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Wednesday, 26 September 2012 20:00

Another CAPS Victory; Villa Park Ordinance

The Companion Animal Protection Society would like to thank CAPS Chicago Campaign Coordinator Ida McCarthy, assisted by Chicago Outreach Coordinator Dianne Arp with support from Chicago Volunteer Coordinator Kristen Kaminski and all of our Happiness is Pets protesters. Villa Park, IL has banned the sale of pet shop puppies and kittens unless the pet shop has owned the building for at least one year. They also banned the sale of companion animals in flea markets, parking lots, etc. On to other towns in Illinois!! This is just the beginning.

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Villa Park Ordinance
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It would be wonderful if everyone could send a thank you to the council members below!
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Related articles:
Villa Park board passes ordinance regulating pet shops and kennels

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Published in CAPS News
UPDATE: THE VILLA PARK MEETING WAS CANCELLED. We were informed they cannot pass the ordinance. There is a clause in city law that prevents them from doing this. Please try and contact whoever you invited to attend.

Fwded message from CAPS Chicago Campaign Coordinator Ida McCarthy:
Ban Sale of Dogs and Cats Ordinance - Villa Park, IL — Monday, August 13th at 7:30pm CDT
NEED YOUR SUPPORT FOLKS!!! We are on the agenda at the next Villa Park council meeting on August 13th at 7:30pm (CDT). It's an open meeting and anyone can attend and speak.
We are trying to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, in flea markets, parking lots and farmers markets. It would be great to see some Villa Park residents speak up, so please if you know anyone in Villa Park who would be willing to just stand up and say "I support the ordinance" that would be great!
You only have 3 minutes to speak I believe, and just that one sentence would be fine. It's all about HOW MANY PEOPLE SHOW UP TO SUPPORT THIS. It would be the FIRST city in Illinois. Let's make some history :)
Meeting will be held at the Villa Park Municipal Bldg, 20 S. Ardmore Ave, Villa Park, which is about 10 minutes from the Oak Brook Mall. It's a small brick bldg next to the Police Dept. Park in the Jewel lot across the street, as the Municipal Center has a small parking lot.

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Published in CAPS News
Thursday, 23 October 2008 00:05

Dogs Rescued by CAPS from Lorton's Puppyland

Dogs Rescued by CAPS from Lorton's Puppyland - USDA Investigation


Buck: Buck is an eight to nine-year-old male Great Pyrenees. He had very matted fur, mouth ulcers and gum disease. He had many fleas and ticks even though the breeders had coated him with motor oil to control pests. Buck had a chronic infection of the testicles that caused sterility. He is afraid of men. Buck lives in a foster home.


Daisy: Daisy is an eight to nine-year-old Great Pyrenees. She had a severe skin condition from improper nutrition and neglect, badly matted fur, mouth ulcers and gum disease. Daisy is being treated for irritable bowel syndrome caused by anxiety. She is afraid of men and watches people's hands and feet. Daisy lives in a foster home.


Willie: Willie is a seven-year-old male Dachshund. He has lived in at least two puppy mills and two homes and is very afraid of men. Improper nutrition caused him to lose hair on his ears and tail. His chest, abdomen and testicles have black, leathery sores. Willie has a permanent home with a woman and her young son.

Mollie and Lokie

Molly and Lokie: Molly is a six-year-old Chihuahua. She had a severe case of coccidia. During her spaying, our vet found afterbirth still in her uterus. She had gum disease, and the vet had to remove most of her teeth. Her two-month-old puppy, Lokie, had coccidia and kennel cough. Molly lives in a foster home, and Lokie just found a new family.


Boscoe: Boscoe is a Jack Russell Terrier. He has a new home and is a therapy dog at a school for people with special needs.


Happy: Happy is a Boxer. She was living in a rusty mink cage. After staying in a state-of-the-art rescue facility, she found a new home with another Boxer.

Published in Illinois
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 20:45

Wear, Janet - Wear Kennels

Breeds: Pugs, Yorkshire Terriers, English Bulldogs Present in the kennel at time of investigation: about 30 dogs and seven puppies

The indoor facility at Wear Kennels is a barn about 80 feet long and 30 feet wide, constructed of metal with a peaked, metal roof and concrete flooring.

A single doorway led to a storage room about 20 feet wide and 30 feet long. Food, medical, and cleaning supplies were stored in this room, through which a doorway led to the kennel itself. Though several windows in the facility allowed sunlight into the kennel room, the artificial lights in the kennel were off and the lighting was too dim to clearly see the condition the dogs without the aid of another light source (3.2(c)-Lighting).

The kennel area had three rows of cages, spaced within five feet of each other. Each row consisted of about 10 cages set adjacent to each other, with each cage being about three feet tall and long and 2.5 feet wide. The cages were raised about two feet off the ground on plastic stilts supporting plastic bases for the cages. Each cage was constructed of treated, thin-gauge wire, with plastic roofs.

Most of the cages housed a single adult dog, with some cages housing either a whelping mother and puppies or several puppies. One pen contained a whelping Yorkshire Terrier mother and two puppies that appeared to be about four to six weeks of age. Two plastic strips, one three inches tall and three feet long, and the other six inches tall and a foot long, were used to contain the Yorkshire Terriers within a space about three feet long and a foot wide within the cage. Two pieces of carpeting covered most of the wire floor in the confined area, though there were still uncovered spaces that would allow the puppies’ paws to slip through the wire floor (3.1(a)- Structure; construction).

A second cage with similar containment area housed four Pug puppies, each about eight weeks old. The whelping containment area had carpet strips almost entirely covering its flooring. There were also two plastic food dishes and a plastic water dish on the flooring of the cage outside of the whelping area, requiring the puppies to step onto the wire, where their paws would slip through the wire, to eat and drink (3.1(a)-Structure; construction).

A third cage contained two Pugs about six months old, and half of the cage flooring had one inch thick plastic strips with holes smaller than those of the treated wire.

A fourth cage, with the whelping containment area but with no dogs in it, had feces-stained carpeting inside (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). A fifth cage, also empty, had several days’ worth of feces trapped in the wire flooring (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

All of the cages had self feeders for food and water that were placed several inches above the wire floorings, and all of the feeders were chewed and stained with excreta and moldy food (3.9(b)-Feeding).

The concrete flooring below the cages was stained from excreta, and in one place had water and urine piled up in pools that ran between the two rows of cages furthest from the doorway. The pools, up to 18 inches wide and three feet long, were present along the length of each row of cages (3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces); (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal).

Published in Illinois
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 19:30

Plank, Paul - Kaskaskia Creek Kennel

About 10 dogs and 10 puppies. Breeds: Lhasa Apsos, Mixed Breeds

Paul Plank’s kennel is a single story building with white vinyl siding on its walls. It had double-tiered outside and inside cages which were connected by doggy doors on both sides of the building. Each row contained eight cages. The bottom cages were raised about a foot above the ground, and the top cages were set about a foot above the bottom cages. Each row had a plastic sheet underneath it angled toward the building for catching feces and urine.

There were about 10 puppies in the kennel, including three Lhasa Apsos in one cage (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures), four 8 pound black and white short-haired puppies in another cage (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures) and three puppies that appeared to be 8 pound Maltese in a third cage (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Large amounts of feces were under the cages. Much of it was old because it was dried and white (3.11(a)-Cleaning). The four black and white puppies had a pile of feces under their outside cage. Hundreds of flies were swarming around the kennel (3.11(d)-Pest Control).

The inside cages had treated wire doors and floors, plastic siding and roofs and PVC pipe used for the corners. These cages also had plastic sheets underneath them angled towards the walls of building to catch feces and urine. The inside cages had red plastic self feeders placed on them. There were eight cages on top and bottom of each side of the building. Four of them were accessible through doggy doors from the outside cages, while the other four were not. Piles of old, dried white feces were under these cages, as well (3.11(a)-Cleaning). Mr. Plank left the door to this building open. Therefore, flies were swarming inside the building (3.11(d)-Pest Control). The walls of the inside cages and sheets used to catch feces and urine under them, though made of white plastic, were stained brown. Some of the brown stain appeared rubbed away from the cage walls, as if the stain (probably feces) could be wiped away, but was not being cleaned by Plank (3.11(b)(1)-Sanitization).

Paul Plank told me that he previously had a USDA license, though when he tried to renew his license for this year, he filled out the wrong form. He said that the USDA never sent him the correct form, and then laughed and said, “So I’m just gonna’ leave it at that.” Plank also said that he sells his dogs to Betty Morris in Galatia, IL (33-B-0234). Section 2.1 requires Mr. Plank to have a USDA llicense. Under 2.132, Ms. Morris can only buy dogs from dealers who are licensed or legally exempt under the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore, she is also violating the Animal Welfare Act.

Published in Illinois
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 19:28

Plank, Paul - Kaskaskia Creek Kennel

Approximately 50 dogs and 20 puppies. Breeds included Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd puppies, Shih Tzus, Poodles, Scottish Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, Silky Terriers and Papillons.

The Planks are Mennonites. They operate a woodworking shop on their property as well as a kennel. Daniel Plank, a son, greeted us and gave us the tour of their facility.

He first took us to the small breed area. It was an outbuilding with double decker hutches built off both sides. The dogs accessed their den area inside the building through dog doors. This building housed all of the smaller breeds and also served as the whelping area. Each nursing or whelping female was not given additional space for each nursing puppy (3.6(c)(1)(ii)-Primary enclosures).

The property and surrounding grounds were overgrown with thick, tall weeds (3.11(c)- Housekeeping for premises). Old car batteries, dirty mops, plastic containers, and hoses littered the ground among the weeds around the hutch enclosures (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises). A burn pile was approximately 10 feet from the hutches.

Some fecal accumulation was in the collection trays under the hutches. Fecal and hair accumulation was caked on the bottom grate of the primary enclosures (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Daniels’s sister said that that they use a hose to spray the feces, hair and urine out of the collection trays (3.11(b)(3)-Sanitization of primary enclosures). The waste deposits right next to the hutches at the far end and was fertilizing the tall weeds. This method does not minimize contamination, disease and pests (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal). In fact, the odor was awful, but not as awful as the thick swarms of flies that were biting us and the dogs, laying eggs and breeding in the feces (3.1(f )-Drainage and waste disposal).

A black male Poodle was on the bottom row of hutches, in the last enclosure on the end. He had a lot of missing fur and large sores on his face and back. The flies were biting the dog’s sores. Daniel stated that their Veterinarian said this dog may have mange or mites (2.40-Veterinary care) (3.7(e)-Compatible grouping). In the enclosure next to this dog were four Yorkshire Terriers that were overcrowded (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures (3.6(c)(1)(i) Primary enclosures). These dogs had large open, red seeping sores on their shoulders, necks and backs. Flies were biting them (2.40).

The Yorkshire Terriers were separated from the contagious Poodle only by wire partition. (3.7)(e)-Compatible grouping). Daniel told me that the veterinarian thought the Poodles’ disease was contagious to humans and dogs. Although he was in a cage by himself, he was still in general population and could transmit his mites or mange to dogs in cages next to him. This was evident by the sores on other dogs.

Daniel offered to let us inside a building to show us some puppies. He entered the already open door to the shelter area. The temperature outside was approximately 85 degrees and humid. Daniel showed us the operating window unit air conditioner and stated that they try to keep the temperature inside at 80 degrees at all times (3.3(a)-Heating, cooling and temperature). The door to the indoor shelter area was standing wide open and swarms of flies were buzzing inside and out.

Despite the open door, a very apparent ammonia odor was present (3.3(b)-Ventilation). The open door did not provide sufficient ventilation for the well-being of the animals inside.

Flies, fly carcasses and dog kibble littered the linoleum floor where Daniel was standing (3.1(b)-Condition and site). He squished dead flies with every step. Fly carcasses were stuck to the fly strips hanging over our heads. Flies alive and dead were in the food, on the floors, on the walls and around cleaning products (3.11(d)-Pest control).

Cleaning supplies, rags, unlabeled bottles of liquid, a flashlight, medications with illegible labels, syringes, and needles were stored on top of the first enclosure inside the doorway on the left (3.1(b)). An unopened bag of dog food was on the floor. It was leaning against the front of the Scottish Terriers enclosure (3.1(e)-Storage). There was a lot of hair accumulation under the enclosures (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal).

A mother Shih Tzu was caring for her newborn puppies in an unsealed wooden box inside of her enclosure (3.3(e)(1)(iii)-Sheltered housing facilities). A white Poodle, with what appeared to be the same skin condition previously mentioned, was in the adjoining enclosure. According to Daniel, the Veterinarian said that humans or dogs could be contaminated (2.40 Vet care) (3.7(e)-Compatible grouping).

The white Poodle had red inflamed areas of skin that were missing hair. Tthe white Poodles kennel mate was a severely matted black Poodle that continuously scratched itself. (2.40 Vet care) (3.7(e)-Compatible grouping).

While Daniel was showing us puppies and quoting prices, Daniels father Paul Plank came rushing into the building. He grabbed the flashlight and peered into one of the top enclosures to check on a whelping Poodle. Mr. Plank needed the flashlight to see because of the very minimal lighting (3.3(c)-Lighting). The only light came from the open door.

On top of a large blue barrel in the walkway was a syringe with an unsealed needle. The needle was covered with flies and fly carcasses (2.40).

We didn’t see any type of identification on any of the dogs (2.50-Identification).

Paul’s sister had been carrying a sickly Yorkshire Terrier puppy around in her apron pocket. She showed the puppy to us and said that this puppy had “problems” with its health due to a vaccination reaction. The lethargic puppy was coated in its own urine; food was smeared around its face. The puppy’s eyes were cloudy and the pupils did not seem to react to light. The girl said that its eyes turned cloudy after they gave it a vaccination (2.40). Despite its obvious health problems, the Planks offered to sell us this puppy for 0. They told me that if we did not buy it, they would wait a little longer and ship it to a pet store.

Daniel offered to walk us down to the large dog area. But first we walked around to the other side of the outdoor portions of the hutch enclosures. We saw feces, tall weeds and flies (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises).

A very large Papillon, a poor specimen of the breed, had chewed a hole in the wire enclosure. This dog had its head protruding through the hole and the jagged, sharp points of wire posed injury (3.1(c)(1)(ii)-Surfaces). Daniel crammed the dog’s head back through the jagged opening and made a very feeble attempt to bend the sharp wire points away from the dog. The dog went back to chewing and pulling at its enclosure. This dog quite possibly lacked the required six inches of head room (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). The partition between the Papillons enclosure and that of the Poodles was broken and in need of repair (3.6(a)(2)(ii)(iii)-Primary enclosures).

Next on the tour, Daniel walked us to the back of the property to see the chain link kennel area. with concrete flooring. As we walked away from the hutch enclosures, the flies dissipated. I knew that we were approaching the large chain link enclosures because of the flies. With each step toward these enclosures the swarm of flies became thicker. The flies were biting. I observed a jar flytrap as the only method of pest control (3.11(d)-Pest control). Tall, thick weeds and grass were overgrown around these enclosures (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises). Blue tarps were stretched over the tops of the enclosures and an automatic water system was operating.

The concrete flooring in each enclosure had almost one-and-a-half weeks worth of fecal accumulation, urine, dog kibble and green algae from the water constantly dripping from the lick-it dispensers (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

A Rottweiler had fly covered open sores, at least the size of fifty cent pieces, on each ear (2.40). His fur was encrusted with feces (3.6(a)(2)(v)Primary enclosures). In the pen next to the Rottweiler, were two young adult Golden Retrievers. They were climbing and standing on their large metal self-feeder that was not properly secured (3.6(a)(2)(i)(iii) Primary enclosures).

In the enclosures to the right of the Goldens were three young German Shepherd puppies. They were lethargic, thin and had diarrhea (2.40). They were standing in excrement and spilled dog kibble and were covered in feces, and flies and fly bites (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). One puppy would not stand up and just lay there on the filthy concrete while covered in biting flies (2.40).

Daniel stated that they had purchased these puppies from another breeder. He also said that Rhonda Mandat drove the puppies to the Chicago-land area to pet stores. The Planks now use American Pet Registry, Inc. more so than AKC because of AKC’s stringent regulations.

Next to the German Shepherd puppies enclosure was another Rottweiler. This dog lived in the same filthy conditions as that of the puppies. The entry to the dog house was severely chewed (3.1(c)(2)-Surfaces) (3.4-Construction) (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures) and lacked a roof (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements).

A mother Golden Retriever and her one young puppy were in a pen on the end. The chain link panel at the front of this enclosure had been chewed (3.1(c)(1)(ii)-Surfaces). The puppy waddled and rolled around on the feces covered concrete (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

The mother’s mammary glands appeared to be drying up. She was extremely aggressive towards her puppy even when it wasn’t trying to nurse. At one point, she got up and slammed her front feet into the puppy. The puppy cried out. She acted annoyed every time the puppy came near her and. She knocked the puppy away (2.40). This mother dog ate feces from the concrete (2.40).

Across from the mother Golden Retriever and her puppy was male Golden also living in filth. He watched Daniel’s hands and feet. Next to him were several empty enclosures, yet they had fecal accumulation and were in need of cleaning (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

A new run-off drainage trough was at the end of the concrete. It looked as if it had not been used. When used, it will deposit the feces and debris just a few feet from the enclosures (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal).

The Plank facility, which received a license in May 2002, had a number of serious violations. Of paramount concern were the lack of veterinary care and the filthy conditions. Yet, Dr. Susan Kingston, VMO, found just one non-compliant item during her inspection on 1/17/03. She stated that the “inside hallway of the kennel area has an accumulation of materials, including tools and other unnecessary items. The hallway is also in need of being cleaned, as dirt and extra dog food has accumulated on the floor.”

She stated the following in a note:

Drainage problems at the facility have precluded the daily cleaning of the outside catch pans. Therefore, there is a large accumulation of feces on the pans. The drainage situation is actively being worked on and the pans must be cleaned as soon as possible. If the drainage problem cannot be corrected in the immediate future, a different method for the elimination of the waste material must be found.

Mr. Plank had installed a new drainage system but it wasn’t in use. During the CAPS investigation, it was obvious that the drainage pans were not being cleaned as soon as possible. Dr. Kingston should have noted the drainage problem as a violation and provided a correct-by date. Seven months elapsed between her inspection and the CAPS investigation. This is a longer period of time than “the immediate future.” Of course, Dr. Kingston hadn’t been back to the facility to see if the drainage problem had been corrected.

Published in Illinois
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 19:19

Obermark, Virginia - Obermark's Kennel

About 100 dogs. Breeds: Poodles, Pekingese, Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Papillons, Shih Tzus, Maltese

The Obermarks’ kennel is behind their house near the woods behind the property. The end of the kennel closest to the house had two enclosures, one for Yorkshire Terriers and the other for Maltese and Pekingese. Both enclosures were raised 2.5 feet off the ground by wooden supports. These enclosures had plastic roofs and wire walls, bottoms, and doors. The wires on the walls and floorings were treated, while the doors were made of a large gauge wire that was untreated (3.6(a)(2)(xii)-Primary enclosures) and rusting (3.1(c)(i)-Surfaces). Each enclosure had three cages, and each cage had a wooden box for shelter. The enclosures had plastic sheets under them about a foot above the ground.

The enclosure housing the Maltese and Pekingese contained three cages. One of these cages was empty, while the other contained four Maltese. The middle cage had one Pekingese.

The second enclosure also had three cages. One cage contained four Yorkshire Terriers, another contained three, and a third contained two. All of the Yorkshire Terriers had very short fur, which appeared to have been recently shaved.

Further from the house was an enclosure identical to the one described above for Yorkshire Terriers. One of the cages of this enclosure had three Yorkshire Terriers, another contained two Yorkshire Terriers and what appeared to be a Papillon. The third cage had four Yorkshire Terriers. All of the cages had metal self-feeders and plastic water dishes.

Behind this enclosure was a similar enclosure. Two cages had two Papillons each, and the third housed three Poodles (two white and one black).

Next to these enclosures and further from the house, about 20 feet from the woods, was a concrete slab with chain link pens containing Yorkshire Terriers, Pekingese and Shih Tzus. The four pens over this slab had plastic dog houses. Even though some of the pens had plastic sheets about five feet tall and three feet wide covering the side furthest from the woods (the side facing the Obermarks’ house), the tops were completely uncovered (3.6(a)(2)(v)(vi)(vii)-Primary enclosures).

The Pekingese had large mats of hair that stuck out two to four inches from their sides and stomachs (2.40-Vet Care). Two of the Shih Tzu and two of the Pekingese had green mucous thickly covering an eye, indicative of an eye infection (2.40-Vet Care).

Next to the concrete slab and still further from the Obermarks’ house were four cages made of treated wire with untreated wire doors. A small plastic dog house at the back of each cage extended about a foot into the cage. The cages were all raised about 2.5 feet above the ground on wooden boards, and had a slanted plastic roof covering them. The cages also had metal self-feeders and plastic water containers. Each cage contained three to four Yorkshire Terriers who, like all of the other Yorkshire Terriers in the kennel, appeared to have had their fur recently shaved. Adjacent to this enclosure were two other enclosures of similar design, each containing three cages with three to four dogs each (Yorkshire Terriers and Shih Tzus). All of the enclosures described in this paragraph had slanted plastic sheets under them, presumably for catching feces and urine.

Adjacent to these, and furthest from the house, a concrete slab extended out with two pens made of chain link wiring. Inside each pen were three Maltese. The pens also had no windbreaks or coverings over their tops, and plastic dog houses (3.6(a)(2)(v)(vi)(vii)-Primary enclosures).

All of the food and water containers were full of rain water. The water in the food bowls completely soaked the small amounts of food (3.9(a)-Feeding). The food containers were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excrement (3.9(b)-Feeding). Some of the bowls were rusty or moldy (3.9-Feeding) (3.10-Watering). Water bowls had algae (3.10-Watering).

CAPS found numerous violations during its two investigations of the Obermark facility (see CAPS report for the 8/24/02 investigation). Ben Flerlage, ACI, did an inspection on 7/30/02, less than one month prior to the CAPS investigation. It is incredible that he found no violations. He failed to find any violations during the 9/18/01 inspection either. Because it is now nearly impossible to obtain USDA inspection reports due to FOIA requirements, CAPS doesn’t know if Mr. Flerlage found any violations during his 2003 and 2004 inspections. It is highly unlikely that he cited Ms. Obermark for any non-compliances, and if he did, he probably found no more than just one violation. s some very serious problems. The most alarming is the lack of veterinary care.

Published in Illinois
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 19:17

Obermark, Virginia - Obermark Kennels

Approximate number of dogs: 120. Breeds included Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Poodles, Pekingese, Papillons, Maltese, and Chihuahuas.

Virginia Obermark gave us the tour of her facility. Her kennel consisted of hutch enclosures and chain link kennels with concrete floors. An open concrete trough ran between the enclosures and served as the waste run-off trough. She had just used a hose to spray out the kennels. She hoses the feces and other debris to the trough and then sprays water into the trough to force the debris down into a gully beyond the enclosures. The dogs were all very wet and the concrete in the chain link enclosures retained puddles of water. Also, when she cleaned one enclosure, water, feces and other debris leaked into adjoining pens (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal) (3.11(b)(3)-Sanitization of primary enclosures). I saw water, dark liquid and leaves inside of the dogs shelter area (3.6(a)(v)(ix)-Primary enclosures). The shelters throughout most of the facility consisted of plastic doghouses. These houses lacked proper wind/rain break at the entrances (3.4(b)(2)(3)-Shelter from the elements). It had rained a day before my visit and that Ms. Obermark had just sprayed out the kennels. The source of the water build-up was probably a combination of the two.

I saw several rolls of new chain link fencing, a burn barrel, tall weeds, a partially burned brush pile, and a broken down riding mower directly in front of the kennel area (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises). Ms. Obermark had discarded generic bleach bottles right next to dog shelters. Some of the bottles of bleach were full with lids on them and some were empty, missing lids (3.4(f)-Drainage and waste disposal). I also noticed leaves and hair build-up in between and around the doghouses (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises).

Parts of the chain link kennels were severely rusted. In fact, the pole structures and fencing were rusty. In some places, there were large rusted holes in the poles that were also jagged and in reach of the dogs (3.1(c)(1)(i)(ii)-Surfaces). The rusted holes were large enough that a small to medium size dog could put its entire leg through.

The food receptacles in the chain link kennels were round metal pans and hubcaps (I could see the Chevy emblem). They were somewhat rusty (3.9(b)-Feeding) and flies swarmed on the uneaten kibble (3.9(b)) (3.11(d)-Sanitization of food and water receptacles). The water bowls were large black plastic dishes. The rough edges caused from chewing were collecting hair (3.10-Watering).

The hutch enclosures had these same black plastic water bowls. Ms. Obermark told us that the dogs in the hutches were wet because they played in the water bowls. Actually, the dogs were wet from her spraying to clean the enclosures. The water bowls were too large for the size of the hutch enclosures. The dogs practically had to stand or walk through the water bowl to move around (3.10).

Some of the interior surfaces of the hutches were scratched and chewed leaving exposed wood. They were not impervious to moisture (3.4(c)-Surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(ix)-Primary enclosures). Most of the hutch enclosures had self-feeder boxes in them. Several of the feeder boxes were rusty and in need of replacement (3.1(c)(i)(1)(2)-Surfaces) (3.9(b)-Feeding).

Lack of veterinary care was a concern. All of the dogs were damp or wet. Most of the Yorkshire Terriers were matted and in need of grooming (2.40-Veterinary care). One Yorkshire Terrier’s hind end was so matted that it had feces caked around its anus. When it defecated, the feces caught in the mats, which caused further problems (2.40-Veterinary care). Another Yorkie had a lame right hind leg and had an obvious limp and hobble (2.40). Most of the dogs in the hutches with plastic coated wire had swollen feet pads (2.40-). A white poodle hiding in its hutch shelter peered out at us. His eyes appeared infected with a yellowish discharge (2.40). Many of the Yorkie’s eyes were inflamed. The matted hair around their eyes needed grooming and cleaning (2.40). The Maltese, Shih Tzus and Pekingese living on the damp concrete had very red, swollen feet pads and extremely long toenails (2.40). One Maltese kept shaking its head and scratching its head and ears (2.40). An extremely lethargic Maltese lay on the wet concrete with its face resting inside a hole in the chain link fencing (2.40). A very ill Pekingese concerned me the most. This severely thin dog had greenish discharge from its right eye and its tail and hind end were covered in old and new diarrhea (2.40). The dog rested by the entrance to its kennel with its chin propping its head up on the kennel door. Flies and caterpillars were on this dog, but he had no energy to fight them off (3.11(d)-Pest control).

I immediately asked Ms. Obermark about this dog. Her reply was that this dog was very old. She added that she keeps most of her older breeding dogs until they die or her vet makes her put them to sleep. She said that her vet had not made her put this particular dog to sleep yet, and she hoped that it would die in its sleep. I asked what the dog’s name was, and she said that she didn’t remember the dogs’ names but could recall their ID numbers. She referred to many of the dogs by numbers and not by names. She uses tags and tattoos for ID and registers her dogs with APR. She charges extra per dog for having to register with AKC because they are strict and more expensive than APR.

Ben Flerlage, ACI, did an inspection on 7/30/02, less than one month prior to the CAPS investigation. It is incredible that he found no violations. He failed to find any violations during the 9/18/01 inspection either. The Obermark facility has some very serious problems. The most alarming is the lack of veterinary care.

Published in Illinois
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 19:11

Morris, Betty - Morris Kennels

About 120 dogs and 40 puppies. Breeds: Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Miniature Pinschers

Morris’s facility consists of two different kennel buildings. One, a single story structure, with tan wooden walls and a peaked, shingled roof, was about 20 feet long and 12 feet wide. The building was accessible through a door on one of the shorter walls. Both of the longer walls of the buildings had eight cages on the outside. These cages were about five feet above the ground. Each cage was about two feet wide, 16 inches long, and one foot tall, and made of treated wire. The cages had pool liners on a shelving about three feet below the cages to catch feces and urine, which, Betty explained, was washed into PVC pipes leading to a retention pond on the property. The cages had wooden boxes with treated wire tops inside the building. The dogs went through doggy doors to gain access to these boxes.

On one side of the building, one cage contained two 8 pound Poodles with less than six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the tops of their cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). The wire at a top corner of this cage was separated from the walls so the Poodles were able to stick their heads up against it to raise it up and potentially cut themselves on the wire of the walls (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures). Visible from the outside was jagged frame metal protruding from the top left corner of the doggy door where wood had worn away (3.1)(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures).

Another cage housed three 10 pound Lhasa Apsos (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures), and the bottom left corner of their doggy door showed similar wood degradation with a piece of jagged metal protruding (3.1)(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures).

A third cage contained three Poodles (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures) who didn’t have six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the tops of their cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). A fourth cage housed three Pomeranians 3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). These dogs also did not the requisite head room (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). Another cage had four Schnauzers (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Then there was a cage with three Chihuahuas (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). This cage had a jagged frame metal exposed at the bottom left corner of the doggy door where wood had worn away (3.1)(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures).

One cage containing two 8 pound Miniature Pinschers lacking six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the tops of their cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures) also exhibited doggy door damages with wood torn away from the bottom left corner, exposing a jagged edge of metal frame(3.1)(c)(2)-Maintenance and replacement of surfaces) (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures).

One of the cages contained three, eight-pound Maltese (3.6(c)(1)(i)Primary enclosures) lacking six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the tops of their cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)Primary enclosures.) One cage housed two, eight-pound Poodles lacking six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the tops of their cages (3.6(c)(1)(iii)Primary enclosures.)

An outside cage on the other side of the building contained three 6 pound Yorkshire Terriers (3.6(c)(1)(i)Primary enclosures). All of the outside cages had plastic “lix-it” style bottles. Metal feed dishes on the wire flooring of their cages were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding.)

Eight wooden boxes, a foot tall, sixteen inches deep and two feet wide, lined the inside walls of the kennel building. More than six of these wooden boxes had holes that appeared to have been chewed and scratched through from inside by the dogs (3.4(c)-Construction) (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures.).

The boxes had treated-wire tops, several of which were loose enough on top to allow dogs inside to reach their heads through and outside the boxes (3.6(a)(1)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(a)(2)(iii)Primary enclosures), and potentially cut themselves on the sharp points of the wire (3.6(a)(2)(i)-Primary enclosures). In some cases, a red brick and buckets placed atop the wire roofing kept the wire from being lifted up by the dogs inside (3.6(a)(2)(ii)-Primary enclosures). The brick and buckets could have fallen on a dog trying to reach through the wire.

On one side of the kennel, eight wire cages about 16 inches tall, two feet wide, and 16 inches deep, sat above the wooden boxes, while on the other side of the kennel, eight similar wire cages were positioned below the wooden boxes. One cage contained three 6 pound Yorkshire Terriers (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures); another housed two 8 pound Lhasa Apsos (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Plastic sheets inches below these inside cages were angled to siphon feces and urine to the PVC pipes outside.

A whelping enclosure inside the building consisted of four pens, two on top of another two. The cages were each divided in half. They consisted of a wooden box and a treated-wire cage. The wooden boxes were filled with newspapers, “lix-it” style water bottles were hung on the wire cages, and metal food bowls sat on the cage floorings. The food bowls were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding). The wire cages had sheets of newspapers placed underneath them to catch feces and urine. The top and bottom pens were placed so that the wooden boxes were back-to-back. The cages were on opposite ends of the enclosure. Betty showed me that one of the pens had a Jack Russell female with two six-week-old puppies.

Another single story building, about 20 feet long and 15 feet wide, with white vinyl siding on its walls, wooden front and rear doors and a peaked, shingled roof, was used as a whelping facility. Inside were enclosures identical to the whelping cages described above. The wire cages of the bottom enclosures had newspaper placed on top of their wire ceilings to attempt to prevent feces and urine from falling into the cages from the enclosures above them (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures). One cage contained a 6 pound Yorkshire Terrier, another a 6 pound Pomeranian with a Pomeranian puppy about five to six-weeks-old, a third what appeared to be three eight-week-old Pomeranian puppies, and a fourth an 8 pound Poodle. The building also had heat lamps next to the cages. The lamps were not operating.

A shed, about a hundred feet long and wide, made with metal siding and a peaked, green roof, was used to hold tools and cleaning supplies. Inside was a whelping room about 20 feet long and 10 feet wide, defined by wooden walls put up inside the shed. This room had 12 cages of treated wire. Each cage was about 16 inches tall and deep, and two feet long. The cages were stacked three high and placed directly against each other so that six were set in one unit, and another six set in one unit. All of the cages were placed against one wall of the room. The cages were about four inches above one other. The middle and bottom level cages had newspaper placed underneath the trays and on top of their wire ceilings (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures). All cages had “lix-it” style water containers hooked up to their wire walls and metal food containers on the wire flooring of the cages. The food containers were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excrete (3.9(b)- Feeding).

One cage housed a 6 pound Poodle who didn’t have six inches of head space from the top of its head to the top of its cage (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). A cage adjacent to this had two more Poodles (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Below these cages was a cage with another Poodle lacking six inches of space from the top of its head to the top of its cage (3.6(c)(1)(iii)Primary enclosures). This poodle shared a cage with two, six-week-old poodles, and a six-week-old French Bulldog (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).

Another cage in this row housed three more Poodles (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Below these cages was a cage with yet another Poodle lacking six inches of space from the top of its head to the top of its cage (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures) and two, five-week-old Poodle puppies (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Another cage in this row contained two Boxers lacking six inches of space from the tops of their heads to the top of their cage (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures) (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). In the other unit of cages, there were three six-week-old Poodle puppies huddled in the corner of a cage without their mother (2.40-Vet Care). Another cage had two French Bulldogs (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Below these two cages was a cage containing two more French Bulldogs (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures) and another cage with three French Bulldogs (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).

Ms. Morris continues to have numerous violations. The most obvious violations are lack of headroom and overcrowding. The most serious problem is the danger posed to the dogs by sharp exposed metal and wiring. It is incredible that Ben Flarlage failed to find a single non-compliant item during his inspections on 9/17/02, 1/30/02 and 8/29/01. Although we don’t have access to recent inspection reports, it is more than likely that his 2003 and 2004 inspection reports also do not list any violations.

Published in Illinois
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 19:09

Morris, Betty

Approximate number of dogs: 285. Breeds included Chihuahuas, Schnauzers, Poodles, Dachshunds, Maltese, Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire Terriers.

Once we reached Galatia, Illinois, we stopped at a small gas station to buy a newspaper. I asked the woman behind the cash register if she knew where I could find a puppy. She quickly responded “Yes” and called Betty Morris to arrange for our visit. I asked this woman her name and she replied “Joyce – Joyce Patterson.” She said that she used to work for Ms. Morris and at one time had her own kennel, but had closed it and sold off her dogs. Willie, the Dachshund rescued from Lorton’s wore an ID tag with Joyce Patterson’s name and USDA number. Joyce gave us directions to Ms. Morris’ kennel. The directions she gave us were out of the way. We did not follow her directions, but went the quicker route.

We arrived at Ms. Morris’ place. When we pulled up her drive, we saw junky trailers (house), double-decked hutch style dog enclosures, and a small shack. The shack, Ms. Morris explained, was where she allowed visitors (perspective buyers) to look at puppies. She generally does not allow people back by her breeding dogs due to disease control.

At first, Ms. Morris was nowhere to be found. So, I snooped around and saw her quickly trying to spray feces from fecal trays before we were supposed to show up. She was using cold water out of a garden hose (3.11(b)(3)-Sanitization of primary enclosures). We introduced ourselves and she instructed us to wait for her back at the “shack” (the puppy visiting place) near the driveway. We attempted to linger near the dog enclosures, but she adamantly insisted that we do as she said.

Once inside the puppy shack, we noticed that the walls were neither sealed with paint nor impervious to moisture and the ceiling consisted of rolled insulation (3.2(d)-Indoor housing facilities-Interior Surfaces). The floor was a piece of linoleum with a very dirty remnant of carpet that smelled like urine (3.1(c)(1)and (3)-Housing facilities, Surfaces). Dried blood stains and filth were evident on flooring (3.1(c)( 1) and (3) (3.11(b)(3)(iii)-Sanitization of primary enclosures). A table against the back wall of this one room shack contained APR papers, small bags of puppy food (one opened), ID collars, bloody napkins, a small garbage can with dog food in the bottom and paper cups, napkins and other garbage thrown on top. There were plastic lawn chairs, boxes and towels cluttering the room (3.1(b)-Housing facilities, Condition and site).

Ms. Morris brought two female Chihuahuas in first and placed a jagged piece of fencing in the entrance to prevent the puppies from escaping. She then left us alone with the puppies.

The pups appeared to be in fair health (clean coat, clear eyes), but were shy upon my approach. They appeared to lack proper socialization with humans and seemed happy when I left them alone. They preferred their own kind.

When Ms. Morris returned, she had two more Chihuahua pups. They also appeared in fair health but lacked socialization. Ms. Morris chased them and grabbed at them, then handed them to me. They were scared. She said that you just have to grab at them fast to catch them. I asked Ms. Morris about the dried blood on the floor and she replied that it was from trimming toenails too short and made their feet bleed (2.40-Veterinary care).

We left the puppies alone for a short while – no grabbing or chasing – and they started to run and play with each other. Then, they urinated on the carpet remnant. Ms. Morris did not attempt to clean (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning). The pups started defecating. One would defecate and the others would eat it (2.40(3)-Veterinary care). Ms. Morris made a poor attempt to clean it up and then sprayed air freshener onto the carpet remnant. She also squirted one pup directly in the face – it gagged, coughed, sneezed and rubbed its eyes with its paws. I do not feel this squirting was deliberate, but Ms. Morris showed no concern or remorse for the pup.

Ms. Morris announced that the Lord provides for her through these dogs. She also expressed that there have been many times that if it weren’t for the dog money she would have been out on the street or starving. She then informed us that there are about 3000 laws protecting animals from abuse and suffering. More laws for dogs than for battered women and children.

Finally, she agreed to let us tour the facility. We noticed mostly white double-decked sheltered housing. The trays had fecal accumulation (3.11-Cleaning of primary enclosures). There were several Shih Tzus, including an apricot one that was matted so badly that you could not tell his face from his hind end (2.40-Veterinary care). Ms. Morris screamed at us to get away from his cage. “He will bite your finger off,” she yelled.

She had many Schnauzer pups with diarrhea in their cage, in the tray underneath their cage and crusted to their bodies (2.40-Veterinary care) (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).

Beyond this area were rows of hutch style enclosures with dens attached. The dens were painted white. The paint was cracked and peeling. These enclosures contained breeding stock Schnauzers. They were severely matted (2.40), overcrowded (3.6(a)(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures) and lacked sufficient headroom (3.6(c)(1)(iii)-Primary enclosures). Under these enclosures were puddles of standing urine and some fecal accumulation (3.11-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The tops of these enclosures were entirely covered with white tarps. Ms. Morris again screamed to get away from that area and to stay right by her.

Ms. Morris then showed me a manufactured sheltered housing unit that was not being used yet. She bought it from a company in Missouri, and they delivered and assembled it. This unit had plastic coated wire cages, heat, air conditioning, automatic water and food receptacles. It conforms to the USDA manual perfectly – too perfect for me. I’m pretty sure Ms. Morris has had her share of trial and error through USDA and now a company has answered her prayers with this all ready up to code housing.

We tried to look around, but Ms. Morris would only allow us in certain areas where she was. She screamed at us if we wandered too far away.

A nursing Schnauzer was in a top row enclosure that had a large amount of feces in her cage (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). As we passed by, she jumped around and smeared feces through the bottom of the wire and all over her feet. She then jumped up and smeared feces on the sides of her cage (3.6(a)(2)(v)-Primary enclosures). Also, a Dachshund had a coffee can for a water bowl and different breeds, male and female, were living together in cages.

At that time, some people arrived to buy a Schnauzer puppy. I could tell by their demeanor that they had no problem with Ms. Morris’ Dog Farm. They didn’t seem to care how the adult dogs had to live as long as they got their precious puppy! Ms. Morris had a sale so she was ready for us to leave. We pulled up further onto the property to turn around – now we could see part of the facility that Ms. Morris wouldn’t allow us near earlier. Here I saw more dilapidated conditions of enclosures and dogs – some very matted poodles (2.40-Veterinary care) and cage upon cage of Dachshunds with overcrowded conditions (3.6(2)(xi)-Primary enclosures). Many of Ms. Morris’ newer cages were empty. Maybe these were Joyce Patterson’s breeding stock. Also, the grounds and property were littered with debris and junk (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises).

It was evident that Ms. Morris’ primary concerns were money and praying to the Lord so she can pass USDA inspections. Ben Flarlage, ACI, found no non-compliances during his 8/29/01 inspection. CAPS inspectors found numerous violations just one month later.

Published in Illinois
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