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Investigations

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

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Models & CAPS

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Stoltzfus, Joyce

  • Owners: Stoltzfus, Joyce
  • Business name: Puppy Love Kennel
  • Address: 267 Riverview Rd.
  • City, State Zip: Peach Bottom, PA 17563
  • Year: 2005
  • USDA License: USDA license would be required if S. 1139 passes
  • Date of CAPS Investigation: 2005-02-04


Approximately 300 dogs and puppies. Breeds: Pekingese, Puggles, Pit Bull Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Cock-a-poos, Boxers, various mixed breeds

Puppy Love Kennel had two separate facilities, one of indoor pens housing puppies only, and another of outdoor pens housing adult dogs and puppies.

Indoor puppy pens
These pens were inside a wooden barn about 25 feet wide and 40 feet long. The barn had a peaked roof, a doorway accessing it on one side, and five puppy pens on each of its longer sides. There was artificial lighting and concrete flooring in the barn.

Each pen measured about eight feet long and eight feet wide, with four-foot-tall wooden walls between pens and on the hallway-side of each pen. There were about a dozen puppies in each pen, each about eight to twelve weeks old and of varying breeds, including Pit Bull Terriers, Puggles, German Shepherds, Beagles, and various mixed breeds.

Each of the hallway walls had a sliding wooden doorway with a metal latch on the outside. Metal bars ran from the top of each wall to the ceiling. One side of the hallway had several bags of wood shavings piled up against it in three different places. The pens themselves had a layer of wooden shavings several inches thick thrown over their floors. More than 24 hours’ accumulation of feces was evident, as dried feces were visible in the shavings that had been thrown over old feces and urine not removed.

Each pen contained two plastic food dishes, a foot in diameter and four inches deep. They were filled to their tops with about three days’ worth of food for each pen and covered with a tan powder. Plastic water dishes in each pen were filled with murky brown water.

One black German Shepherd puppy, less than two pounds in weight, appeared emaciated. The stomach appeared sucked in and its ribs, spine, and hips clearly visible under its taught skin. One pen contained a white Pit Bull puppy, which appeared to weigh two pounds. The puppy appeared lethargic, convulsed slightly as though it was coughing, and had thick green mucous draining from its eyes and nostrils. The puppy’s eyes were nearly swollen shut, and it did not move at all while observed for several minutes, other than turning its head from side to side.

Outdoor pens
The other part of this kennel, within a hundred feet of the puppy barn, consisted of several rows of outdoor pens surrounded by a six-foot-high chain link fence about 60 feet long and 40 feet wide. The chain link sections surrounding the outdoor rows had green plastic strips set in them which blocked view into the compound from the outside.

Each row had ten adjacent pens, each measuring about seven feet long, three feet wide, and four feet high. Each cage was made of chain link wiring with the back two feet of each cage enclosed in wood with a doggy door framed in metal allowing access between these sections. Each cage contained five to eight dogs of various breeds and ages. Pekingese, Boxers, Golden Retrievers, Lhasa Apsos, Beagles, Basset Hounds, German Shepherds, Australian Cattle Dogs, Maltese, Jack Russell Terriers, American Eskimos, and various mixed breeds were present. All of the dogs with white fur had yellow stains in their fur, and many dogs had wet fur.

The first row of pens against a 40-foot section of the privacy fence had the sides with chain-link doors facing to the inside of the compound. The second row of pens faced the first, the third row backed to the second row, and the fourth row faced the third row. Two rows of cages that faced each other had another row of four cages in a perpendicular row between them.

All were raised above the ground by two-foot-high wooden stilts and had treated wire flooring. Wooden beams framed the bottoms of the pens. All of the wood was painted red, with paint peeling in many areas and revealing a white coating underneath. The metal bars at the bottom of the chain link walls were all rusting. One pen, containing two Boxers and a Lhasa Apso mix, had its front chain link wall separated from the metal bar at its base. Metal sheets were used as roofs over the pens. There were several lights placed on the roofs of the kennel rows, with wiring running along the roofs of the pens. The walls with the doggy doors were covered with while plastic sheeting that had brown stains.

Each cage had a black plastic water bucket attached to its front chain-link door. A water spigot was in inside the kennel, with a water hose strewn across the ground. About three inches of snow and ice were on the ground of this kennel at the time of investigation.

The pens themselves were over concrete flooring, and there were several days’ accumulation of feces under them. There was bright and dark blood as well as mucous in the feces under several cages. One row of cages facing into the compound had the flooring below it raised up about 45 degrees so that urine and runny feces would wash down away from it, though large piles of feces were resting on the grade itself.

Sick, wet, dirty dogs
Several of the dogs and puppies in the outside pens were sick. One was a black German Shepherd mix weighing about 35 pounds with hair loss around its eyes. Another was an Australian Cattle dog puppy, about two months old and weighing about 25 pounds, that had thick green mucous build-up around its right eye and draining from its nostrils.

Two Maltese mixes, each weighing about ten pounds, had dirt and feces covering their soaked and yellow-stained fur. Another pen, containing about five dogs that each weighed about ten pounds, housed a black Poodle mix with large fur mats covering the dog’s face and body.

A black Cock-a-poo puppy weighing about five pounds had thick green mucous discharge from its nostrils. There were four other puppies in the pen with the sick Cock-a-poo, including three mixed-breed puppies each weighing about five to eight pound and a Boxer puppy weighing about 15 pounds.

In one pen was a Boxer weighing about 50 pounds, whose right eye was nearly swollen shut and draining a clear discharge. A Lhasa Apso mix weighing about 15 pounds had long curved toenails and severely matted fur around its face so that its eyes could not be seen and its nose was barely distinguishable.

Several other pens contained dogs and puppies of significantly different weights, such as one pen which housed a 40-pound Corgi mix, a 45-pound short-haired mixed breed, and a Jack Russell mix weighing about 25 pounds.

In several pens, the number and/or size of the dogs precluded all of the dogs occupying the boxes at the backs of their cages at one time and lying in a normal manner or turning about freely. For example, pens housed five dogs that each weighed 25 to 35 pounds, and other pens housed six to eight dogs that were five to 15 pounds in weight.

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Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

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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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