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CAPS is the only national non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals from abuse in puppy mills and pet shops.


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Bob Meetin

Bob Meetin

Thursday, 17 January 2013 23:25

Bixenman, James and Marilyn

On the premises at the time of investigation: approximately 200 dogs.

Breeds: Yorkies, Shih Tzus, Beagles, Maltese, Bichon Frise, more.

The temperature at the time of the investigation was 90 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny.

Building Type #1:
All dogs were housed in wire kennels suspended from the ceilings of an indoor barn. No bedding was provided for these dogs (3.4(b)(4) Outdoor housing facilities). No outdoor access was provided. This is in violation of the new revisions to the Missouri Canine Cruelty Prevention Act, which require unfettered outdoor access for all dogs. There was an abundance of flies in the kennel that Ms. Bixenman vocally acknowledged were always there (3.1(c)(3) Housing facilities, general) (3.11(d) Cleaning, sanitation and pest control). This indicates lack of waste disposal and/or a bad drainage systems (3.1(f) Housing facilities, general). She told me that the barn had originally been used to house hogs and that part of the reason there were pests was because of bad drainage. These systems must be replaced if they are causing pests (3.4(c) Outdoor housing facilities).

At one point, a female Beagle started coughing and Ms. Bixenman acknowledged the dog and told it to cut it out. This dog may have needed veterinary care (2.40(a) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care) (2.40(b)(2) & (3) Attending veterinary and adequate veterinary care). When I took interest in a 2-week-old Shih Tzu, Ms. Bixenman picked the dog up improperly, causing the dog to squeal loudly. This is considered improper handling (2.100(a) Compliance with Standards and Holding Period) (2.131(b)(1)Handling of animals).

Water bowls must be accessible to all dogs. The water bowls in the whelping/nursing room were more than twice the height of the 6 Shih Tzu puppies located in the kennel. This is not considered potable for the dogs (3.6(a)(2)(viii) Primary Enclosures) (3.10 Watering).
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 00:00

Puppy Parlor

Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:08

Zimmerman, Alvin - Press Release

Alvin Zimmerman
Nov. 16, 2007
Department of Agriculture
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
CONTACT: Nicole L. Cullison
(717) 787-5085


State Dog Wardens, Humane Officers Remove 29 Dogs from Lewisburg Kennel

HARRISBURG - State dog wardens helped humane officers to recover 29 dogs from an unlicensed Union County facility as part of Governor Edward G. Rendell's effort to crack down on unsatisfactory kennels, the Department of Agriculture said today.

On Nov. 13, state dog wardens visited Fairview kennel in Lewisburg to investigate a complaint about the facility operating without a license. The wardens found 29 of the 40 dogs were dirty, matted and living in unsanitary conditions, including excess fecal matter.

The owner, Alvin Zimmerman, is being charged by the wardens for operating a kennel without a license and failing to maintain sanitary conditions.

Jessie Smith, the state's special deputy for dog law, said any kennel with more than 26 dogs per year must obtain a license and be inspected annually.

"The conditions of the kennel were unsatisfactory and without a license it could not continue to operate," said Smith. "Upon finding evidence of poor sanitation, the wardens immediately contacted humane officers who removed the dogs."

Zimmerman previously held a kennel license, which was surrendered in 2006 due to problems with the kennel, including sanitation and cleaning deficiencies. Following the surrender of his license, Zimmerman voluntarily reduced the number of dogs housed. Smith said sometime between the kennel license revocation in 2006 and the inspection this month, Zimmerman increased the number of dogs at the kennel to more than is allowed by law.

In October 2006, Governor Rendell announced sweeping changes to the state's dog law and regulations. The Governor also took actions to increase the enforcement of current laws by naming Smith as a special deputy, hiring a special prosecutor, and increasing the number of dog wardens.

For more information on Pennsylvania's dog law, and to access kennel inspection records, visit .

Thursday, 18 October 2012 22:01

Uitermarkt, Melvin and Brent

On the premises at the time of investigation: about 17 dogs and six puppies

Breed: Shelties
Unlike before, no dogs were seen tethered to trees or kept in the wooden box outside of the kennel building. The box had old newspaper shreds that were heavily stained, but its door was opened and no animals were inside.

Main kennel
The kennel building’s design was the same as described in the CAPS USDA report dated 7/28/06. Indoor pens lined one side of the building, with doggie-doors to access outdoor runs with concrete floorings, wire walls and a roof for additional shelter. The other side of the building had indoor whelping pens, one of which was occupied by a black and white nursing Sheltie mother and six puppies that appeared to be about a week old.

The outdoor runs were relatively clean, though feces and fur were spread through the grass outside of the runs, primarily concentrated at their edge near the grass where flies were swarming (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal; 3.11(d)-Pest control).

Indoor pens
Most of the indoor pens had dark fecal stains covering their concrete floorings (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The nursing dog and puppies of the occupied whelping pen were in a shallow wooden box with feces-stained newspaper pieces in it. The wood of the whelping box also had feces stains on its surfaces, and a thin layer of dark, compacted feces was covering the pen flooring (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). Metal food and water dishes were in the whelping pen, and had dried clumps of feces stuck to their outer surfaces (3.9(b)-Feeding; 3.10-Watering).

The inside of the kennel was very dark, and the pens could not be seen clearly into without the use of extra light (3.2(c)-Lighting).

Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:54

Kauffman, Dan and Omar

Breeds: Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherds, Standard Poodles, Pomeranian, Miniature Pinscher

There were 22 dogs and 8 puppies at the kennel at the time of investigation.

Kennel description
The kennel was divided into three main sections, a woman who identified herself as a daughter of the kennel owner (Caucasian female, about 25 years old, 120 lbs, long blonde hair, glasses, appeared to be dressed as a Mennonite), said that the kennel was used for breeding and boarding. The horse stable was used to hold horses and dogs in one kennel area; another section was a series of outdoor pens on the opposite side of the stable as the house; and the third area was a row of outdoor pens and elevated cages behind a row of buildings near the house and hidden from view from the house and stables.


The stable building had three German Shepherds in one horse stall and two Shepherd puppies in another stall. Both stalls had no food in them and dirty, brown water in their water dishes. Fecal matter was smashed into straw and wood shavings on the floor, though it appeared that weeks of feces was piled on top of the straw of the puppy pen, much of it mashed into the corners of the pens and smeared onto the walls (PA Dog Law 21.29(a) and(c)(1)-Sanitation) (21.28(d)-Bedding). The Shepherd puppies were each about five months old, and their pen was in almost total darkness (21.27(2)-Lighting). A metal gate was inside the puppies’ stall, with thick cobwebs built up on its top surface (21.29(c)-Sanitation). In addition, the surfaces of a plastic doghouse and a large metal feeder on the ground of the stall were covered in fecal stains (21.29(c)(1)-Sanitation) (21.28(c)-Food). The food dish was clearly not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta (21.28(c)-Food).

Poodle puppies
There was an elevated wire cage with an attached wooden hutch used to house six Standard Poodle puppies in the horse barn next to a stall. The puppies had no food, and one of their water dishes had a brown residue covering its surfaces (21.28(a)-Food) (21.28(c)-Water). Several days of feces was piled up on top of wood shavings under the cage (21.29(a)-Sanitation).

Shepherd pens
On the side of the barn opposite the puppy cage was a chain link pen set on the barn flooring which held a single adult Shepherd. The dog had food in a dish set on its flooring and a water dish containing brown water next to it (21.28(a)-Water). Over 24 hours of feces was in the pen, mixed with straw and wood shavings (21.29(a) and (c)(1)-Sanitation) (21.28(d)-Bedding).

A row of chain link pens was near the stable on its side opposite the house on the property. There were five pens, four on concrete slabs and the fifth on dirt. Three pens each held a single German Shepherd, while the other two each held two Shepherds, including the one with the dirt flooring.

Each pen contained a plastic or wooden dog pen, all without windbreaks (21.24(b)(6)(iii)-Shelter). The dirt pen had a plastic doghouse in it about 3.5 feet long and 2.5 feet wide and tall. The doghouse was not large enough for both dogs to stand in at once or lay in without being on top of each other (21.24(b)(1)- Shelter).

None of the pens had any food in them, and plastic water buckets in each were filled with dingy brown and green water (21.28(a) Food) (21.28(a)-Water). Chain link wiring was broken into sharp points next to the water bucket of one pen containing two dogs, and the hole was repaired with rusting chain (21.21(a)-Dog quarters). Over 24 hours of feces was in each pen (21.29(a)-Sanitation).

Bernese pen
Several cages stood by themselves near the horse stable. One was a chain link pen with concrete flooring containing a single Bernese Mountain Dog. The pen contained a wooden doghouse lacking a windbreak and over 24 hours of feces, most of it accumulated in the back of the pen (21.24(b)(6)(iii)-Shelter (21.29(a)-Sanitation). The concrete slab the pen extended about four feet beyond the front of the pen where it was partially covered in standing brown water discolored from excrement (21.24(b)(10) -Shelter).

Outdoor cages
Several other cages were near the Bernese pen. Two were abandoned, elevated cages with mounds of feces piled under them (21.24(b)(10- Shelter). Next to it was another elevated cage containing a German Shepherd puppy about six months old. The cage was attached to a wooden box at its rear and had two water dishes but no food inside (21.28(a)-Food). Feces were smashed into the pen flooring and over a week of feces were piled underneath the cage (21.29(a)-Sanitation). A chain link wire pen with dirt flooring that held two German Shepherds was close to the puppy cage. There was no food in the pen, but I did see two plastic buckets filled with dirty water set next to a chain link wall (21.28(a)-Food) (21.28(a)-Water).

Additional cages
The largest kennel area was not visible from the house or driveway on the property. It was a series of several outdoor enclosures containing dogs of various breeds. One was a chain link pen on dirt ground that held two German Shepherds and a wooden doghouse. There was no food in the pen but there were several water buckets containing brown and green, murky water (PA Dog Law: 21.28(a)-Water).

An elevated outdoor cage holding a Pomeranian and a Miniature Pinscher were near the Shepherd pen with dirt flooring. About a dozen outdoor pens with chain link walls and concrete floorings were next to the elevated cage. Near them was a row of chain link pens with concrete floorings and wooden doghouses, each holding two Standard Poodles. Several days of feces were smashed onto the pen floorings, and all of the dogs’ water buckets contained brown and green water (21.29(a)-Sanitation (21.28(a)-Water).

Several elevated wire cages attached to wooden doghouses were near the ground pens. One held a single Standard Poodle with over 24 hours of feces mashed into the wire flooring of its cage (21.29(a)- Sanitation). Two other cages each held two Standard Poodles.

Immediately after viewing Kauffman Kennels in Chester County, I contacted Denise Dougherty with the PA Dog Law Bureau, telling her that I witnessed what I believed to be a case of animal neglect at Kauffman Kennels. I also said that it was apparent that the kennel is still operating despite the fact that they are listed by the PA Department of Agriculture as being voluntarily closed.

Denise immediately gave me contact information for Maurine Siddons, a Dog Warden in Chester County – 610-909-5666. I left a message for Maurine on 10/24/07 explaining what I had viewed at Kauffman Kennels. On the night of 10/24/07, I e-mailed a short report to her, which is not edited to the current report noting all PA Dog Law violations evident at the time I was at the kennel. In the report to Siddons, I did not cite violations but merely described the conditions I saw, most notably the two German Shepherd puppies on weeks of feces and in a dark horse stall, dogs without food, dirty water buckets, and Poodle cages with feces piled on their floorings.

On 10/26/07 I called Siddons again, who told me that she had already been to Kauffman Kennels and had instructed the kennel owners to give away their dogs. She did not specify where the dogs went. I spoke to Siddons in person at about 8:30 am on 11/1/07 in Harrisburg, PA, where she again commented that Kauffman Kennels had given away their dogs to get them off of the property.

On 11/3/07 I drove by Kauffman Kennels and took several photographs. The kennel area at the rear of the property that used to hold two German Shepherds, several Standard Poodles, and a Miniature Pinscher and Pomeranian appeared to be empty. However, a row of outdoor German Shepherd chain link runs, a Bernese Mountain dog run, and an elevated cage behind the horse stable all appeared to still hold dogs.

Dateline Investigation of Commercial Dog Breeding System


It's a multi-million dollar industry. Learn the truth behind the lovable dogs seen in the pet shop.

Publication/Event date: 2012-10-15
Publication name: Cindy Lu's Muse
URL for more info:
History was made this Fall in Illinois.  Villa Park became the first town in the state to pass an ordinance banning most sales of dogs and cats within its borders. Villa Park may be the first, but there are many towns now considering a ban as well. Pet shops will undoubtedly find it more difficult to open new stores, expand to new towns, perhaps even to remain in the buildings they already occupy. For the sake of puppy mill dogs (and all pets for that matter) - the time has come.

Continue reading...
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 20:00

Bishop: Puppy Mill Situation Is 'Intolerable'

Publication/Event date: 2012-10-11
Publication name: Riverhead Patch
URL for more info:
U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, D-Southampton, said the puppy mill situation in the United States is "intolerable" and promised to look into it further.

A question about puppy mills was asked during a Wednesday night meeting of the puppy mill situation.

Continue reading...
Publication/Event date: 2012-10-05
Publication name: Riverhead Patch
URL for more info:
For months, tempers have been flaring as protestors gather on Route 25 in Aquebogue outside The Puppy Experience to raise awareness about puppy mills.

One week, police were called to the scene after some said demonstrators should not be parking in the Aquebogue Elementary School lot.

Continue reading...
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 20:00

Another CAPS Victory; Villa Park Ordinance

The Companion Animal Protection Society would like to thank CAPS Chicago Campaign Coordinator Ida McCarthy, assisted by Chicago Outreach Coordinator Dianne Arp with support from Chicago Volunteer Coordinator Kristen Kaminski and all of our Happiness is Pets protesters. Villa Park, IL has banned the sale of pet shop puppies and kittens unless the pet shop has owned the building for at least one year. They also banned the sale of companion animals in flea markets, parking lots, etc. On to other towns in Illinois!! This is just the beginning.

Watch video

Villa Park Ordinance
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It would be wonderful if everyone could send a thank you to the council members below!

Related articles:
Villa Park board passes ordinance regulating pet shops and kennels

Don't forget to join CAPS Chicago Facebook group! 

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Investigating Pet Shops and Puppy Mills since 1992

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