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Investigations

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Models & CAPS

What do you get when you combine glamorous fashion models with cute dogs rescued from un-glamorous puppy mills?

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Van Wyk, Dennis and Donna - Prairie Lane Kennel

Media

Dennis and Donna Van Wyk
  • Owners: Van Wyk, Dennis and Donna
  • Business name: Prairie Lane Kennel
  • Address: 1955 120th St.
  • City, State Zip: New Sharon, IA 50207
  • Year: 2007
  • USDA License: 42-A-0331
  • Date of CAPS Investigation: 2007-08-21
  • Time of CAPS Investigation: 13:25


On the premises at the time of investigation: about 170 dogs and five puppies were observed

Breeds: Beagles, Shelties, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Akita, German Shepherds, Shiba Inus, Pugs, Keeshounds, Dachshunds, Pomeranians, Mixed breeds

The kennel design was identical to that described in CAPS USDA report dated 9/12/06. Most of the violations noted in that report still existed in the second CAPS inspection. Access to the kennel was almost exclusively around outdoor enclosures.

Beagle pen
The outdoor Beagle pen at the northeast corner of the kennel had several days of fecal accumulation in them, a repeat violation noted on 9/12/06 (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The dog house in the pen had a windbreak on it that was shredded in half (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements).

Outdoor runs
Days of feces were mashed into the concrete floorings of the outdoor pens adjacent to the Beagle Pen described above (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). Windbreaks were either nonexistent or in tatters on the doggie-doors at the back of each pen that accessed an indoor area of a building next to the runs (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements).

A pen holding two Shiba Inus had broken wire at the top of its east wall, creating sharp points (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces). The adjacent pen west of the Shiba Inu pen held four Shelties, one of which had thick mats covering its fur (2.40-Vet care).

Two St. Bernards were in one of the outdoor pens, and as noted in CAPS USDA report 9/12/06, the dogs were able to stand up and lean their front legs completely over their wire fencing (3.1(a)-Structure; construction).

The westernmost pen, adjacent to the St. Bernard pen, held two German Shepherds. A puddle of brown, standing water about four feet wide and long was in the middle of the pen amidst mashed piles of feces (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal).

Outdoor whelping runs
Free-standing outdoor enclosures with wire walls framed with molding wood covered in peeling paint (3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces) stood south of the main whelping buildings on the property. The enclosures were used to hold a single whelping large-breed mother and puppies. One pen contained a St. Bernard mother and puppy, and another held an Akita mother and four puppies. Both pens had no windbreaks on their dog houses (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements). The wooden surfaces of the dog houses were worn, chewed, and peeling paint, and a thick layer of feces was coating the house floors (3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces; 3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). These violations of these same pens were noted in CAPS USDA report 9/12/06.

Feces covered every inch of the two pens’ concrete floorings, so that there was no area for the dogs or puppies to walk or lie down without being in contact with wet or dried excrement (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The food and water dishes were placed on the ground and not in a manner so as to minimize contamination by excreta or pests. The dishes all had rusty, dingy surfaces, and the water in both pens was a cloudy brown color (3.9(b)-Feeding; 3.10-Watering).

The wire fencing for the pens had large gaps in it, enabling the St. Bernard mother to stick her head completely through, and one of the Akita puppies to walk out of twice in a row (3.1(a)-Structure; construction).

Kennel building with stacked pens
The kennel building next to the outdoor whelping pens was of the same design as noted in CAPS USDA report 9/12/06. There were four outdoor runs with four cages elevated above them, allowing feces to fall into the runs. Over 24 hours of fecal accumulation was in the northern pens, and the southern pens held German Shepherds with several days of feces covering their floorings (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

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Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

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Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
759 CJC Hwy., #332
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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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