The owner of a Kankakee County puppy mill is finally facing neglect charges nearly 3 ½ months after 81 dogs were rescued from her home. Yesterday, the Kankakee County State’s Attorney filed 71 counts of failure to provide humane care and treatment in the case against Louise Gutierrez, owner of the breeding operation known as Adrian’s Puppy Paradise
“We want the community to know we will not tolerate the inhumane care of animals,” said Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jamie Boyd in a press release issued by Kankakee County Animal Control. The investigation of Adrian’s Puppy Paradise by animal welfare groups had been going on behind the scenes for the past year before a break came in the case this spring.
“We had been working for the past year to shut down Adrian’s Puppy Paradise,” says Cari Meyers, founder of The Puppy Mill Project. “The break in the case happened this spring when we were able to get physical evidence to obtain a warrant. They were finally able to move ahead and save the dogs and have their case against the owner.”
Authorities were able to get a warrant after a rescue, working in conjuction with The Puppy Mill Project, relinquished five dogs turned over to them by Gutierrez to animal control. On April 7th, county authorities raided Adrian’s Puppy Paradise and Gutierrez relinquished 81 dogs and two cats in a rescue called Operation Spring Break. Animal Rescue Corp organized the rescue with Kankakee County Animal Control and The Puppy Mill Project. At that time, authorities gathered and cataloged the evidence.
81 dogs had been living in filthy conditions in Gutierrez’s basement. The dogs seized included newborn puppies and several very pregnant mothers. Chicago veterinarians Jane Lohmar and Derrick Landini provided veterinary care onsite after the rescue. Once the evidence was gathered and dogs were cleared for release, they were relinquished to rescues for adoption.
“We applaud the way the State’s Attorney’s office worked to carefully put this case together,” says Meyers. “We want the charges to stick so that she doesn’t get to open her doors again. Thanks to this case there are now big changes in animal welfare laws in Kankakee County.”
In response to the conditions documented in this case, the Kankakee county Board approved amendments to the Kankakee county Breeders License ordinance on Thursday. The new measure provides stricter guidelines to define humane care for animals being used for breeding purposes.
“Our goal was to keep this investigation ongoing but quiet, which is the way we like to work,” adds Meyers. “A lot of people were involved in this investigation and their efforts helped make this happen. Too often people loudly sound the alarm in an investigation and it makes it impossible to get the evidence necessary to shut down a puppy mill, seize the dogs and get charges filed.”
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