Breeder: Vicky Harman
Kennel Name: Vicky’s Toy Puppies
Address: 646 FM 2530
City, State, Zip: Childress, TX 79201
USDA License: none found
Date and time of CAPS investigation: 10/22/20, 1324
Weather at time of investigation: 84°F and sunny
Approximate number of dogs and puppies observed at time of investigation: 36 dogs and eight puppies
Breeds: Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Poodles, Maltese, Dachshunds
The kennel was located southeast of the residence. I viewed it from the east side of the residence, and I wasn’t able to see the entire kennel area. About 100 feet southwest of the residence was a wooden barn, with dog runs east, north, and south of it. The pen to the north of the barn was about 15 feet long and six feet wide, with a concrete flooring, wooden dog house lacking a wind break set on top of a wooden pallet (3.4 Outdoor housing facilities (b) Shelter from the elements (3)), and what appeared to be wooden and wire boards stacked up on the pen’s south side against the northern wall of the barn (3.1 Housing facilities, general (b) Condition and site). About eight dogs of various breeds were in the pen, with a couple short-haired white dogs (likely Bichons or miniature Poodles) appearing to have yellow and brown-stained fur, indicating they were lying in urine and manure (3.1 Housing facilities, general (c) Surfaces (3) Cleaning).
There were about five pens east of the barn, each about 20 feet long and five feet wide, with dirt floorings, wooden dog houses, and about four dogs per pen. There appeared to be about a dozen pens south of the barn of similar size, but the barn blocked view to them.
Six dogs of various breeds were in the front yard, with a wooden doghouse lacking a windbreak on a wooden pallet nearby set against the residence (3.4 Outdoor housing facilities (b) Shelter from the elements (3)).
In the back yard, an adjustable wire pen was on top of a yellow rubber matting, with about eight Poodle and Dachshund puppies in it. The puppies appeared to be about eight weeks of age. The rubber matting covered an area about eight feet wide and long and had about 20 areas with feces mashed into it and fecal stains covering its surface (3.1 Housing facilities, general (c) Surfaces (3) Cleaning). An adult Yorkie, short-haired Chihuahua, and long-haired Chihuahua were loose in the back yard, as was a cat. The long-haired Chihuahua’s left eye had thick brown and green mucus encrusting the dogs’ eyelids and smeared across the eyeball (2.40 Adequate veterinary care (b)(2)).
A woman (Caucasian female, about 65 years old, 5’7″, 110 lbs., with long grey hair and who used thick dark-rimmed glasses to look at my phone up close, then removed them) stepped out of the house to speak to me and identified herself as the owner of the kennel. When I asked her how many dogs she had she responded, “I don’t know.” She said she has some older dogs who no longer breed, and said that a Poodle who was walking in circles in the pen north of the barn was one such dog with brain damage. When I asked about her prices, she said she sells piebald Dachshund puppies for $2,000 and black Dachshund puppies for $1,500. She said she travels to meet people and doesn’t like to sell local, though her puppyfind.com info says she will ship puppies to people.
The woman explained a story about she disciplined a dog that belonged to another woman and was barking at one of her puppies. She said, ‘And I got one in there that came from my girlfriend and she didn’t do any of this, and so I whacked him on the head a while ago because he had, well one of the puppies had gotten out right here. And he was barking at it, well he’s a tremendously nice stud dog, I mean he’s a great Poodle. But I whacked him on the head and I said, “Oh no you’re not, Jeffrey,” and I chased him all over the yard and doing this (she makes a pointing motion). He finally stopped.”‘
This breeder is an internet seller. She sells on puppyfind.com under the name Vicky, and has a website under https://www.vickystoypuppies.com/.
The Animal Welfare Act sets general standards for humane care and treatment of animals who are sold sight unseen (internet sales). Breeders – those with at least five breeding females – who are selling online must have a federal license (2.1 (a) Requirements and application).