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/
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.
Robin SchulderRobin 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 breedersFounded 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, MissouriCAPS 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."
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, NYIn 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 KennelsCAPS 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 DealersCAPS 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 Puppieshttp://www.mspuppyconnection.com/ and http://www.boutiqueteacuppuppies.com/
Las Vegas, Nevada.
Relocated from Mississippi to Las Vegas in April. Only her personal Facebook account is visible: https://www.facebook.com/#!/Ashleynanderson82
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 Teacupshttp://www.beverlyhillsteacups.com/
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 CustomersSee attached chart summarizing some of our complaints (Appendix A-8).
Internet Sellers Acting as Brokers Without a Federal LicenseCritters 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.
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
Address: 91 Pittman Farm Rd
RecommendationsWhile 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:
Undercover at the Hunte CorporationAn Expose of America's largest Supplier of Pet Shop Puppies
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
RSVP on Facebook!
USDA's Failure to Enforce the Animal Welfare ActThe USDA has been extremely negligent over the years in its enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) as it pertains to commercial dog breeders and brokers. CAPS has been investigating this problem since 1995. In some instances, we have investigated facilities the day after or before a USDA inspector found no violations. CAPS investigators found numerous non-compliant items. Falsifying an inspection report is a federal felony.
Under the U.S. Criminal Code, it is a federal felony for a government employee to falsify a federal document, such as a USDA inspection report. It is also illegal for government officials to knowingly use fraudulent federal documents, as top-level USDA officials have allegedly been doing, to prepare required annual reports to Congress. Falsification of records, conspiracy to falsify records, and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government are federal felony crimes punishable by up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine.
USDA officials like to emphasize the word "minimum" with respect to animal care standards. Sadly, USDA is not even enforcing the minimum standards. Because USDA continues to make excuses for its failure to enforce the AWA, congressional oversight hearings are an absolute necessity.
CAPS and its pro bono lobbyists have been meeting with members of congress to present the findings from our investigations of numerous USDA licensed facilities. CAPS is requesting oversight hearings on the USDA's failure to enforce the AWA, advocating changes to the AWA and recommending new policies regarding the actions of USDA inspectors.
To keep building our case against the USDA and its failure to enforce the AWA, CAPS' evidentiary findings must stay current. We must demonstrate that this disregard of the AWA is pervasive throughout USDA's AHPS/Animal Care and not just a question of a few bad inspectors. Thus, it is essential that CAPS continue its in-depth investigations of USDA licensed facilities. Investigations - we also rescue puppy mill dogs as evidence of the cruelties being committed at these facilities - are costly.
Below is a white paper prepared by Crowell & Moring, CAPS' pro bono lobbyists in Washington DC. It outlines CAPS concerns about the USDA's failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act and lists some suggested solutions. We provide this white paper (with attached Poor, Lorton and Wee investigation reports) to congressional aides prior to meeting with them.
The Animal Welfare Act Needs Strengthening and the USDA's Administration of the Act Must be Overhauled.
As the only national organization dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals, the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is committed to ending the abuse and suffering of puppy mill dogs. Since 1995, CAPS has investigated over 100 puppy mills, with our most recent puppy mill investigations having been conducted in Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa. Further, CAPS works closely with the media, and has generated stories with "Dateline," "20/20," "Hardcopy," and magazines such as Life, People, and the Readers' Digest, as well as television stations in Boston, Chicago, and elsewhere.
Based on our years of investigative experience, CAPS has concluded that although the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) gives the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) the power to license, inspect and regulate breeders and brokers who deal in dogs for commercial purposes, the USDA's implementation of AWA has been grievously insufficient - fulfilling neither the letter nor the intent of the AWA.
Sadly, the problems we have identified are not new. In a March 1992 report, the USDA's independent Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) could not ensure the humane care and treatment of animals as required by the AWA. Indeed, in a subsequent January 1995 report, the OIG, recommended new legislation to strengthen and enhance APHIS' authority.
CAPS believes strongly that the time has come to fix these problems once and for all, and we urge the Congress to take the actions necessary - including oversight of the USDA's activities and enactment of remedial legislation - to achieve this goal. A brief summary of our concerns and some suggested solutions are set forth below.
Summary of Concerns
Importantly, although some improvements in the USDA's regulations are warranted, the larger problem is that the USDA is simply not enforcing them adequately. The USDA's rules (see generally, 9 CFR Parts 1-4), are too often ignored, not only by those who are regulated, but also by the regulators themselves. Thus, although the USDA's rules establish fundamental standards intended to provide for the humane care and treatment of dogs and other animals, unfortunately, as CAPS finds repeatedly in our field investigations, the standards for housing, ventilation, lighting, interior surfaces, primary enclosures, sanitation, pest controls, feeding and watering, outside shelter, compatibility, adequate veterinary care, and handling are, in all too many cases, being ignored. Complete copies of our field investigations are available upon request. Simply put either through omission, misfeasance, and (we fear) in some cases, even malfeasance, the USDA is not getting the job done. CAPS urges Congress to act swiftly to remedy the systemic failures we have identified.
We question whether the USDA is even institutionally capable of adequately implementing the puppy mill protection provisions of the AWA. Thus, we believe the appropriate congressional committees should conduct prompt and vigorous oversight of the USDA's management of this program with the following questions in mind:
- Does APHIS have sufficient funding and personnel to carry out its statutory mission?
- Does APHIS have the requisite management and training structures in place to fulfill its mission?
- Are APHIS inspectors qualified and properly trained to do the job?
In addition, and at a minimum, the Congress should strengthen the AWA to:
- require mandatory semiannual unannounced inspections of each licensee's facility, and mandatory reinspections, within thirty days, of any facilities where violations of USDA's standards and regulations have been found, to ensure they are corrected in a timely fashion;
- require mandatory unannounced inspections of facilities at which licenses are not renewed by the licensee no later than two months from the expiration date of such license;
- punish through imprisonment or fine (or both) any person who gives advance notice of any unannounced AWA inspection;
- provide a mechanism to allow representatives of animal welfare organizations to file written complaints regarding licensed facilities, including the right of such representatives to accompany APHIS inspectors as they inspect licensees' facilities in response to such complaints;
- require mandatory suspension of dealer licenses if cited violations of USDA's standards have not been corrected in a timely fashion;
- require mandatory revocation of dealer licenses if the dealer is found to be in serious violation of AWA regulations or standards (e.g., lack of food or water, adequate veterinary care) during any three mandatory inspections (See S. 1478/H.R. 3058, the Puppy Protection Act of 2001);
- provide for mandatory unannounced inspections of facilities at which licenses are suspended or revoked, within two weeks of such suspension or revocation, to ensure that dogs are not being sold; and
- prohibit the use of gunshot as a form of euthanasia, the conduct of Cesarean sections by anyone other than a licensed veterinarian, and the weaning of animals before six weeks of age.
Please write the following USDA officials and ask them to enforce the Animal Welfare Act as it pertains to federally licensed dog breeding and brokering facilities and to implement the above solutions suggested by CAPS.
Ms. Cindy J. Smith
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Inspection Service
Room 312-E, Whitten Building
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Mr. Kevin Shea
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Inspection Service
Room 312-E, Whitten Building
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Dr. Chester A. Gipson
Deputy Administrator of Animal Care
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Animal Plant and Inspection Service
USDA-APHIS-AC, Rm. 2D13
4700 River Road, Unit 97
Riverdale, MD 20737
Mr. Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Ms. Kathleen A. Merrigan
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
(awaiting congressional approval)
List of USDA licensed breeders and brokers:
Look under Facility Lists and then Dealers. "A" dealers are breeders and "B" dealers are brokers. Breeders raise animals for resale to brokers. Brokers then transport and sell these animals directly to pet shops. They may also breed.
Zeus' StoryDecember 31, 2001
Luise & Ken Fortney
Puppy Love Kennel
267 Riverview Road
Peach Bottom PA 17563
We purchased a Rottweiler/ mix Puppy from you on December 20th, 2001. The puppy was purchased as a surprise Christmas gift for my son who is five years old. He has wanted a puppy for Christmas for a while and has talked about it since this past summer. My sister cared for the puppy from the time of purchase until Christmas morning. On Christmas morning my mother brought the puppy to us and my son showed so much excitement it was incredible, for that we thank you. We also named him Zeus.
The events following our initial purchase were incredible as well. Unfortunately, incredibly disastrous. A summary of the events that bring us to today are summarized below:
December 21, 2001 - In the evening (~8:30 p.m.) my sister called to say Zeus had become very lethargic, was coughing and had green mucus expelling from his nose. We called you immediately to let you know and get your advice. We had an appointment scheduled with our vet the next morning. You advised us to keep the appointment and keep an eye on him. At that time we were concerned the symptoms were of canine distemper. You assured us it was probably just a cold, and suggested giving him Robitussin DM to relieve his congestion.
December 22, 2001 - Our appointment with the DVM (10:30 a.m.) at Fullerton Animal Hospital did not provide any specific conclusion as to what was wrong with the puppy since it was an initial visit. The following tests and recommended remedies were suggested:
- Prescribed an antibiotic called Clavamox (62.5 mg) 1 1/5 tablets 2x daily for the nasal discharge;
- Prescribed cough tablets ½ tablet every 8 hours as needed for dry cough;
- Performed two types of tests for mange from scrapings on tail both of which were negative and prescribed Conofite Cream (2%) applied 2x daily for bare spots on his tail and back right foot;
- Performed a test on stool sample that provided negative results.
He reacted well, initially and was brought home to us. He seemed to be recovering, at least not as bad as he was on the 21st, but still had a dry cough (occurring less frequently) and a cloudy nasal discharge instead of green with no sneezing.
December 26, 2001 - Contacted local DVM for fleas found, what could we do to treat fleas, and general status of puppy. Could not get in contact with DVM. Left a message for return phone call the next day. No return phone call.
December 28, 2001 - On the 28th he started to become "finicky" with his food regular diet (Iams puppy chow for large dogs) and somewhat lethargic. With help we were able to get the puppy to eat two meals and at this point there was not trouble with water intake. Regular bowel movement was noted along with regular fluid elimination. Stools started somewhat firm but were ending soft with some mucus.
December 29, 2001 - Couldn't get the puppy to eat and drinking was becoming a problem. Contacted the local DVM at 1:00 p.m. DVM suggested chicken broth or ground beef with rice for his diet, which we tried immediately and he ate one meal with some coaxing. This was recommended because the DVM was concerned that the antibiotic may have irritated the digestive tract. Meds were to be discontinued for a twenty-four hour period. Also, to get the puppy hydrated the DVM suggested Gatorade or ice cubes to get the puppy re-interested in fluid intake. We were able to get the puppy to drink his regular water with the hamburger and rice mixture. The last stool elimination was noted to be around 4:00p.m.
December 30, 2001 - The next morning he ate quarter to half of the rice/hamburger mixture but would not drink. We immediately tried ice cubes and later Gatorade and we were initially successful. Zeus was becoming more lethargic and would not eat after the initial try in the morning. We tried to keep fluids in him to keep him hydrated but close to evening he started vomiting initially hamburger and rice (very little) and some fluid. He also developed a "twitch" which worsened as the evening went on. We again called you, around the 9:00pm hour, explained the problems, which you insisted were an upper respiratory infection and the twitching could be from a number of different things. You claimed you could heal him of this illness and we agreed to bring him back as soon as possible. The earliest you wanted us to bring him was 10:am December 31, 2001. As the evening progress his symptoms worsened. He was twitching severely and the vomiting was getting worse at 10:00 - 10:30pm with repeated attempts (forcefully) at hydration. At this point we knew we could not wait until the next morning. We called you back and reached your answering machine. With a message left we anticipated a return call, but never received one. My mother-in-law also tried to contact you and left a detailed message stating that we wanted to bring the dog immediately. The twitching became constant between 11:00 - 11:30 p.m. and Zeus was near the point of physically injuring himself. With no further communication from you, we contacted an emergency animal facility, Falls Road Animal Hospital, 6314 Falls Rd, Baltimore MD 21209, 410-825-9100. Under their advice we took Zeus to them due to his behavior. The DVM recommended that we leave the puppy so that he could perform some testing but indicated that it didn't look good since the initial injection of relaxant had little affect. We were to call at 7:00 a.m. the next morning to decide what to do.
December 31, 2001 - At 4:00 a.m. the on staff DVM indicated that he could not stop Zeus from seizing and the metabolic testing indicated no abnormalities. In his opinion, based on the dog's actions and reaction to medication we were dealing with canine distemper and the puppy should be put down. We insisted that we should contact you first. We tried to contact you again at 6:30 a.m. to let you know that the veterinarian recommended euthanization soon and to find out what we needed to do with the body. We again received your voice mail upon which we left a detailed message and asked you to return our call or we would have the puppy put down by 7:00 a.m. At 7:00 we called the DVM to let him know we would follow his advice and asked if he could put his opinion in writing. By 9:30 a.m. we had not received a return call and had to call you again to let you know what was happening, what should be done with the body, and what kind of refund we were entitled to. You stated that you did not require the body but would require a copy of the DVM statement of death to obtain a refund of the initial cost of the puppy. We then inquired as to the balance of our bills for the extensive care provided in trying to help the puppy recover. You stated that you would consider these costs as part of the refund if we sent the documents to you.
My family has experienced great pain and suffering due to the actions leading to the demise of Zeus. We tried to improve his quality of life and promote healing. Unfortunately, it seems this puppy was too sick to be healed.
We would prefer to have back the puppy that we have become so attached to. Regretfully, since that is not possible, we are requesting full reimbursement of the purchase price as well as partial reimbursement for the veterinarian bills. We do not expect reimbursement for the first examination. However, we do request full reimbursement otherwise. If our request is not honored within 10 days of receipt we will pursue further legal action. A breakdown of the expenses that should be reimbursed by you is as follows:
|Description||Date||Cost||Refund Due||Method of Payment||Reference|
|>Initial Cost||12/20/2001||$291.50||$291.50||Visa||Contract||Seller has copy.|
|Initial DVM Visit||12/22/01||71.05||Discover||Attachment A||Buyer provided copy.|
|Initial Deposit Emergency Care||12/31/2001||250.00||250.00||Discover||Attachment B||Buyer provided copy.|
|Subsequent Payment for Emergency Care||12/31/2001||220.95||220.95||Discover||Attachment C||Buyer provided copy.|
|Mass Cremation||12/31/2001||65.00||65.00||Discover||Attachment D||Buyer provided copy.|
|DVM Opinion||12/31/2001||Attachment E||Buyer provided copy.|
Luise M. Fortney
The AKC suspended Ms. Stoltzfus' privileges in 1990. Yet, with full knowledge of the AKC, she continued to sell AKC registered dogs. She merely omitted her name from the supplemental AKC registrations so that it appeared the dogs came directly from the breeders. In 1991, the USDA fined Ms. Stoltzfus and her husband, Raymond, $10,000 in 1991 for re-selling dogs to pet shops without a Class B license and for having unsanitary conditions and inadequate disease control.
A customer who purchased a Puppy Love Golden Retriever with hip dysplasia, contacted us after the "20/20" piece on the AKC. She assisted us in obtaining complaints from more than 100 customers who purchased sick or dying puppies from Puppy Love. Because of the publicity and the complaints, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office began investigating Puppy Love and was going to take the case to trial in the April 1998. The date of the hearing was postponed until October 1998. The case was settled, and the Stoltzfus' agreed to pay $30,600 in restitution while not admitting wrongdoing. The Attorney General's Office refuses to tell CAPS if it ever collected this fine.
In March 2001, the state Board of Veterinary Medicine fined Ms. Stoltzfus $500 for providing Amoxicillin to a customer without having a veterinary license. That same month, a district justice dropped 82 of 85 state charges against Ms. Stoltzfus due to an incomplete inspection of her kennel. The remaining charges were for overcrowding.
On June 26, 2003, the Humane League of Lancaster County seized 24 dogs and four cats from Puppy Love. They also seized business records. The Humane League contends that Ms. Stoltfuz has been selling AKC registered dogs despite her suspension. They also claim that Ms. Stoltfus and her husband neglect their dogs and sell sick and dying puppies. About one week later, a judge ordered the immediate return of the records seized by The League. The Stoltzfus' attorney argued that the records contain medical histories of each animal. He stated in his motion that the Humane League "has jeopardized the health and welfare of the 500-plus dogs" at Puppy Love because Mr. and Mrs. Stoltzfus won't know the type of vet care required for each animal without these records.
Raquel Ramos of Baltimore, Maryland purchased a mixed breed dog for $300 on November 9, 2002. Shortly thereafter, the dog was diagnosed with parvovirus, coccidia and pneumonia. Ms. Ramos spent more than $1300 to save her dog. The breeder was Raymond Alley in Lucasville, Ohio.
The Humane League of Lancaster County received six complaints in the first three months of 2002 from Puppy Love customers who had purchased with parvovirus or distemper. One of these customers was Margaret Alford. She purchased a mixed breed puppy from Puppy Love for $275 on January 30, 2002, which she recovered, and spent close to $1600 treating the dog for parvo. The dog died a few days later. The breeder of was Sharon Thompson in Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania.
CAPS has also spoken to three other Puppy Love customers whose dogs had distemper. Pat Dwyer works for a veterinary clinic that was treating a mixed breed puppy with distemper. She adopted the dog from a family because they were thinking of returning the dog to Puppy Love. They had purchased the puppy for $300 shortly before Christmas. Ms. Dwyer's vet bills exceeded $1,000. Unfortunately, the puppy died in early January of 2002.
A college student, Anna Slutsky, also purchased a sick Puppy Love puppy in December of 2001. This dog died from parvovirus and distemper.
Luise and Ken Fortney bought a Rottweiler mix puppy, Zeus, from Puppy Love on December 20, 2001 as a Christmas present for their five-year-old son. Zeus died from distemper on 12/31/01. Ms. Stoltzfus finally returned the purchase price of the dog (around $300) but refused to reimburse the Fortneys for their vet bills of $827. The breeder was Raymond Alley. Read about Zeus in a letter from Luise Fortney to Joyce Stoltzfus.
In the first part of 1999, CAPS received a complaint from a customer who purchased a Golden Retriever puppy, Sandy, from Puppy Love for $400 in November 1998. The customer drove from Virginia to find a puppy. Ms. Stoltzfus brought out a dog she claimed to be Sandy's mother. The customer then asked Ms. Stoltzfus if Sandy's mother had hip clearance papers. Ms. Stoltzfus said she kept these papers in a safe at the bank and promised to fax them. The customer never received any hip clearance papers. Ms. Stoltzfus told the customer that the puppy had registration papers. The customer assumed that this meant American Kennel Club registration. After she came home with the dog, she realized Sandy was registered with the Continental Kennel Club. When the veterinarian examined initially examined the puppy, he said that Sandy was five-weeks-old. When the customer confronted Ms. Stoltzfus with this information, she said there was no way the dog could be that young. She also denied that the female dog she had shown the consumer was Sandy's mother and stated that she didn't have the mother on the premises.
By February, Sandy manifested severe hip and knee problems. She could barely stand up and cried while standing. The customer called Ms. Stoltzfus and told her about Sandy's medical condition. Ms. Stoltzfus said that no dog in Sandy's lineage had ever had hip or knee troubles. The customer couldn't afford hip replacement surgery. She asked Golden Retriever Rescue to take Sandy, but they refused since Sandy had come from Puppy Love. The Annapolis SPCA took Sandy in February 1999 and said it had a waiting list of 200 people who wanted Golden Retrievers. CAPS contacted the ASPCA and discovered that they had euthanized Sandy because of severe hip and knee problems. The customer was under the impression that the SPCA would find Sandy a home. They told her that once she left the dog with them, she could not find out Sandy's fate. In fact, the SPCA would not directly tell CAPS that they had euthanized the dog. The shelter employee said it was the SPCA's policy not to disclose this information, even to another animal protection organization.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office is encouraging anyone who has bought a Puppy Love dog to telephone the office at 800-441-2555. Please also submit the CAPS pet shop complaint form.