Breeder: David Nisley
Address: 2390 Hall Rd
City, State, Zip: Westby, WI 54667
USDA License: 35-A-0297
Date of CAPS Investigation: 7/14/18
Time of CAPS Investigation: 19:16
Weather at time of investigation: 73°F and mostly cloudy
Approximate number of dogs observed at time of investigation: about seven puppies and 20 dogs
Breeds: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Bichon Frises
David Nisley (Caucasian Amish male, about 5’6”, 180 lbs, with short, curly, dark brown hair, and a beard about four inches long but no moustache) had two kennel areas. One was a series of buildings for whelping and the other being a single structure for keeping non-whelping dogs, which Nisley referred to as “general population.” Nisley told me that he sells his puppies to pet stores in Wisconsin and to the broker JAK’s Puppies.
There were two whelping buildings that I saw, with one having about 10 indoor/outdoor elevated enclosures on each of two sides, and the other appearing to have three on one side and about 10 on the other. I only observed the outdoor enclosures, which were made entire of treated wire. Most of them were covered with white tarps. Nisley said the tarps kept the dogs from barking at night, and therefore lessened noise complaints from his neighbors. Nisley lifted a tarp of one building to show me a cage containing a single Cavalier puppy, another containing two Cavalier puppies, and a third containing four mixed-breed puppies. The ground below the cages was covered with wooden shavings and feces. There appeared to be several days of accumulation for cages that presumably held a single whelping mother and puppies (Sec 3.11 Cleaning, Sanitization, Housekeeping, and Pest Control (c) Housekeeping for premises). Doggie-doors allowed access to indoor enclosures I did not observe.
The breeder building was an enclosed structure with about 15 indoor runs with plastic walls and wooden shavings over concrete floorings. Doggie-doors allowed access to outside areas I did not observe. There were about five dogs per run of four runs. Windows allowed some light into the building but not enough to sufficiently see dogs clearly when they were six or more feet from me, when they would have been clearly visible outside in the sunlight available (Sec. 3.2 Indoor housing facilities (c) Lighting). Before entering the building, Nisley told me that he normally doesn’t let people see his kennel, because some people may view it as a “bad thing.”
Comments on Wisconsin vs. USDA standards
Nisley told me that the State of Wisconsin requires stricter standards and more space for dogs than the USDA does. He said that for whelping dogs, not as much space is required by the state since the dogs are only housed there temporarily, but that “general population” dogs require more space. He said that the USDA has no problem with all of his dogs being in elevated cages that have less space, but that he is creating his new kennel building specifically to satisfy Wisconsin requirements.
Statements and conditions contradicting pet store claims
I visited the pet store Little Wonders Puppy Emporium in Sayville, NY on 5/17/18, and saw a Maltipoo puppy with a cage card showing names and information for “David Nisley, WI, 35-A-0297,” and “J.A.K.’s Puppies, IA, 42-B-0271.” At the store, I spoke to two employees (Caucasian female, about 50 years old, 5’8”, 140 lbs, with long graying brown hair, put on blue-rimmed glasses to read cage cards, and had all fingernails painted a bright orange except her left ring finger nail which was painted silver, and a Caucasian female, about 45 years old, 5’4”, 130 lbs with long brown hair) who spoke to me either as a group or within earshot of each other as they gave me information.
The employees showed me a book containing pictures of kennels, which they said were the store’s breeders and represented how all of their breeders kept their kennels. The pictures showed dogs in open yards and large dog runs, and one facility which they said had heated indoor flooring. One of them then told me all of the kennels supplying the store have heated flooring for the indoor runs. Both employees told me the store’s breeders do not keep any dogs in cages. They then told me their breeders’ dogs spend all day outdoors, and only go into their kennels at night. Whelping cages with no access to the outdoors besides wire cages, and dogs in kennel runs, with outdoor access but no visible yard contradict the employees’ claims that their breeders keep dogs in open outdoor runs all day.