Bark Avenue Puppies
4 W Front St
Red Bank, NJ 07701
(732) 741-4175

Date and time of CAPS investigation: 8/6/19; 1526

Approximate number of puppies observed at time of investigation: 8

Puppies were kept one to two per enclosure, each enclosure made with solid walls and slatted plastic floorings. Walls facing the customers were clear, and enclosures had three rows of two on a wall. Cage cards with breeder and broker information were on each enclosure. 

The store owner (Caucasian female, about 38 years old, 5’4″, 110 lbs, with long black hair) told me NJ has the strictest pet store laws in the country for ensuring breeders are reputable, claimed she visits the store’s breeders twice a year, but then admitted she hasn’t visited all of her breeders. She also mentioned having the store for 12 years.

She offered to show me the NJ Pet Shop Coalition breeder video to show me how the store’s breeders are, but I told her I had already seen it. She said the store’s breeders are represented by the video, and so I asked her what she knew about Juanita Kimbrough and Pinnacle Pet specifically, as they were listed as breeder and broker on a Havanese puppy’s cage card. The owner said she’s dealt with Kimbrough for a long time, and then told me “everything is based on inspections” and that Kimbrough has show dogs and OFA certification for her dogs. I then asked how many dogs Kimbrough has, at which point the owner said she didn’t know and admitted she hasn’t visited Kimbrough. She immediately cautioned me that google won’t give me accurate information on breeders I try to look up myself. I asked if her breeders have yards like shown in the NJ Pet Shop Coalition video, and the owner told me that all of her breeders have play yards for their dogs at their kennels.

She told me that most breeders breed dogs until they are about five years old, and said she assumed her breeders skip heat cycles. She told me that Kimbrough has a retirement and exercise plan for her dogs. I asked her to verify if the NJ Pet Shop Coalition represents all or some of the store’s breeders, and she said that laws require breeders to have play yards for their dogs. She then became adamant with me that NJ has the strictest pet store laws in the U.S. As she told me that point, I tried to point out NY has tough laws as well, and she interrupted me repeatedly to tell me NJ has the strictest pet store laws. I then asked her again if Kimbrough’s dogs aren’t in cages, and she said there’s a 99% chance they aren’t because Kimbrough has champion bloodlines for her dogs. She claimed that a breeder who has champion show dogs wouldn’t keep them in cages.

The owner couldn’t find Kimbrough’s USDA paperwork (56:8-95 Deceptive practice; minimum standards c. (6)), and while looking for the paperwork showed me paperwork for other breeders to show me the kind of paperwork she said made her believe all of her breeders keep dogs in good conditions. She then said she would print off paperwork about Kimbrough, but wouldn’t do so until I confirmed I was serious about buying the puppy. She then spent several minutes looking for the paperwork, before showing me a picture of Kimbrough’s kennel, noted as “Maxanita’s Havanese” on the photo and showing dogs in concrete runs and pictures of Kimbrough’s family. The paperwork explained Kimbrough has champion bloodlines is licensed, and the owner read off the paperwork to explain the breeder’s dogs are health checked and have pedigrees, and she showed me veterinary information, registries, a dog show seminar Kimbrough attended, and OFA certifications, but nothing at all about dog socialization, exercise programs, or breeding conditions beyond the picture showing dogs in concrete runs. The owner also never produced a USDA inspection report for Kimbrough.

Breeder info:

The following were obtained from cage cards on puppies’ enclosures in the store:

  1. Juanita Kimbrough, 34910 S Lacy Rd, MO 64742, 43-A-5788, broker: Pinnacle Pet, 11747 Hammer Rd, Neosho, MO 64850, 43-B-3750
  2. Larry W Graber 2822 N (remainder of address covered up sticker), 32-A-0201
  3. Gordon & Beth (remainder of information covered up by sticker), 48-A-2101, broker: Pinnacle Pet, 11747 Hammer Rd, Neosho, MO 64850, 43-B-3750
  4. Caroline Schulte, 1468 County Road 521, MO 65035, broker: Pinnacle Pet, 11747 Hammer Rd, Neosho, MO 64850, 43-B-3750
  5. Amos Bontrager, 2942 (remainder of address covered up sticker), broker: Cattle Inc, 1164 Pilot (remainder of information covered up by sticker)
  6. Juanita Kimbrough, 34910 S Lacy Rd, MO 64742, 43-A-5788, broker: Pinnacle Pet, 11747 Hammer Rd, Neosho, MO 64850, 43-B-3750

Evidence of false and misleading statements about breeders made by the store owner:

  1. The owner’s claim that Juanita Kimbrough has an exercise plan and play area for her dogs is misleading, since the owner has never visited Kimbrough, Kimbrough’s information available to the owner does not indicate either thing is true, and the USDA does not require play areas or exercise plans for dogs kept in enclosures of a certain size, such as the concrete runs shown in the picture of Kimbrough’s kennel with no play area evident in the picture.
  2. The owner’s claim that breeders with champion bloodlines wouldn’t keep dogs in cages is false. There is not regulation for any dog competition that breeders of show dogs, agility dogs, or any other kind of dog in any competition, can’t keep dogs in cages. 
  3. CAPS obtained a USDA inspection report for Ervin Bontrager with USDA license # 35-A-0378, dated 7/20/17 that was sent to the store. CAPS investigated Bontrager on 7/14/18, and noted dogs living in wire cages with no access to play areas, contradicting the owner’s claim that all of her breeders have play yards. Numerous AWA violations were noted, such as fecal stains on enclosures, a strong ammonia odor from standing water filled with manure and urine, dogs covered in fur so matted their eyes could barely be seen through the matting, chewed wooden and boards in enclosures. These violations and conditions contradict the owner’s claim that the NJ Pet Shop Coalition video showing dogs playing in grassy yards represents the store’s breeders.

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