Often I hear people say they don’t see the problem with buying a dog from an online breeder or a pet store because the dog needs a home, right? And they don’t come with all the stipulations that reputable breeders or rescues have. There’s a reason for that. Those puppies come from puppy mills. A puppy mill is any commercial breeder where profit is placed over the well-being of the dogs, to the point where they are often abused and neglected (ASPCA). These breeders don’t care what you do with the dog, as long as they get their money. And, as long as you keep buying, they will keep breeding. And abusing. And neglecting.
The following are the top 29 WORST Puppy Mill Breeders in the United States from 16 states, according to an in-depth investigation by the Humane Society of the United States.
Many of these states don’t have strong enough laws for animal cruelty, so even if they are cited for neglect, they can continue to operate their business. The ONLY way to stop them is to stop buying from online breeders and pet stores selling puppies. With no money, they will go out of business. For the HSUS’ full list of the 100 breeders, go here. For their full report, go here.
**WARNING: Graphic Images Follow**
#1 – Arkansas
Harry Rudell Freeman, Freeman Farms, Tilly, Ark.
Nursing mother dog had ribs and spine protruding; official warning from USDA for poor veterinary care.
Barbara Gullett, Gullett Kennel, Russellville, Ark.
Dogs with sores and hair loss.
#2 – Georgia
Leslie Ayo, Heaven’s Gate Kennels, Fairburn, Ga.
Owner charged with animal cruelty after botched do-it-yourself surgeries on puppies’ tails.
Low Country Kennel, Statesboro, Ga.
Failed at least four state inspections for unsanitary conditions.
#3 – Illinois
Bridget and Greg Ellett, Ellett’s French Bulldogs, Vergennes, Ill.
Fined three times by the state; $1,000 fine for unsanitary conditions.
Merle Schlabach, Campbell Hill, Ill.
Unsanitary conditions and matted dogs.
#4 – Indiana
Elmer Lapp, Pine Hill Kennel, Hagerstown, Ind.
Dogs found living in darkness.
The USDA found injured dogs at the facility of Elmer Lapp, Pine Hill Kennel, Hagerstown, IN. During a December 2014…
#5 – Iowa
Lindy and Kevin Aschinger, K & L Kennels, Westside, Iowa
Seventeen pages of USDA violations in 2014 alone; limping and wounded dogs.
Fedler Ag Inc., Pee Vine Kennels, West Point, Iowa
Dogs with open wounds and lesions.
#6 – Kansas
Dorothy Brecheisen, Dot’s Little Doggies, Inc. Lyndon, Kan.
Violations for five years in a row.
Marla and Roger Campbell, Iris Lane Kennel, Newton, Kan.
Fined $6,643 by USDA for failure to provide veterinary care.
#7 – Minnesota
Wanda Kretzman, Clearwater Kennel Inc., Cushing, Minn.
USDA filed official complaint due to years of violations; one of the largest puppy mills in America.
John and Lyle Renner, Renner’s Kennel, Detroit Lakes, Minn.
Inspectors repeatedly found injured dogs.
The USDA has repeatedly found injured dogs at the facility of John & Lyle Renner, Renner’s Kennel, in Detroit Lakes, MN. Photo: USDA.
#8 – Missouri
Pamela Baldwin, Samples Creek Kennel, Edgar Springs, Mo.
Dog’s open wound exposed muscle and bone.
Maureen Butler, PugPekinpoo-Tzu, West Plains, Mo.
Puppies “huddled together and shivering” in the cold.
A dog with an injured paw at Mary Foster and Cathy Griesbauer’s Country Pets kennel in Montgomery City, MO. In December…
#9 – Nebraska
Jamie Bailey, Saints4Life, Beaver City, Neb.
Seller of “AKC Saint Bernards” and bullmastiffs failed ten state kennel inspections within two years.
Douglas and Mary Jane Brosh, Brosh’s Kennels, Pender, Neb.
Received official warning for dogs without water, excessive feces, dog with bulging eye.
#10 – New York
Rebecca Graber, Waterloo, N.Y.
Excessive feces soiled the dogs’ fur.
Marjorie Ingraham, Marjorie’s Kennel, Harpursville, N.Y.
Rusted-through enclosures had holes in the walls.
#11 – Ohio
Marvin Burkholder, Berlin Kennel, Millersburg, Ohio
Sale of underage puppies; wounded dogs.
Alvin Hershberger, A & E Kennels, Sugarcreek, Ohio
Dogs in the freezing cold with only barrels for shelter; owner was warned four times that a plastic barrel is not adequate shelter.
A USDA inspector found seven dead puppies scattered on the grounds of Andy Yoder’s Yoder Backroad Kennel in Millersburg,…
#12 – Oklahoma
Brett Bonham, Calvary Creek Kennels, Cordell, Okla.
Seven dogs had open wounds from biting flies.
Jan Harper, Welch, Okla.
Emaciated dog had trouble walking.
This photo shows just one portion of a massive puppy mill operated by Dwayne Hurliman in Cordell, OK. The puppy mill…
#13 – Pennsylvania
Garden Spot Puppy Haven, Parkesburg, Pa. (Chester County)
Cited for selling underage puppies.
Hill Top Farm Kennel, Honey Brook, Pa. (Chester County)
Eight warnings or citations from the state since 2010.
#14 – Tennessee
Rebecca Van Meter, Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagles and Bears, McDonald, Tenn.
Two hundred animals removed from squalid conditions, yet owner still sells online
#15 – Texas
Susan Franz, Belton, Tex.
“Overwhelming smell,” violations found at last eight USDA inspections.
#16 – Wisconsin
Mose Bontrager, Hillsboro, Wis.
Dogs infested with lice had not been treated by a vet.
Herman Gingerich, Brooknook Puppies, New Holstein, Wis.
Excessive feces found several years in a row.