Friday, March 11, 2011

Missouri Dirty Dozen Puppy Mills: Underweight Dogs, Dying Puppies

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.

Bar M Ranch Kennel, Diana and Floyd Miller, Spickard, MO
Bar M Ranch Kennel is one of several examples of a facility that dropped its USDA license after amassing dozens of pages of Animal Welfare Act violations, yet the kennel remained state license until just recently.  It is now one of three kennels listed in the original Missouri's Dirty Dozen report that appears to have gone out of business.

Severe, repeat violations were recorded in 2009 for sick animals not receiving proper care, sanitation violations, animals in below-freezing conditions with inadequate shelter, an underweight dachshund who was "ver thin with prominent ribcage and vertebrae," a Sheltie with "easily palpable and prominent" vertebrae, hip bones, and ribs, and other underweight or sick animals who had not been treated by a vet, and dogs with open sores.

Gingerich Farms, Paul and Pollie Gingerich, Bogard, MO
While they were USDA licensed, the Gingerich facility was cited by inspectors dozens of times o9ver a period of several years for grave repeat violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including dogs with frozen water desperately trying to lick at the ice, underweight dogs whom inspectors described as shivering in the cold, filthy conditions, sick and dying puppies who had not been treated by a vet;  severely matted dogs, housinhg issues, and more.  There were also repeated "attempted inspection" violations in which federal inspectors were denied access to the the facility.  Before recently dropping their USDA license, the Gingeriches had amassed 62 pages of USDA violations since April 2008.  Yet even though they were no longer federally licensed, they still held a Missouri state kennel license through 2010.

As of February 2011, Gingerich Farms is another of the three kennels listed in the original Missouri's Dirty Dozen report that appears to be out of business.

Tiny Tails, Robert Dukes and Robin Dollens, Edgar Springs, MO
Before dropping his USDA license, this Missouri commercial dog breeder accumulated multiple repeat Animal Welfare Act violations fr4om at least 2006-2009, including citations for dogs without food and water in Oct 2008, injured dogs who were not being treated by a vet, sanitation issues and serious care issues.  In February 2009 there were two attempted USDA inspections during which the licensee did not show up or permit access to allow his facility to be viewed.

Robert Dukes cancelled his USDA license in May 2010.  Wilma Dukes, at the same address, cancelled her USDA license in January 2011.  Robert Dukes, Robin Dollens and Wilma Dukes were all on the Missouri state kennel license list for 2010 but are no longer licensed as of 2011.  Tiny Tails is among the three kennels listed in the original Missouri's Dirty Dozen report that appears to be out of business in 2011.



  1. I'm coming in a little late on this, but wonder what happened to the dogs at these puppy mills that went out of business. Were the dogs confiscated or are these people just continuing to sell puppies without a license? Does anyone know?

  2. Some of the dogs and puppies from these dog breeders were confiscated by law enforcement, some were voluntarily given up by the breeders to animal welfare groups - most notably the Humane Society of Missouri, but others, too. And some of the breeders continue(d) to sell puppies without a license. It is an ongoing problem.


Go ahead... bark at us!