The Family Puppy of Fountain Walk


The Family Puppy of Fountain Walk
44125 W 12 Mile Rd E-121
Novi, MI 48377
(248) 880-4997

Date and time of CAPS investigation: 3/19/24, 14:20

Approximate number of puppies observed at time of investigation: 30 puppies

There were about 26 puppy enclosures, each about two feet wide and deep and between one and two feet tall. They had solid floorings covered in shredded paper, and all had water bottles attached to their rear doors. Though some enclosures were empty, occupied ones contained one or two puppies each. A sign on a wall near the puppies stated sign that the store’s breeders are inspected by the USDA, AKC, BOAH (Indiana State Board of Animal Health), and the ICAW and NIPBA breeder clubs.

Employee claimed AKC-registrations prove breeders aren’t puppy mills

I spoke to two emloyees about what breeders they source puppies from. One told me that “most of them are local,” but the store also sues “a few in Indiana.” I said that I wanted to make sure that they aren’t from puppy mills, and an employee responded, “So none of our dogs are from puppy mills. We personally know our breeders. Not all of them are AKC-registered or full-bred. But a lot of ours are.” She then began pointing out different puppies that were AKC-registered, as if that ensured they weren’t from puppy mills. So I asked her specifically if the AKC makes sure breeders aren’t puppy mills. She told me, “Yeah. So there’s even a website for the AKC that you would go on and put the parents’ information, and it shows you that it’s not a puppy mill.”

Free roam around the yards

There were TV screens in the store that the employees told me showed footage of breeding facilities. They mostly showed dogs and puppies running in grassy yards but also showed footage of dogs in numerous concrete runs and long elevated cages with thick-gauge wire flooring. An employee said that dogs are kept in kennels but have access to play yards. I wanted her her to clarify this claim so I asked if dogs stay in cages. She said, “No. They have free roam around the yards. So they have inside access and outside access at all times. And water.”

Lies about breeding dogs

An employee explained how many dogs breeders have by saying, “Some might only have four breeding females. Others might have a few more.” I asked what happens with dogs that are no longer breeding, and the employee told me, “They have families, actually. Retired breeder families. They rehome them.” I asked, “They just adopt them out?” She said, “That’s correct.” She described visiting one of the store’s breeders, and said, “Yeah, it was a really good experience. Everything was really clean and well-kept, and all the dogs were in really good condition, and they were very friendly and outgoing, so they were very well taken care of.”

The employee repeatedly assured me that the store doesn’t buy from breeders who have USDA violations, and her co-worker then said, “We do not get dogs that are sick or look like they have been not fed well or anything like that.”

I asked for breeder info on a Cairn Terrier puppy, and was shown paperwork that had the name Adrian Martin on one paper, and Linda Martin on another. There was no information about where the breeders lived or what USDA license they may have, but one worker told me that the breeders are from Indiana.

Evidence of false statements and misrepresentations of breeders by store

The employee’s claim that AKC registration ensures breeders are not puppy mills is untrue. AKC regularly works with commercial breeders who keep dogs in cages and runs in commercial facilities that are quintessential puppy mills. AKC regularly speaks against bans of pet stores selling puppies and kittens from mills.

The employee’s claim that breeding dogs have “free roam around yards” is deceptive. Most commercial breeders don’t have exercise yards. Those that have exercise yards don’t give dogs regular access to them, and none give the dogs “free roam” in them. Moreover, the yards are most often dirt or crushed gravel instead of lush grass.

The worker’s claim that breeders “re-home” their dogs is misleading. In rare instances, breeding dogs are given to people, but many are sold at auctions for profit, killed, or given to rescues so that the rescues have to bear the costs and responsibility of rehabilitating and rehoming the dogs.

The Family Puppy’s main supplier used to be Pick of the Litter, owned by Kathy Bauck

At one time, The Family Puppy had five locations in Michigan and sourced the majority of its puppies from Minnesota-based Pick of the Litter, owned by notorious broker and breeder Kathy Bauck. The Family Puppy was Pick of the Litter’s largest account. Due to evidence I obtained during a six-week undercover employement investigation in 2008, Bauck was convicted of animal cruelty in 2009 and lost her USDA license. During my investigation, Bauck had around 900 adult dogs and 400 puppies. CAPS President Deborah Howard investigated the Oakland Mall store a few months before I started my investigation of Pick of the Litter.

Breeder informaton obtained during store investigation

Linda Martin

Adrian Martin, IN

On the USDA website, I found an Adrian Martin at 65135 County Road 9 in Goshen, IN, whose license was cancelled on 11/10/21. She had 32 adults and 14 puppies at her 1/20/21 inspection. If she still has this many dogs, then she would be in violation of federal regulations.

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

Breeder info obtained from 2023 Certificates of Veterinary Inspection

Carl Schwartz, 11950 W 400 S, Millersburg, IN, 32-B-0254, 15 adults, 43 puppies at 5/126/24 USDA inspection. The license address is 11985 W 400 S and is under the kennel name of Heartstring Kennels LLC (Heart String Healthy Puppies)

The phone number on this website, 260-214-0492, is also associated with Devon Yoder and Pigeon River Canines, 5580 N 450 W, Shipshewana, IN, 32-A-0430. This facility had 38 adults and 31 puppies at the 4/1/24 USDA inspection. Yoder sells puppies on his kennel’s website as well as on, Lancaster Puppies,  Buckeye Puppies,  Puppy Spot and, which is a website that states they give donations to animal nonprofit organizations yet lists more than 1700 online puppy sellers, including New York pet shops investigated by CAPS.

Yoder told our Illinois director that he is the manager for Schwartz’ online business in addition to being the owner of Pigeon River Canines. The facilities are 17 miles apart.

11985 W 400 S is also the location for Straighline Enterprises,  which sells dog kennels, pet supplies, outdoor supplies, doors, etc. Schwartz’s license was previously under Straightline Kennels at the 11050 W. 400 S 400 S. address, which appears to be the home address next door. He had one USDA pre-license inspection in 2017 and then operated without a license until he had a pre-license inspection on 5/2/24.

Note regarding number of dogs at above breeding facilities

The number of adult breeding dogs and puppies at the above facilities is 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.


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