Westland Dog Food Co
37687 Ford Rd
Westland, MI 48185
(734) 728-5244

Date and time of CAPS investigation: 3/19/24, 12:24

Approximate number of puppies observed at time of investigation: five puppies

Puppies were kept in either banks of cages against a wall or  in cages on the floor. Cages against the wall were about two feet wide, tall, and deep, with wire floorings; most of them were empty. Cages on the floor were slightly larger, and also had wire floorings. Puppies had food and water dishes and small pads that did not cover most of the floorings. Puppies were kept one to a cage.

Cages had price tags on them but no breeder information. A sign nearby read, “New puppies arrive every Wednesday. Specific requests as to breed, gender and color can be met by special order, usually within 1 week.”

The owner said, “If you’re looking for something in particular and we don’t have it, we can usually reach out to the breeders and get it for you.”

Owner described puppy mill-like conditions, then back-tracked

I told the owner that I wanted to make sure the puppies aren’t coming from puppy mills. She told me that all of the store’s breeders are from out of state, and said, “All ours are federally and state regulated, so they have to have protocols on what they do.” I asked what the kennel conditions are like for the breeding dogs. She answered, “They’re in kennels, because kennels have to be a certain size when they’re federally and state regulated. If they’re like Amish, that’s not federally and state regulated, a lot of them aren’t, then they do more of the cage situation.” I asked if the dogs were in commercial kennels, and she said, “Yes it’s a commercial kennel.” She also told me, “And as long as even if they’re breeding and they’re in a cage, it doesn’t mean they’re in there all the day. They do most likely play with them and they have to nurture them and they have to in order to put their temperament.” I asked her, “But do they let them out? Do they play in yards and stuff?” She answered, “A lot of our breeders do, yeah.”

Lie about breeding dogs and claim that dogs are given to autistic children

I asked for how long dogs are used for breeding and what happens to dogs that are no longer being used for breeding. The owner said, “Yeah, usually our breeders breed them for the older [until they are older], the little dogs. They’ll do it either three or four times, which is every other heat. They don’t breed them out of heat because that’s not good. They also, when they retire them, they either let them go to rescues or they find homes for them..” She went on to say that one of their Golden Retriever breeders donates his breeding dogs to autistic children because he’s got an autistic child, and he knows how much it helps. She added, “We’re real particular where we get our babies from.” She also told me, “We have breeders that do Shih Tzus, Shhi Tzu mixes, Cavachons. My Golden Retriever guy does Goldens and Doodles and Labs. I’ve got one Lab breeder that actually has a honey farm. Wine farmers that have a honey farm. They travel all around the world.”

Owner claimed to know who a breeder was, then claimed to not know

Despite the specific knowledge the owner claimed to have about the store’s breeders, she said she didn’t know how many dogs they have. When I asked her for information on a Chihuahua breeder, she said she “didn’t have it right now.”

Owner had specific knowledge about a broker, then claimed to not know who they are

I asked if the store’s breeders have any inspection violation. The owner replied, “If they do, I don’t know about it because I won’t buy from breeders that have violations. And my one broker that I use is real specific about that. He actually goes to the breeders and picks up the dogs himself. So, he’s actually seeing this stuff.” I then asked, “You don’t know which broker that is, do you?” Despite all of the specific information she had just told me about the broker, she said, “No, I don’t.” She then becamse resolute about knowing specifics about the broker, and said, “And then some brokers, all they do is the breeders bring them in. They make sure that they’re healthy, and then they put them up for sale. This guy actually knows his breeders. He’s a little guy, you know.” She added, “This guy has been doing it for about twenty-five years.” The owner then insisted that she didn’t know the name if the broker she had just described. I asked her again, “Okay. You don’t know what his name is, though?” She said, “I do not.”

Evidence of false statements and misrepresentations of breeders by store

Certificates of Veterinary Inspection from 2023 show that the store buys from the brokers Patrick Fulton (41-B-0262) and Sobrad LLC (aka Pinnacle Pet) (43-B-3750). Both are massive brokers who supply puppies to pet shops across the country. The owner is lying by describing them as “a little guy.” I have investigated breeders who sell puppies to Pinnalce Pet. All of these facilities were puppy mills.

The owner’s claim that breeders will breed dogs three or four times is false. Most commercial breeders breed dogs for five to six years of age. Her claim that breeders skip breeding cycles is also false. Of the hundreds of commercial breeders I’ve spoken to, none told me that they purposefully skipped breeding cycles. Breeders have always explained to me that some dogs will often skip one out of four cycles on their own, so that they can expect the average female dog do have three litters in two years.

The owner’s claim that breeders spend time with their breeding dogs and let them out daily into yards to play is false. Having documented hundreds of puppy mills, as well as having worked undercover at them, I am certain that commercial breeders do not spend time playing with their dogs.

Broker information obtained from 2023 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection

Patrick Fulton, Fulton Enterprises, 603 S. Broadway, Alden, MN, 41-B-0262

Pinnacle Pet (Sobrad LLC), 11863 Kenobi Lane, Neosho, MO, 43-B-3750West

Breeder information obtained from 2023 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection

Delinda Petty, 316 N Russell City Ave, Luray, KS, 48-A-4783 (cancelled  4/5/22), 50 adults, 9 puppies at11/8/19 USDA where she had three teachable moments, which are no longer listed on the USDA website. USDA created teachablem moments so that licensees would not have violations on their reports. Petty was formerly located in Weableau, MO.

Ann Miller, 51628 Otter Rd, Milan, MO 63556, 43-A-3384, 97 adults, 75 puppies at 1/25/24 USDA inspection

Brenda Johnson, 18325 St. Highway H, Glennwood, MO, 43-A-0042, 55 adults, 30 puppies at 1/8/24 USDA inspection

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