Late last year, researchers at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) spent weeks poring over state and federal inspection reports, investigators’ photographs, and enforcement records to compile a list of some of the worst puppy mills in Missouri, known as “Missouri’s Dirty Dozen.” The report included direct quotes detailing horrific care violations documented in the facilities’ federal and/or state kennel inspection reports The violations included thin-coated breeds like Italian greyhounds found shivering in the cold in temperatures as low as 9 degrees, dogs with open, oozing or bleeding sores, underweight dogs with their entire skeletal structures showing, and sick or dying puppies who had not been treated by a vet.
March 9, 2011, the HSUS released an update to this report. The majority of the Missouri Dirty Dozen kennels are still state licensed and in operation. On the same day, the Missouri Senate voted 20 - 14 to repeal Prop B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. The Missouri House will vote on this issue soon.
If there is any doubt in your mind that MO Prop B, as written and passed by voters last November, is needed and provides essential protection for dogs, please read below for details from the Dirty Dozen update.
S & S Family Puppies, Circle B Farms LLC, Brandi Cheney
Brandi Cheney in Milan,Missouri retains both federal and state kennel licenses in 2011 despite ongoing animal care violations. In fact, she's opened a new facility in Huntsville with a different license number.
As detailed in the HSUS Missouri's Dirty Dozen Puppy Mills report (see below), Brandi Cheney and her relative and business partern, Diana Stephenson, own S & S Family puppies in Milan, MO (USDA # 43-B-0435). This facility has accumulated more than 500 pages of federal enforcement records detailing repeated, severe violations of the Animal Welfare Act over a period of several years.
The USDA enforcement records for them include photos of dogs with oozing or encrusted eyes, dogs with bleeding lacerations, puppies attempting to stand on wide-spaced wire flooring, an underweight and "unresponsive" poodle, and some dogs so badly matted with feces-encrusted hair that it was difficult to determine what gender or breed they were.
USDA inspection reports detail repeated Animal Welfare Act violations for dogs exposed to the freezing cold without adequate weather protection, problems with seriously ill, injured or malnourished dogs not being treated by a vet, housing problems, filthy, feces-laden conditions and more.
Shortly after the initial Missouri's Dirty Dozen report was released in October 2010, former customers of Brandi Cheney filed a lawsuit in Randolph County Circuit Court, accusing Cheney and Stephenson of selling them sick and dying puppies. The lawsuit is currently making its way through the court system.
Yet despite her dismal history, Brandi Cheney has been granted a second jUSDA license under a different business name and license number. Both the older and newer facilities linked to Brandi Cheney continue to be cited for repeated violations of basic animal care. the new kennel, Circle B Farms LLC, is in Huntsville, MO and the new USDA license number is 43-B-3698.
A January 4, 2011 USDA inspection of Circle B Farms uncovered a number of new, severe violations, including temperatures inside the kennel registering as high as 109.5 degrees F., failure to provide adequate lighting or electricity, and failure to provide adequate cage space.
In addition, Cheney's name continues to be associated with S & S Family Puppies along with Diana Stephenson. A November 16, 2010 inspection of S & S Family Puppies resulted in seven pages of violations, including several dogs in dire need of veterinary care. These dogs included a male Husky who was "observed laying in front of a shelter and was reluctant to rise." when roused, the Husky "walked very gingerly and was reluctant to put pressure on all four paws" and the inspectors observed that his paw pads were "cracked, swoolen and reddened." The Husky als had open sores on both of his ears. He had not been treated by a vet. In addition, inspectors found a female French Bulldog with a largbe open lesion that was "reddened and oozing." The licensee reportedly stated that she had previously noticed the lesion, but had not contacted her veterinarian about it.
Other violations include a Japanese Chin with a leg injury, a Shiba Inue "scratching, biting and itching almost continuously," puppies with darrhea, dogs with matted fur, housing with broken metal ande protruding wires on the cages, accumulations of dirt and grime, broken drainpipes causing waste buildup outside the kennels, strong fecal and ammonia odor4, dogs with their feet passing through broken wire floors, dirty feeders, and excessive feces.
A follow-up report indicated the Husky was later euthanized due to "old age." The USDA has amassed over 500 pages of Federal enforcement records on this licensed dog breeder.