Lil Rascals Puppies
10035 Gulf Center Dr
Ft Myers, FL 33913
Date and time of CAPS investigation: 08/21/21; 1503
Approximate number of puppies observed at time of investigation: 15
Puppies were kept one to three in a pen at a time, with most pens having a single puppy in them. Pens were set on the linoleum floor, with blankets, dog toys, food and water dishes on the floor. Pens either had solid wooden and linoleum walls, or plastic walls from pre-designed puppy crates with no floorings.
I spoke to an employee (Hispanic female, about 22 years old, 5’3″, 90 lbs, with long brown hair in braids) about where puppies come from, and she said, “Nine out of ten times, we use the same breeders, each and every time.” She didn’t know specifics of breeders, though, and referred me to the owner (Caucasian female, about 50 years old, 5’6″, 110 lbs, with long blonde hair) for more information. The owner scrolled through her phone, mentioning she had many breeders in it, and named “Ed Van Doorn” specifically as she did so. She said, “I know most of my breeders,” and I asked her about how dogs are kept at breeders’ houses. She said, “Nine times out of ten, I think the breeders we get them from, they breed them in their house.” She told me the breeders are USDA-licensed.
The owner also told me, “Yeah, and actually it’s a puppy mill if they breed their dog more than three times.” The owner and employee then repeated to me that their breeders will hold back female puppies to breed them, to make sure they don’t breed their females more than three times each. I then asked if they knew if dogs are in cages at all, and how many dogs they have, and the owner responded, “Most of them have a little in their house.” I asked, “Most of them keep them in their house?” She answered, “Most do, yeah.”
I asked for paperwork on a Chihuahua puppy, which I was shown and which noted the breeder as Richard Wagler, 8054E 200 N, Montgomery, IN 47558. However, the paperwork also showed the name Kevin Wagler on veterinary papers for the puppies. I asked the owner about the two names, and she said they were “probably brothers.” Then, she told me the paperwork was not for the Chihuahua, but for another puppy, and said it showed me the kind of information I could see for puppies. The owner told me that she talks to one of the Waglers “about a lot of things,” but said she didn’t know any specific about the kennel they keep their dogs in.
Evidence of false statements and misrepresentations of breeders by store:
The owner’s claim that most of her breeders keep dogs in their houses is refuted by the hundreds of USDA-licensed puppy mills CAPS has investigated, in which virtually no breeding dogs are kept in breeders’ houses. Furthermore, it is refuted by CAPS investigations of the store’s breeder Ed Van Doorn of Squaw Creek Kennels in Barnes City, IA, in 2006 and 2018. In 2006, I observed about 500 dogs and 100 puppies at the facility, all kept in cages and outdoor pens. In 2018, I saw dozens of dogs and heard many more in the pens and cages of the facility, though I was not allowed access to the facility and so my view to the kennel was limited. However, I spoke to Ed Van Doorn in his residence both times, and didn’t see or hear any breeding dogs in his house either time.
Breeder information obtained while visiting the store:
Ed Van Doorn
Richard Wagler/Kevin Wagler, 8054 E 200 N, Montgomery, IN 47558