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Dennis and Donna Van Wyk
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  • Owners: Van Wyk, Dennis and Donna
  • Business name: Prairie Lane Kennel
  • Address: 1955 120th St.
  • City, State Zip: New Sharon, IA 50207
  • Year: 2006
  • USDA License: 42-A-0331
  • Date of CAPS Investigation: 2006-09-12
  • Time of CAPS Investigation: 13:15
On the premises at the time of investigation: approximately 170 dogs and 120 puppies.

Breeds: Beagles, Shelties, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Akita, German Shepherds, Shiba Inus, Pugs, Keeshounds, Dachshunds, Pomeranians, Mixed breeds

Van Wyk’s property contained a variety of indoor and outdoor kennel structures.

Beagle pens
The first set of enclosures was a series of small dog pens. One was an outdoor enclosure that housed two Beagles. This pen had a wire wall surrounding it, with concrete flooring and a wooden dog house. The dog house had a torn and shredded windbreak for a doggie door (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements). More than a week’s accumulation of fecal matter was on the flooring (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Outdoor runs
A building adjacent to the outdoor Beagle pen had nine concrete runs along one of the building’s sides. Each run was surrounded by wire walls, and dog doors in the building wall allowed access from each run to an indoor pen. Two smaller pens each housed three Beagles, five longer pens each housed two dogs that were Sheltie/Corgi mix, and the final pen housed three St. Bernards.

The windbreaks on the doggie door openings were ripped to tatters (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements). More than a week’s accumulation of feces was present in each outdoor run (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

The St. Bernard pen was about 12 feet wide and long. The walls were made of thick wire, but they were only about three feet high. On one side of this pen, two wire sections had been turned sideways and tied to the wall. The corners faced towards the ground and sky, so that this six-foot section of the pen had a wall height of more than five feet. Along all other parts of this pen, the St. Bernards were able to stand up and extend their upper bodies and front legs completely over the wall. It seemed that it would take little effort for the dogs to jump out of the enclosure (3.1(a)-Structure; construction).

In addition to the St. Bernards’ dog door, there was an additional opening in the metal wall of the building for the pen’s inside enclosure. The opening was about 1.5 feet wide and four feet high, and was located next to the corner of the building. The opening’s longer side opposite the building corner had a jagged piece of metal sticking into the outside dog pen (3.1(c)(ii)-Surfaces).

Another outdoor pen next to the St. Bernard pen housed two Akitas. The pen had concrete flooring and thick-gauge wire walls three feet high, with a wooden dog house inside. The Akitas were able to stand up with their front legs over the top of the fence and lean the tops of their bodies completely over the wire (3.1(a)-Structure; construction).

Small-dog building
Across from the St. Bernard pen was a small building with five elevated indoor/outdoor cages on each of two sides of the building. The treated wire cages housed two to three small dogs of various breeds per cage. A week’s accumulation of fecal matter was present on the concrete under each cage (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Shepherd enclosures
On the side of the small-dog building, facing away from the St. Bernard pen, were two outdoor German Shepherd enclosures housing one dog per pen. The pens had wire walls, concrete floorings, a wooden dog house, and about a week’s accumulation of feces on the ground (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Both of the dog houses had hinged metal and wood doors and a brown build-up on their surfaces (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning).

One of the house’s doors was wide open, revealing inside surfaces that were scratched and covered in peeling red paint (3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces).

There were metal self feeders were the wire walls, and rusting water dishes were on the ground. One Shepherd was able to stick its head completely through a gap in the pen’s wire wall (3.1(a)-Structure, construction).

Kennel building with stacked pens
In between the row of outdoor pens and the Beagle/Sheltie pens was a kennel building with the outdoor portion of small-dog cages elevated above the outdoor portion of large-dog pens. The small-dog cages were constructed with wooden frames and treated wire, and each housed one to three small-breed dogs. The larger pens housed one to two large-breed dogs such as Akitas, German Shepherds, and St. Bernards.

Feces from the upper cages fell onto the concrete floorings of the four large-dog pens below, so that the lower pen floorings were covered in trampled feces. The dogs had no place to lie down without being in the feces. A flooring of a pen containing a single Shepherd did not have a single square inch that wasn’t covered in feces (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

The lower pens had thick-gauge wire walls and wooden frames with peeling paint and algae build-up on them (3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces).

The upper and lower pens had dog doors providing access to inside enclosures. The inside small and large dog cages were made with wire and plastic walls framed with wood. Plastic and metal self-feeders were on the cage walls. The wooden beams had peeling paint, and the plastic back walls of the cages were covered in dark stains and smeared feces (3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces; 3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning).

One of the inside small-dog cages was about two feet high and had less than six inches of head room for the three dogs inside, a Pug, a Shiba Inu, and what appeared to be a Shiba Inu-German Shepherd mix (3.6(c)(1)(iii) Primary enclosures).

The indoor large-dog pens were about three feet long and four feet wide. A pen housing a Shepherd and Keeshound did not appear to have enough space for the dogs to lie down in a normal manner without being in contact with each other (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements). These pens were only about 2.5 feet high, so the Shepherds and Akitas stood taller than the indoor cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures).

Fecal stains covered the concrete floorings and plastic walls of the large-dog cages (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning).

Plastic buckets were hung from the cage walls, and metal food dishes were on the floorings. The food dishes were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.9(b)-Feeding). The water buckets had chewed edges and scratched surfaces, and the indentions were filled with a brown and white residue (3.10-Watering).

A single puppy cage on the opposite side of the building was about two feet high and wide and about 4.5 feet long and housed three Shepherd puppies and one St. Bernard puppy. These puppies were about two feet long from the tip of their noses to the base of their tails. The puppies were overcrowded and lacked six inches of head room when they stood in a normal manner (3.6(c)(1)(i); 3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). This cage had treated wire and a wooden frame with peeling paint. A stack of newspapers, a bucket, and a dust pan were stored next to the cage (3.1(b)-Condition and site).

Whelping building
The whelping building had about 20 indoor/outdoor cages and about 40 inside cages. Some cages contained a whelping mother and puppies; others contained two to three breeders. One of outdoor wire cages was framed with wood with peeling paint (3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces). Two cages had rakes hanging from their outside doors. More than a week’s accumulation of feces was under each cage (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosure).

There were two whelping rooms, one that was completely dark (3.2(c)-Lighting) and one with several heat lamps turned on.

The whelping cages were made with treated wire and plastic walls framed with PVC. Plastic sheets under these cages caught feces and debris and had thick feces stains on them (3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces).

Plastic self feeders were attached to the walls, and water spigots were run into each cage. The plastic walls of the cages were covered in fecal stains (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning).

Empty pens
Two additional outdoor pens were located near the side of the small dog/large dog building. These two pens appeared unoccupied. Their wire walls were framed by wooden beams with peeling paint. Each pen had a wooden doghouse lacking a windbreak, and about 80% of the pen’s floorings were covered in feces that appeared old and rained on (3.1(b)-Condition and site).

Akita pens
A row of about ten Akita pens was located away from the other facilities at one end of the property. The pens had concrete runs with wire walls doghouses, a metal roof covering the doghouses and about five feet of the rear of each pen. There were one or two dogs per pen: one contained a mother and her four nursing puppies and another had an Akita and St. Bernard.

All of the pens had metal self feeders and plastic water buckets attached to their walls, and there was several days’ accumulation of feces trampled on the floorings (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

The ground within a 20-foot area of the front of the enclosures was soaked with watery feces. It appeared that feces had been washed out of the pens onto the ground repeatedly and had accumulated for quite some time. A concrete gutter in front of the pens was covered with feces residue (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal).

The entire kennel area was fly-ridden (3.11(d)-Pest control).

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