What's happening to the dogs in puppy mills?

It’s been an upsetting week in the world of puppy mills. It started with the case of disappearing dogs from a puppy mill, the Christiansen Kennel, in Poplar Grove near Rockford and was followed with word of yet another auction of puppy mill dogs. In both of these cases, the question of the day is what is happening to the dogs in the puppy mills?

Christiansen Kennels

A photo taken earlier this year of the Christiansen Kennels at Poplar Grove.

A photo taken earlier this year of the Christiansen Kennels at Poplar Grove.

In Poplar Grove, the question of the week is what happened to the Beagles at the Christiansen Kennels. Recently, the owner of the Kennel – Melton Christiansen was dinged by the department of agriculture for a couple of code violations after an inspection. I use the word dinged because two relatively minor violations were listed - Fix the cracks in the floor of the big barn and provide heat for the dogs.

Photos and information about the inspection spread all over Facebook with pictures showing very the stark conditions in the other kennel. The whole situation came to light after Kathy Mehalko of Rockford based Angels 4 Animals went out to the location to check out complaints.

“I went out in guise of wanting to purchase a shihpoo (Shih Tz/Poodle mix),” Mehalko told me during an interview. “Christiansen brought the dogs we were interested in purchasing right out front of the kennels. But, I could see through the windows where he kept the parents (the breeding dogs). There were multiple dogs in rabbit sized hutches.”

She snapped the photo above that was passed along far and wide on Facebook. She also called the Department of Agriculture and Boone County Animal Services to investigate. That was when Christiansen received his two minor violations and a $200 fine. He told inspectors that he would move the 10 Beagles from that kennel to the other kennel.

Fast forward to this week. The Department of Agriculture and the Boone County Animal Services went to the kennel to do a welfare check and what they didn’t find was very scary. Six of the ten breeding beagles from the kennel that was in violation are all gone from the facility. Christiansen told authorities that he was not going to make the minor repairs needed at that kennel.

He then reportedly told inspectors he’d spent far too much money on the dogs to ‘let any shelter or rescue make money off them.’ He reportedly took the dogs to a local veterinarian to be euthanized (0n November 25). Four breeding beagles are still on the property. The other six dogs never had a chance.

“What is really sad about this is what he is doing is legal,” says Mehalko. “It’s horrible but he is within the law and he is also a very small operation compared to many of the other facilities in the Midwest. We’ll continue to watch and let the authorities know what is going on there.”

This dog was once a pet

These dogs were purchased by the Chicago English Bulldog Rescue at an auction this spring at the Pratt Puppy Mill.

These dogs were purchased by the Chicago English Bulldog Rescue at an auction this spring at the Pratt Puppy Mill.

Equally as disturbing is the auction slated for Missouri this weekend. When breeders no longer have use for their dogs, they are able to legally auction them off in many states. The flier making the rounds for the auction in Missouri this weekend is frightening on so many levels.

First of all is the sheer number of dogs. These are dogs that have been crammed into small cages and breed over and over again. They are no longer wanted by the puppy mills where they currently reside and will be up for sale to the highest bidder. In rare cases, they go to rescue. In most cases, they are off to a worse situation to continue to breed for profit.

There is something even more frightening.

A listing for one English Bulldog called Molly in the flier says this –

Molly was a pet for 3 years before we purchased her. She had never been bred at that time. She has had 2 litters since we purchased her. We just weaned her last litter of 6. You can safely leave her pups with her after 3 days of age and she will also foster other pups with no problems!!

Somebody’s pet. What happened?

Did they sell her off thinking they were doing a good thing only to have their pet end up as a breeding dog in a mill?

If you'd like to read more about the Pratt puppy mill where the auction was held in the spring, read here and here.

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Filed under: Pets, Puppy Mills

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    Raining Cats and Dogs

    I am a crazy cat lady and puppy mill warrior that blogs to advocate and educate about pet issues. In American animal controls, millions of pets are abandoned each year and an estimated 4 million die just because there are not enough homes. It truly seems like it’s Raining Cats & Dogs.

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