Furry Babies
2353 Fox Valley Center Drive
Aurora, IL 60504

Date and time of CAPS investigation:  4-11-24;  5:19 p.m.

Approximate number of dogs observed at time of investigation: 20 puppies

There were about two to three puppies each in their cribs. These cribs resemble human infant cribs, but they are modified with plexiglass-like material along the bottom of the crib and along the sides against the “bars” of the crib.

Most of the puppies were small breeds, such as Cavapoos, Pomeranians, French Bulldogs, and Miniature Schnauzers, but there were also bigger breed dogs like Golden Retrievers. Some of the puppies had food or water while some did not. Most of the puppies were alert and playful while some were quiet and sleeping.

There was no binder present in the store that contained the information about the puppies. Instead, each crib, had a plaque that stated that information about puppies was available upon request.

I spoke with an employee named Nicole. I inquired about the starting prices of their puppies, and she stated that the starting price is $2,000 but it varies depending on the breed and age of the puppy. She also stated that included in the price is vaccines, microchip, spay/neuter, and veterinary care for one year. She also stated that the puppies were able to go home the same day.

I asked if the store offers any financing options. Nicole said they do offer monthly payment plans. She explained that it would be a loan through their lender and once the money is deposited into the customer’s bank account, then that money could be used to purchase the puppy.  The Furry Babies Aurora website shows financing options.

When I asked Nicole about where the puppies come from and if they come from puppy mills, she stated that they come from “local Midwest breeders.” However she did not state any names or facilities. She stated that employees had visited the breeders pre-COVID, and that the breeders they use are USDA inspected. She also explained that employees have seen videos of the breeders that show how the dogs live, with the dogs and puppies running and playing.

She added that they receive new dogs every Monday and to check back in.

Evidence of false statements and misrepresentations of breeders by store

The employee stated she has seen videos of dogs running and playing in open spaces. Breeders that actually have exercise yards usually let dogs into smaller yards with crushed gravel grounds. No breeder allows dogs and puppies access to each other’s enclosures or unfettered access to grassy yards.

Breeder information obtained from the Furry Babies Aurora website

David Miller, Baltic, OH, 31-A-0428, 134 adults, 77 puppies at 2/23/22 USDA inspection; 137 adults, 115 puppies at 1/12/22 USDA inspection; 147 adults, 127 puppies at 5/22/19 USDA inspection. He has not been inspected in over two years.

David R Yoder, Millersburg, OH, 31-A-0666, 48 adults, 35 puppies at 5/8/24 USDA inspection

Ervin Raber, Golden View Kennels, Baltic, OH, 31-A-0124, 37 adults, 4 puppies at 5/8/23 USDA inspection

Sunset View Kennels (also says Valley View Kennel as site name on inspection reports and on USDA APHIS website), 9801 Fall Creek Rd, Ste 332, Indianapolis, IN, 31-A-0665 (licensed cancelled 8/11/22), 151 adults, 125 puppies a6 5/23/22  at USDA inspection. Address is a UPS store. USDA should require breeders to use the address of their facility on their license and inspection reports. In addition, 31-A or B is for USDA licenses in Ohio, not Indiana, which is 32-A or B.

Previous address on USDA inspection reports and the actual physical location: 30266 TR 213, Fresno, OH, 219 adults, 150 puppies at 2/8/21 USDA inspection; 253 adults, 130 puppies at 7/10/19 USDA inspection; 242 adults, 158 puppies at 5/18/23 USDA inspection; 265 adults, 215 puppies at 6/28/17 pre-license inspection. Having a total of 480 dogs and puppies at a pre-license inspection indicates that they were selling puppies to pet shops without a federal license.

USDA photos (2013) for Daniel and Ida Schlabach, owners of Sunset View Kennels)

Rosie Hershberger and Menno Yoder, Millersburg, OH, 31-A-0535, 55 adults, 44 puppies at 3/11/24 USDA inspection; 55 adults, 40 puppies at 3/7/24 USDA inspection at which inspector cited him under 2.40 Veterinary Care for not telling his veterinarian that there was a Dachshund puppy with a deformed, blind eye. During the inspection, the licensee called his attending veterinarian and was given “further guidance” for this condition.

John Yoder. Ridge View Puppies, Millersburg, OH, 31-A-0732, 64 adults and 99 puppies at 9/20/23 USDA inspection

Mose Nisley (license is under Mary NIsley), Malta, OH, 31-A-0759, 100 dogs, 161 puppies at 3/30/22 USDA inspection. This facility has not been inspected in more than two years.

Leon YoderFredericksburg, OH,, 31-A-0418, 16 adults, 36 puppies at 11/3/22 USDA inspection

David Schlabach, Millersburg, OH, 31-A-0647, adults, 27 puppies at 1/12/23 USDA inspection

Ivan Raber, Millersburg, OH, 31-A-0750, 73 adults, 108 puppies at 3/14/24 USDA inspection

Daniel Miller, Fresno, OH, 31-A-0777, 94 adults,50 puppies at 5/6/23 USDA inspection

Freeman Raber, Baltic, OH, 31-A-0074, 118 adults, 130 puppies at 2/1/23 USDA inspection

Betty Troyer,  Fresno, OH  31-A-0494, 83 adults, 58 puppies at 4/2/24 USDA inspection

Amos Yoder,  Baltic, OH, 31-A-0554, 2.126 violation for no responsible adult available to accompany inspector at 7/19/24 USDA inspection. This facility has not been inspected since 8/21/18.

Milam Keim, Millersburg, OH, 31-A-0811, 81 dogs, 32 puppies at 3/4/22 USDA isnepction. He has not been inspected in over two years.

Ella Raber, Fresno, OH, 31-A-0570, 83 adults, 53 puppies at 4/2/24 USDA inspection

Delber Yoder, Millersfburg, OH,  31-A-0590,137 adults, 84 puppies at 1/31/22 USDA inspection. This facility has not been inspected in more than two years.

Junior Yoder (license under Aden Yoder), Fresno, OH, 31-A-0663, French Bulldog breeder, 19 adults, 8 puppies at 4/28/23 USDA inspection. French Bulldog mothers are artificially inseminated and have to deliver puppies by C-section.

Lester Miller, Whispering Pines Kennel, Baltic, OH, 31-A-0566, 31 adults, 51 puppies at 5/6/23 USDA inspection

Fraudulent rescues

Furry Babies states on their website that they created the Baby Princess Foundation to find homes for adult rescue  dogs: “The foundation partners with rescues across the country and the dogs are available for adoption in our store.”  After Illinois’ retail ban law went into effect in February 2022, Furry Babies was obtaining a few adult breeding dogs from Dog Mother Rescue. Alison Hedgpeth (Lonewolf Kennels), a USDA licensed broker (43-B-3435) and transporter (43-T-0448) created this fraudulent rescue to circumvent retail ban laws, initially in Chicago.

Baby Princess Foundation is incorporated in Delaware and filed as a foreign corporation with the Illinois Secretary of State, but they are not registered as a charity with the Illinois Attorney General.

Furry Babies is violating 225 ILCS 605 by selling puppies

(225 ILCS 605/3.8)

Sec. 3.8. Prohibition Sourcing of dogs and cats sold by pet shops; recordkeeping.

(a) A pet shop operator may offer for sale a dog or cat only if the dog or cat is obtained from an animal control facility or animal shelter, located in-state or out-of-state, that is in compliance with Section 3.9.

Furry Babies is violating 815 ILCS 123 by offering loans for canines and felines

(815 ILCS123/15-5-16)

Sec. 15-5-16. Prohibition on secured loans for canines and felines. No person or entity shall make a secured loan for the purchase of a canine or feline. Any secured loan made for the purchase of a canine or feline is null and void. This Section shall apply prospectively and shall not apply retroactively.

Furry Babies is violating 815 ILCS 405 by offering installment transactions for canines and felinds

(815 ILCS 405/29.5)

Sec. 29.5. Prohibition on retail installment transactions for canines and felines. No retail seller shall enter into a retail installment transaction for the purchase of a canine or feline. Any retail seller, including his or her assignee or successor in interest, who enters into a retail installment transaction for a canine or feline has no right to collect, receive, or retain any principal, interest, or charges related to the retail installment transaction and the retail installment transaction is null and void.






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