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.
Hidden Valley Farms, Brenda Walter, Greencastle MO
Hidden Valley Farms remains both USDA and MDA licensed through 2011 despite ongoing violations. As mentioned in the original Missouri's Dirty Dozen report in 2010, in recent years inspectors have identified numerous underwight dogs with"very prominent" backbones, "easily visible" ribcages," "no discerable body fat" and/or "extremely tucked abdomens," lethargic and injured animals, unsafe conditions, dogs found in below freezing (17 degree F) temperatures without adequate protection from the elements, dogs with matted fur caked with feces, and other problems at Walter's kennel.
Brenda Walter was cited in October 2010 for a "direct non-compliance" for cutting the tails of six 4-week old golden-doodle puppies because she reportedly suspected there was an infection in the tails. According to the federal inspector: "At time of inspection there were six 4-week old golden doodle puppies that were in need if immediate veterinary medical attention. According to the licensee, she suspected an "infection" in the tail area. Upon conferring with her veterinarian via phonem, she "crimped" the tails. the "crimp" did not completely cut tyhrough the entire thickness of the tail (approximately 1/4" depth completely around the tail), leaving the end of the tail below the 'cut line' hairless, lifeless, lumpy, and limp. At the site of the incision there appears evidence of swelling. the would was a circumscribed incision around the tail approximately 2 inches from the base exposing raw, moist, red tissue, and white tissue with a smooth surface that appeared to be bone cartilage. The cut area was not bandaged and was left exposed to the environment which included: flies, outdoor housing, dirt, hay and wood surfaces. The hair around the cut surface was soiled with dirt and grime. Licensee conferred with a veterinarian and performed a 'surgical procedure' without anesthesia nor any pre/post procedural analgesia." (USDA inspection Oct 6, 2010)
Newly reported information indicates that as far back as 2001, Brenda Walters was suspended from all AKC privileges for ten years and fined $2,000 for "failure to maintain her dogs and facilities in an acceptable manner" and other problems, according to the organization's board minutes.
In January 2011 Hidden Valley Farms passed a USDA inspection.