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.
Walnut Creek Kennel, Jesse and Sonja Miller, La Monte MO
The Millers no longer hold a current USDA license, but still have an active Missouri state kennel license. In fact, Walnut Creek Kennel still has ads listed on "breeder club" classified advertising sites such as BreedersClub.net, a front for various sellers which claim to have a "no puppy mills" policy.
In their BreedersClub.net ad, the Millers claim, "We are a family who enjoys raising puppies on our farm. We specialize in raising well-socialized, well-loved, and well-cared for puppies!"
Yet, as reported in the 2010 Missouri's Dirty Dozen report, the HSUS shared what a USDA inspector noted during a pre-license visit to Walnut Creek Kennel in August 2008:
"The Program of Veterinary Care stated that the applicant would be euthanizing the dogs at the facility by clubbing the dogs."
The Millers were also cited in 2010 and 2009 for "attempted inspection" violations - instances when they were not available during stated business hours to allow inspectors to conduct their visits. They subsequently cancelled their federal license, yet are still licensed by the state of Missouri in 2011.