Breeder: Jennifer Eaton (aka Jennifer Eaton Lopez)
Kennel Name: Little Beagles
Address: 1355 CR 218
City, State, Zip: Bertram, TX 78605
USDA License: none found
State License: none found (though lacking a state license, conditions at the facility that violate Texas licensed breeder regulations noted)
Date and Time of CAPS Investigation: 1/21/23, 1500
Weather at Time of Investigation: 59°F and sunny
Approximate number of dogs and puppies observed at time of investigation: 13
Little Beagles kennel consisted of outdoor pens a shed. The property itself was littered with appliances, trash, building supplies, clothing, and all manner of junk. Within about 20’ of the kennel, near assorted trash, was a 50-gallon plastic trash can on its side, overflowing with dried dog feces (91.100(2) Condition and site). The kennel was in a state of disrepair and severe neglect. It was difficult to determine exactly how many dogs Jennifer had at the kennel, due to the chaotic design of one dog pen, but there appeared to be about 13 dogs, one of which was not a Beagle, and three of which I saw were males. This indicates that Jennifer does not have enough dogs to require a license by the state.
The kennel owner, Jennifer Eaton, who identified herself as Jenny (Caucasian female, about 45 years old, 5’8″, 160 lbs., with shoulder-length black hair) showed me the three outdoor Beagle pens behind her house. I also met a man (Caucasian male, about 45 years old, 5’10,” 260 lbs., with a shaved, balding head and a short, dark beard and moustache) who identified himself as Travis. He arrived on the property in a pick-up truck after I observed the kennel.
All dog pens had dirt floorings with wire walls. One pen was about 25’ long and wide, and contained a single Beagle and a dog that appeared to be a brown mutt under 20 lbs. in weight. What appeared to be weeks of feces covered an area about five feet across in one side of the pen (91.100(3)(C) Cleaning). Plastic dishes, an upside-down plastic tub, blankets, and a wooden board were also in the pen, as was a wooden and metal shed about eight feet long and five feet wide. Adjacent to it was a pen of similar size with five Beagles and a wooden shed about six feet long and five feet wide. Several holes were in one wall, one hole being the size of a fist. That wall was also loosened from a bottom corner, revealing several inches of space to see sacks piled up inside the shed (91.100(1) Structure; construction). A plastic pipe, piece of a garden hose, and blankets were scattered across the ground (91.100(2) Condition and site). One Beagle had cherry eye in the dog’s right eye (91.112(C)(1) Vet care). The pen also had weeks of feces scattered around it (91.100(3)(C) Cleaning).
Nearby was a third pen made of a chaotic design. It looked like three old chicken runs, each about 20’ long and four feet wide, with chicken wire walls that had holes in them to allow seven dogs to move about the runs. At one end of them was a roof and wooden walls covering all but the entrance, which was open. I couldn’t see past a wooden wall to see if there were dog house inside or not. However, I did see what appeared to be months of feces piled on the ground of the runs (91.100(3)(C) Cleaning),and chicken wire on the flooring of one wall that ran about a foot into the pen from the ground and was loose and broken, making jagged edges stick into the pen (91.100(3)(A)(ii) Surfaces). Beagles were running over the broken wire as they moved about the enclosure. One Beagle had cherry eye in the dog’s right eye (91.112(C)(1) Vet care).
Jennifer showed me four puppies that were several weeks old in the driveway.. When we went to look at the kennel, the puppies were left in the dirt to wander. She then later showed me seven puppies that she brought out of the shed in the pen containing five Beagles. The puppies were carried out of the pen in a metal cooking pot with dirty stains on its inside and outside surfaces. This pot had several inches of dog food in it. Some wooden shavings were mixed into the dog food (91.107(b) Feeding) The puppies were a few weeks old, yet she placed them on the ground. She let the mother out of a pen; the mother stayed near her puppies. She also let out the mother of the other litter. The dog immediately began wandering the property.
Jennifer explained that she had a kennel that burned down about two years ago. In its place were piles of dirt. One of her female dogs had scars on her neck and back, which Jennifer said were from the fire. She said that she began breeding dogs as a young girl with her parents and eventually took the family business over. She has since continued to collect dogs from other breeders. One of her female dogs had her first litter recently, which was the litter Jennifer brought out in a cooking pot. Jennifer explained that she plans to either give her dogs to a friend or to several other people. However, she said that she wanted her friend to keep profits of puppies the dogs have while at the same time saying that she wanted to continue breeding on her own property. Given what appears to be years of collected junk on the property and months of feces piled in dog pens, it is worth noting that Jennifer may not give up any of her breeding dogs unless she is legally forced to.
Jennifer sells puppies on her website, http://www.littlebeagles.com/home.html. Jennifer told me she is AKC licensed, and her website makes the same claim, noting she is AKC inspected. Pictures of a dog and puppies on her website show them in lush, green grass.
On 1/24/23, after reviewing the evidence and comparing it to the Texas Penal Code, I called the Burnet County Sheriff’s Department to report the facility as possibly neglecting dogs. My concern is that the facility lacks shelter necessary to maintain the animals in state of good health Texas Penal Code 42.092(7). A sheriff’s deputy immediately called me back after I left a report with dispatch, took details of the complaint, and told me it would be referred to Animal Control. I was informed that Burnet County Animal Control Officers have full law enforcement capability. I was also informed that they are unavailable until 1/30/23 and have frequent complaints about livestock cruelty which take precedence.