USDA Investigations in South Dakota, Kansas and Missouri: 2003
Grandma Basset: During a three-week investigation of USDA licensed facilities in South Dakota, CAPS rescued three Basset Hounds. CAPS obtained eight-year-old Grandma Basset because she no longer produced large enough litters. Mid America Basset Rescue found a wonderful home for this regal looking dog.
Mama Basset: The South Dakota puppy mill gave up Grandma's daughter, Mama Basset, because she produced a congenitally deformed puppy, Baby Basset. Mama has a permanent home thanks to Mid America Basset Rescue.
Baby Basset: Mama Basset's daughter, Baby Basset, has congenitally deformed elbows and will need surgery. She may have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which was possibly caused by untreated pneumonia. She will need specialized care at a veterinary teaching hospital. Baby Basset needs sponsors to cover her considerable medical expenses.
Grandma, Mama and Baby in the Rescue Vehicle:
Mid America Basset Rescue drove from Kansas City to South Dakota to pick up the three CAPS rescue dogs.
Buster: CAPS rescued Buster, a Pug puppy, during an investigation of Kansas and Missouri facilities that were selling to The New Zoo pet shop in Massachusetts. The puppy mill owner had placed Buster outdoors even though he had a "cold." Buster was initially diagnosed with pneumonia and then started having almost constant seizures. CAPS' rescue vet suspected distemper. Sadly, our vet had to euthanize Buster because he was so ill.
Shasta: CAPS rescued Shasta, a Huskie puppy, during our second investigation of the Poor facility in Missouri. Shasta, who was covered in dried urine and feces, had severe diarrhea. CAPS found numerous violations at this puppy mill just nine days after the USDA inspector failed to find a single non-compliance. Shasta is with a new family thanks to Illinois-based Homes for Huskies
Neiner: CAPS rescue vets treated this emaciated Chihuahua, who came from a Missouri puppy mill, for a frost-bitten penis, undescended testicles, urination problems, ear infections, bad teeth and alopecia. Neiner is in a long-term foster home.
Tiger: CAPS rescued Tiger, an emaciated pet shop reject, from a Missouri puppy mill. He had a healed fracture on his left hind leg and was born without a right hip socket. He had two surgeries for perforated intestines but ultimately succumbed to peritonitis.
Models Against Pet Shops and Puppy MillsWhat do you get when you combine glamorous professional models with cute rescue dogs, including a puppy mill survivor? The feel-good grass-roots (socially conscious) cause campaign of 2012!
Based on a collaboration between The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) and professional model Kiley Wirtz Jennings, the campaign is titled “Models Against Pet Shops and Puppy Mills.” The integrated media campaign seeks to inform and educate the public about the atrocities in puppy mills and the risks to consumers associated with buying dogs at pet shops supplied by these commercial breeding facilities. It also encourages the public to save a life by adopting rescue and shelter animals. Campaign elements include a Public Service Announcement (PSA), print advertisements, public relations, and a huge social media push spearheaded by CAPS Spokesmodel Beatrice, a sassy Basset Hound puppy mill survivor rescued by CAPS, who is also an enthusiastic vegan advocate.
Kiley first learned about CAPS after seeing a shocking video documentary, “CAPS vs. Bauck, How a Small Nonprofit Brought Down a Large Nonprofit,” on Vimeo (from a link on Facebook). The documentary follows the undercover employment of a CAPS investigator, who compiled the evidence necessary for Kathy Bauck, one of the largest and most notorious USDA-licensed dog brokers, to be convicted of animal cruelty, the prosecution and conviction, and the termination of Bauck’s USDA license.
Kiley, who has two rescue dogs, was so moved by the Bauck documentary that she reached out to CAPS Founder and President Deborah Howard, offering to donate her time and those of professional models, photographers, videographer, make-up artists and clothes stylists. The project was shot in Fort Worth, Texas.
We believe this campaign has the power to sensitize consumers to the cruel connection between pet shop puppies and puppy mills while moving them to affect change and encourage pet stores to adopt a new model… a more humane model that offers only shelter and rescue animals for adoption.
But we need your help in reaching a larger audience of dog lovers.
Be a social media champion!Help us go viral by sharing this page on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn by clicking the Orange share button above. Or, after watching the Models PSA video below, roll your mouse over the right side of the screen and click on the blue share button.
Help us target the media.If you know of any media contacts, please contact us. To extend the campaign, we are currently pitching TV talk shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Today, The Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, and Anderson, among others. In addition, we are sending press kits to Lifestyle and Fashion magazines including Cosmopolitan, Martha Stewart Living, ELLE, Allure, InStyle and many more.
Subscribe to our eNewsletter.You’ll receive thoughtful and meaningful content through The CAPS Communicator and CAPS Action Alerts. And, we NEVER share your email.
Donate online.Click on the Red DONATE NOW button. With options starting as low as $20, your online donations, for 2012, will go directly to help us buy media space for our Public Service Announcements and print advertisements.
Regardless of how you help, we hope you enjoy this multi-media campaign and thank you for visiting our website and supporting the CAPS mission. We'd also like to thank everybody who made this exciting project happen including our Hopes Angels models and everyone listed below:
Photo and Video credits: Hopes Angels Models: Hasmik Shaw, Nina Shaw, Maggie Parks, Kiley Wirtz Jennings, Brooke Tobolka, Anna Theunissen, Emily Williams, Natalie Quintanilla. Simon Lopez, Photographer and Retouch Artist; Zack McDowell, Videographer; Kimber Yanks, Head Clothing Stylist; Leah Peev, Clothing Stylist; Candace Henry, Clothing Stylist; Yvonne Coan, Makeup Artist; Nicole Webber, Makeup Artist; Lana Adams, Makeup Artist; Aaron Reeves, Dog Handler; Bryn Durham, Dog Handler; Ann Lopez, Set Crew Member; Levi Jennings, Kiley's Husband and Chief Caterer.
Rescue dogs courtesy of CAPS, Moka's Dog Rescue, and City Pet Rescue.
This is the face of a Puppy Mill Dog
Campaign Ads and Billboards
There were 16 dogs and five puppies at the kennel at the time of investigation, including what appeared to be seven breeding pairs. Deb Tschetter told me while I was observing her kennel that she realized she had more than three breeding pairs, and that she lacks a USDA license.
The Tschetter’s kennel was an outdoor facility that consisted of a concrete slab underneath two rows of pens. One row was made of four chain link pens set adjacent to each other; the other row had three chain link pens set next to a pen made of thick-gauge galvanized wire. Each of the chain link pens contained either two Shelties or two Labrador Retrievers. The remaining galvanized wire pen contained a single German Short-haired Pointer.
The Pointer’s pen had a galvanized wire roof covering it with plastic mesh thrown over it. The wire had several sharp points sticking into the pen (3.1(c)(1)(ii)-Surfaces). A bale of metal wire was stored on top of the Pointer’s roof (3.1(b)-Condition and site).
There was over a week’s worth of fecal accumulation in each pen (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures), which was smeared all over the floorings and dog houses (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces). The fecal matter was particularly built up around the edges of the pen floorings and underneath the dog houses. Flies were swarming around every pen in the kennel (3.11(d)-Pest Control).
The concrete walkway that separated the two rows of pens was also covered in a layer of dried feces (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).
Each pen contained a plastic dog shelter which was either a barrel or dog house. Both lacked windbreaks (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements) and were not large enough for two dogs to fit in at once and lie in a normal manner or turn about freely (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements).
Plastic and metal food and water dishes were placed on the pen floorings, and the food dishes were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding). Mrs. Tschetter mentioned to me while I was walking through the kennel with her, “I fed ‘em yesterday like I said, so that’s why they don’t have a lot of food.” The food dishes in the pens were either empty or contained very little food (3.9(a)-Feeding). The water bucket in the Pointer’s pen was filled with green algae water (3.10-Watering).
A nursing Sheltie mother and five one-week-old puppies were inside the Tschetter’s living room.
On the property at the time of investigation: about 150 dogs (no puppies)
Sutley Kennel consisted of two separate buildings. Each had rows of pens with indoor/outdoor cages connected by doggie-doors. Some of the enclosures were raised above the ground; others contained outdoor pens with dirt floorings and indoor pens with plastic floorings.
The designs of the buildings were similar, and violations in the buildings were identical. The outdoor pens with dirt floorings had several days of fecal accumulation in them (3.11(a)- Cleaning of primary enclosures). The pens themselves, about five per kennel building, were surrounded with chain link and galvanized wire walls, and many of the galvanized wire walls were covered in rust (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces). The siding below the doggie-doors on the outside of the buildings was torn off in small sections, revealing wooden beams behind it and leaving a gap between the bottoms of the doors and their frames (3.1(a)-Structure; construction).
The inside pens had plastic walls on three sides and wire walls facing the hallways that accessed the pens. The walls and floors of these pens had dirty build-up on their surfaces, and cobwebs covered some of the wire walls (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces). Some pens had rubber mats on the floorings, and all had plastic self feeders and water bottles attached to the wire walls. There were two to five dogs in each pen, including Shiba Inus, Schnauzers, and Cocker Spaniels. Two of the Schnauzers had matted fur (2.40-Vet Care).
The smaller cages that were elevated above the ground each housed two to four Maltese, Chihuahuas, Miniature Pinschers, Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, and Boston Terriers. There were about 40 of these smaller indoor/outdoor enclosures. Both the indoor and outdoor cages were made of treated wire.
The outside cages were above the dirt ground. There was several days’ accumulation of feces on the ground below them (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The indoor cages had plastic sheets about four inches under the flooring to catch feces and debris. These sheets were coated in feces stains, standing urine and water, and hair (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The sheets had plastic pipes on their edges, presumably to keep debris from spilling over, though the pipes were covered in fecal stains as well (3.1(c)(1)-Surfaces). Feces-stained hair hung from under the cage floorings (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).
The concrete floor of the building was covered in dark fecal stains, as was the plastic siding behind the cages (3.1(c)(1)-Surfaces). Plastic feeders and water bottles attached to the walls of the cages had dirty build-up on their surfaces (3.9(b)-Feeding). More than a day’s worth of food was in each feeder. This extra food indicates the dogs were given several days’ worth of food at once, so that they would be eating progressively older food every day (3.9(a)-Feeding).
There were two stacks of two cages inside one of the kennels. Each cage was about 1.5 feet wide, 1.5 feet long, and 1.5 feet high. Both of the cages of one stack were made of untreated, thin-gauge wire that was rusting near the bottom of its walls (3.6(a)(2)(xii)-Primary enclosures); (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces).
The top cage housed two Chihuahuas about ten inches long from the tips of their noses to the bases of their tails (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Space). There was a plastic tray at the bottom of the cage with fresh newspaper placed in it. One of the cage walls had a plastic water bottle and metal self feeder. A plastic bin filled with newspapers was placed on top of the cage (3.1(b)-Condition and site).
The empty bottom cage of the second stack was made with treated wire. There was rust in many places where the wire coating was worn off (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces) and dirty build-up on the surfaces of its water bottle and metal self feeder (3.1(c)(1)-Surfaces).
The top cage housed a Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua. The dogs were each about ten inches long from the tips of their noses to the bases of their tails (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Space). This cage was made entirely out of untreated, thin-gauge wire that was rusting near the bottom of its walls (3.6(a)(2)(xii)-Primary enclosures); (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces). There was a small rubber mat in the cage and fresh newspaper on a metal sheet under the wire floor. The cage had a plastic water bottle attached to it. There was a rusting metal self-feeder placed so that it angled back away from the cage. This set-up made the food fall to the elbow of the feeder. It was, therefore, very difficult for the dogs to eat (3.9(b)-Feeding).
The floors of the kennels were covered in a dark build-up. The stains running from under the indoor cages suggested this grime is mostly the result of feces from within the kennel (3.1(c)(1)-Surfaces). Medical and cleaning supplies were stored in open plastic bins in the kennel itself, and the surfaces of the kennels were covered in dust and cobwebs (3.1(b)-Condition and site); (3.1(c)(1)-Surfaces).
Breeds: Standard Poodles, English Springer Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Basset Hounds, Mastiffs, St. Bernards, Tibetan Mastiffs, Eskimos, Bull Mastiffs, Australian Shepherds, Boxers, Shiba Inus, Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, Labradors, Newfoundlands, Huskies
Four kennel structures existed on the property. One building, located about 100 feet south of the house on the property, was enclosed with metal walls on three sides, a metal roof, concrete flooring, and a chain link wall facing east. The structure itself was one large pen, about fifty feet wide and long, with five St. Bernards and a two-month-old Labrador puppy inside.
Wooden walls stood about six feet tall inside the pen. The white surfaces of these walls were scratched and worn in many places (3.1(c)(1)-Surfaces). The only shelter inside the pen was a five-foot-wide rubber tire with no covering over it. It was large enough for one Labrador puppy to fit inside (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements). The puppy had a large bloody sore on the top of its right ear (2.40-Vet Care).
The floor had a thin layer of sawdust covering it. A plastic water bucket and food dishes were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.9(b)-Feeding).
Another structure sat at the southeast corner of the property. It contained two outdoor pens with rusting, galvanized wire walls (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces) and dirt floors. Tarps acted as windbreaks, covering about a single ten-foot section of each pen towards the south, though the pens were about 30 foot across in every direction.
There were two plastic dog houses in each pen that lacked windbreaks (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements). One pen housed two Labradors, and the second housed three Labradors. In the cage housing three dogs, only one dog could fit in the dog house and turn about freely or lie in a normal manner at one time (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements).
Food and water dishes on the pen flooring were not placed in a manner so as to minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements).
A kennel structure about 200 feet west of the house contained six pens inside a barn that was open on one end. One pen, about 60 feet long and wide, contained three Labradors, a Mastiff, and two Standard Poodles.
This pen had dirty flooring (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces). Both end walls of this pen were galvanized-wire; one end faced a hallway in the building and the opposite end was exposed to the outside. A torn and shredded tarp partially covered this end (3.3(d)-Shelter from the elements). Food dishes on the floor were not placed in a manner that would minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.9(b)-Feeding).
Pens on either side of the hallway were constructed of galvanized wire, plastic walls, and wooden walls. Each pen was about five feet wide and eight feet long. One pen housed two Golden Retrievers, two Standard Poodles, and an English Springer Spaniel. These dogs measured from 2.5 to four feet long, and the pens were overcrowded (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Space).
The white plastic and wooden walls were all covered in dirty build-up (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces), and the wooden walls had areas that were scratched and chewed (3.1(c)(1)-Surfaces).
The concrete floors had a thick layer of wood shavings on them. Each pen contained a metal water bucket. Food dishes on the pen floors were not placed in a manner that would minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.9(b)-Feeding).
Another pen contained four Basset Hounds, another three Golden Retrievers, and the rest each contained a whelping Golden Retriever with several puppies. The pens closest to the entrance of the building, which was at its south end and consisted of a metal gate with no covering, did not have any shelter from possible rain or snow that could easily reach them through the open entrance (3.3(d)-Shelter from the elements).
The last kennel building was at the southwest end of the property and contained a variety of indoor pens and about ten indoor/outdoor enclosures. Metal doggie-doors provided access to each part of the enclosure. One pen with four Golden Retrievers had a doggie-door that was stuck open, leaving nothing to cover the doorway (3.3(d)-Shelter from the elements). The pens contained two to four dogs each, including Golden Retrievers, Eskimos, Huskies, Boxers, Standard Poodles, St. Bernards, and Tibetan Mastiffs. Several of the pens contained small litters of nursing puppies. Three Standard Poodles in one pen had matted fur full of feces (2.40-Vet Care).
The outdoor pens were concrete slabs surrounded by chain link walls, about four feet wide and ten feet long. The floor of most of these pens had several days’ accumulation of feces covering the surface and built up around the walls of the pens (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). A pen containing four Eskimos did not have more than a day’s accumulation of fecal matter in it.
The metal walls at the back of each pen were covered in fecal stains (3.1(c)(3) Surfaces). Metal buckets were placed on the outside walls of the pens and food dishes were placed on the inside walls. The food dishes were chewed and worn around their edges, and covered in dirty build-up (3.9(b)-Feeding).
The indoor pens, about four feet wide and five feet long, had concrete floorings covered in a thin layer of wood chips and plastic walls with dirty build-up on their surfaces (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces). Some of the wooden walls were chewed and scratched in large areas (3.1(c)(1)-Surfaces). One pen contained three Labradors and a Husky that were each about four feet long. Another pen contained three, four-foot-long Standard Poodles, and a third contained three, 3.5-foot-long Golden Retrievers (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Space).
About six other pens were located in this kennel building. They had concrete floors, plastic and wooden walls, and galvanized wire doors on one side. Many of the wire doors of the inside pens were rusting (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces).
One pen contained two Bull Mastiffs, another had a Labrador and three Newfoundlands, another five Labradoodles, another four Basset Hounds, another five Shiba Inus, and another five Eskimo puppies. Food dishes on the pen floors were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.9(b)-Feeding). The Shiba Inus’ food dish was a rusting iron skillet (3.9(b)-Feeding).
None of the sheltered housing facilities had sufficient lighting (3.3(c)-Lighting). Flies swarmed around all of the kennel structures at Mitzel’s property (3.11(d)-Pest control).
On the property at the time of investigation: about 50 dogs and 30 puppies
This kennel consisted of two rows of outdoor pens and a whelping building. The outdoor pens (about 15) had dirt floors and chain link walls with metal three-foot-high metal sheets placed between them. There were one to two dogs – St. Bernards, English Springer Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Akitas, and Bernese Mountain Dogs – per pen.
Each pen contained a plastic dog house large enough for the dog/dogs inside, and a plastic water bucket and food dish. The water buckets were filled with dingy, brown water (3.10-Watering), and the food dishes were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.9(b)-Feeding).
There were several days’ accumulation of feces in each pen (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The tops of many of the pens had their chain link wiring separated from the steal beams run above them (3.1(a)-Structure; construction).
One pen contained a single English Springer Spaniel that was limping with its front right paw up in the air. Mittleider told me the dog had a previous injury to its leg, though the dog would make no attempt to put any weight on its leg at all (2.40-Vet Care.) All of the dogs in the outdoor enclosures had large patches of fur and skin missing from the tops of their ears, revealing open bloody sores covered in flies (2.40-Vet Care).
I asked Mittleider what he did to treat the injuries, and he responded that he put insecticide on the open wounds (2.40-Vet care). Flies swarmed around all of the outside pens on this property (3.11(d)-Pest control).
As Mittleider and I entered the whelping building, it was totally dark inside. Mittleider had to turn on the lights for us to see as he walked me through it (3.2(c)-Lighting).
The whelping building contained two rows of pens. One row consisted of five pens, each about four feet wide and long. These pens had plastic walls and floors and thick-gauge galvanized wire doors. Food and water dishes, some of which were rusty (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces),were placed in the pens, and a thin layer of wood chips was on each floor.
Three pens each housed a nursing St. Bernard and three puppies. Another pen housed a nursing Standard Poodle and four puppies. The mothers were each about four feet long from the tips of their noses to the bases of their tails (3.6(c)(1)(i); (3.6(c)(1)(ii)-Primary enclosures). The fifth pen housed four English Springer Spaniels, each about 2.5 feet long from the tips of their noses to the bases of their tails (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).
About 15 other pens of the same size were in the kennel, each housing several puppies of various breeds and ages. One housed four English Springer Spaniels, each about two feet long from the tips of their noses to the bases of their tails (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Two other pens each housed four Poodles about two feet long from the tips of the noses to the bases of their tails (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).
These pens had plastic water dishes on the floors and metal self feeders attached to the walls. All of the pens had dirty build-up on the walls (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces).
Mittleider Tape Log
1’00” Springer Spaniel with injured leg
3’40” chain link broken off of top of wall
3’50” bloody sores are evident on Akitas’ ears; Mittleider discusses how he puts insecticide on the wounds
6’00” St. Bernard and puppies in cage too small for them
7’12” St. Bernard and puppies in cage too small for them
7’37” Springer Spaniel and puppies in cage too small for them
7’57” Poodle puppies in cages too small for them
On the property at the time of investigation: about 34 dogs and 3 puppies
There were two kennel structures were on the property, both containing enclosures with indoor/outdoor cages.
One of the structures had enclosures that rested on the ground; each enclosure contained two Cocker Spaniels. The outdoor pens were concrete runs surrounded by chain link fencing. The back walls of these pens were plastic with metal doggie-doors providing access to the indoor pens. The plastic walls had fecal stains on their surfaces, and there was several days’ accumulation of feces covering the floor of each pen. The dogs had nowhere to walk or lie down without being in contact with their excrement (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces); (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). Metal water dishes on the floor of each pen were empty (3.10-Watering).
The edge of the concrete slabs furthest from the kennel building had a thick build-up of hair and feces, as though the waste had been washed from the pens and allowed to accumulate there for several weeks without being removed (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal).
Four of the enclosures had indoor pens constructed with plastic walls and floors; wooden doors provided access from inside the kennel building. All of surfaces of the pens were stained with feces, and the floorings were caked with feces. The dogs could not walk or lie down inside without being on top of the filth (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces); (3.11(a)-Cleaning).
Two pens contained rugs that were soaked with urine and covered in dried excrement (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces). Plastic self-feeders attached to the doors of inside pen also had feces caked to their surfaces (3.9(b)-Feeding).
More than a day’s worth of food was in each feeder, indicating the dogs are not fed every day, but instead given several days of food at once so that they eat progressively older food over time (3.9(a)-Feeding).
This building was a shed with a short walkway with the pens on one side, and crates, cages, spare cage parts, and plastic bucket stored within three feet of them on the other side (3.1(b)-Condition and site). Food bags were stored on top of the pens themselves (3.1(e)-Storage). The walkway to the kennel itself was covered in a dirty build-up (3.1(c)(1)-Surfaces).
The second kennel building contained a dozen enclosures. There two dogs – Bichons, Cocker Spaniels, or Poodles – per enclosure. One cage housed two puppies and another housed a single puppy.
The enclosures, indoor and outdoor, were constructed with plastic beams and treated wire. Plastic self feeders and water bottles were connected to the indoor enclosures. The puppy cages had pieces of dirty carpet. Heat lamps, some of which were covered in rust, hung from the cage ceilings (3.1(c)(1)(i)-Surfaces). There was a dirty build-up on the hallway floor of the kennel (3.1(c)(1)-Surfaces).
On the property at the time of investigation: about 15 dogs and 25 puppies
This kennel consisted of two metal buildings with a series of outdoor runs and indoor enclosures.
The building closest to the Asmussen house had about a dozen outdoor runs set up on two sides of the building. These pens had concrete floors, chain link walls, and each had a metal whelping room at the far end of the pen. Each pen housed a single Labrador.
Several of the chain link walls had broken wire. Jagged wire edges protruded into the pens themselves from the bottom corners of the doors and, in one case, halfway up the door itself (3.1(c)(1)(ii)-Surfaces). The outside surface of the metal walls of the whelping rooms had a layer of dirty build-up on them (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces).
A thin layer of wood chips covered each pen floor. Metal food and water dishes were on the pen floors, and the food dishes were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.9(b)-Feeding). The water dishes were filled with dingy brown water (3.10- Watering), and a thick mob of flies was in each of the enclosures (3.11(d)-Pest control).
The whelping rooms were accessible by metal doggie-doors, had concrete floors, and metal walls and roofs. There was no artificial lighting (3.2(c)-Lighting) or air conditioning in these rooms (3.1(d)-Water and electric power).
James showed me a litter of puppies in three of the rooms. Most of the puppies were lethargic, lying still (2.40-Vet care) and had flies walking over them. In one cage, there was a puppy sprawled out on a wooden board just inside the doorway of its whelping room. It made no attempt to move when the door was opened (2.40)). All of the metal walls inside the whelping rooms had dirty build-up on their surfaces (3.1(c)(3)-Surfaces).
The second kennel building had about six indoor/outdoor enclosures on each of two sides of the building. The inside pens were each about four feet long and four feet wide and housed one to two adult Labradors. Several of these pens also housed whelping puppies.
There was no artificial lighting in the building and the whelping pens were very dark (3.2(c)-Lighting). A fan was running at one end of the building, and open windows at two ends of the building provided ventilation. A hallway separated the two rows of indoor pens, constructed of metal and wooden walls. Wooden boards set on the ground about 15 feet down the hallway formed a pen about three feet wide and three feet long for a Labrador puppy of about six weeks of age. A metal food dish, covered in flies, was sitting in the pen with the puppy, and a metal water dish full of brown water was placed outside the pen (3.10-Watering).
Several of the indoor pens had galvanized wire placed on top of them. One of these wire ceilings had fallen into the pen so that one side was lying on the floor of the pen while its opposite side was raised only about two feet above the ground. The dog in this enclosure had to crouch down to lie in the indoor pen (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures). Mr. Asmussen said the wire had fallen into the cage and that he had never bothered to pull it back out (3.1(a)-Structure, construction).
The indoor/outdoor pens were separated by metal doggie-doors set against metal walls. The outdoor runs had concrete floors and galvanized wire walls. Metal food and water dishes were placed on the pen floorings. The water dishes were full of murky water (3.10-Watering), and the food dishes were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta or pests (3.9(b)-Feeding).
Flies swarmed inside and outside of the kennel building, all over the food and water dishes, and on the whelping puppies (3.11(d)-Pest control).
Approximate Number of Dogs: 45
The Asmussen facility was at the end of a very long driveway. There was a home, garage and several outbuildings with kennel areas. The first building I came to from the drive was the garage. There was a large hog panel kennel with a dirt floor built off of the right side of the garage. A small separate outbuilding served as the shelter for the four Labrador Retrievers housed there.
The large Labrador Retrievers were jumping up against the hog panel fencing. The panels had come loose from the t-posts and were not secure. Sharp metal pieces of the panels were pointing towards the dogs on the front side of the enclosure facing the drive. At the back side of the enclosure, a large weathered board, with rusted nails pointing towards the dogs was loosely propped up in order to secure the back panel (3.1(a)-Structure; construction) (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures).
The dogs had severely clawed and chewed one side of the garage and the shelter building. In places they had chewed off pieces of siding on the garage. The building used for their shelter needed the roof replaced. Many areas of the roof were missing shingles and were very weathered (3.1(a)-Stucture; construction). The sides of the shelter building, besides being clawed and chewed, had areas of particle board and unsealed wooden surfaces and peeling paint (3.4(c)-Construction) (3.6(a)(2)(ix)-Primary enclosures).
The entry way access to the shelter lacked a wind/rain break at the entrance (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements) and the outdoor housing area lacked an area of shade separate from the shelter (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements). The dirt floor of this outdoor enclosure had straw, chewed up shredded dog food bags, pieces of siding and food bowls littering about (3.1(b)-Condition and site).
The dogs appeared to be in fair condition and were active. The female yellow Labrador Retriever had extremely engorged, sagging mammary glands that were visibly red (2.40-Veterinary care). One chocolate Labrador Retriever had a green ocular discharge (2.40) and two female chocolate Labrador Retrievers were wearing very large linked chains around their necks. These chains had several links dangling. The dogs were sticking their heads through openings in the panels. Dangling chains can catch on pieces of wire or nails (2.50(a)(1)-Identification) and (3.6(a)(2)(i)(ii)-Primary enclosures). These dogs also had collars with tags on them.
The inside of the garage had whelping rooms made of particle board and unsealed wood at the back of it (3.2(d)-Interior surfaces). I could hear dogs kept there. The garage also served as the food and bedding storage area. It was very untidy with cob webs, a mound of empty dog food bags, a wheelbarrow, a pile of loose straw and junk all over. Unopened bags of dog food were stacked on the floor and against a wall. Opened bags of dog food were sitting on the floor near some buckets (3.1(b)-Condition and site) (3.1(c)-Storage).
From the garage area I moved clockwise around the rest of the facility. There were two yellow Labrador Retrievers in an outdoor enclosure. Part of the floor of this pen was made out of rotten, weathered, scratched wood (3.4(c)-Construction) and the other part of the floor was dirt. Old pieces of buried fence, an anti-dig system, had been unearthed. Jagged pieces of this partially buried fence were turned up towards the dogs’ legs and feet 3.1(a)-Structure;construction) (3.6(a)(2)(i)(ii)-Primary enclosures).
In this outdoor enclosure, there was a large rotted hole in the corner where the rotted wood flooring met the side of the enclosure to the right of the dog house. The hole posed injury to the dogs and affected the structural strength of the primary enclosure (3.1(a)-Structure;construction) (3.4(c)-Construction). All surfaces must be maintained on a regular basis and be impervious to moisture. The dog house in this enclosure was extremely weathered, chewed and scratched. The entry was severely chewed, scratched and lacked a wind/rain break (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements). The roof had holes in it, large chewed areas and a very sharp piece of metal running down the middle of what probably held the shingles on the roof at one time (3.1(a)-Structure;construction) (3.6(a)(2)(ii)-Primary enclosures). The dog house did not provide adequate protection or shelter (3.6(a)(2)(iii) and (v)-Primary enclosures). The dogs could not sit, stand or lie in a normal manner inside (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures). Furthermore the dog house had not been maintained on a regular basis and the surfaces were not impervious to moisture (3.4(c)-Construction). This enclosure also lacked an additional area of shade (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements) and the dogs were out of water (3.10- Watering).
One of the yellow Labrador Retrievers had a collar and tag and the other yellow Labrador Retriever lacked a collar and I.D. (2.50-Identification). The Labrador Retriever without a collar and tag was very active. He jumped,, ran around, pushed on the hog panel fencing and could get his head, feet and legs through opening in the panels (3.1)(a)-Structure; construction). Some of the panels had broken pieces of metal protruding towards the dogs (3.1(a)-Structure; construction) (3.6(a)(2)(i)(ii)-Primary enclosures). The Labrador Retriever with the collar and tag was also wearing a chain as described above (2.50(a)(1)-Identification).
The next kennel area was a small white barn with approximately five welded metal kennels with wooden plank floors built off both sides. One Labrador Retriever per kennel was housed here. The wooden planks used as flooring were severely weathered and scratched and were not impervious to moisture thus making them unable to be properly sanitized (3.3(e)(1)(ii)-Surfaces). One of the chocolate Labrador Retrievers kept here had a large un-cooked cow leg in its enclosure. This dog urinated as we approached (2.40-Vet care). He snarled at us before retreating to his shelter, where he nervously peered out of the dog door. The dog had healed sores on both hips (2.40-Vet care).
In the first enclosure on the other side of this area, a yellow Labrador Retriever urinated submissively and cowered near the floor as I approached. Other dogs barked at me and ran around (2.40). The wood floor on this side was made of unsealed plywood (3.3(e)(1)(ii)-Surfaces), and the urine soaked into the wood.
The next building was an unpainted, very weathered chicken shed with approximately four hog panel and wooden construction enclosures. The dogs accessed their den areas in the small building through dog doors. The floors were made of wood (3.3(e)(1)(ii)-Surfaces) and many of the unsealed 2 x 4’s, used for structural support, had been chewed (3.3(e)(1)(iii)-Surfaces) and (3.1(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces).
A long, red tin building had approximately ten chain link kennels built off of it. The kennels had concrete floors. There was an accumulation of feed pans, buckets, detergent and bleach containers and hoses near the side door of the building (3.1(b)-Condition and site). There were one or two Labrador Retrievers per kennel. The dogs had chewed many of the chain link panels. The chain link panel divider between kennel #3 and kennel #4 from the left was especially mangled and had a metal t-post propping it in position. It appeared that the Labrador Retrievers had chewed holes out of their enclosures or chewed holes into adjoining enclosures (3.1(a)-Structure; construction). The dogs in these enclosures were wearing collars and tags.
The last area was a small weathered outbuilding with peeling paint 3.1(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.3(e)(iii)-Surfaces). The enclosure was made of wire fencing and had a wooden floor (3.3(e)(1)(ii)-Surfaces). The wooden supports holding the fencing up and together were either severely weathered and rotted or unsealed 2 x 4’s (3.3(e)(1)(iii)-Surfaces). There were large holes with pieces of wire protruding towards the dogs near the top of the fencing (3.1(a)-Structure; construction) (3.6(a)(2)(i)(ii)-Primary enclosures). There were two older puppies living here. They were climbing the wire fencing and were able to get their heads, legs and feet through the holes (3.1(a)-Structure; construction) (3.6)(a)(2)(ii)(iii)-Primary enclosures).
These puppies accessed their shelter area inside of the building through dog doors. The puppies were active and alert. One puppy was wearing a collar and tag. The more active of the two was wearing a chain made of large links. Pieces of this chain collar dangled and nearly got caught up in the broken pieces of the wire fencing (2.50(a)(1)-Identification).
The structure and construction violations are a severe problem at the Asmussen facility. Most of the dogs had fair weight. There wasn’t an excessive amount of fecal accumulation. The dogs’ destructive chewing and behavior should be evaluated. These dogs require a more productive outlet through positive human interaction, socialization and frequent opportunities to exercise (2.40-Vet care) (3.8-Exercise).
CAPS investigators found a number of serious violations. Donald Borchert, ACI, however, found just two non-complaint items during his inspection of 11/5/02. He listed a 3.1(a) violation for wire along the bottom of an outside enclosure that had started to turn up into the dogs’ enclosure. He listed 3.1(b) for a large accumulation of cob webs. The correct-by date for both violations was 11/15/02. Although CAPS investigators didn’t note any cobwebs, the wiring turning up into the enclosures was still present. In fact, it appears that the Asmussens deliberately buried the wire to prevent digging.