Breeder: Velma Shrock
Address: 32418 Reel Ave
City, State, Zip: Jamesport, MO 64648
USDA License: 43-A-5887
Date of CAPS Investigation: 8/18/18
Time of CAPS Investigation: 18:10
Weather at time of investigation: 85°F and sunny
Approximate number of cats observed at time of investigation: about six cats and two kittens (not all cats at the facility were observed)
Velma Shrock (Caucasian female, about 60 years old, 5’4”, 130 lbs, with long grey hair and glasses, and who identified herself as Amish) had a whelping building and breeder building, kept south of the residence along the eastern edge of the property. I observed the inside of the breeder barn but only observed the whelping barn from the outside. A chain link fence surrounded both barns, which were separated about 15’ apart. A galvanized sire room with a plastic sheet, allowing some sunlight through, covered the walkway between buildings.
Velma told me she breeds Ragdoll kittens, which she sells to a pet store in New York she has sold to for years. She said she is USDA and state-licensed, and that she has passed every inspection she’s ever received “the first time.” She also said that her pet store does not inspect her, and that while she normally breeds her cats twice a year, she has bred them three times this year.
The building had eight cages on its western wall, in banks of four with two set over another two in each bank. Each cage was about three feet wide and 2.5 feet tall and long, had treated wire walls, and plastic sheeting acting as a solid flooring. Each occupied cage had one cat in it, as well as a food dish, water dish, and either a solid plastic or treated wire shelf in it. No other enrichment of any kind was in the enclosures.
The door and two windows in the barn were open, and a hole in the ceiling allowed air flow as well. Every cat I observed laid on the floor or shelf of an enclosure without trying to stand or move as I approached. No cat’s ears went back, and no cat hissed or made any other motion indicating they felt threatened or frightened. However, they all stayed motionless. Concerned the cat’s behavior indicated a response to the heat and lack of air conditioning in the building, I mentioned air conditioning to Velma. She told me that if next year is as hot as this year, she’ll install a “cool cell.”
Velma pulled two kittens out of the whelping barn to show me, which she said were three or four weeks old. She said she sells them at eight weeks of age after they’ve had a shot. She added that the kittens’ mother is “temperamental” and tries to slap Velma when Velma is near her. I saw two elevated wire cages sticking out of the eastern wall of the whelping barn, with doorways allowing access inside the barn. Velma said they were for a tom cat who likes to be outside. Each cage was about three feet wide and long, and a foot tall.