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Investigations

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?

View the Slideshow

Bob Meetin

Bob Meetin

Publication/Event date: 2012-08-07  
Publication name: Corona del Mar Today
URL for more info: http://www.coronadelmartoday.com/29779/home/one-year-ago-today-i-heart-puppies-protests-began/
Summary:
A year ago today, dozens of animal rights protesters crowded onto the sidewalks in front of a new East Coast Highway business, vowing to return until alleged puppy mill dogs were no longer sold at the I Heart Puppies shop.

Continue reading...
Publication/Event date: 2012-08-04
Publication name: Examiner.com
URL for more info: http://www.examiner.com/article/massachusetts-bill-signed-on-animal-control-to-ban-euthanasia-by-gas-chambers?no_cache=1344117736 Summary: Massachusetts officials signed a bill that will offer a modern take on animal control, benefitting not only the animals but also the public.

Continue reading...
UPDATE: THE VILLA PARK MEETING WAS CANCELLED. We were informed they cannot pass the ordinance. There is a clause in city law that prevents them from doing this. Please try and contact whoever you invited to attend.

Fwded message from CAPS Chicago Campaign Coordinator Ida McCarthy:
Ban Sale of Dogs and Cats Ordinance - Villa Park, IL — Monday, August 13th at 7:30pm CDT
NEED YOUR SUPPORT FOLKS!!! We are on the agenda at the next Villa Park council meeting on August 13th at 7:30pm (CDT). It's an open meeting and anyone can attend and speak.
We are trying to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, in flea markets, parking lots and farmers markets. It would be great to see some Villa Park residents speak up, so please if you know anyone in Villa Park who would be willing to just stand up and say "I support the ordinance" that would be great!
You only have 3 minutes to speak I believe, and just that one sentence would be fine. It's all about HOW MANY PEOPLE SHOW UP TO SUPPORT THIS. It would be the FIRST city in Illinois. Let's make some history :)
Meeting will be held at the Villa Park Municipal Bldg, 20 S. Ardmore Ave, Villa Park, which is about 10 minutes from the Oak Brook Mall. It's a small brick bldg next to the Police Dept. Park in the Jewel lot across the street, as the Municipal Center has a small parking lot.

Villa Park website
Google Maps
CAPS Chicago FB Page
Thursday, 26 July 2012 20:00

Shut HIP Down!

Help CAPS shut HIP down! Join the protests!

Happiness is NOT Pets at Orland Park
15647 S 94th Ave, Orland Park, IL 60462
August 12, 2012 Sunday from 1pm-3pm
Facebook event page : https://www.facebook.com/events/289205237854107/

Happiness is NOT Pets at Lombard
616 E Roosevelt Rd, Lombard, Illinois 60148
July 28, 2012 Saturday from 1pm-3pm
Facebook event page : https://www.facebook.com/events/204463333012582/
Monday, 23 July 2012 20:00

Wake-Up Call for Western Europe

Publication/Event date: 2012-07-19
Publication name: Cindy Lu's Muse
URL for more info: http://cindylusmuse.blogspot.com/2012/07/wake-up-call-for-western-europe.html#.UA6rbjGe56Z
Summary: Today we are honored to host our friend Leo, of Kenzo the Hovawart. Please welcome him as he shares his important message:

In Western-Europe we take pride in our legislation that ensures the welfare of dogs. Puppy mills and the sale of dogs through pet shops is restricted, if not banned. When we watch the different American SPCA dog rescue shows on our television sets we see a familiar picture. Overpopulation, pet stores, puppy mills, abandoned dogs in shelters. Strays. That's how it was over here 20 years ago. Glad we are so far ahead and fixed these issues, we put it in a little box labeled "American conditions", shake our heads and go on with our day.

Continue reading...
Monday, 08 October 2012 19:26

USDA Inspection Photos

Click on any image to view the slideshow.

USDA Inspection Photos for Wendie and Doug Dettbarn in Iowa who sell to JAKS.

Monday, 08 October 2012 19:19

Schulder, Robin

Robin Schulder

Robin Schulder, labeled Queens Cruella by Gothamist, will have to pay a small fortune for her misdeeds. The penalty: $167,000 and a prohibition against operating, promoting or participating in any businesses relating to dogs in any way. The stipulated settlement was with the New York State Office of the Attorney General, which had been pursuing the Internet breeder along with CAPS since 2007. After receiving complaints from consumers who purchased sick puppies from online dog businesses, CAPS asked the AG's office to start a case.  

Originally, Andrew Cuomo – Attorney General at the time – went after Imported Quality Guard Dogs and the Animal Rescue Unit, two of the businesses owned by Schulder. In a statement back in 2010, Cuomo said she "engaged in deceptive business practices and false advertising." There were obvious violations of the state's Pet Lemon Law and the deception went further than selling sick puppies or the wrong breed.

During her "reign," Schulder pretended to run a "no-kill shelter" called Animal Rescue Unit (a pretty despicable act on its own) and duped dozens of consumers into buying sickly puppies of various breeds from several websites. She claimed she bred the dogs herself, although a CAPS undercover investigation didn't see any evidence of a kennel operation in her home. She contacted CAPS about one of the complaints filed against her but was reluctant to answer CAPS' questions about the source of her dogs or her suspicious practices. Instead, she claimed to belong to a number of animal protection organizations and that she ran a nonprofit rescue organization, at one point offering to donate to CAPS as a veiled bribe. After being probed by the government, CAPS and consumers, she claimed her alleged non-profit was inactive and that was the reason why she couldn't produce any records of dogs rescued by the ‘organization.'

Schulder has a history of shady practices and exhibits all the tell-tale signs of a con-artist. Some of the customers reported that Schulder verbally assaulted them when they demanded reimbursement for veterinary care or when they tried to return puppies. In some cases, Schulder sent pictures but delivered completely different dogs - at times not even the same breed. This was a classic bait-and-switch scheme that caught the Attorney General's attention. Schulder and Reich also sold dogs over the Internet, site unseen, and claimed to get some of their puppies from family-owned kennels in Europe.

Late last year, Schulder filed for bankruptcy. The state had to wait until the summer of 2012 to collect the settlement money through the bankruptcy court even though the stipulated settlement was reached in April 2011. The stipulation also enjoined Schulder from soliciting or collecting funds for or on behalf of the Animal Rescue Unit or from operating, promoting or participating in any animal related charitable organizations or activities. Schulder finally admitted that the Animal Rescue Unit, which she advertised as a no-kill shelter, was inactive and that she couldn't produce any records of the dogs rescued by her alleged non-profit organization.

Although far from a happy ending, the Queens Cruella won't be conning any more unsuspecting customers. Thanks to the combined efforts of government officials and CAPS, Schulder paid a steep fine and won't be able to sell dogs or engage in charitable work on behalf of animals. Her story should be a cautionary tale for those considering to buy dogs from any Internet sellers. For more information about Internet sellers, read the CAPS fact sheet "Why You Shouldn't Buy that Puppy on the Internet."

CAPS comment for USDA's proposed regulation of Internet breeders

Founded by President Deborah Howard in 1992, the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy mills.  CAPS actively addresses the abuse and suffering of pet shop and puppy mill dogs through investigations, education, media relations, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance and pet industry employee relations.

Below are examples of investigations and outreach concerning the sale of puppies via the Internet. We are also including a chart that summarizes some of our complaints. CAPS has an online complaint form for purchasers of puppies, kittens and other animals.

Puppies Direct, Missouri

CAPS has been investigating online puppy sellers since the early days of the Internet. In 1998, we investigated Puppies Direct (Appendix A-1), a consortium of then current and former USDA-licensed Missouri-based (one Iowa) breeders led by Mickalyn Crawford in LaGrange. CAPS investigated Crawford in 1999 and 2001 and rescued several dogs from her facility, where we documented many AWA violations.

Crawford would only provide us with the first name of the breeders. However, we were able to figure out who they were. Most of these breeders still have USDA licenses. When we were investigating these breeders in 1998, Tammy Burchett and Joe McVeigh had dropped their USDA licenses. Burchett, who is now in Missouri, obtained another license in 2010. Joe McVeigh was charged with animal cruelty in 1998.

According to a December 1, 1997 USDA inspection report signed by Harold Becker, McVeigh had no non-compliant items. The Scotland County Sheriff's Department raided McVeigh's facility on January 20, 1998. Humane Society of Missouri employees and Mary Martin, an inspector from the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA), went with two sheriff deputies. They found seven dead dogs on the property – all who had starved to death. There were cannibalized dogs and skeletal remains in the snow. McVeigh had more than 120 live dogs. The Humane Society of Missouri report stated that the ground under the raised wood and wire pens was saturated with urine and feces. There was about an inch of snow on the ground. There was no food or drinkable water in any of the pens. Some of the bowls contained frozen water.

In the fall of 1998, CAPS investigators visited Joe McVeigh's kennel in Memphis, MO. McVeigh was using hog panels to construct dog runs on the ground. The pens stood independently of each other and did not appear to be soundly constructed. One can disassemble and move these pens. Our investigators noted that McVeigh must move the pens periodically in lieu of proper cleaning and sanitizing. The watering containers were plastic buckets around five gallons in size. The water was not clean and potable. McVeigh allowed dogs to run freely on the property near the main highway. McVeigh remarked that he had been "raided by the Missouri Humane Society in early 1998."

http://www.caps-web.org/view-investigation-report.php?report_id=73

McVeigh had about a dozen dogs at the time of our investigation but had no federal or state license. Yet, he was selling puppies through Crawford’s Puppies Direct online business. Burchett appeared to be out of business.

CNN Story about Wizard of Claws


On May 11, 2006 CNN aired a lengthy segment entitled, “Sick Puppies Dog Some Online Purchasers.” In this story on Internet puppy sales, CNN Consumer Correspondent Greg Hunter interviewed CAPS President Deborah Howard, who addressed the issues involved with Internet puppy buying and showed video footage of puppy mills that sell to The Hunte Corporation, the largest puppy brokerage facility in the country. The story focused on Celebrity Kennels (aka Wizard of Claws) in Florida, which obtained many of their puppies from Hunte. Celebrity Kennels also sold puppies both through a strip mall storefront, where they showed puppies to consumers who sit in a waiting room, and over the internet. Just because pet shops and online sellers have celebrity customers doesn’t mean that these puppy merchants obtain puppies from reputable breeders. Wizard of Claws went out of business as the result of a consumer class action lawsuit.

Robin Schulder, Queens, NY

In 2007 and 2008, CAPS received a number of consumer complaints about Robin Schulder, who had several Internet puppy businesses selling various breeds, including one that sold expensive “guard dogs.” She also claimed to be running a rescue. See Daily News article and email correspondence between CAPS President Deborah Howard and Robin Schulder (Appendix A-2). We turned over these complaints to the Office of the New York Attorney General. Schulder was selling sick puppies and violating the New York lemon law. We also gave them undercover footage taken by a CAPS investigator who visited Robin in her home to look at puppies. She lived on a 2,000 sf lot; there was no evidence that she was breeding dogs herself, although she claimed to be a breeder of the dogs she was selling. See attached Petition by the State of New York dated January 6, 2010 (Appendix A-3), Stipulation of Settlement dated April 6, 2012 (Appendix A-4) and Order Authorizing the Stipulation of Settlement, etc. (Appendix A-5). Schulder filed for bankruptcy so it was only just recently that funds were released to the state to satisfy the settlement on behalf of the consumer plaintiffs.

North Country Kennels

CAPS also received several complaints about sick puppies sold by North Country Kennels (mixedbreedpups.com) in Ironton, MN. See attached CAPS fact sheet: Why You Shouldn’t Buy That Puppy in the Window (Appendix A-6). Because this Internet seller lives in Minnesota, which has no state licensing and inspection program, she never gets inspected. The site lists 17 types of “designer” small breed dogs and seven types of purebred dogs. One can only imagine how many breeding dogs she has on the property. On the FAQ page, she states that the facility is inspected – every two or three years by AKC.

Korean Teacup Puppy Dealers

CAPS has been investigating Internet sellers of Korean teacup puppies. We have complaints for two dealers: Ashley Anderson and Ginger Turk (Appendix A-7):

Boutique Teacup Puppies

http://www.mspuppyconnection.com/ and http://www.boutiqueteacuppuppies.com/

Ashley Anderson
Las Vegas, Nevada.
Relocated from Mississippi to Las Vegas in April. Only her personal Facebook account is visible: https://www.facebook.com/#!/Ashleynanderson82
888-743-0325
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See CAPS complaint for Nichole Casper in Boston area who bought a puppy that died of parvovirus. Broker was Jung Puppy Club (see below).

The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office is investigating Anderson’s previous online dog businesses.

Beverly Hills Teacups

http://www.beverlyhillsteacups.com/
Ginger Turk
Folsom, CA

Formerly Once Upon A Teapup. She is using a different name, probably because the other company was involved in a fraud complaint, forging signature of a vet. Ginger forged her vet’s name to CVIs, resulting in her being charged with forgery in CA. Ginger was previously using Jung Puppy Club, which may be associated with Victory Puppy Club.

Other CAPS Complaints from Internet Customers

See attached chart summarizing some of our complaints (Appendix A-8).

Internet Sellers Acting as Brokers Without a Federal License

Critters and Pets, a San Clemente-based online seller of puppies illegally brokered to I Heart Puppies in Corona del Mar, California (now out of business). They did no breeding and instead obtained dogs from USDA-licensed facilities in the Midwest, such as Barb Crick in Nebraska 47-A-0426, who is under investigation by APHIS. We filed a report with Dr. Gerald Rushin in July 2011. We can no longer find a website for them.

http://www.caps-web.org/index.php?option=com_wordpress&;tag=critters-and-pets

Judy Hulett sells to individuals via a website but also brokers to Puppy Town in Sarasota without a license; there are no CVIs filed with Florida Department of Agriculture.

Name: Hulett, Judy
URL: janddkennels.com
Address: 91 Pittman Farm Rd
City: Rhine
County: 
State: GA
Zip: 31077

Recommendations

While complaints filed with CAPS about sick puppies from pet shops still outnumber Internet puppy complaints, this may change as more municipalities pass ordinances banning the sale of pet shop puppies/kittens and some pet shops offer adoption animals only. Some Internet breeders or sellers have a USDA and/or state license while others, such as North Country Kennels, aren’t subject to any government licensing or inspection. That is why it is imperative that USDA/APHIS implement a regulation that closes a loophole that has allowed breeders and brokers to sell dogs and cats sight unseen over the Internet or via the phone or mail without being subject to federal licensing and inspection. Websites that have numerous breeders selling puppies, such as Next Day Pets, Terrific Pets and Puppy Find, will need to be monitored. We are glad to hear that companies and individuals that broker (no breeding at all) to individuals via the Internet will also be covered.

Over the years, we have investigated individuals, such as Wendy Laymon (previously in Washington but moved to Missouri due to numerous legal problems and serving time in WA) who sold puppies through newspaper ads. These individuals did no breeding and instead obtained puppies from commercial breeding facilities, mostly USDA-licensed, in the Midwest. Those who sell through newspapers should also be covered, whether they are breeding themselves and have at least five breeding females or are obtaining puppies and other animals from other sources. People who sell through newspapers typically meet prospective customers in a parking lot. Wendy met customers in McDonald’s and WalMart lots. The customers saw just one puppy and could not see the conditions in which these puppies lived.

Wendy Laymon lost her USDA license for three years effective April 2009 and now sells online:

www.frenchiepuppies.com
http://www.dm.usda.gov/oaljdecisions/090403_AWA-08-0089.pdf

http://www.paws.org/wendy-laymon-puppy-mills.html

Monday, 08 October 2012 14:29

Hunte - Undercover at the Hunte Corporation

Undercover at the Hunte Corporation

An Expose of America's largest Supplier of Pet Shop Puppies
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 20:00

ANTI-PUPPY MILL RALLY-PRO ADOPTION

Boston, MA (1888PressRelease) May 2, 2009- An undercover investigation by the Companion Animal Protection Society (www.caps-web.org) has revealed that Elite Animals of West Hollywood sells dogs from puppy mills in the Midwest and is defrauding customers, lying about the conditions where the dogs are from. The city of West Hollywood, CA passed a resolution against the sale of puppy mill dogs last year. Elite Animals has ignored efforts by the City of West Hollywood to come in for a meeting to discuss the evidence in an open forum with representatives from several national animal welfareorganizations.

The evidence from the undercover investigation of the mill that supplies Elite Animals revealed dogs living in deplorable conditions. The dog enclosures were overcrowded and filthy. The dogs were sick, injured and crammed into rusty cages that are full of feces and urine. In the undercover investigation of Elite animals, a clerk lied to CAPS investigators posing as customers that the dogs were "raised in a house." The same clerk admitted selling a Pomeranian from the same breeder to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Governor Schwarzenegger was a victim of fraud if he believed his dog was from a reputable breeder.

Elite Animals also told undercover investigators they could buy puppies imported from Russia. The clerk claimed his wife owned the shop and that he could import "whatever you want." It is illegal and dangerous to import dogs under the age of six months. Elite Animals was in violation of the law by not posting the breeder information in clear view outside the animal enclosures in the store. Please click here to view the video of the investigation.

"Elite Animals is using our Governor’s good name to sell puppy mill puppies. Governor Schwarzenegger was a victim, like so many consumers who buy pets in pet stores thinking the pet is from a reputable breeder.

No reputable breeder ships dogs to pet shops or sells on the Internet.

The evidence from the breeder who supplies Elite Animals is some of the worst I've seen. There is only one way to describe the evidence: Silence of the Lambs. The dogs are in anguish, living out their wretched lives crammed into cages without any mercy. If our own Governor can be lied to this way, any innocent consumer can be lied to and this has to stop.

During this historic economic crisis, we ask that people relieve our overburdened municipal shelters instead of buying animals in pet shops.

Elite Animals is not unique in this regard. Pet shops are all puppy mill fronts and the pets sold in them are from pet factories. The progressive City of West Hollywood has been extremely supportive of animal welfare issues and will be putting an ordinance banning the sale of puppy mill dogs on the agenda." - Carole Raphaelle Davis, West Coast Director of The Companion Animal Protection Society, author of "The Diary of Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife” and investigative reporter for American Dog Magazine.

"Living with a puppy mill survivor, I'm well aware that these pet stores support an industry that is nothing short of legalized torture. 'Baby' was used like a breeding machine at one of these houses of horror, never allowed out of a small cage for 8 years, and had her vocal cords cut so the puppy mill owner wouldn't have to hear her cries. She's just one of countless dogs living in torture at this very moment. Elite Animals, like all puppy mill fronts, is to blame for these atrocities against man's best friend." - Dr. Jana Kohl, guardian of Baby, a puppy mill survivor and author of “A Rare Breed of Love.”

Join the Companion Animal Protection Society and local celebrities for a protest at Elite Animals Pet Store on Saturday May 2, 2009.

WHAT: ANTI-PUPPY MILL RALLY-PRO ADOPTION
WHO: Companion Animal Protection Society
WHERE: Elite Animals, 8729 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood
WHEN: Saturday, June 27, 2009 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm


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For more information please contact Carole Raphaelle Davis at 310-990-5758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Bea's Beat

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

Blog with Beatrice!

Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

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

Meet Deborah

CAPS Blog

Read about issues affecting companion animals, especially those suffering in pet shops and puppy mills.

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Contact Us

Contact CAPS

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
759 CJC Hwy., #332
Cohasset, MA 02025
p: 339-309-0272

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Class Action Lawsuits

scales of justice

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.

Read more about Happiness is Pets or Barkworks.

CAPS Complaint Form