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Betty Morris
  • Owners: Morris, Betty
  • Business name: Morris Kennels
  • Address: 2260 Possum Flat Rd.
  • City, State Zip: Galatia, IL 62935
  • Year: 2004
  • USDA License: 33-B-0234
  • USDA Inspector: Ben Flerlage, ACI
  • USDA Inspections: 2002-01-30 and 2002-09-17 (reports unavailable after 3/04) – “No non-compliant items identified on this inspection”
  • Date of CAPS Investigation: 2004-07-14
  • Prior CAPS Investivations: 2001-09-30
About 120 dogs and 40 puppies. Breeds: Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Miniature Pinschers

Morris’s facility consists of two different kennel buildings. One, a single story structure, with tan wooden walls and a peaked, shingled roof, was about 20 feet long and 12 feet wide. The building was accessible through a door on one of the shorter walls. Both of the longer walls of the buildings had eight cages on the outside. These cages were about five feet above the ground. Each cage was about two feet wide, 16 inches long, and one foot tall, and made of treated wire. The cages had pool liners on a shelving about three feet below the cages to catch feces and urine, which, Betty explained, was washed into PVC pipes leading to a retention pond on the property. The cages had wooden boxes with treated wire tops inside the building. The dogs went through doggy doors to gain access to these boxes.

On one side of the building, one cage contained two 8 pound Poodles with less than six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the tops of their cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). The wire at a top corner of this cage was separated from the walls so the Poodles were able to stick their heads up against it to raise it up and potentially cut themselves on the wire of the walls (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures). Visible from the outside was jagged frame metal protruding from the top left corner of the doggy door where wood had worn away (3.1)(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures).

Another cage housed three 10 pound Lhasa Apsos (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures), and the bottom left corner of their doggy door showed similar wood degradation with a piece of jagged metal protruding (3.1)(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures).

A third cage contained three Poodles (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures) who didn’t have six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the tops of their cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). A fourth cage housed three Pomeranians 3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). These dogs also did not the requisite head room (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). Another cage had four Schnauzers (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Then there was a cage with three Chihuahuas (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). This cage had a jagged frame metal exposed at the bottom left corner of the doggy door where wood had worn away (3.1)(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures).

One cage containing two 8 pound Miniature Pinschers lacking six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the tops of their cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures) also exhibited doggy door damages with wood torn away from the bottom left corner, exposing a jagged edge of metal frame(3.1)(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures).

One of the cages contained three, eight-pound Maltese (3.6(c)(1)(i)Primary enclosures) lacking six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the tops of their cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)Primary enclosures.) One cage housed two, eight-pound Poodles lacking six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the tops of their cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)Primary enclosures.)

An outside cage on the other side of the building contained three 6 pound Yorkshire Terriers (3.6(c)(1)(i)Primary enclosures). All of the outside cages had plastic “lix-it” style bottles. Metal feed dishes on the wire flooring of their cages were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding.)

Eight wooden boxes, a foot tall, sixteen inches deep and two feet wide, lined the inside walls of the kennel building. More than six of these wooden boxes had holes that appeared to have been chewed and scratched through from inside by the dogs (3.4(c)-Construction) (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures.).

The boxes had treated-wire tops, several of which were loose enough on top to allow dogs inside to reach their heads through and outside the boxes (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(a)(2)(iii)Primary enclosures), and potentially cut themselves on the sharp points of the wire (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures). In some cases, a red brick and buckets placed atop the wire roofing kept the wire from being lifted up by the dogs inside (3.6(a)(2)(ii)-Primary enclosures). The brick and buckets could have fallen on a dog trying to reach through the wire.

On one side of the kennel, eight wire cages about 16 inches tall, two feet wide, and 16 inches deep, sat above the wooden boxes, while on the other side of the kennel, eight similar wire cages were positioned below the wooden boxes. One cage contained three 6 pound Yorkshire Terriers (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures); another housed two 8 pound Lhasa Apsos (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Plastic sheets inches below these inside cages were angled to siphon feces and urine to the PVC pipes outside.

A whelping enclosure inside the building consisted of four pens, two on top of another two. The cages were each divided in half. They consisted of a wooden box and a treated-wire cage. The wooden boxes were filled with newspapers, “lix-it” style water bottles were hung on the wire cages, and metal food bowls sat on the cage floorings. The food bowls were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding). The wire cages had sheets of newspapers placed underneath them to catch feces and urine. The top and bottom pens were placed so that the wooden boxes were back-to-back. The cages were on opposite ends of the enclosure. Betty showed me that one of the pens had a Jack Russell female with two six-week-old puppies.

Another single story building, about 20 feet long and 15 feet wide, with white vinyl siding on its walls, wooden front and rear doors and a peaked, shingled roof, was used as a whelping facility. Inside were enclosures identical to the whelping cages described above. The wire cages of the bottom enclosures had newspaper placed on top of their wire ceilings to attempt to prevent feces and urine from falling into the cages from the enclosures above them (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures). One cage contained a 6 pound Yorkshire Terrier, another a 6 pound Pomeranian with a Pomeranian puppy about five to six-weeks-old, a third what appeared to be three eight-week-old Pomeranian puppies, and a fourth an 8 pound Poodle. The building also had heat lamps next to the cages. The lamps were not operating.

A shed, about a hundred feet long and wide, made with metal siding and a peaked, green roof, was used to hold tools and cleaning supplies. Inside was a whelping room about 20 feet long and 10 feet wide, defined by wooden walls put up inside the shed. This room had 12 cages of treated wire. Each cage was about 16 inches tall and deep, and two feet long. The cages were stacked three high and placed directly against each other so that six were set in one unit, and another six set in one unit. All of the cages were placed against one wall of the room. The cages were about four inches above one other. The middle and bottom level cages had newspaper placed underneath the trays and on top of their wire ceilings (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures). All cages had “lix-it” style water containers hooked up to their wire walls and metal food containers on the wire flooring of the cages. The food containers were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excrete (3.9(b)- Feeding).

One cage housed a 6 pound Poodle who didn’t have six inches of head space from the top of its head to the top of its cage (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). A cage adjacent to this had two more Poodles (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Below these cages was a cage with another Poodle lacking six inches of space from the top of its head to the top of its cage (3.6(c)(1)(iii)Primary enclosures). This poodle shared a cage with two, six-week-old poodles, and a six-week-old French Bulldog (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).

Another cage in this row housed three more Poodles (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Below these cages was a cage with yet another Poodle lacking six inches of space from the top of its head to the top of its cage (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures) and two, five-week-old Poodle puppies (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Another cage in this row contained two Boxers lacking six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the top of their cage (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). In the other unit of cages, there were three six-week-old Poodle puppies huddled in the corner of a cage without their mother (2.40-Vet Care). Another cage had two French Bulldogs (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Below these two cages was a cage containing two more French Bulldogs (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures) and another cage with three French Bulldogs (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).

Ms. Morris continues to have numerous violations. The most obvious violations are lack of headroom and overcrowding. The most serious problem is the danger posed to the dogs by sharp exposed metal and wiring. It is incredible that Ben Flarlage failed to find a single non-compliant item during his inspections on 9/17/02, 1/30/02 and 8/29/01. Although we don’t have access to recent inspection reports, it is more than likely that his 2003 and 2004 inspection reports also do not list any violations.

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