Commercial Breeding Protests
First Read the Law here.
Then LOOK AT THE PICTURES
Join Rock County Alliance for Animals in Janesville
Protest Puppy Mills Aug 1 at Janesville Petland and Petland stores all over WI.
Last, Write and Call your Representative. Your message can be as simple as just: "I am calling to ask that you please support AB-250/SB-208, the Commercial Dog Breeders Licensure Bill."
or, I want the commercial breeding of companion animals outlawed in WI. or, A breeder with two dead dogs per year should lose the right to operate in WI.
Here are their emails.
A Few Hours At A Puppy Mill
We pulled into the driveway of what I thought was a rabbit farm. There were rows and rows of small cages with wooden "houses" attached like I'd seen for rabbits. I saw a few pens with bigger dogs, mostly hunting dogs, like labs. I thought, where's all the dogs?
Getting out of the car and walking closer I realized the rabbit cages were filled with dogs. Upon closer inspection I saw that not only were they filled with dogs, they were FILLED WITH DOGS. By that I mean 3 to 6 or more per cage. My heart sank. How could this be? They were tripping over each other in their desperation to get out. Their eyes filled with sadness and pain. Cage after cage, row after row, hundreds and hundreds of dogs.
I was surprised to see that the place was quite clean. There was not an excessive amount of feces under the cages. At least by the puppy cages there weren't. Out back by the breeder cages was another story. There we saw a considerable amount of manure buildup. Several cages had fecal matter dried on and stuck to the wire.
In one cage with a Dalmatian mother, the door to her house, where the puppies were, was too small for her to get through. This required that she stoop down, dragging her milk-laden breasts across this fecal encrusted doorway. Several mammary glands looked as if they had mastitis as they were red, inflammed and engorged. This dog growled at us, of course under extreme stress at having strangers parade past her babies all day long. It's a miracle she had any milk for her puppies. She did not look well. She walked stiffly, as if in pain, and had a glazed look about her eyes. Her abdomen was distended. She wasn't the only one in this condition.
When we were shown the puppies, which are located by the house, [the miller's wife] showed us newborn puppies, less than 3 weeks old, as the eyes were not yet opened and let us hold these tiny puppies. The chance of disease transmittion during this process is great. She did not know if we owned any dogs and what their state of health was. This practice also greatly disturbed the mothers, and understandably so. It made me sick to my stomach. It demonstrated a total disregard for the health and mental well-being of these mother dogs and their puppies.
While my friend was busy with [the miller], involved in the purchase of several dogs, we were allowed to wander about freely and went inside the barn. There we saw, in what little light there was, kennel fencing partitioning off "whelping" rooms.
Let me discribe this building. It is an old dairy barn. The only light comes from a few small windows to the north (I believe). It is almost total darkness. Peering down the aisle we see another Dalmation bitch, very pregnant and also growling at us. She too is extremely stressed. Her pen is not clean at all.
Apparently, these brood bitches are not let out to exercise. All their wastes are piled up inside this pen. A dog house is situated in the middle which is where the dogs whelp, unaided, as [Mrs. Miller] informed us. The smell of urine and feces is strong as there is little to no ventilation in this building. The brood bitches are on the left side of the aisle. On the right are some larger pens where the big hunting dogs can go in and out. They are the only dogs who had any room to exercise.
The small breeds, which formed the majority of his dogs, NEVER and I repeat NEVER get out of their little rabbit cages. These cages are approximately 24" x 36" and have 3 - 6 or more dogs per cage. They are literally tripping over each other.
Frankly, I found this revolting. These are not inanimate objects. They are living and breathing beings who have basic physiological needs, one of them being exercise! This is akin to putting 6 human beings in a room that is no more that 4 ft x 6 ft and never letting them out! It is cruel to say the least. There have been studies done on the effects of crowding on animals. You don't have to read them, just go see for yourself at [this miller's].
We also saw rat holes, standing water in the pens that is basically urine and feces, spoiled dog food in the dishes, lethargic dogs, sick dogs, ungroomed dogs, dogs whose breed one could not decipher. I took pictures. However in my emotional state I neglected to take pictures of an overview of the whole place. I took close-ups of individual dogs.
Another thing that bothered me, is that several smaller breeds, like Miniature Pinchers, who are short haired, lived outside all winter long with no heat, and not only that, they whelped litters throughout the winter. His casualty rate must be phenomenal. What does he do with all the bodies? Surely there must be some health codes regarding disposal of the bodies?
When the transaction was completed, I noticed that no sales tax had been charged. Is this legal? My girlfriend bought 8 dogs, to save them from the hell they were in. I'm also wondering if this income from this sale was ever reported as it was a cash transaction.
[This] place is disgusting. It is unhealthy, crowded, cruel, and inhumane. There is no reason it should continue to exist. I left there and spent the next weeks tormented over what I had seen.
The horror of the place didn't even sink in when I was there. It's almost as if my mind knew it was too much for me to absorb at once and slowly for several days, waves of nausea and pain would wash over me as I truely came to understand how awful that place is.
You cannot begin to imagine it, until you have been there and looked into those dogs' eyes. Each and every one is pleading to be taken out of there.
It is a living hell for those dogs. It's a concentration camp in a way, except that the dogs are not killed in gas chambers, they are killed emotionally many times over.
Aug 1 all over the US and in WI, Petland stores will have protests outside. In Janesville we will be kept out of the entire shopping center. JANESVILLE Petland is located in the Target plaza on Highway 14 & 26. We will be standing in the median in front of Fazoli's. We have plenty of signs! You're welcome to bring your own or use ours.
At a news conference on 20 November 2008, the Humane Society of the United States announced the result of an eight-month investigation into Petland Pet Stores. This investigation graphically documents what we have known all along: even though management will deny it, the vast majority of puppies sold in Petland pet stores are bred in puppy mills!
Read the HSUS Investigation Linking Petland to Puppy Mills
Former Petland Kennel Manager Speaks Out
Four months later, members of The Humane Society of the United States and other consumers filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Petland, Inc. and the Hunte Corporation are conspiring to sell unhealthy puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers in numerous states.
Read Entire Press Release here
The class action lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Phoenix, was the result of many months of investigative and legal research. It alleges that Petland and Hunte violated federal law and numerous state consumer protection laws by misleading thousands of consumers across the country into believing that the puppies sold in Petland stores are healthy and come from high-quality breeders.
Instead, many of the puppies sold by Petland come either directly from puppy mills or puppy brokers such as Hunte, which operates as a middleman between the mills and Petland's retail stores.
Read Class Action Complaint here (pdf)
Petland denies it supports these substandard breeding facilities, and claims to follow "Humane Care Guidelines" developed in conjunction with the USDA. However, USDA recently informed HSUS in writing that it has no record of any such guidelines.
USDA re: Petland "Humane Care Guidelines"
Ongoing investigations have traced the shipping records for more than 15,000 puppies to Petland stores. They found that:
Some stores buy directly from out-of-state commercial breeders, including one known animal abuser. USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports for Breeders show that almost half of these breeders have been cited for violations at least once over the past three years.
Most Petland stores are buying puppies from large-scale brokers (USDA Class B licensed dealers) that obtain their "stock" from puppy mills then resell to pet stores. A check of the USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports for Class B Dealers reveals many violations, including improper record keeping, cramped cages, unsafe animal transport vehicles, and purchase of puppies from unlicensed breeders.
Nothing Has Changed At Petland
Where, specifically, do Wisconsin Petland stores get their puppies? 2009 Records from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) show that most puppies sold by WI Petlands are supplied by brokers:
Janesville Petland: Conrad’s Cuddly Canines, located in Frankford, Missouri. This kennel was apparently licensed as a dealer after their preliminary inspection on 12 September 2008.
Pewaukee Petland: Heritage Puppies, Lake Mills, Iowa.
Racine Petland: Received shipments from four different brokers:
Hunte Corporation, Goodman, MO -- one of the largest puppy brokers in the country; reportedly sells over 80,000 puppies a year from hundreds of different sources. Has been cited numerous times for violations, including:
31 March 2009: improper record-keeping, when inspectors apparently found records for 10 puppies that should have been on a truck, but were not.
5 August 2008: dozens of puppies in too-small enclosures.
16 March, 9 April, 18 July, and 30 November 2007: transportation of underage puppies.
5 September 2006: improperly marked containers for air transportation (some crates had no
"this side up" arrows); no documentation that food and water had been offered to the 63 puppies being shipped.
15 August 2006: unsafe transportation after one of their trucks caught fire enroute and killed all 73 puppies being transported.
Read complete inspection reports here.
Tracy’s K & J Pets, Fair Grove, MO -- their 17 April 2009 pre-licensing inspections showed many violations, including: inadequate veterinary care, inadequate outdoor housing facilities for 6 adult dogs, and unsafe transport vehicles. Records show that all violations were corrected before the second inspection, which interestingly enough, was dated the same day. Read complete inspection reports here.
QD Kennel, Frankford, MO
Conrad’s Cuddly Canines, located in Frankford, Missouri. This kennel was apparently licensed as a dealer after their preliminary inspection on 12 September 2008.
Where WI Petlands Get Their Puppies (pdf)
The puppies pictured on this page were photographed at the Janesville, WI, Petland on 17 July 2009.
Calendar of WI Pet Store Protests and Other Events Pinter-friendly Resources for Protest
Our Position on PETLAND Pet Shops Pewaukee Petland Janesville, WI, Petland