Puppy Dreams – Arlington
2401 W Pioneer Pkwy #145
Pantego, TX 76013
Dates and times of CAPS investigation: 4/18/23, 1431
Approximate number of puppies observed at time of investigation: 50
There were about 21 puppy aquarium-like puppy enclosures set against the walls of the store. They had solid floorings covered in shredded paper, water bottles, and one to four puppies each. Some enclosures had one or more blankets or small dog beds inside of them.
I spoke to an employee (Caucasian female, about 19 years old, 5’5″, 100 lbs. with long brown hair and black-rimmed glasses) about where the puppies in the store come from and how to purchase one. I asked about financing, and she said that it is credit-based, with 12-60 months of payments and rebates offered. She also said that APR is at about 16%.
Employee’s lie about government inspections
She told me the store has been working with the same breeders since it opened, and they are all “certified” USDA or hobby breeders. She explained, “The government must certify these breeders. And we also work with certified hobby breeders. They must be Texas certified. So, they have to go out at least three to six times a year to their facility. And for hobby breeders our people actually go out to the facility.”
Claim about breeding conditions
I asked about the conditions the breeding dogs are kept in, and she said, “it just depends,” and said, “We have pictures of the parents, of them playing.” I asked, “They have like yards and space?” She said, “Yeah, they normally do.” I asked, “Okay, so they don’t have them in cages or anything?” She said that the mother dogs and puppies have a “play area.” She then showed me pictures of the parents of a Golden Retriever puppy she bought from the store. The pictures showed a mother dog and puppies in an indoor room penned off with a black wire gate. I asked if all breeders keep their dogs in such conditions, and she said, “Right.” She then added, “A lot of times if you see like, ones where it’s like filthy cages, and they’re all like this big, you know that’s likely something not good. But even our breeders, like we do so many checks.”
Lie about “family” breeding dogs:
I asked how long dogs are bred for, and what happens to dogs when they are no longer bred. The employee said, “Oh yeah. So, all of, a lot of, a majority of our breeders, I’ll tell you are family breeders. So, like they are hobby breeders. Which means they’re a lot of times family dogs. And then they just have like a litter or two, possibly. I mean it kind of just depends. There’s not really a bunch that are just cycling in and out. Being overused or anything like that. A lot of the parents are like family parents. You know, like they’re family dogs.” I then said, “Oh, okay. It’s not like a massive commercial ….” She responded, “Right, right. Not massive commercial like breeding or anything like that. They’re not to say like a mom won’t have one to three litters, but that’s pretty average for a dog that has five litters.”
I also asked her what happens to dogs that are done being bred, and she said, “They keep them.” She added, “They’re just like, like I said, family dogs.”
Jake Kruse; lie about breeders having no violations:
I asked her for breeder information on a puppy, and she brought me the registration papers on the puppy which revealed the breeder is Jake Kruse. Kruse’s signature was evident on the paperwork as well. I asked the employee if she knew where Kruse was, and she said she did not, so I said I would google him to check. She then told me, “I’ll tell you like, even with our breeders, there’s a certain type of standard for them. There are certain types of standards for them. They can’t have any like violations within the past like five to seven years. So, if they have any red flags at all in the past five to seven years, we don’t work with them.” She then discussed how the USDA and the store are “very particular,” and added, “So like we personally don’t work with them that have violations in the last five to seven years. So, if they have any red flags at all from the past five to seven years, we won’t work with them.”
I then looked pulled up information on Jake Kruse (USDA license 42-A-1523) of KandE Kennels in Salem, IA in iowacapitaldispatch.com, which noted: “Jake Kruse or KandE Kennels in Salem: This breeder, who sells to Petland and other retailers, was inspected in by the USDA in January of 2022. At that time, the issues included four housing facilities violations for problems such as “sharp corner edges,” “broken metal” that could injure the dogs, and open trash containers. In addition, cleaning and sanitation issues were noted, such as “metal bucket food bowls that contain a buildup of caked food and organic material.” One feeder had “a buildup of caked food and wild bird feces on the interior of the feeder.” There were close to 300 dogs on site at the time of the inspection.”
Employee gaslighted me about information she just showed me
The employee looked at the information on my phone, and I said “Is that the name of the guy? I don’t know if I spelled that right. Because this guy, this is Iowa Capital Dispatch dot com. It’s like an Iowa paper, and it says that dude had three hundred dogs and violations for like sharp corner edges and it looks like dirty food.” She responded, “Right, it probably is a different kennel, or a different broker.” I said, “Different kennel? Okay.” She said, “Yeah, because we don’t work with people like that. Maybe just a different broker.” She then added, “There’s different brokers and different names for a broker under that breeder’s name. So, it can be like, it could be like a family type of thing where a Kruse could do this, or a Kruse could do that. But in two different ways. But just a different broker.”
Evidence of false statements and misrepresentations by store
The employee’s claim that dogs have play areas and yards to run in is false. In November of 2022 I documented Angela Stephens’ puppy mill, located in Rocky Comfort, MO and found her to be selling puppies to the store in 2022. At Stephens’ facility, I saw dogs confined in concrete runs about three feet wide and five feet long, with no play area visible on the property.
The employee’s claim that the state of Texas inspects breeders “at least three to six times a year” is a lie. Texas licensed breeders are inspected once a year.
The employee’s claim that the store buys from hobby breeders who keep spent breeding dogs as “family” is untrue. CAPS has discovered from Certificates of Veterinary Inspection that in 2022, the store-bought puppies from several USDA brokers, including Curt and Lori Conrad, Southpaw Pets, Elmer Troyer, Tiffanie’s LLC, and QD Kennels. Of them, all had puppies except Elmer Troyer also had 77 dogs on site during a USDA inspection. USDA-licensed brokers typically buy from USDA-licensed breeders, who operate commercial facilities and virtually never keep spent breeding dogs as “family.” The dogs are either sold, given away, or killed.
The employee’s claim that the store only buys from breeders who don’t have violations in the last “five to seven years” is false. Jake Kruse, who bred a Keeshond puppy for the store, had numerous violations in a 2022 USDA inspection, which I pointed out to the employee. Elmer Troyer of Clark, MO, (43-A-5917) who sold to the store in 2022, had USDA violations that same year for “excessive feces in 12 enclosures.” An inspector noted, “Three of these enclosures had 23 puppies and the flooring was at least 50% covered in smeared feces and the solid resting surfaces were mostly covered. Eight adult dog enclosures with 34 dogs had packed, smeared feces covering 60-80% of the outside flooring. Some of those enclosures had brown matter on the doorways, walls, and the inside flooring. These enclosures made it difficult for the animals to move around without getting into feces.” Also, the inspector cited Troyer for having an outdoor enclosure that didn’t provide enough space or adequate shelter for the five dogs inside. Troyer was also cited for having empty water bowls in two enclosures with six dogs. The inspector mentioned that when water was given to them, the dogs immediately began to drink it. The store buys from Tiffanie Kurz in Frankford, MO (43-B-3731), who was investigated by the state for having 35 puppies die in six months of 2018. The puppies had parvovirus but were never taken to a veterinarian.
The employee’s claim that the Jake Kruse I looked up on my phone was not the Jake Kruse on the registration is a lie. The employee tried to convince me that Jake Kruse was cited for violations of a broker Kruse used, which is absurdly false.
Breeder information obtained while visiting the store
Jake Kruse/KandE Kennels Inc., 1761 110th St, Salem, IA 52649, 42-A-1523 (218 adults, 81 puppies on USDA 01-19-22 inspection). The Kruse Saga:: Puppy Mill Suffering, USDA Complicity, and Sick Pet Shop Puppies. CAPS investigated this facility in 2006, shortly after Jordan Kruse was killed in an ATV accident. During this investigation, Jordan and Jake’s father, Vic, was running the facility, which was later taken over by Jake.
Breeder information obtained from 2022 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection
Clemens Borntreger, 14773 Mulberry Avenue, Canton, MO 63435, 43-A-6584 (60 adults, 62 puppies on USDA 01-11-22 inspection report).
Willard Borntrager, 23647 Stagecoach Lane, Brashear, MO 63533, 43-A-6069 (44 adults, 26 puppies on Missouri inspection 07-27-22).
Alisa Breedlove/Breedlove’s Unique Kennels, 21309 Risky Road, Waynesville, MO 65583, 43-A-4023 (156 adults, 64 puppies on USDA 03-16-22 inspection).
Roger and Marla Campbell/Dandelion Acres, P.O. Box 181, Goessel, KS 67052, 48-A-2232 (124 adults, 40 puppies on USDA 04-17-23 inspection).
CAPS conducted undercover investigations of the Campbell’s breeding operation on 06/01/21 and 06/02/21. As documented in the video footage (Campbell, Roger and Marla: CAPS Investigations), dogs at the Campbell’s property live in raised wire cages.
Rebecca Eiler/Creekside Kennel, 725 BB Lane, Oberlin, KS 67749, 48-A-2176 (371 adults, 202 puppies on Kansas inspection 06-01-22).
CAPS’ research of CVIs shows that Puppy Dreams sourced 34 puppies from large scale breeder Rebecca Eiler of Creekside Kennel in 2022 (see line items 186-206 in CVIs for KS to TX 2022).
USDA inspectors documented 430 dogs on site and the following non-compliances: chewed surfaces with jagged edges; two Igloo dog houses with same; surfaces on the pens that are missing paint and not impervious to moisture; surfaces on the pens that are rusty and not impervious to moisture; a drainage trough needing repair to prevent waste from running onto the ground surface; drain troughs requiring cleaning of excreta; and tubs containing old bedding and waste that needed emptying. On 06-25-19 (Creek Side Kennel: Kansas State Inspection Report 06-25-19), inspectors documented 623 dogs (386 adults, 237 puppies) on site and the following non-compliances: rusty wires and chipped paint; outdoor dog pens with deep holes; watering bowls with green algae; matted dogs; and four dogs with ear wounds from flies.
Phil Hoover, 13872 St Hwy 15, Memphis, MO 63555, 43-A-5673 (377 adults, 202 puppies on Missouri inspection 08-25-22).
Sheila Hughes, 4134 FR 2140, Exeter, MO 65647, 43-A-6578 (18 adults, 6 puppies on USDA 02-22-23 inspection).
Kim Ireland, 5292 Hwy H, Pleasant Hope, MO 65725, no USDA license.
Stacy Jones, 13659 Hwy B, Lebanon, MO 65536, 43-A-5717 (45 adults, 19 puppies on USDA inspection 05-24-22).
Linda Leach/Twinkle Toes Kennel, 8330 East State Hwy 76, Anderson, MO 64831, 43-A-6387 (51 adults, 39 puppies on USDA 02-16-23 inspection).
Chris Lee, 53185 Freedom Road, Knox City, MO 63446, 43-A-6663 (38 adults, 14 puppies on 04-13-23 USDA inspection).
Jennifer Leggett, 17865 Finch Drive, Neosho, MO 64850, no USDA license.
Roseann Lowerly, 1681 Bunch Road, Anderson, MO 64831, no USDA license.
Clinton Michel, 16909 Merchant Drive, Long Lane, MO 65590, 43-A-3817 (62 adults, 33 puppies on Missouri inspection report 06-23-22).
CAPS conducted an undercover investigation of Michel’s breeding operation on 08-14-2018. As documented in the video footage (Michel, Clinton: CAPS Investigation), dogs at Michel’s property live in raised wire cages.
Ann and Pete Miller, 51628 Otter Road, Milan, MO 63556, 43-A-3384 (130 adults, 81 puppies).
Jay Miller, 9717 Lawrence 1095, Mt Vernon, MO 65712, no USDA license.
Krista Moser, 1212 Lou Ida Drive, Neosho, MO 64850, no USDA license.
Wilbur Packnett, 3773 Hwy BB, Otterville, MO, no USDA license.
Mahlon Schrock, 7464 S Hwy C, Harwood, MO 64750, 43-A-6141 (41 adults, 50 puppies on USDA inspection 03-01-22).
Gaynetts Snyder and Scott Wheatcraft/Precious Paws, 27845 Itaska Road, Browning, MO 64630, 43-A-5792 (155 adults, 129 puppies on USDA inspection 11-22-22).
Angela Stephens, 1036 State Hwy E, Rocky Comfort, MO 64861, 43-A-5857 (52 adults, 25 puppies on USDA inspection 08-24-22) ( [Stephens, Angela CAPS Investigation)
Albert Troyer, 2480 Audrain Road 154, Clark, MO 65243, 43-A-6158 (65 adults, 52 puppies on USDA inspection 07-14-21).
CAPS’ research of CVIs shows that Puppy Dreams also sources puppies from Albert Troyer of Clark, Missouri, (CVI: Albert Troyer). Troyer received veterinary care violations for having a female Shih Tzu whose ID chain was too tight and had caused lesions that were open and missing hair, as well as a lesion on her eye, and blood like matter on her left side; and excessive flies around the animals, near their food, water and feces (Troyer, Albert: USDA Inspection Report 06-21-2017; a hole in the wall of an enclosure housing three dogs; and two feeders with moldy, contaminated food (Troyer, Albert: USDA Inspection Report 07-14-2021).
Elmer Troyer, 10038 Hwy Y, Clark, MO 65243, 43-A-5917 (77 adults, 42 puppies on USDA inspection 09-22-22).
CAPS’ research of CVIs shows that Puppy Dreams also sources puppies from Elmer Troyer in Clark, Missouri (CVI: Elmer Troyer). Troyer received violations for: excessive buildups of feces in all of, and buildups 2’-3’ high under, the facility’s enclosures containing dogs (Troyer, Elmer: USDA Inspection Report 08-28-2017); excessive feces in twelve enclosures containing 23 puppies with over 50% of the resting surfaces covered in smeared feces; eight dog enclosures housing 34 dogs that were 60-80% covered with feces; an outdoor enclosure housing five dogs with many piles of feces; a make shift whelping enclosure housing six puppies with a concrete floor that was not impervious to moisture; an outdoor enclosure housing five dogs without enough space to allow the dogs to sit, stand and lay down in a normal position; four enclosures with chewed plastic feeders and sharp, jagged edges; two enclosures housing six dogs whose water bowls were empty; no written documentation of hands on veterinary exams conducted, as required by the USDA’s Program of Veterinary Care (Troyer, Elmer: USDA Inspection Report 02-15-2022); and excessive amount of flies inside and outside the facility (Troyer, Elmer: USDA Inspection Report 05-18-2022).
USDA violations on 2/15/22 include enclosures with 50-80% of flooring covered in smeared feces, and inaccurate/missing veterinary records.
State violations on 2/15/22 include accumulation of dirt/dander and grime on walls, plastic feeders with broken/sharp points, enclosures with fecal build-up, inaccurate record keeping (number of animals on paperwork doesn’t match number of animals in facility) and 5 dogs housed with one shelter structure without space to sit, stand and lie in normal manner. The inspector also noted facility is in need of a deep cleaning. MDA violations on 1/26/21 include 3 dogs being housed without shelter.
John Yoder, 29952 CR 10, Fresno, OH 43824, unlicensed and using Abe Miller’s address.
Marlene and Wayne Zimmerman, 20501 Armor Drive, Wheeling, MO 64688, 43-A-6492 (13 adults, 5 puppies on USDA 05-17-22 inspection).
The Zimmermans were issued violations for having gaps in the fencing of two outdoor enclosures, a plastic water receptacle with a chewed, jagged edge, accumulations of dust and cobwebs, and official USDA records that were not updated, and microchips for 11 dogs that had not been recorded (Zimmerman, Marlene and Wayne: USDA Inspection Report 12-08-2022).
Broker information obtained from 2022 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection
Curt and Lori Conrad/Conrad’s Cuddly Canines, 6104 Pike 9, Frankford, MO 63441, 43-B-3659 (0 adults, 62 puppies on USDA inspection 03-01-23).
Virgel Davis/Davis Kennels, 4712 State Hwy NN, Seymour, MO 65746, 43-B-3732 (64 adults, 13 puppies on USDA inspection 12-08-22).
Pinnacle Pet/Sobrad LLC, 11863 Kenobi Lane, Neosho, MO 64850, 43-B-3750 (45 adults, 277 puppies on 09-01-22 USDA inspection report).
QD Kennels, 9603 Pike 12, Frankford, MO 63441, 43-B-3774 (0 adults, 36 puppies on USDA inspection 07-08-22).
Southpaw Pets, 19624 Owl Road, Neosho, MO 64850, 43-B-3812 (0 adults, 18 puppies on USDA inspection 01-17-23).
Tiffanie’s LLC, 3917 Hwy C, Frankford, MO 63441, 43-B-3731 (0 adults/puppies on USDA 03-15-22 inspection).
Sharon Munk/BJ’s and Guys, 562 S Road 150W, Menlo, KS 67753, 48-B-0081 (436 adults, 268 puppies on USDA inspection 03-15-23).
As the largest broker/breeder in Kansas, employee statement about dogs being “like family” and that they don’t use “commercial breeders” is a lie. Munk was also the chairperson of the Kansas Governor’s Pet Advisory Board for several years.
Although Munk has no recent violations, older violations include: Untreated health conditions, dogs with excessively long nails, unprotected electric power cords in whelping building, puppies in elevated enclosure with feet dangling through wire floor, unsecure enclosures, temperature above 85 degrees F in two buildings, dogs without clean bedding, excessive accumulation of feces.
The fact that BJ’s and Guys does not have any USDA violations since 2017 does not mean that none exist. The USDA has made it very easy for licensees, such as Munk, not to have violations.(see Lack of USDA Violations below).
Note regarding number of dogs at above breeding facilities
The number of adult breeding dogs and puppies at the above facilities are consistent with being commercial breeding establishments, also known as puppy mills, that mass produce dogs for resale to pet shops. Please refer to the following link (Summary of legal cases defining “puppy mill”) for a summary of legal cases defining the term “puppy mill.”
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 licenses not to have violations. In response to regulatory ordinances, USDA was using teachable moments, self-inspections and a trial announced inspection program. Their guidelines also instructed inspectors not to cite ear, eye and dental diseases as veterinary care violations. Due to pressure from animal advocates, USDA has terminated these programs. Nonetheless, the citation of violations by inspectors continues to be extremely limited.