Susalski, Mary Ann - Fletcher Creek Kennel, Inc.

  • Owners: Susalski, Mary Ann
  • Business name: Fletcher Creek Kennel, Inc.
  • City, State Zip: Little Falls, MN 56345
  • Year: 2003
  • USDA License: 41-B-0133
  • USDA Inspector: Melissa Swanda, ACI
  • USDA Inspections: Last USDA Inspection Prior to CAPS Investigation: 5/14/03
  • Date of CAPS Investigation: 2003-08-26
  • Time of CAPS Investigation: 19:00
  • Note: 90 degrees


Approximately 1200 dogs and 200 puppies. Purebreds: Siberian Huskies, Cocker Spaniels, Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Coon Hounds, Blood Hounds, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Yorkshire Terriers, Silky Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Scottish Terriers, West Highland Terriers, Rat Terriers, Wire Hair Fox Terriers, Smooth Coated Fox Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Poodles, Bichon Frises, Maltese, Shih Tzus, Schnauzers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Brittany Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Dachshunds, Italian Greyhounds, Border Collies, American Eskimos, Weimaraners,

Mixed breeds: Sheltie, Cocker, German Shepherd, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, Boxer, Gordon Setter, Poodle, Labrador, and various hound, setter and terrier mixes.

CAPS conducted this investigation with Minnesota State Humane Agent Wade Hanson and Deputy Sheriff Eric Hanneken (320-632-9233).

Fletcher Creek Kennel did not have any caregivers or responsible persons at the facility. Deputy Sheriff Hanneken escorted us through the facility. There had been a complaint about the dogs lacking shade and water in very hot weather (92 degrees).

The house located on the property that was once inhabited by the Susalskis had been converted to a whelping and storage area. We could see through the windows and saw stacked boxes, kennel crates and full garbage bags taking up almost the entire space. Shredded newspapers were sticking out of garbage bags, and kennel crates were littered about the rooms. Against the sliding glass patio door were boxes of garbage bags, garbage and kennel crates (3.1(b)-Condition and site) (3.1(e)-Storage).

The whelping area inside the house and garage had metal cages stacked on top of each other. Most of the collection trays were full of feces, food and waste. The collection tray for a female West Highland Terrier and her young puppies was extremely full, and the contents were touching the wire bottom of her enclosure (3.1(a) Cleaning of primary enclosures).

The feces and food waste were attracting flies to the storage and whelping area inside the house and attached garage. They were around the dog enclosures and trays. Numerous fly carcasses lay on the floor and window ledge (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures) (3.11(d)-Pest Control).

The only light source at the time of inspection came from the windows (3.2(c)-Lighting). The walls, floors and ceilings of these areas inside of the home and attached garage were not impervious to moisture (3.2(d)-Interior surfaces).

The dogs inside the whelping area were panting and lethargic (3.6(a)(vi)-Primary enclosures). The air blowing out of the ventilation system was hotter than the 92 degree outside temperature (3.2(a) heating/cooling temp) and had a very foul odor of ammonia and feces. The slat work covering the outer portion of the vent system was covered with a slimy brown grunge that was dripping onto the side of the house and ground (3.2(b)-Ventilation). On the back patio area behind the house were rolls of non-coated wire and a cage-making assembly area.

Beyond this area was one kennel made of chain link with a dirt floor. One white Husky lived there. The dog had a Dogloo shelter and a brown tarp was stretched across part of the top of the enclosure. There was over four days worth of fecal accumulation that was attracting flies (3.11(a)-Cleaning). The flies were biting the tips of this dog’s ears leaving open bloody sores (2.40-Veterinary care). The water was dirty and had algae in it (3.10-Watering). There was no visible form of ID on the dog or enclosure (2.50-Identification).

The outdoor kennel areas with chain link fencing used to house other Huskies had Dogloo shelters in them. The Dogloo shelters lacked a wind/rain break at the entrance (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements). The enclosures also lacked shade (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements). Flies were biting ears of the Huskies (2.40). The water buckets in these enclosures had an accumulation of algae and debris (3.10- Watering). These Huskies had no identification.

Building #1

Building #1 (describing the property clockwise from the west) contained dirty, urine stained, and severely matted dogs (2.40) (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures). The area smelled of feces and strong urine (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

The water containers were dirty and contained algae (3.10-Watering). The water for three Golden Retrievers was black and scummy (3.10-Watering). The water containers were blue or white plastic buckets or plastic containers recycled into water receptacles. Most of the water receptacles had chewed edges and could not be property sanitized (3.10 Watering).

The indoor shelter area of these enclosures did not have an operating ventilation system and the ammonia level was extremely strong (3.3(b)-Ventilation). It was extremely hot and humid (3.3(a)-Heating, cooling and temperature), and the dogs were panting hard and were lethargic (3.6(a)(2)(vi)-Primary enclosures).

There was only one light bulb in the ceiling of the indoor area which made inspection difficult. With the door open it was a bit easier to see. There was dog food, liquid feces, flies, fur and debris in the shelter areas and the walkway (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal) (3.3(c)-Lighting).

Building #2

This area had chain link kennels with concrete floors on both sides of the building. The dogs accessed the den areas inside the building through dog doors. On the west side of the kennel area in the second pen to the right was an extremely matted dog that had an injured front left leg (2.40). Many dogs in this area were severely matted and urine-stained (2.40).

The outdoor portion of the dogs’ primary enclosure lacked shade (3.3(d)-Shelter from the elements) (3.6(a)(2)(vii)-Primary enclosures). The water receptacles were sitting in the sun and had a lot of algae growth in them (3.10-Watering). Four black Labrador Retriever mixes had black scummy algae water (3.10). Some of the dogs had knocked their water buckets over and did not have water (3.10). The run-off trough had an accumulation of urine, liquid feces and food debris that was attracting flies (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal).

A ventilation system was not operating. The ammonia level was extremely strong inside the building (3.3(b)-Ventilation). The temperature inside of the building was approximately 91 degrees. There were no fans or cooling system (3.3(a)-Heating, cooling and temperature) (3.6(a)(2)(vi)-Primary enclosures). There was one light bulb suspended from the ceiling (3.3(c)-Lighting).

Building #3

This was a longer, more rectangular metal building with hutches built off all sides. The dogs accessed their shelter areas inside of the building through dog doors.

The outdoor portion of their primary enclosures lacked shade. Many of the enclosures were overcrowded and only some dogs could get out of the direct sun by going into the den area of the building. The den areas were not large enough for all dogs to fit in at one time (3.3(d)-Shelter from the elements). The thermostat inside the shelter areas was at 91 degrees (3.3(a)-Heating, cooling and temperature) (3.6(a)(2)(vii)-Primary enclosures). The dogs were panting from the heat.

Overcrowding and dogs that were too large for their primary enclosure were severe problems. Dogs were not able to walk or turn without hitting the sides of their enclosures 3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures).

The primary enclosures were made of uncoated, rusted wire (3.1)(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces) and lacked a solid resting surface (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures). Several dogs had bare inflamed areas of skin on their legs, chests, feet and underbellies (2.40-Vet care).

There was a severe ammonia and feces odor inside and out of the building. A ventilation system was installed but not operating (3.3(b) Ventilation). Air conditioners were not operating (3.3(a)-Heating/cooling and temperature).

The dog in enclosure #7 was covered in urine. The enclosure was filthy (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). Two to three weeks worth of feces, kibble and fur were under the hutches (3.11(a)-Cleaning).

There was only one working light bulb inside of the shelter area (3.3(c)-Lighting). A couple of windows provided a little more light so that I could see packages of light bulbs, cleaning supplies and clutter on top of the den areas (3.1(b)-Condition and site).

Most of the water containers were dirty with minimal water (3.10-Watering). The water containers were rusted large tin cans (3.10 Watering). Two dogs had no water (3.10).

Building #4

Building #4 had the same violations as Building #3. In addition, a shaved Husky with fly bites on its ears (2.40) was sitting in its own excrement and many dogs were urine stained (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). Several weeks’ worth of feces and urine was attracting flies (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal). Rusted self- feeder boxes could not be properly sanitized and needed to be replaced (3.9-Feeding). None of the dogs had identification (2.50).

Building #5

The south end of this metal building was used for whelping. The thermostat in this building clearly indicated the temperature inside was 91 degrees. An air conditioning unit was not operating (3.3(a)-Heating, cooling and temperature) (3.6(a)(2)(vi)-Primary enclosures). This building had an overpowering stench of ammonia and feces. A ventilation system was not operating (3.3(b)-Ventilation).

The primary enclosures in this building were made of uncoated rusted wire (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures). Collection trays and areas under primary enclosures were heavily soiled (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Just outside the door, a blue plastic garbage can without a lid held stagnant mosquito water (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises). Large tin cans served as water containers (3.10-Watering).

Building #6

Building # 6 was another out-building with metal siding and a metal roof. It had hutches on all sides. The hutches were made of uncoated wire that were not as rusted as the other hutches at the facility (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures).

There was a sharp piece of metal that had broken off from the dog doorway in the second enclosure (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures) and (3.1(c)(1)(ii) Surface). There were unsealed wooden surfaces around dog doors (3.3(e)(1)-Surfaces) and hair accumulation in and around primary enclosures (3.11(a)- Cleaning of primary enclosures).

There was no visible form of ID on the dogs or their enclosures (2.50-Identification). Again, there was a ventilation system that wasn’t operating, and the ammonia levels made my eyes water and my nose and throat burn (3.3(b)-Ventilation). Had the ventilation system been on, the exhaust would have been blowing directly onto the dogs when they were in the outdoor portion of their primary enclosures. The air conditioner was not operating despite the hazardous heat (3.3(a)-Heating, cooling and temperature) and (3.6(a)(2)(vi)-Primary enclosures). Large tin cans served as water containers (3.10-Watering).

This building had many of the same violations found in the other buildings. In addition, many of the Beagles had toe nails that had started to curl back towards the pads of their feet (2.40-Vet care). There was a severely matted Yorkshire Terrier that was encrusted with feces and soaked with urine (2.40-Vet Care) (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures). A Sheltie did not have six inches of head room in its primary enclosure (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures).

Building #7

This was a large out-building made of metal with a metal/tin roof. Hutches were built off the sides of the building with den areas inside of the building. The dogs accessed their den shelter area through dog doors. The hutches were made of uncoated rusted wire (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces) and lacked a solid resting surface (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures).

The outdoor portion of the primary enclosures lacked shade and the enclosures were overcrowded so that only one or two dogs had access to shade inside the shelter area. The thermometer located inside of the building where their shelters were clearly indicated that it was 90 degrees (3.6(a)(2)(vi)(vii)-Primary enclosures). An air conditioner was not operating (3.3(a)-Heating, cooling and temperature).

Many of the dogs in the north row of enclosures were too large for their primary enclosures. This did not allow them sufficient space to turn about freely, stand or walk about in a normal manner (3.6(a)(2)(xi) Primary enclosures) (3.6(c)(1)-Primary enclosures)(3.8(a)-Exercise). They lacked six inches of headroom (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures).

A strong ammonia and feces odor was pervasive. Several weeks’ worth of feces and hair was under the hutches (3.11(a)-Cleaning). There was a ventilation system installed but it was not operating. The enclosed part of sheltered housing for dogs must be sufficiently ventilated when dogs are present to provide for their health and well-being and to minimize odors and ammonia levels (3.3(b)-Ventilation). Here again, the dogs had large, somewhat rusted tin cans with minimal water.

The fecal accumulation was attracting swarms of flies that were biting the dogs (3.11(a)-Cleaning) and (3.11(d)-Pest control). A large green dumpster full of garbage and garbage bags was in front of the north-facing rows of hutches. The dumpster was putting off a very foul odor and also attracting flies (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal).

In front of the dumpster (to the north) was a collection of old tires and an old incinerator that had ashes inside. Water that had collected in the tires served as a mosquito breeding ground (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises) (3.11(d)-Pest control).

On the south and east edge of the kennel areas were large mounds of dirt. A foul, rancid odor was emanating from the dirt pile areas. The other investigator and Deputy Sheriff Hanneken explored the areas. We all agreed that the odor was very unpleasant but could not determine the origin.

There were a series of small metal buildings used for whelping and weaned puppy areas. The buildings were not numbered but lettered, and they were all indoor housing facilities. All lettered buildings contained violations pertaining to their lack of ventilation, excessively high humidity, and hazardous heat (3.2(a)-Heating, cooling and temperature) (3.2(b)-Ventilation) (3.6(a)(2)(vi)-Primary enclosures). No interior lights were on in any of the letter buildings, and all letter buildings contained nebulizors and bottles of Levasole. Each building had one window above a sink that did not provide sufficient light for the animals to see inside their structures or for someone to perform a routine inspection (3.2(c)-Lighting). All letter buildings also had excessive amounts of fecal accumulation in and under the dogs’ primary enclosures (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). There was an overwhelming stench of feces and ammonia.

Building A

When Deputy Sheriff Hannaken opened Building A, we were met with an overwhelming stench of feces and ammonia, and high humidity from inside the building (3.2(b) -Ventilation). The thermostat located just inside the door registered 91 degrees (3.6(a)(2)(vi)-Primary enclosures). A cooling system was not operating (3.2(a) Heating, cooling and temperature). Double-tiered cages were on both sides. The fecal collection trays had at least one week’s worth of feces (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). There was a nebulizor and a bottle of Levasole.

Building B

The cage containing a female Bloodhound failed to provide sufficient space for the dog to turn about freely, lie or sit in a comfortable position, and it didn’t allow her to walk in a normal manner (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). She didn’t have six inches of headroom (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). She had a yellowish-green ocular discharge (2.40). Cage #294 had a mother Springer Spaniel and her large litter of puppies. The puppies were approximately a week old and starting to move about freely. They were getting their heads and extremities stuck in a crack in their whelping tray (3.1(c)(1)(i) and (ii)-Surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(i)(ii)-Primary enclosures).

Dog #59R was a mother Husky with a large litter of puppies. Each bitch with nursing puppies must be provided with an additional amount of floor space. This dog could not walk without stepping on her own puppies (3.6(c)(1)(ii)-Primary enclosures). The mother Husky was extremely thin and had a poor hair coat (2.40). This enclosure and others in Building B were full of feces and dark urine (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Near the doorway entrance to Building B was a small sink and countertop. A small window sill above the sink had drugs. A syringe with a needle was sticking out of the top of the bottle of Levasol. Veterinarians prescribe this drug of deworming of cattle. It is also used for heart worm and lung worm treatment, and it is an immune system stimulant in cases of upper respiratory infection. It should be stored at room temperature not above 75 degrees. Levasole could be placed in the nebulizors and used as an upper respiratory treatment. Many dogs had watery eyes, congestion, and upper respiratory symptoms including nasal discharge, coughing, and wheezing. They also appeared lethargic from the heat and humidity.

Building C

Cage #282 contained a mother Basset Hound and her puppies in inadequate space (3.6(c)(1)(ii)-Primary enclosures). The fecal tray underneath this primary enclosure was mounded with feces touching the wire bottom of the cage (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). Cage # 280 had a small cardboard dish that contained old, dried canned dog food covered in flies (3.9-Feeding) (3.11(d)-Pest control). Dog #31R had severe greenish-yellow diarrhea (2.40). In cage # 200, Dachshund puppies’ feet were passing through the bottom of their wire enclosure (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures). The dogs in cage #288 had extremely long toe nails (2.40). The mother dog and puppies in cage #255 had yellow diarrhea (2.40).

Building D

A mother Sheltie and her puppies were in a primary enclosure that did not provide sufficient floor space (3.6(c)(1)(ii)-Primary enclosures). A pile of feces in the tray was touching the bottom wire of their cage (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The Italian Greyhound in cage #276 had extremely long curled toe nails that were growing back into the pads of the dog’s feet (2.40). There was a considerable pile of feces under the dog’s cage. (3.11(a)).

Building E

There was no form of ID on the dogs or cages of the dogs (2.50). There was an emaciated, shaved female Husky (2.40) (3.9(a) Feeding). This dog had severe diarrhea (2.40). The dog’s eyes were watery, and she showed signs of respiratory distress, such as wheezing and coughing (2.40), which resulted from a lack of ventilation in the building (3.2(b)-Ventilation). The primary enclosure of the dog prevented the dog from standing, sitting, or lying in a comfortable position or walking in a normal manner (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(c)(1)(i)(ii)-Space).

A mother Collie had raw, open irritated patches of skin, and possible mange, and the puppies had red, irritated skin around their mouths and muzzles, on their paws, and up their legs (2.40). The mother and her puppies also lacked adequate space for their size in number in relation to their primary enclosure (3.6(c)(1)(ii)-Space).

The Husky in the first cage on the right was emaciated (3.9(a)-Feeding) and had severe yellow diarrhea (2.40). Her primary enclosure lacked sufficient space to allow her to stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position or move about in a normal manner (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Space).

Building F

Cage # 268 had a young black and white Shih Tzu puppy. The puppy and her enclosure were caked feces (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). This puppy’s feet were passing through the wire flooring of the primary enclosure (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures). There was a disposable feeding dish that had very old, caked canned food covered in flies in it (3.9(a)-Feeding) (3.11(d)-Pest control).

In cage # 261, a mother dog and her puppies lacked sufficient space to stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position or move about in a normal manner (3.6(c)(1)(ii)-Space).

Many of the cages and dogs lacked ID (2.50). Dogs had runny eyes and were coughing and wheezing (2.40 Vet care) (3.2(b) Ventilation). The expiration date on the Levasole was March 2003. There was an open bottle of bleach near the medication in the building (2.40).

Building 8

Building #8 was located near the front of the property. This building was the tallest and largest building on the property and housed approximately 200-220 dogs. The dogs in enclosures down the center aisles of this building did not have access to the outdoors. So, part of this building served as sheltered housing and the other part was only indoor housing, which contained small breeds. To avoid confusion, regulations pertaining to sheltered housing (3.3) will be used.

One ventilation fan was inoperable, and the other fan was the only source of ventilation for the entire building (3.3(b)-Ventilation).

The wire on the outdoor portions of the primary enclosures was rusted and uncoated (3.1(c)(1)(i)-surfaces). Most of the frame work for the dog doors was made of unsealed and scratched wood not impervious to moisture (3.3(e)(1)-Surfaces). Many of the dogs were lying in the sun and were lethargic (3.6(a)(2)(vii)-Primary enclosures). There was more than one weeks’ worth of fecal accumulation under the outdoor portions of the primary enclosures (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Deputy Sheriff Hanneken opened the door and entered the building, and was immediately overwhelmed by the stench of feces and ammonia and the noise of dogs barking and cages clanging together. A portion of table-top in a storage area was smeared with dried feces (3.1(c)(2) and had needles and syringes (2.40).

There was a filthy green plastic garbage can nearly full of dog fur from previous grooming. The floor of this building was made of concrete. Cleaning supplies, hoses (water and air), an air compressor, a dolly for moving heavy objects and dog fur littered this entry area (3.1(b)-Condition and site).

The interior walls of this building were, in places, just the inside of the metal sheet sides of the building. Pieces of wooden paneling, particle board and wooden shelf units were covering some of the metal (3.1(a)-Structure;construction). These wooden surfaces were not impervious to moisture. Mold and water condensation were on the metal wall area (3.3(e)(1)-Interior surfaces).

The ceiling panels had a few rows of fluorescent lights yet only a couple of the lights actually turned on. There had not been any lights on inside of this building upon arrival. There were no windows for light. The minimal lighting was not sufficient for routine cleaning, observation, or for the well-being of the animals (3.3(c)-Lighting). A door near the west side of the building and the entry door were left open to provide a little more light. We also used a flashlight. The ceiling panels had dark green mold, water condensation and some rusted areas (3.3(b)-Ventilation). The primary enclosures had uncoated, rusted wire bottoms (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces).

Only a few of the enclosures contained a solid resting surface. Large tin cans or rusted self-feeder boxes were used for food and water receptacles (3.9-Feeding) (3.10-Watering). Dogs were sitting in or on the cans to get off of the wire flooring. A small Shih Tzu was curled up inside of tin can food receptacle to sleep (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures). This Shih Tzu had urine and feces dried in her fur (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures) and it contaminated her food (3.9(b)-Feeding).

The dog food in the cans and feeder boxes consisted of moldy, caked kibble, which was covered with flies (3.9(b)-Feeding) (3.11(d)-Pest control). Flies were swarming inside the building and biting the dogs.

Enclosure # 67 contained two Beagles. They were located along the west wall and had access to the outside. Due to the size of the enclosure, both dogs could not fit inside of the den shelter area at the same time (3.6(a)(2)(vii)-Primary enclosures). They did not have sufficient space to walk, stand or turn about without touching each other or their enclosure (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Space). The Beagles also lacked the required six inches of headroom (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Space).

The metal wall area around the dog door was severely rusted (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces). The wooden entry way of the dog door was made of scratched unsealed wood (3.3(e)(iii)-Surfaces). Most of the enclosures along this wall had rusted, and/or unsealed wooden surfaces and were in need of maintenance and replacement in order to be structurally sound and properly sanitized (3.3(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces).

A Fox Terrier in an enclosure to the right of cage # 67 had a broken dog door that posed possible injury to the dog (3.1(a)-Structure; construction). This dog was covered in urine and had inflamed pads on its feet and long toe nails (2.40) (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures).

Most of the dogs in this part of the facility had irritated, watery eyes (3.2(b)-Ventilation), urine-stained and/or feces-encrusted fur (2.40) (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures) (3.11)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). They also had red, bare sores on their legs, chests, underbellies, and feet, and long toe nails (2.40) (3.6(a)(2)(ii) Primary enclosures) (3.6(a)(2)(x) Primary enclosures). Many dogs were panting heavily from the heat, heavy ammonia and humidity inside of this building (3.2(b)-Ventilation) (3.6(a)(2)(vi)-Primary enclosures).

Some dogs displayed behavioral characteristics such as turning in repetitive circles. A Dachshund in #80, who was housed alone, made continuous repetitive circles. This dog and many others would benefit from positive physical contact by humans that encourages exercise through play or similar activities daily (2.40 Vet care).

On the east side of the inside of this was a cage with a three-legged Yorkshire Terrier and a white Shih Tzu. These dogs lacked adequate space. Each time the Shih-Tzu moved it could not avoid bumping or knocking the Yorkie into the sides or floor of the primary enclosure (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Space). The Yorkie’s feet were passing through the uncoated wire flooring (3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures). Both of these dogs were coated with dried urine (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures), had watery eyes (3.2(b)-Ventilation), and inflamed, irritated pads on their feet (2.40)(3.6(a)(2)(x)-Primary enclosures).

The concrete under the enclosures had an accumulation of standing water, urine, liquid, feces, hair and moldy dog kibble (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal) (3.2(b) Ventilation) (3.11(a) Cleaning of primary enclosures). A golf club and other items were on top of primary enclosures (3.1(b)-Condition and site). Melissa Swanda, ACI conducted an inspection on 5/14/03 and found just four violations: a 2.75 for improper recordkeeping, a 3.6(a)(2) for broken and rusty metal edges and pieces, a 3.6(c)(1)(iii) insufficient interior height and a 3.11(a) for fecal accumulation. The last three violations were repeat NCIs. These violations were still present during the CAPS investigation on 8/26/03.

In fact, CAPS investigators encountered violations previously documented by USDA inspectors, including severe ammonia and feces odors inside and outside due to a lack of cleaning and a very inadequate ventilation system, a severe fly and pest problem , matted and injured dog, lack of veterinary care and outdated drugs. There was also overcrowding, fecal accumulation, space and height violations and many other violations that Ms. Swanda and Catherine Hovancsak, VMO documented on a number of inspection reports.  Obviously the documented repeat violations held little meaning because no action was taken to ensure compliance. Based on the number of violations that this facility has had over the years and taking into consideration the cruelty of leaving dogs in extreme August heat without adequate cooling, the USDA must bring immediate charges against Ms. Susalski and demand the revocation of her license.

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