Gorgeous Puppies and Kittens
7931 SW 40th St
Miami, FL 33155
Date and time of CAPS investigation: 02/12/18; 1511
Approximate number of dogs observed at time of investigation: 30 puppies
Breeder information was available in plastic holders on the walls near puppies, though with the exception of one breeder sheet reading “Choice Puppies” for a Yorkie, the other breeder information I saw was for “Online Pet Market” in Hale, MO, with phone number (417) 451-2252. This phone number is noted as a contact number for Puppy Travelers transportation service, which sends puppies from numerous breeders across the country. Some Online Pet Market paperwork appeared to be from other locations but also had the 417 number for Puppy Travelers. For example, a Husky was noted as being from Riverside Kennels, Online Pet Market, Hale, MO. (417) 451-2252. Paperwork for a Pomeranian stated the puppy was from R Family Kennel, Online Pet Market, in Seneca, KS, with the same 417 phone number for Puppy Travelers. The owner showed me information on a Schnauzer that showed the puppy was from Cindy’s Sunflower Puppies in Elk City, KS, with the (417) 451-2252 number for Puppy Travelers.
This information is indicative of a store using the PBT website to order puppies online from numerous breeders, and then having the Puppy Travelers business deliver the puppies to the store.
Most puppies were kept in stacked wire cages with torn foam floorings and rusting metal evident beneath worn paint (5-9 (d) Primary enclosures (1) Primary enclosures shall permit the animal within them to remain dry) (5-9 (d) Primary enclosures (2) Newspaper shall be provided to contain excreta). One Pomeranian puppy was on the floor in a foldable metal wire pen. There were one to four puppies per cage. The room holding the puppies stank of urine, feces, and chemical cleaners (5-9 (c) Ventilation).
The owner didn’t seem to know much about the puppies’ breeders, saying that they fall under regulations of the FDA (this may be a misunderstanding from the owner, since the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate any animal breeder in the US, and he may have meant “USDA”), and that while he knows that Miami controls local breeders, he didn’t know about other places regulations. He explained in broken English, “…Miami control here. In other others, control there.”
A CVI from 2017 shows the store buys puppies from Bill Nored’s Dryfork Kennels, which in July 2016 was cited for direct NCIs for having a Chihuahua who the inspector noted “appeared to have a broken bottom jaw,” a Chihuahua mix with a fleshy mass in the corner of the animal’s eye, and a Dachshund with “crusty, scabbed, and inflamed” skin (Sec. 5-10 (b) (1) as it relates to Sec. 5-9 (h)).
A CVI from 2017 shows the store buys from Raymond Lawson, who had a USDA inspection on 8/18/15 which found a direct NCI of a Shiba Inu with an ear infection resulting in “a very wet, heavy, and yellowish discharge” (Sec. 5-10 (b) (1) as it relates to Sec. 5-9 (h)).
A 2017 CVI shows the store also buys from Derek & Sandra Rottinghaus (AKA Kitts Pets, AKA Wendy Pets, AKA R Family Kennel, AKA Krystal Tangeman), cited 6/8/15 by the USDA for direct NCIs that include a Papillon with a swollen foot, a Bichon with an ear infection, and a Bichon with a mouth injury. None of the issues had been addressed by a veterinarian at the time of inspection (Sec. 5-10 (b) (1) as it relates to Sec. 5-9 (h)).
Breeder and broker information obtained during store investigation
Cindy’s Sunflower Puppies, Elk City, KS (unlicensed)
Riverside Kennels (Brenda Ponting), Hale, MO 64643, 43-A-5133, 83 dogs and 56 puppies at 1/11/2017 inspection.
R Family Kennel LLC, Seneca KS 66538, 48-A-2174, 156 dogs and 86 puppies at 4/19/2018 inspection.
Choice Puppies (Hunte Corporation), Goodman, MO, 43-B-0123
Hunte Corp. was taken over by West Point, IA-based Select Puppies in 2019. I worked undercover at Hunte for six months in 2004, when it was the largest dog brokerage facility in the country.
Breeder and broker information obtained from 2017 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection
Update: October 16, 2021
Breeder name obtained from June – September 2021 Certificates of Veterinary inspection
Daniel Gingerich, Seymour, Iowa, 42-A-1632, 109 dogs and 153 puppies (Site 1) at 9/15/21 USDA inspection (report 25 pages long), 218 dogs and 385 puppies (site 1) at 7/7/21 inspection, 346 dogs at 7/9/21 inspection (site 6). USDA inspected six sites. Gingerich had more than 1,000 dogs at a least 10 locations in other Iowa towns.
Despite years of horrific, cruel treatment of dogs, USDA allowed Gingerich to operate with impunity. The suffering endured by the dogs at his mills is beyond description. Gingerich amassed 120 violations of the Animal Welfare Act between March and September 2021, including having emaciated, dead and dying dogs and puppies. The complaint that USDA finally brought against Gingerich on September 24, 2021 is 67 pages long.
On November 2, 2021, a federal judge approved an agreement permanently barring Gingerich from selling, breeding, or brokering dogs. He also agreed to give up all 541 dogs still in his possession to Animal Rescue League of Iowa. Wayne County Sheriff Keith Davis said criminal charges will be filed.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture has fined Gingerich $40,000 and suspended his license.
Lack of USDA violations
The fact that few breeders and brokers have USDA violations does not mean that none exist. During our undercover investigation of USDA-licensed facilities, we document violations. USDA has made it very easy for licenses not to have violations. In response to regulatory ordinances, USDA started using teachable moments, self-inspections and a trial announced inspection program. Their recent guidelines also instructed inspectors not to cite ear, eye and dental diseases as veterinary care violations (this requirement was recently changed back). It is for these reasons that USDA Animal Welfare Act violations have significantly decreased