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Iowa and Illinois kennels on national list of problem puppy mills

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Beagles at puppy mill photo from Illinois Dept of Agriculture via Humane Society of the US

The Humane Society’s list of 101 problem puppy mills in the U.S. includes six in Iowa and two in Illinois.

Their May 2014 report says most facilities on the list had been cited by federal or state inspectors “for grave or repeated animal care violations.” One of the breeders highlighted is a Poplar Grove, Illinois facility cited in October and in November of 2013 for keeping five beagles in a barn that was too cold. The owner had the dogs euthanized instead of changing their shelter arrangements.

The report said Missouri had the most problem puppy mills on the 2014 list with 22; Kansas had 13 facilities listed, Nebraska had 12, and Iowa and Arkansas each had six facilities on the latest list.

Violations range from disease and inadequate veterinary care to inadequate conditions including poor ventilation, accumulation of waste, small cages, insects and rodent infestation. The report says puppies at one of the cited Iowa facilities had chewed another puppy’s leg down to the bone.

The list of problem dealers included Lettier Kennel and owner Kim Lettier, of Caledonia, Illinois and Melton Christiansen’s Christiansen Kennels in Poplar Grove, Illinois.

Iowa facilities on the list are Julie’s Jewels (Carolyn and Julie Arends) of Jewell, Kute Kozy K (Karen Baker) in Redding, Pee Vine Kennels (Fedler Ag Inc.) in West Point, Kelley’s Kennel (Rodnie Kelley) in Kellerton, Platinum Puppies in West Point and Faithful Friends Kennel (Connie and Edwin Townsend) in Bedford.

The report said Faithful Friends Kennel passed a USDA inspection in January 2014. Platinum Puppies passed an October 2013 USDA inspection. Lettier Kennel was believed to have been closed by early April 2014, although the report said claims were made alleging the animals had been moved to a relative’s home in Tennessee.

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The report notes some improvements and that some violators have been shut down.

“Partly as a result of greater public scrutiny and stronger laws, it appears that 15 of the problem puppy mills identified in last year’s Horrible Hundred report have closed their doors,” the 2014 report said.

Read the full Humane Society report – click here.


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