John Erb from CAPS on Vimeo.

Breeder: John D Erb
Business name: Windy Hill Kennel
Address: 4529 Ridge Rd SW
City, State, Zip: Baltic, OH 43804
USDA License: 31-A-0493
Date of CAPS Investigation: 7/15/19
Time of CAPS Investigation: 1624
Weather at time of investigation: 87°F and mostly sunny
Approximate number of dogs observed at time of investigation: eight dogs and three puppies (not all dogs at the kennel were observed)
Breeds: Dachshunds, Maltese, Bichons

I observed a kennel building in the woods east of the property. The entire kennel building was surrounded by woods on all sides; t was 150 feet from the closest building elsewhere on the property. I observed the north and eastern sides of the building. The northern side had a doorway, while the eastern side had about a dozen elevated cages made of treated wire. I could see dogs in several cages, though the angle of observation and the number of trees in the way made viewing all cages impossible. I heard what appeared to be metal doggie-doors in the cages, indicating the dogs had access to indoor portions of their enclosures. The outdoor cages were about two feet wide and 3.5 feet tall and long.

I saw two Caucasian children of about nine years of age and dressed in Amish style clothing walk in and out of the barn’s doorway. One child held what appeared to be three Maltese puppies in her arms which she exited and re-entered the barn with the puppies. Another child had a plastic wheelbarrow he used to move two Dachshunds and a what appeared to be a Bichon out of the barn before moving them back into it.

Observations contradicting pet store claims:

On 6/29/19 I visited Petland Sarasota at 8452 Lockwood Ridge Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243. An employee told me that all of the store’s breeders’ dogs have space to run and are not kept in cages or kennels. A woman at the store who identified herself as the Regional Kennel Manager for Petland told me that videos on TVs in the store, which showed dogs and puppies playing in open fields and dogs in long kennels with tiled floorings, represent the store’s breeders. She said, “All the breeders are like that.” The evidence of Erb’s dogs in wire cages elevated over the ground contradicts these claims.

The Reginal Kennel Manager showed me USDA inspection reports for John D. Erb in the store and showed me what she claimed was a satellite image of Erb’s property on GoogleMaps on a store computer. However, she showed me a property northwest of Erb, belonging to another property owner, at the southeast corner of Ridge Rd SW and Oak Valley Rd. The manager claimed a yard on that property was a play yard for Erb’s dogs. Erb’s property being in another location and his kennel being surrounded by woods contradicts the manager’s claim.