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

Reports / Videos

Models & CAPS

What do you get when you combine glamorous fashion models with cute dogs rescued from un-glamorous puppy mills?

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  • Owners: Uitermarkt, Melvin and Brent
  • Address: 1912 Eaton Ave
  • City, State Zip: Leighton, IA 50143
  • Year: 2006
  • USDA License: 42-A-0870
  • Date of CAPS Investigation: 2007-07-28
On the premises at the time of investigation: about 19 dogs and seven puppies

Breed: Shelties

Main kennel
Uitermarkt’s facility had one primary kennel: a barn with eight whelping pens along one wall and eight indoor pens with doggie doors accessing outdoor runs on the opposite wall. The outdoor runs had galvanized-wire walls, metal roofs, and concrete floorings. Each pen housed two adult Shelties, one of which continually turned in counterclockwise circles (2.40-Vet care).

Feces and hair had accumulated on the ground in shallow pools outside of the runs, as though the debris and excrement had been spray-washed from the runs. There appeared to be months’ accumulation of feces pooled in the grass (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal); (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

The indoor pens and whelping pens had concrete floorings and galvanized-wire walls. Feces stains covered the floors, and bits of feces and fur clumps littered the dirt walkway separating the adult pens from the whelping pens (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning); (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Food and water dishes on the floorings were not positioned in a manner that would minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.9(b)-Feeding).

Whelping pen
Only one of the whelping pens was occupied. This pen housed a Sheltie mother and her seven puppies.

A wooden box for containing the puppies had newspaper covered in bits of feces and urine on its floor (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

The box itself, as well as the floor and solid walls of the enclosure, was covered in fecal stains. There was compressed fecal build-up on the enclosure floor up to a quarter inch thick (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces).

Three metal water dishes in the pen had a dirty build-up on their surfaces (3.11(b)(2)-Sanitization). There were no food dishes (3.9(a)-Feeding).

Wooden box
Near the pens was a single wooden box, about five feet long and four feet wide and four feet high with a roof that had two open windows covered with metal wire. The windows, one about two feet wide and high, and the other about two feet wide and six inches tall, offered little light and ventilation for the box (3.2(b)-Ventilation).

The inside of this box was visible only from within six inches of one of the windows (3.2(c)-Lighting).

Inside, there was a single adult Sheltie on a flooring of newspaper scraps and weeks of feces accumulation (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Two empty metal dishes on the floor were not placed in a manner that would minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.9(b)-Feeding).

Tethered dog
Near another structure housing pigs, a single male adult Sheltie was tied to a tree with a five-foot-long leash (3.6(c)(4)-Prohibited means of primary enclosure).

The dog had no food, and a nearby water dish that Mr. Uitermarkt said was for water was completely empty. He did not fill it while we talked; he did so only after I turned to leave the premises (3.9(a)-Feeding); (3.10-Watering).

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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759 CJC Hwy., #332
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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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