Thursday, October 7, 2010

Missouri's Hall of Shame Dirty Dozen Worst Puppy Mills in the State

I've said before that as a dog lover it is humiliating to live in Missouri.  Now that I've read the Humane Society of the United States new report, I'm even more in touch with a deep sense of shame and sadness.  Not only do this attrocities exist in my state, but (too) many of them are in my area.

If you haven't already read about it, I need to tell you that researchers at the HSUS gathered this data from state and federal inspection reports, investigator's photographs, and enforcement records received from the Freedom of Information Act and Missouri state Sunshine Law requests.  They compiled a list of some of the worst puppy mills in Missouri which are now known at Missouri's Dirty Dozen.  Their 27 page report also includes eight dishonorable mentions.  This HSUS report was prepared to point out problems that passage of MO Proposition B could potentially be alleviated with stronger legislation.

All of the dog breeding facilities listed are licensed by the USCA, the state of Missouri, or both. Violations include:
  • Underweight dogs described by inspectors as very thin with ribs prominent, tucked abdomen, and palpable hip bones and vertebrae.
  • Thin coated breeds shivering in temperatures as low as 9 degrees;  drinking water frozen
  • Animals lethargic and reluctant to rise
  • Dogs with open, oozing or bleeding wounds who had not been treated by a vet
  • Sick or dying puppies who had not been treated by a vet
  • Filthy conditions such as stacked cages that allow feces and urine to rain down on the dogs in lower tiers
Many of these licensed kennels have more that 50 federal or state animal welfare violations spanning the past few years, yet they still remain licensed.
  • One kennel owner intended to dispose of unwanted dogs by clubbing them (noted on a proposed USDA program of veterinary care)
  • One kennel has more than 500 pages of Animal Welfare Act violations and enforcement records on file with the USDA, yet is still federally and state licensed
  • One kennel operator had her license revoked by the USDA for repeatedly violating the Animal Welfare Act, yet still is licensed by the state of Missouri and sells puppies over the internet.
  • Another kennel operator admited to her USDA inspector that she performed invasive surgical procedures on her dogs, such as Caesarian sections, without a veterinary license.
The Dirty Dozen numbers:
  • 172 - the average number of dogs at each of these facilites
  • 156 - total number of MO state violations for six of the Dirty Dozen
  • 830 - the number of pages of recent USDA inspection report violations
And here they are - a Hall of Shame:
  1. Brandi Cheney and Diane Stephenson, linked to several business names including S & S Family Puppies, Milan, MO
  2. Beverly Fields, B&B Kennel, Galt, MO
  3. Shannon Plymell, Windsong Kennels, Pattonsburg, MO
  4. Diana and Floyd Miller, Bar M Ranch Kennel, Spickard, MO
  5. Paul and Pollie Gingerich, Gingerich Farms, Bogard, MO
  6. Mary Ann Smith, Smith's Kennel, Salem, MO
  7. Marsha Cox, Mar-Don Kennel, Chillicothe, MO
  8. Peggy Ryan, For Heaven's Sake Kennel, Reeds Spring, MO
  9. Robert Dukes and Robin Dollins, Tiny Tails, Edgar Springs, MO
  10. Bill and Sandra Sackrey, S K's Kennel, Brookfield, MO
  11. Brenda Walter, Hidden Valley Farms, Greencastle, MO
  12. Jesse and Sonja Miller, Walnut Creek Kennel, La Monte, MO
Runners Up
  1. Bonnie and Herman Schindler, Mettoville Kennels, aka Teacher's Pets, Mexico, MO
  2. Sharon Owen, Poodles Plus, Auxvasse
  3. Wendy Laymon, Shadow Mountain Kennel, Shadow Mountain Ranch, Rogersville, MO
  4. John and Sharlette Tidwell, Ramblin' Spring Kennel, West Plains, MO
  5. Jeffi Vestal, Vestals Kennel, Livonia, MO
  6. Joyce Young, Young's Ozark Kennel, Pottersville, MO
  7. donald Schrage, Rabbit Ridge Kennel, Edina, MO
  8. Barbara McCoy, Gone to the Dogs, Thayer, MO
Approximately 200,000 dogs are confined for life in small wire cages in puppy mills in Missouri.  Some in conditions as described above.   Under MO Prop B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, conditions which cause suffering for dogs, such as painful wire flooring, lack of proper vet care, overcrowding,  and protection from the elements will be more clearly addressed by the law.  It would require dogs have access to nutritious food daily, drinkable water, veterinary care for illness or injury, and adequate space and exercise.

Will MO Prop B solve the puppy mill problem in in Missouri?  No.  However, it is a step in the right direction.


  1. Sad that the law passes, hoorah, but very sad that the legislature gutted the law. Money talks and the animals suffer. They are just a comodity to so many breeders.

  2. The law won't change much other than to hurt some kennels that are not in violation. There were enough laws in place already. Just enforce the laws that are in place. That would do a lot. Also there is no good reason to allow a kennel that has that many violation to have a license. Close them down for good.


Go ahead... bark at us!