Breeder: Paul Shetler
Address: 140 S 800 E
City, State, Zip: Bluffton, IN 46714
USDA License: none

Date and time of CAPS Investigation: 4/19/24; 1622

Weather at time of investigation: 56°F and partly cloudy

Approximate number of dogs and puppies observed at time of investigation: 40 dogs

Breeds: Yorkshire Terriers, French Bulldogs, Miniature Poodle

Shetler’s dog breeding facility was a series of concrete runs covered in weeks’ worth of feces piled and mashed onto the floorings. The kennel was a metal building with indoor/outdoor runs on two sides. The outdoor portions had wooden frames and chain link walls, metal doggie doors to access their indoor portions, and were each about 15’ long and five feet wide. There were about 10 runs on the east side of the building and five on the west. There were two to three dogs per run, with all the dogs I saw being Yorkies except one that was a Miniature Poodle, and two that were French Bulldogs. Most dogs had long fur covered in small mats.

It is very likely that Shetler, who is unlicensed, has at least five breeding females. He is violating federal regulations by not having a USDA license in order to sell to pet shops.

2.1(a)(3) of the Animal Welfare Act regulations requires that a person who has at least five breeding female dogs or cats and makes at least $500 in gross income a year from the sale of these animals must have a USDA license. This regulation applies to breeders selling to brokers, pet shops and online customers.

The kennel itself was heavily obscured by trees. From the driveway, some runs could be seen, but the manure covering the runs’ concrete floorings was either not visible or appeared to have been dirt or leaves near the edges of the runs. The wall of one dog run, closer to the driveway, had carpets hung over it as though to dry.

Up close, it was clear that weeks-worth of feces, worn down by rain and dog paws, were mashed onto the pen floorings and built up at the edges of the runs. Many runs had paths worn through the layer of manure, making it clear where dogs walked and where they avoided their own excrement that was building up. The ends of the runs had thick layers of feces and fur built up at their ends, as though feces had been washed or scraped to the ends of edges of the runs and washed down by rain.

The breeder is connected to the following store:

Puppy Home Match, Troy, MI (CVI 2023)

I investigated Puppy Home Match on 3/20/24. Martin, whom I believe is the store’s owner, said that the store’s breeders have about 15-20 dogs each, and are not “mass-producing kennels.” This was a falsehood. Shetler’s kennel is clearly a puppy mill – a commercial breeding operation with at least 40 dogs that he breeds to sell puppies to pet shops. In addition, he said “I don’t deal with people [puppy mills] like that. You can’t get these designer [dogs that are intentionally cross-bred] dogs like that. It is very possible that Shetler breeds Miniature Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers to produce designer dogs known as Yorkiepoos.

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