The Pet Zone
578 Aviation Road
Queensbury NY 12804
Date and time of CAPS investigation: 12/09/2018; 1310 pm
Approximate number of dogs observed at time of investigation: 24
Puppies were kept in closed topped wire cages, with some on rubber matting and some on bare wire. I saw a disclosure notice and other signs that were supportive of reasons to buy puppies from pet shops. A sign stated that the store does not support illegal kennels or those with a bad USDA history.
I spoke with a female employee, who gave her name as Lindsay who told me the puppies have two health warranties: Fourteen days to cover things such as kennel cough, and one year congenital. She said the puppies come from USDA breeders, and that this means they are not necessarily local but they are checked on frequently. She said there are local breeders and backyard breeders, which “you usually don’t want to go with.” Her claim about frequent inspections is wrong. USDA only inspects licensed facilities once a year and sometimes, less frequently than that.
Lindsay explained to me how the USDA checks on breeders and the store. USDA does not inspect pet shops. New York Agriculture & Markets licenses and inspect pet shops. USDA inspects dog breeders and brokers. She said the owner meets the breeders. Pet shop owners or personnel rarely, if ever, visit the breeders that supply their stores.
Most pet shops order from USDA licensed “B” dealers (brokers) who obtain puppies from USDA licensed “A” breeders. Pet Zone orders from Choice Puppies (Hunte Corp.), which sources from hundreds of breeders. It would be impossible for a pet shop owner to meet all of the breeders who sell to Choice. In addition, a pet shop would not always be getting puppies from the same breeders because Choice sells to pet shops all over the country. During our six-month undercover employment at Hunte Corp., puppies were going to Mexico (by truck) and to South American and Japan.
Lindsay said before the puppies come to the store they go to a veterinary center called Choice. The Hunte Corporation in Goodman, Missouri owns Choice Puppies. It is not a veterinary center but one of the largest USDA licensed dog brokers in the country.
Lindsay added that puppies come from all over the country. They go to Choice first where they are checked by two veterinarians. If the puppies fail, they dont make it to the store. She said if they pass they get checked by Glens Falls Animal Hospital before coming to the store.
Lindsay showed me information regarding three breeders: Kathy Slobe of Vernona, MO; Judy Willis of Jasper AR; and Chris Lanham. Distributor was listed as Choice Puppies (Hunte Corp.), 43-B-0123.
Breeders identified during investigation:
Kathy Slobe, 17167 Highway 60, Verona MO 65769, 43-A-3549
Judy Willis, HC 72 Box 318, Jasper AR 65769, 71-A-0992
Chris Lanham – appears to be unlicensed
Choice Puppies, 121 N Royhill Blvd, Goodman, MO 64843, 43-B-0123 (also confirmed by CVI)
Update: Hunte Corp. and Choice Puppies became part of Select Puppies in West Point, Iowa in 2019.