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The Humane Society Calls for an End to Abuses at Puppy Mills

With Saturday’s broadcast of the AKC’s National Championship, The HSUS is appealing to the AKC to stop obstructing animal welfare reforms and to protect dogs at puppy mills.

In the wake of one of the largest puppy mill cruelty convictions in history involving an American Kennel Club  ‘Champion’ breeder, and with Saturday’s scheduled broadcast of the AKC’s National Championship dog show, The Humane Society of the United States is appealing to the AKC to stop obstructing animal welfare reforms and to join efforts to protect dogs at commercial breeding facilities known as puppy mills, where the breeds made popular at the Championship are often churned out for sale online, through classified ads, and at pet stores across the nation.

The AKC’s National Championship is broadcast on Feb. 2 and The HSUS urges viewers who fall in love with a particular breed they see on TV to learn more about puppy mills before buying a puppy and to find out where the dog is bred and raised before buying one from a pet store or an Internet seller.  Recent animal cruelty cases have revealed inhumane conditions at puppy mills across the country, including at AKC-inspected facilities and many that sell AKC-registered dogs.

“The Humane Society of the United States urges the AKC to live up to its promise to protect the health and well-being of all dogs by supporting clear and enforceable welfare standards for dogs at commercial breeding facilities,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “The AKC has opposed more than 90 bills and proposals that would have implemented common-sense protections for dogs and puppies in puppy mills, and it’s time to turn that record around.”

At the 2009 AKC National Championships, at least one of the dogs competing was bred by AKC breeder Mike Chilinski. Two years later, Chilinski’s puppy mill in Jefferson City, Mont. was shut down with the assistance of The HSUS and local authorities. Law enforcement officers testified they found about eight dead adult dogs and numerous dead puppies on the breeder’s property, and dozens of his surviving dogs were severely malnourished. Records show that 145 of the 161dogs rescued from the property were underweight, with many severely undernourished.

Chilinski claimed during trial that the AKC had regularly inspected his kennel and found it satisfactory. Chilinski was convicted of 91 counts of animal cruelty and is currently serving a prison term. He is just one of many AKC-linked breeders who have been found neglecting breeding animals on their properties in recent years and subsequently convicted of animal cruelty. That record calls into question the stringency and effectiveness of the AKC inspections program.

The HSUS has spent about $480,000 for the care and housing of the Malamutes seized from Chilinski’s property. Legislation has been introduced in several states that would require the convicted animal abuser to pay for the care of seized animals during a court case, but the AKC routinely opposes such measures.

In 2012, The HSUS released a report documenting the AKC’s efforts to block measures to protect dogs from the worst abuses at puppy mills. The AKC has yet to respond and continues to block legislative efforts to stop abuses at puppy mills.

Families who are considering buying a puppy are urged to visit humanesociety.org/puppy to learn how to get a dog without supporting the hidden cruelty of puppy mills.  

FACTS:

  • Puppy mills are inhumane, large-scale dog-breeding facilities in which the health of the dogs is disregarded to maintain low overhead costs and maximize profits.
  • The HSUS estimates there are at least 10,000 puppy mills operating in the United States, churning out more than 2 million puppies per year for the pet trade.
  • Puppies from puppy mills are sold in pet stores, online and through classified ads.
  • Mike Chilinski, an AKC breeder of Alaskan Malamutes, was convicted of 91 counts of animal cruelty in December 2012. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison with 25 suspended.

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Karen's Dog Training Blog February 08, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Pet stores have to post where the puppies are bought from. They are NOT from nice breeders. They are bred for profit and MOST of the parents live in horrible conditions. Just think of the puppies that never make it to "market" due to illness, deformities, and death. All pet stores must have a vet examine the puppies. The vets I know do not agree with the practice of selling puppies in stores, but try to be sure the pups are healthy. Just think - at the pet stores you are seeing the "healthy" ones. Anyone who sells a living thing to anyone who walks in with money without checking them out is not a person/business who cares.
Karen's Dog Training Blog February 08, 2013 at 12:55 PM
I know plenty of people who show dogs and I would love to be one of their dogs! Not all breeders are caring and ethical, but many are and their dogs are companions as well as show dogs
Pete Zuppardi February 08, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Do you realize that your local friends and neighbors (the human ones) are employed by, feed their families from, and *pay their taxes* from as well, their jobs at places like All Pets Club in Branford? They are a good company doing their best, and I for one am happy to have them nearby carrying lots of pet-only type specialty items, and with a helpful, professional staff.
Wyatt February 08, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Sad to think that a puppy could be a "lemon"
KerriAnn Hofer February 08, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Wyatt -- agreed! the better name would have been Puppy STORE Lemon Law...
KerriAnn Hofer February 08, 2013 at 02:51 PM
so, just because they employ people and pay their taxes, you're willing to look the other way when they support cruel and inhumane puppy mills? there is another way. pet stores across the nation who are appalled at the conditions where their puppies come from are switching over to adoption centers -- still selling the same high-end merchandise, but offering local puppies and dogs for adoption. they're eliminating the puppy mills and providing a badly-needed service. if we all STOP BUYING from stores, they will have to change.
Pete Zuppardi February 08, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Guess who';s paying the plow guy who is outside plowing your street "as we speak"? That's right, honest, law-abiding taxpayer like All Pets Club, and their employees!!!
Beth February 08, 2013 at 05:53 PM
I guess Dr. Brooks must have had a few bad days back in December 2012 when there was a Parvo outbreak at All Pets Club in Branford and puppies died. Wonder where the Parvo came. It's a documented fact that All Pets Club's puppies come from puppy mills, most from Kansas, the 4th worst puppy mill state in this country. This store (all four locations) knowingly profits from animal suffering.
Karen's Dog Training Blog February 08, 2013 at 06:29 PM
@Beth I agree with you where the pups come from and that they profit from animal suffering. Petco seems to do just fine without selling puppies. Sorry Pete - no one is questioning the honesty of all the workers who work there and plow - it is the sale of puppies from hellish puppy mills that we object to.
Pete Zuppardi February 08, 2013 at 06:41 PM
What a beautiful world it would be if we could get rid of all those dirty, no good businesses who follow all rules and regulations, pay all required fees and taxes, employ so many of our local friends and neighbors with decent jobs, and provide so many local residents with needed goods and services!!!
Pete Zuppardi February 08, 2013 at 07:02 PM
How positively sweet it will taste when All Pets Club in Branford becomes just another blighted eyesore empty storefront, and we all have to drive to that hell-on-earth known as Route 1 in Orange, to get our pet supplies. I for one will be thrilled!!!
Karen's Dog Training Blog February 08, 2013 at 07:05 PM
@ Pete getting rid of a business is not the point at all. I never called the store a dirty, no good businesses" I have never been there, HSUS and others are calling for an end to abuses at puppy farms. Many of us would like to see stores stop selling puppies. No one is trying to get rid of the business - just asking them to not support horrible puppy mills like the one in the article.
Pete Zuppardi February 08, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Then, Karen, why not take a drive to the puppy mill you object to and stage your protest THERE. I object to upstanding legitimate businesses who contribute in countless ways to our local quality of life being attacked.
Margaret Callahan February 08, 2013 at 08:25 PM
I know some husbands who beat their wives, but they PAY THEIR TAXES. They may even run businesses that EMPLOYEE PEOPLE. Your logic doesn't work. There are lots of gang members who murder and steal, but then they go to church. Or take their kids to a ballgame or the zoo.
Pete Zuppardi February 08, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Sorry Margaret, the target of your hatred and scorn should not be All Pet Club. There is nobody there abusing animals (or humans)--much the opposite.
Beth February 08, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Pete-Your knowledge of what goes on at pet stores that sell puppies is naive. They all skirt the law if not outright break it because they can. There are not enough Dept. of Agriculture agents to keep track of every puppy in every pet store. It wouldn't do any good to protest at the puppy mills because the majority of them are in the midwest in very remote locations. These people don't want to be seen by the public. By the way, there is no reason for All Pets Club to go out of business. Pet stores across the country are going humane by deciding to partner with local shelters and hold adoption events, rather than sell puppy mill puppies. The only reason not to do this is greed. Should All Pets Club close, you have only to go to Agway for your pet supplies, North Haven and North Branford.
Pete Zuppardi February 08, 2013 at 11:40 PM
<<"...It wouldn't do any good to protest at the puppy mills because the majority of them are in the midwest in very remote locations....">> I don't buy your argument--not for a minute. If you are really as concerned as you say you are, you would be driving out to "who-knows-where" to protest where the harm that you describe is actually occurring, and not ruining someone's reputable local business, just because it's "convenient."
Joel Mrosek February 09, 2013 at 01:31 AM
I feel many people buy purebreeds to make a statement about themselves. Much in the same way many parents live vicariously through their children. Why pay a premium for the risk of a too closely breed dog that is typically not as bright as a mixed breed dog. PetFinder.com has many dogs who have been prescreened for how wonderful they are. (puppies and kittens not as well) Adult animals that are in shelters for an extended time are the most remarkable. They have only been afforded the luxury of remaining alive for an extended period of time because some volunteer or volunteers have seen something special in that animal. Adopt a pet which will diminish the incentive for puppy mills to abuse animals. Lessening the demand is the only way to impact the quality and quantity of the supply.
KerriAnn Hofer February 09, 2013 at 01:47 AM
bless you for that! visit your local shelter, contact a local rescue, or visit PetFinder.com (purebreds available there as well).
Daniella Ruiz February 09, 2013 at 02:25 AM
while putting the cruel breeders out in the streets to earn money some other way, the pandering to soft fuzzy feelings is also troubling. its as bad as the championing of certain individuals who perform skill sets on a sports field, but then demonstrate the simplest of human ignornace and cruelty to their family and teams. it's the money that's the issue here, that is the driving motivator for these 'excesses' of demand and schisms of fantasy by the spectators (animal owners).
Martha Bradshaw February 09, 2013 at 04:34 AM
I have never understood why puppy mills were legal. Abolish them.
janis albamonti February 09, 2013 at 10:41 AM
Untill you have actually seen a Puppy Mill,.... I did animal transport in Fl. What I saw will never leave me. and yes, they are as bad as the commercials. Alot of the blame should be on the AKC for allowing these monsters to get papers.
Vernon Victim February 09, 2013 at 12:03 PM
I have a breeder in my neighborhood who leaves his dogs outside 24/7, 365 and totally ignores them. They bark all day long and all night long. Town of Vernon and Police refuse to do anything about it unless I give up my identity - their way of doing nothing, I suppose. Vernon should be ashamed of their lax dog laws and their refusal to enforce existing laws that say dog barking is a nuisance and an infringement of others' rights to quiet enjoyment of their property!
janis albamonti February 09, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Report them to the ASPCA or post their info.
Oh Yeah...... February 09, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Blame the AKC? While they may deserve part of the blame for failing to condemn them, inhumane puppy mills exist because there is money to be made. While most of us see the nobility in these creatures, to some they are just a product, to be cranked out as quickly and cheaply as possible. Stop patronizing the stores that buy from puppy mills.
Vernon Victim February 09, 2013 at 03:38 PM
ASPCA will do nothing as it is not considered abuse or neglect if they have food, shelter and water, whatever the weather is like. For example, dogs were out during last 2 hurricanes, barking and whining, and now found this AM they were out during duration of blizzard. They are left alone and under continual stress (hence barking, whining). Animal officials do not consider this abuse - "dogs bark" is the continual reply that I hear. Well, yes and no. They do bark, but barking continuously is a sign of neglect. They are lonely, frustrated and bored. Leaving animals outside 24/7, 365 and only spending time with them to feed them or clean their pen is not sufficient attention.
Vernon Victim February 09, 2013 at 03:40 PM
So frustrating, as I cannot enjoy my property, cannot even GO OUTSIDE without being barked at continuously and during all hours of day have to keep fans or TV on to drown out the constant noise. I have complained continuously to the Vernon Animal Control and Police. I don't know if the police ever went over there; I am told Animal Control did, gave him warnings, which solved nothing. I am told I have to keep a log for two weeks (!) then show up in court and reveal my identity opening me up to retaliation by this pet owner, who by his actions shows he is anything but considerate or respectful. Meanwhile laws clearly state dog barking is a violation of right to quiet enjoyment of property and constitute a nuisance that is enforceable by law. Tell that to Animal Control and Vernon Police and see where it gets you. These are ineffectual (and made up) bureaucratic laws intended to obfuscate enforceable, existing and clearly stated nuisance laws.
Ronald Burke February 09, 2013 at 04:07 PM
go to you tube. type in Amish dog auctions and or Amish puppy mills
Mark February 09, 2013 at 10:14 PM
@Vernon Victim, I am not familiar with Vernons town charter, But I assume you have a Mayor or a first selectman or similar post, I would suggest making a visit to their office and informing them of the perceived lack of interest in enforcement of the noise abatement law. Yes you might have to make your identity known, But this IS in keeping with an "Accuseds" constitutional right to know their accuser. If this person steps it up and retaliates that leaves them open to harassment charges as well as civil charges. (Sue them) If you get no relief by going thru your towns chain of command the next step is contacting your state representative. "The squeeky wheel gets the oil" Squeek louder. Good Luck.
Mark February 09, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Further I would suggest keeping that log AND video recording the ruckus, fill up discs or SD cards with hours of the dogs barking combined with visual images if you can see them. Another idea is contact WTNH and WFSB both of them have investigational journalists that might be interested as this not only shows lackadaisical town management but animal abuse..both of those these particular news stations take a ravenous interest in.

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