Breeder: Spies, Linda
Business name: P.S. Pups
Address: 9561 SW Hwy 77
City, State Zip: Augusta, KS 67010
USDA License: 48-A-1612
USDA Inspector: Kendall Lundy, ACI
USDA Inspections: 2003-12-18
Date of CAPS Investigation: 2004-08-28, 2004-08-29
Approximately 150 dogs and 30 puppies. Breeds: German Shepherds, Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Miniature Pinschers, Beagles
German Shepherd pens
The largest section of Linda Spies’ kennel consisted of about 15 pens with galvanized wire walls and dirt ground flooring covered with small rocks. Each pen was about ten to 15 feet wide, and 15 to 20 feet long, and about five to six feet high. Several of the pens each housed three 60-pound German Shepherds, while others each housed five to six 30-pound Beagles and one housed about five 12-pound Maltese.
All of the pens had metal self feeders attached to the insides wire walls and water dishes filled with brown, filthy water lying on the ground (3.10-Watering). Metal poles were set up at the corners of the pens, and two-by-four wooden boards running over the tops of several of them supported the wire walls. Spies demonstrated how he wires a foot-long untreated two-by-four wooden board, set on top of a feeder, to the pen wall to secure the lid of the self feeder. The rusty wire he used extended about a foot beyond the board and could easily stick through the pen wall (3.1(c)(1)(ii)-Surfaces).
Feces was present on the rocks of all of the pens. In some pens, it was thick enough to nearly cover the rocks completely. It was apparent the pens had not been cleaned out in at least several days. Because feces was filling in gaps between most of the rocks in the pens, it is possible the pens had not been cleaned out in weeks (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). Rain had probably washed feces under the rocks
Two thirds of the outside walls of the pens were covered by tarps zip-tied to the pen wire walls. Several of the tarps were shredded or had large holes in them (3.4(b)(3)-Shelter from the elements). Wooden pallets were placed against many of the tarps on the outside of the pens.
A Maltese climbed up a cage wall. This wall was adjacent to a pen housing three German Shepherds. Maltese perched on the wire, six feet from the ground, unable to move. Spies threw a handful of small rocks at her from about forty feet away and yelled, “Get down from there!” (3.19(b)-Handling). The Maltese remained on the wire until Spies went over and picked her up by the scruff and dropped her about four and a half feet to the ground (3.19(b)-Handling). Later, the Maltese was in the pen with the German Shepherds (3.6(c)(2)-Compatibility).
Each pen contained one plastic dog house about three feet tall, three feet long, and about two feet wide. These pens were big enough to contain only one German Shepherd, two to three Beagles, or three to four Maltese at a time (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements). One pen containing several Beagles had a wooden dog house that was about two feet long, two feet wide, and three feet tall and a white plastic barrel about two feet in diameter and four feet long lying on the ground. The two enclosures would not allow all of the Beagles in the pen to fit inside them and lie in a normal manner or turn about freely (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements).
One pen containing several Beagles had a piece of tarp about ten feet long and four feet wide set over the top of it. The pen also had two untreated wooden boards wired to it and a fence at one end of the pen (3.1(a)-Structure; construction) (3.4(c)-Construction).
Whelping room indoor/outdoor pens
Spies turned a light on, just to the left of the doorway, as he entered the pitch-black whelping room (3.2(c)-Lighting). The whelping room was about 30 feet wide and 30 feet long with several cages at floor level against one wall, each of which had a doggie door leading to an outside cage.
The inside cages were each about 18 inches tall, 18 inches wide, and 18 inches long and were made of wood painted white with untreated wire used on the cage doors.
These cages contained plastic water and feed dishes. There was sawdust, grass, and feces caked inside each cage (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). One cage held a Jack Russell Terrier mother and several puppies, which appeared to be only several days old judging by their size and how their eyes were not opened yet.
The outside cages were about 18 inches tall, 18 inches deep and about two feet wide. They were made of treated wire raised about five feet above the outside ground. Underneath these cages was a layer of feces and sawdust about 24 feet long, two feet wide, and up to three inches thick. Flies swarmed around the pile of feces that appeared to be present for at least several weeks (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures) (3.11(d) Pest Control).
Whelping room indoor cages
Against a wall of the whelping room were eight treated-wire cages raised about five feet above the ground. Each cage was about two feet tall, two feet wide, and three feet long. One cage housed three ten-pound German Shepherd puppies (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures), and two each housed ten-pound German Shepherd puppies (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures).
All of these cages had plastic and metal dishes for food and water, as well as plastic self feeders wired to the walls low enough to be contaminated by feces (3.9(b)-Feeding).
Plastic sheeting the width of the cages was positioned about six inches below the cages and forwarded waste through the wall so that feces could be washed out of the whelping room. Feces stains covered the sheeting, and feces was caked and splattered all over the end of the sheeting that wrapped upward about six inches, indicating it is not regularly cleaned (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).
In the middle of the room were three cages about two and a half feet long, two feet tall, and two feet wide, made of treated wire. These cages were raised about four feet above the ground. Each housed three 15-pound German Shepherd puppies (3.6(c)(1)(i)-Primary enclosures). Each cage had plastic and metal dishes for food and water, as well as plastic self feeders wired to the walls low enough to be defecated in by the puppies (3.9(b)-Feeding).
Plastic sheeting about six inches under the cages ran the length and width of the cages to a hole in the wall through which waste was flushed to an outside barrel. Each end of the plastic sheeting wrapped up about six inches along the two long sides of the cages so that the sheeting almost touched the curves of the cages. Feces stains were evident on top of the sheeting, and feces was caked and splattered over the ends of the sheeting that curved up towards the cages (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).
The plastic sheeting under the wire cages joined together at a PVC pipe that exited through the corner of the building to a four foot-tall plastic barrel filled to the brim with feces, urine, and water and surrounded by a swarm of flies (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal) (3.11(d)-Pest Control). The barrel had no covering to stop rain from entering it and causing it to overflow (3.1(f)-Drainage and waste disposal).
Another whelping room indoor/outdoor pen
A pen about four feet long, four feet wide, with a five-foot wire wall, was inside the building near where the sheeting led to the PVC piping. A doggie door led to an outside pen about five feet wide and 12 feet long. This pen had six-foot wire walls supported with six-foot metal poles. Inside this pen was a wooden ramp that gradually sloped about five feet up to the doggie door. The ramp was a few inches from the plastic barrel used to retain feces and urine (3.11(c)-Housekeeping for premises). Two German Shepherds were in the outdoor pen.
Water and feed dishes sat on the flooring of the outside pen. The small gray rock flooring was covered in a thick layer of feces that appeared to have been present for weeks (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). The dishes were not placed so as to minimize contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding).
Divided outdoor pens
Between the whelping building and the German Shepherd enclosures were two pen about four and half feet long, two and a half feet wide, and two feet tall, standing about three feet above the ground on four wooden boards.
Each pen consisted of a box of untreated-wood, measuring two feet square (3.4(c)-Construction) and a connected enclosure made of untreated, thin-gauge wire (3.6(a)(2)(xii)-Primary enclosures).
The wood box section had an inch-thick layer of sawdust, grass, and feces on its flooring (3.11(b)(4)-Sanitization of primary enclosures). The wire section had wooden boards running along its corners. Square metal sheets covering two different areas of the wire served as partial windbreaks. The roof was made of untreated wood (3.4(c)-Construction). The wooden boxes and wire cages were separated by a wooden board with a doggie door at one end that allowed access between the two sections of the pen. Each enclosure housed five female Maltese. All of the Maltese had thick mats in their fur and feces caked in their fur (2.40-Vet Care). Both Maltese enclosures had a pile of feces about two and a half feet long, two and a half feet wide, and more than two inches thick under them (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).
Near the wire cages were several outdoor pens. One pen measuring about ten feet wide, ten feet long, had five-foot-tall wire walls and housed three adult Shih Tzu with long, matted hair (2.40-Vet Care).
The wire of this pen was twisted and broken where it linked to six-foot-tall metal beams supporting the wire at the corners (3.1(c)(1)(ii)-Structure). Wooden pallets were leaning against the outside of the pen on all sides (3.1(b)-Condition and site). Spies told me he used to the pallets to step into and out of the pens because none of the outdoor enclosures had any kind of doorway.
The pen contained a single dog house made of untreated wood (3.4(c)-Construction). A plastic food and water dish placed on the ground was subject to contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding). Similar to all of the other outdoor pens of the facility, thick feces was on the flooring. It appeared to have been washed down by rainwater and not cleaned in well over a week (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures).
At one point one Shih Tzu attacked another for several seconds. The Shih Tzu being attacked cried out the entire time, and Spies made no attempt to break up the fight. Instead he commented, “Yeah, he’s acting like a male dog. He’s whoopin’ ass.” (3.6(2)-Compatibility).
Adjacent to the Maltese pen described previously was a pen of the same size that contained four adult Miniature Pinschers. Five-foot-tall wire walls surrounded the pen, and wooden pallets were placed against the outside of the pen on all sides (3.1(b)-Condition and site). The flooring was made of small grey rocks, which was littered with feces (3.11(a)-Cleaning of primary enclosures). It looked like rain had washed the feces among the rocks. The flooring appeared to have not been cleaned in well over a week (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning). Water dishes were placed on the ground in a manner that did not minimize contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding) and a metal self feeder was wired to one of the wire walls of the pen.
A third outdoor pen was about 15 feet wide, 15 feet long, and surrounded on two sides by a five-foot-tall untreated-wire fence supported by six-foot-tall metal rods. The other two sides were contained by a wooden fence made of wooden beams about three inches wide and five feet tall. Wooden boards, about three feet long and two feet tall, were zip-tied against the outside of the walls near the ground. Four, 35-pound Beagles were inside the pen (3.1(a)-Structure; construction).
The flooring of this pen, made of small grey rocks, was littered with feces that appeared scattered by rain. The flooring appeared to have not been cleaned in well over a week (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning). Food and water dishes were lying on the ground in a manner which did not minimize their chance for contamination by excreta (3.9-Feeding) (3.10-Watering)
The Beagles were able to put their paws on top of the wire in one five foot section where the wire was bent down and inward so that it was only four feet tall (3.1(a)-Structure; construction) (3.1(c)(ii)-Surfaces). Near the corner of the wire walls was about 18 inches’ length of wire that was wrapped around the wire fencing. This wire was about three feet above the ground and had sharp ends protruding into the pen (3.1(c)(ii)-Surfaces).
The Beagles had a single dog house about three feet tall, three feet wide, and three feet long. It was made of untreated wood and had a doggie door at one end (3.4(c)-Construction). The Beagles could not all fit in the house at once and lie down in a normal manner or turn about freely (3.4(b)-Shelter from the elements).
A fourth outdoor pen closer to the whelping building shared a 15-foot wire wall with the Beagle pen. It measured about five feet wide with five-foot-tall untreated-wire walls on three sides supported by six-foot-tall metal beams. The fourth (five-foot) side contained a wooden fence constructed as described above. This pen housed three, matted adult Lhasa Apsos (2.40-Vet Care).
The five-foot-long wire wall was missing a section of wire and was patched with a piece of treated wire about three feet tall and four feet long (3.1(a)-Structure; construction). The smaller wire had sharp points protruding from it where it met the wall common to the Beagle pen that could harm the Lhasa Apsos if they poked their snouts or paws into the corner of the pen (3.1(c)(ii)-Surfaces).
The gray rock flooring was littered with feces that appeared to have been scattered among the rocks by rain. The flooring appeared to have not been cleaned in well over a week (3.1(c)(3)-Cleaning).
The pen contained a single dog house made of untreated wood and measured about three feet tall, three feet wide, and three feet long (3.4(c)-Construction). There was a doggie door on one side. Food and water dishes were placed on the ground of the pen in a manner that did not minimize contamination by excreta (3.9(b)-Feeding).
Adjacent to this pen and closer to the whelping building was a pen of the same dimensions and design as the Lhasa Apso pen. It was littered with broken wire, food and water dishes, and torn canvas (3.1(b)-Condition and site).
There were about four other pens, each about 15 feet long and 15 feet wide, on the end of the property about 200 feet from the whelping building but about 200 feet from the whelping building. Each pen contained two to three German Short-haired Pointers. The pens were surrounded by five-foot-tall untreated-wire walls with pieces of canvas and wooden pallets set against the outside of the walls (3.1(a)-Structure; construction).
Spies said he had several female Maltese that would not breed and offered me one for free. I returned on 8/29/04 to accept a five-year-old Maltese weighing 5.2 pounds. She had matted fur, baby teeth that had not been taken out, and excessive plaque build-up on her teeth (2.40-Vet Care).
Spies told me that he was a prophet, and that he frequently performed miracles on people. He told me he often did this over the phone, and would heal people of physical and emotional illnesses and cast demons out of people. Spies claimed he had two invisible 14 foot tall angels next to him at all times that he had seen turn people upside down. Three times as I talked to him he put his hand on my shoulder or head, put his face a foot away from mine, and blew into my face so that he was “blowing the holy spirit” into me. He would then throw his hands open palmed around my face and shoulders, saying he was taking evil spirits out of me put into me by Satan. He told me that he had blessed me and when I was leaving, he told me that he had blessed my car with angel gas so that it would get better mileage.
Spies said that he believed state inspectors should follow USDA guidelines but that they did not. His property is accessed by a driveway with a chained metal gate at its far end. He said he would consider a state inspector coming through the gate a trespasser. Spies further said he had warned state inspectors personally against trespassing.