Approximately 1350 dogs and 20 puppies. Breeds: Bull Mastiffs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, English Bulldogs, Huskies, Shiba Inus, Labradors, Miniature Pinschers, Yorkshire Terriers, Australian Cattle Dogs, Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, Shar Peis, Pugs, American Bulldogs
Steve Kruse’s kennel had several buildings. The single-story building at the southeastern edge of the property was about 85 feet long (north and south) and about 30 feet wide. The structure was made of brick and wood. It had a white peaked metal roof and concrete flooring. The east end of the building had about 16 outside runs made of untreated, rusting metal (3.1(c)(i)-Surfaces). The pens had concrete floors. There was a doggie-door at the west end to allow access to a chain link area inside the building. The outside runs had no windbreaks other than the building itself at the west end (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements). There was a piece of black tarp raised about three feet above the ground and covering an area of about six feet by five feet at the top of the northernmost pen. Each pen contained two dogs (Labradors and Bull Mastiffs).
Inside the building were four cages made of plastic-coated wire. One of the cages held three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and a Husky; another had a Shiba Inu and three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels; and a third had two Maltese and four Pugs (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). A fourth cage held only two Maltese puppies. All of the cages had red plastic self feeders. The plastic water bowls were on the floor (3.9(b)-Watering).
Northwest of this building was a single-story structure about 200 feet long and fifty feet wide. It had white brick walls and white, metal peaked roof. The building had garage doors at its east and west ends, which lead into a room of about fifty feet long and wide. Inside were cages, tools, boxes, and a dolly. There were metal containers at the right side of the eastern doorway inside the building, including a red gasoline container with a yellow spout. North of this room was a doorway with an open door. This led to a room of similar dimensions to the garage. This room had about 20 cages with wooden support beams, treated wire doors, backings and floors, and white plastic sides. The cages were about three feet above the concrete flooring. Some pens contained one to two dogs, each weighing about 25 pounds, while another contained a single dog Labrador weighing about 65 pounds in weight (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). One pen had three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).
The eastern side of the northern wall of this room had a doorway with no door on it, which led to a room identical to the one previously described in the above paragraph. One pen held two Huskies (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures), an English Bulldog and a Shiba Inu (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). The English Bulldog had sagging breasts. Also, a wall of her pen was smeared with blood about a foot in every direction (2.40-Vet Care). One pen had a Shih Tzu, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and a Yorkshire Terrier (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Another pen contained an Eskimo and two French Bulldogs (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Another held four Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).
A room was north of this through a door at the eastern side of the northern wall. The room had cages identical to those described in the previous paragraph, except for the cages at the eastern wall which were only about two feet wide instead of three feet wide. Three Shih Tzu were in one of the larger cages (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures), and another cage that contained two Shih Tzu and a Maltese (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).
The eastern side of the northern wall of the above described room accessed a room with about 30 cages in it. All were similar in description to those previously noted and were about three feet long and two feet wide. One cage had four Maltese (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). One of the smaller cages held three Lhasa Apsos (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).
Some of the cages described above contained red plastic self feeders hooked onto the cage doors, while others contained metal coffee cans for food dishes. The cans were placed on the wire flooring (3.9(b)-Feeding). All of the cages in the rooms contained lix-it water devices that ran from the ceiling.
East of the above described structure were two other buildings. Each was about 200 feet long and 20 feet wide, and had about 48 cages on each side. The cages were made of wooden supports and wire bottoms and walls. A metal ceiling covered all of the cages. Red plastic self-feeders were on all of the doors. All of the cages were about three feet above the ground on wooden beams.
Also, all of the cages had untreated metal bar doors that were rusting (3.1(c)(i)-Surfaces). The buildings also had tarps that were rolled up at the bottoms of the outside walls and tied to ropes that reached to the ceilings. This system appeared to be a way to hoist the tarps up in order to cover the sides of the enclosures. Various small and large breeds were in the cages, including Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, English Bulldogs, Shar Peis, Bull Mastiffs, Shiba Inus, Bichon Frises, Chihuahuas, and Pugs.
Overcrowding was evident throughout the buildings: cages with three or four Cavalier King Charles Spaniels; one cage with three Chihuahuas, a Pug, and a Maltese; two cages with two Labradors each; four Bichons in a cage; two cages with various breeds (four to five to each cage); four Shih Tzus in a cage, and a cage with two Shar Peis (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Another problem was stained concrete floors in the buildings (3.1(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces).
Fur and debris had accumulated on the wooden ledge on of one of English Bulldog pens (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). Several full grown Shar Peis had clear discharge oozing from their red eyes (2.40-Vet Care).
In a phone conversation I had with Steve Kruse on 8/3/04, Kruse told me that he has been breeding dogs in a commercial business since 1986 and that he has 1350 adult dogs. He said he sells dogs to The Hunte Corporation and two family-owned pet store chains in Illinois and Florida, one of which has four stores and the other which has two. Kruse said that “a gal”, whom he later admitted is his wife, owns a pet store in Florida he sells to. He added that she drives up from Florida to pick up puppies in Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas and Missouri before going back to Florida. He said that he sells to Happiness is Pets stores in the Chicago area.