Petland of Wichita
11333 E Kellogg Dr N #103
Wichita, KS 67207
Date and time of CAPS investigation: 08/13/21; 1235
Approximate number of puppies observed at time of investigation: about 42 puppies and one cat
The store had 22 enclosures, containing one to three puppies each, and one cat in an enclosure. Enclosures had solid walls, cage doors at their back walls, and cage floorings. The enclosures had metal food bowls, water bottles on back doors, and rubber mats covering less than half of floorings. No breeder information was in public view. Folders of information about Petland puppies and breeders were in play areas in the store. There was a public page called “Where Our Puppies Come From,” which stated: “Our puppies come from professional and hobby breeders who have years of experience in raising quality family pets. Petland puppies are checked by a veterinarian prior to arriving to our store and again while in our care.” A sign in the store read: “Back-to-school weekend puppy sale. This weekend only. All of our puppies are up to 50% off of their original prices.”
I asked an employee (Caucasian female, about 18 years old, 5’4”, 90 lbs., with long blonde hair and glasses, who identified herself as Emily) about the store’s breeders, and she used the puppy information folder to show me pictures of breeders with dog in spacious runs and running grassy yards, saying it would give me “an idea of where the puppies come from.” She then told me there’s a 90-day payment plan that’s the same as cash for buying a puppy, as well as a “credit card” option. I asked to see information on a Shih Tzu I was in a playroom with, and she said that normally medical records are only given out at the time of purchase, but that she would see if she could get them for me. She returned saying that she can’t show me vaccination records for the puppy until I buy her, but showed me her record of when she’s been fed, dewormed, and her weight. The Shih Tzu was shaking, wet on her underside, and didn’t move much as I had her in the playroom.
I then asked about the puppy’s breeder, and she told me the breeder is USDA-licensed, uses APRI for registration, is “professional” and from the Midwest. I then asked for the breeder’s name, and she said normally that isn’t given to customers before a purchase but that she’d ask if she could give it to me. She returned saying couldn’t give me the breeder info and said all breeders are USDA inspected. She claimed that USDA inspections are unannounced, and added, “If any breeder has a direct violation, they have to be taken off the list for three years and they can try to reapply. And if they have any direct or indirect violations of animal care or vet care, they are taken off the list for the rest of their life.” I asked, “The list, like the Petland list?” She said, “Off the USDA list. And the USDA list, we only work with the top seven percent of those breeders, or above, too. So, we only work with the best USDA breeders. And the USDA vets all of their breeders, it’s kind of hard to become a USDA breeder, honestly, with how hard their tests are.”
I then asked about kennel conditions and how many dogs breeders have, and she told me, “So most of the time, all of our breeders, there’s like an acreage requirement that they have to have, to have a breeding facility. So, a lot of them are on farms, or just like ten acres or more of land.” She said that she’s been on field trips to kennels, and saw a “huge” Shih Tzu facility with big yards for dogs and puppies. I asked how much space dogs have at kennels, and she answered, “Really big, honestly, like for a Shih Tzu you don’t have to have a whole bedroom of space.” She went on to explain Shih Tzu pens are often as wide as the playroom I was in, but longer. The playrooms were about five feet wide and long. She claimed there are yards for dogs in addition to their kennel spaces, and have two or three litters before being “retired.”
She said the Shih Tzu puppy was $3,500, and I told her I needed to contact my girlfriend before making a decision. I said my girlfriend would get off work at seven in the evening. She then asked if I wanted to make an appointment for after that time. I said, “Let me call her first.” She responded, “Yeah, go ahead and call her right now and see if you can do that…” She turned to walk away while I still held the puppy. I then told her to wait, saying, “Hold on, I don’t’ want to spring it on her,” and handed the employee the puppy, at which point she looked visibly disappointed.
Evidence of false statements and misrepresentations of breeders by store:
The employee’s claim that the store uses the top seven percent of USDA breeders is false. No such ranking system exists within the USDA.
The employee’s claim that “if any breeder has a direct violation, they have to be taken off the list for three years and they can try to reapply. And if they have any direct or indirect violations of animal care or vet care, they are taken off the list for the rest of their life,” is false. USDA breeders maintain their licenses when receiving direct violations, including for vet care. For a licensee to have their license revoked, even for vet care, is extraordinarily rare.
The claim that “it’s kind of hard to become a USDA breeder, honestly, with how hard their tests are” is false. USDA does not test breeders. They do annual inspections.
As evidenced by the breeder information below, it is clear that the store obtains puppies from mills, many of them USDA-licensed. Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVIs) indicate that a fair number of unlicensed breeders are also selling directly to the store (see section on breeder Phil Hoover below regarding use of PTB Marketplace). Per Animal Welfare Act regulations, unlicensed breeders cannot sell directly to pet shops; they must sell through brokers. Breeders who have at least five breeding females and engage in resale or sell over the internet must have a USDA license.
Breeder information obtained from 2021 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection
Big Star Kennel/Dan Mohrfield, West Point, IA 52656, 42-A-1495, 285 adults and 192 puppies at 5/4/22 USDA inspection; Dan Mohrfeld is the brother of Brian Mohrfeld, who owns Select Puppies
Cara Borin/J-C Kennel/John Moore, Honobia, OK 73-A-2756, 60 adults, 24 puppies at 9/18/19 USDA inspection
Ivan Ray Eicher, Loogootee, IN 47553, no USDA license
Derald Ferrari, Foss, OK 73647, no USDA license; waiting to hear from OK re state license
Lindsey Forquer, Salem, IA 42-A-1544, 71 adults, 50 puppies at 12/5/19 USDA inspection
John Gingerich, Sturgeon, MO 65284, no USDA license, unlicensed per MDA
Rudy E Gingerich, 1729 Hwy P, Clark, MO, 43-A-6456, 52 adults, 23 puppies at 2/11/2 USDA inspection
MDA violations cited on 8/26/20 inspection report included the following: accumulation of fecal matter under the outdoor runs; mothers and puppies housed in enclosures with elevated flooring and no solid resting surfaces; build-up of dirt and grime inside buildings but outside the kennel enclosures.
Calvin and Teresa Good, Memphis, MO 43-A-4477, 104 adults, 56 puppies at 3/14/22 USDA inspection
Rodney Goss, Sentinel, OK, no USDA license; waiting to hear from OK re state license
Karen Graber, Cannelburg, IN, no USDA license
Louis A Graber, 32-A-0241, 59 adults, 30 puppies at 7/6/21 USDA inspection
USDA violations cited on the 9/25/14 inspection included the following:, dogs with badly infected and cloudy eyes; insufficient primary space
Kasey Herod/CH Ventures, Booker, TX 79005, 74-A-1568, 156 adults, 61 puppies at 2/16/22 USDA inspection; 127 adults, 60 puppies at 11/15/21 pre-license inspection (this is a large number of dogs at a pre-license inspection). Herod was selling to pet shops, such as Sunshine Puppies in Largo, FL, before she had a USDA license. CAPS reported her.
James Hilty/Four Corner Puppies, 10512 Schwartz Rd, Fort Wayne, IN, 32-B-0257, 30 adults, 40 puppies at 7/15/21 USDA inspection. License address is 9801 Fall Creek Rd, #322, Indianapolis, IN. on 2/21/21 and 7/30/21 reports, although this is a UPS store. Prior license lists Ft. Wayne address on 2018 and 2019 inspection reports. Actual facility in Ft. Wayne is 122 miles from the UPS store in Indianapolis.
Phil Hoover, Memphis, MO, 43-A-5673, 445 adults, 144 puppies at 1/6/22 USDA inspection. Hoover sells through online brokerage website, Pet Board of Trade (PBT Marketplace), which leads us to believe that the numerous unlicensed breeders found on CVIs are also using PBT to sell to this Petland.
Cassie Jones, Miami, OK, no USDA license, waiting to hear from OK re state license
Kenny Knepp, Loogootee, IN, 32-A-0478, 140 adults, 84 puppies at 12/16/21 USDA inspection
Leann Leamons, Purdy, MO 65734, no USDA license, unlicensed per MDA
Kimberly McGhee, Jay, OK, no USDA license, waiting to hear from OK re state license
John J. Miller, Sturgeon, MO 43-A-6036, 45 adults, 30 puppies at 1/22/21USDA inspection
USDA violations cited on the 10/19/16 inspection report included the following: Pile of tires, rolled up fencing and other fencing supplies next to enclosures with tall weeds (approximately 2-4 feet tall) growing among them; old open dog food, discarded feed bags and other clutter; food and hair in walkways of sheltered building
Linda Miller-Riggs, Annapolis, MO, 43-B-3643, 65 adults, 37 puppies at 5/17/21 USDA inspection
Violations cited on the 8/18/21 MDA inspection report included the following: Records of medications administered were being kept for puppies, however, covered adults were not included in the records. At least 10 records of disposition for animals over four months of age were lacking proof of rabies vaccination. Violations cited on the 9/10/19 MDA inspection report included the following: Strong ammonia smell; housing that is too small; fleas on dogs
Violations cited on the 9/3/14 USDA inspection reports included the following: Brown matter and discoloration on teeth; receding, discolored gums; loose, frayed wire panels in contact with the dogs.
Seth Petersen, Bolivar, MO, no USDA license
Travis Petersen, Urbana, MO, no USDA license
Jerry Petersheim, Sturgeon, MO, no USDA license
Carolyn Russell, Goodman, MO, no USDA license
Mahlon Schrock, Harwood, MO 43-A-6141, 41 adults, 50 puppies at 3/1/22 USDA inspection
Carla & Tom Steffensmeier, West Point, IA 42-A-1368, 150 adults, 80 puppies at 3/10/22 USDA inspection
Violations cited on 2016 and 2017 USDA inspection reports included the following: A Shih Tzu with abnormal hair loss, reddened tail, matting around eyes, tail, legs and neck; Bulldog with two open wounds; Beagle with thick build-up on teeth, reddened gumline with gray matter.,
Joseph Stoll, Montgomery, IN, no USDA license
Janice L Wagler, Montgomery, IN, no USDA license
Martha Wagler, Loogootee, IN, no USDA license
Chester and Debbie Williams, Greentop, MO, 43-A-5986, 217 adults, 84 puppies at 10/4/21 USDA inspection
Mervin and Lizzie Yoder, Clark, MO, 43-A-6336, 33 adults, 4 puppies at 1/26/22 USDA inspection
Violations cited on the 1/26/22 USDA inspection report included the following: Feces-covered flooring with dogs not being able to sit or stand without getting feces on themselves; Program of Veterinary Care missing information on coat, nails, ears, eyes, skin and teeth care. Violations cited on 10/28/21 USDA inspection report included the following: Female Cocker Spaniel with matted, caked matter on rear end, discharge and odor from ears, infected, scabbed area behind shoulder; expired medications; excessive feces inside enclosures; flooring not imperious to moisture with fecal and moisture build-ups; digging and holes under enclosures posing danger to dogs; chained up Dachshund inside enclosure. Violations cited on 2/4/20 USDA inspection report included the following: No heat; no bedding.
Violations cited on 2020 and 2021 MDA inspection reports included the following: No shelter for mother and puppies; accumulation of feces, grime, dirt, and hair; rodent droppings with pungent rat smell; rat-chewed insulation; cobwebs; clutter around enclosures; unopened dog food stored on floor; no disposition records; missing records; no program of veterinary care
Broker information obtained from 2021 and 2022 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection
J.A.K.’s Puppies, Britt, IA 50423, 42-B-0271 179 puppies at 11/24/21 USDA inspection.
Conrad’s Cuddly Canines, LLC, Frankford, MO 43-B-3659, 53 puppies at 9/28/21 USDA inspection
First Class Puppies, Bluejacket, OK 73-B-1866, 19 puppies at 9/3/21 USDA inspection
Market Smart, 11500 Hammer Rd, Neosho, MO, 43-B-3810, 32 puppies at 11/4/21 USDA inspection
MG Cattle, Inc/Mark and Gina Steffensmeier, Salem, IA 42-B-0303, 0 dogs; 0 puppies at 3/9/22 USDA inspection
Puppy Smart, 404 8th Ave, Seaside Heights (Ortley Beach), NJ, 22-B-0085, 0 puppies at 9/21/21 USDA inspection with current address as 5845 Oak St., Mays Landing, NJ; 0 puppies at 1/31/20 pre-license inspection; 0 dogs at 4/16/19 USDA inspection with address as 1401 Byers Ave, Joplin, MO; 0 dogs at 9/26/18 pre-license inspection with same Joplin address. All of these addresses are homes in residential areas. It is very unusual to find a USDA-licensed broker outside of the Midwest.
Petland Wichita Inspection Report obtained from Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA)
Violations from 7/1/21 KDA store inspection (conducted due to complaint received by KDA) included the following: Pen 9B and Pen 3B were randomly picked to check floor space which the pens are 5 feet long and 3 feet wide. Height is not an issue for any of the pens. Pen 9B had a Golden Retriever and two Golden Doodles requiring 31.78 square feet of floor space and they only had 15 square feet of floor space. Pen 3B had five Mini Aussies and two larger Mini Aussies for a total of seven puppies in the pen which had the same 15 square feet of floor space. After measuring the seven puppies, they are requiring 32.83 square feet of floor space. Licensee needs to have the number of puppies reduced in each pen before the end of the day. Some puppies will remain on the display floor pens and some puppies will be moved into the holding for sale pens as the facility has adequate space and needs to spread the puppies out.
Lack of USDA Violations
The fact that few breeders and brokers have USDA violations does not mean that none exist. During our undercover investigation of USDA-licensed facilities, we document violations. USDA has made it very easy for licensees not to have violations. In response to regulatory ordinances, USDA started using teachable moments, self-inspections and a trial announced inspection program. Their recent guidelines also instructed inspectors not to cite ear, eye and dental diseases as veterinary care violations (this requirement was recently changed back). It is for these reasons that USDA Animal Welfare Act violations have significantly decreased.