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Alvin Kurtz
  • Owners: Kurtz, Alvin
  • Business name: Kurtz Kennels
  • Address: 14462 225 St.
  • City, State Zip: Bloomfield, IA 52537
  • Year: 2006
  • USDA License: 42-A-1104
  • Date of CAPS Investigation: 2006-09-09
  • Time of CAPS Investigation: 11:45 a.m
On the premises at the time of investigation: approximately 94 dogs and 26 puppies.

Breeds: Boston Terriers, Schnauzers, Jack Russell Terriers, Chihuahuas, Huskies, West Highland Terriers, Shiba Inus, American Eskimos, Bichons

Alvin Kurtz’ facility consisted of three kennel areas: a building with indoor/outdoor enclosures for small breeds, a hog barn with the concrete runs used to house Huskies, and a series of outdoor enclosures for small breeds.

Kennel building
The building had 16 indoor/outdoor cages on each of two sides. Each set of 16 enclosures was arranged in two rows of eight cages, one row set above the other. Each cage was made of treated wire and had a metal dog door accessing the indoor section of the enclosure and plastic shelving underneath to catch feces and debris. Plastic self-feeders and automatic water spigots were attached to the indoor cages. Most cages contained two to three dogs, though a few contained a single nursing mother with a litter of puppies.

More than 24 hours’ accumulation of feces was under each outdoor cage, and many cages had dried feces on their floorings (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The waste attracted flies (3.11(d)-Pest control).

Husky kennel
The Husky kennel, a converted hog barn, was a sheltered enclosure with a metal roof and walls on three sides. There were five pens with cement flooring and four-foot-high cement walls between them. They were topped with steel sheets, which provided three additional feet of wall height to prevent the dogs from climbing over. Wire doors at the front end of the pens were behind a four-foot-high concrete wall that served as a windbreak. The pens had a plastic dog house at the other end of the run and plastic food and water dishes placed near the center of the run. Four of these pens housed two or three dogs each.

Metal slats in the concrete flooring covered an area about eight feet by eight feet in the middle of the pen area to allow runoff of feces and water to be collected in an underground pit. This set-up did not offer proper disease control during removal of excreta (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal).

A brown and white Husky had bite wounds on its head and fresh blood covering its fur (2.40-Vet care). A kennel worker moved the dog from one pen to another and said that the dog often jumped over the wall into the adjoining pen (3.1(a)-Structure; construction).

The plastic feeders in the pens were chewed and had holes torn in them in several places (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces). The food and water containers were covered in fecal stains (3.9(b)-Feeding); 3.10-Watering).

More than 24 hours’ accumulation of feces was present in each pen, much of it trampled and spread over the flooring (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). There was a single Husky puppy about six weeks old in one pen with piles of feces littering the flooring (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Outdoor enclosures
The Eskimo dog pen, containing two adult Eskimos, was a chain link cage with a metal sheet for a roof and plastic paneling for flooring; the flooring had slits in to allow debris to fall through. The cage was raised about a foot above the ground, with weeks’ accumulation of feces underneath it (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). More than a week of dried feces and fur accumulation was trampled on the flooring (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

There was a plastic dog house lacking a windbreak in the pen (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements). A plastic self feeder and water dish on the pen floor were covered in a brown build-up and had fur stuck to their surfaces (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces). The food dish was not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding).

Another chain link cage of similar design was adjacent to the Eskimo cage. There were no dogs in this cage, but parts of a dog house, feeder, and water bowl were scattered about the cage.

There were three elevated enclosures near the Eskimo pen, each consisting of a wire cage connected to a wooden box via a doggie door. One pen housed an Eskimo and Shiba Inu, while the others each housed two or three Westies. Several weeks’ accumulation of feces was under each cage, attracting a large number of flies (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures); 3.11(d)-Pest control).

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Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

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759 CJC Hwy., #332
Cohasset, MA 02025
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Class Action Lawsuits

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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.

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