runs
The flooring of the outdoor runs was made of cement and was spotted with feces and urine that the dogs were forced to walk through or lie in when they were outside. (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Each outdoor run was connected by a small metal doggie door to a tiny indoor pen made of wood and covered with wiring to contain the dogs.

Other buildings
Investigators were not allowed access inside two other facilities on the property. One was a smaller shed, approximately 15 feet long and 10 feet wide, that had only four runs on each side and four elevated cages located along the top of these runs.

The other shed was approximately 20 feet long and 10 feet wide. This kennel had two tiers of cages that each housed several dogs. The investigators did not see runs along the bottom of this shed.

The cages and runs of these two sheds also allowed indoor access through a metal doggie door.

Breeding dogs and puppies
Knust had several dogs that were expecting puppies in the upcoming weeks. The puppies present were housed with their mothers on wooden or wire cage floorings with no blankets, whelping boxes, or carpets to prevent the puppies’ feet from slipping through the flooring (3.6(x)-Primary enclosures).

Knust admitted to “putting a bullet” into the head of any dog with “two strikes” against it for not producing enough puppies, because such dogs only “took up space” in his kennel.

Bea's Beat

Blog with CAPS Spokesmodel Beatrice, a puppy mill survivor and vegan advocate.

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Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

Learn more about Deborah Howard, president and founder of Companion Animal Protection Society.

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CAPS Blog

Keep up-to-date about CAPS and read about issues affecting companion animals, especially those suffering in pet shops and puppy mills.

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Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
759 CJC Hwy., #332
Cohasset, MA 02025
p: 339-309-0272
501 (c)(3) Tax ID#: 58-2040413

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Class Action Lawsuits

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If you purchased a sick or dying puppy from Barkworks or Happiness is Pets, you may be able to join consumer class action lawsuits. The first step is to fill out the CAPS complaint form.

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