My Auction Adventures

I did something that I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for since I started Bailing Out Benji… A small group of friends and I drove almost two hours to attend a puppy mill auction in Vail, Iowa. Thankfully, K-D Kennels owned by Dean and Karen Grell is officially OUT OF BUSINESS. After years of bad USDA reports, they are leaving the business. Sadly for all of their 240 dogs (and a few puppies), they were being auctioned off like property instead of going to rescues. Please read my story, share it, and reach out if you have any questions! 


This was a very intimidating experience, for sure. Walking on to this property that I had read so many awful things about, not knowing if I will be kicked out immediately, or if I will be hauled away because I couldn’t keep my comments to myself. The thoughts were rolling around in my head, and I knew I had to try to keep them from crossing on to my face. I was horrified at the place. It was like hell on earth. There were several buildings that were not much more than sheds with runs on the sides of them. Most of her “kennels” were in semi trailers that had been turned into a giant dog house with out-door access. By that, I mean that she has wire cages that are lifted off of the ground, as you can see in the photo. Notice the poor dogs standing on the wire bottom flooring. The auctioneer, Bob Hughes from South West Auction Service,  even commented on the grounds. His phrasing was, “Folks, this kennel here is average. I am not gonna say its great. On a scale of one to ten, it is a five. But you won’t find a lick of dirt or a smell. And you aren’t buying the kennel, you are buying the dog. And these dogs are a ten.” As you read on, you will find that these dogs that are a “ten” have many external issues (not to mention the internal ones).

Photos courtesy of Iowa Animal Welfare Alliance

As I walked passed all of the helpless dogs and into the big steel barn, I saw many people who I recognized by  name and face… We had Mr. Bob Hughes, the auctioneer who claims to auction off 22,000 dogs per year, Mr. Rob Hurd who is a past president  of the Iowa Pet Breeders Association and he also works with the America’s Pet Registry (which is notoriously used by backyard breeders and puppy mill owners), Larry Albrecht from Cold Water Kennels, Shirley Hershey from TLC Kennels in Pennsylvaniaa representative from MWI Veterinary Supply, a person from America’s Premier Pets in Missouri,  and so many Amish Families including the Yoders and the Yamisons. There were around 700 people in attendance- needless to say, we were in a room full of evil and we had to keep our mouths shut.

Photo from a mill in Tennessee… Dogs at the auction were standing on wire flooring just like this.

As we walked in to this run-down steel barn, we were all given an 18 page packet with a list of the dogs that would be going on sale. This included their birth dates (if known), color of dog, “name” of dog, the last known pups, and whether or not the dog could possibly be pregnant. Seeing all of the dogs that needed saved was very overwhelming, but we looked at the book and picked the dogs that we thought needed the most help. When the auction officially started, the items being sold were the water bowls, some cage doors, and other little things like that. I was just observing the crowd until I saw them place a giant Styrofoam cooler on the table. Bob and his helper, Christine Strobietto, began cutting away the tape to reveal a huge pile of unopened vaccines. Bob said that there were 100 unopened boxes of vaccines that expired in September of 2011 and that “they would be good for another two to three years”. As the bidding started, he repeatedly prompted the crowd, saying that they could “vaccinate their entire kennel at 1/4 the price.” The whole scene was sickening. Not only have the Grell’s been in trouble with the USDA for using expired medications, but I was in an entire room of breeders that were cut-throat bidding just to get their hands on these vaccines that had been outdated. As disgusted as I was, this was only the beginning of my nightmare.

Once the dogs were thrown on that auction table, we knew that the stakes were pretty high. First the Shih-tzus were up and they were going for upwards of $1000. Quicker than anything, we were going through these dogs. The auctioneer decided to do more of a “Dutch” style auction, where there were five of one type and the highest bidder can take his pick, take a few, or take the lot. Then the second highest bidder was offered a chance, after that the bidding would start all over again. I think this was done to try to deter the rescues from being able to get even a handful of animals. While the bidding was going on, I did notice four guys in the back of the room who were all dressed pretty similarly. They were bidding on dogs, but never took a dog home. I feel like they were there to drive the prices up, if they noticed rescue “type” people bidding. Sadly, the game was on and we were the underdogs… 

Example of dog auction in Ohio

As the poor animals came and went, you could see the terror on their faces. They were visibly shaken and terrified. At one point in time, Bob Hughes stopped the auction to show the volunteers how to properly show these dogs. This involved grabbing them by the base of the tail and yanking them upward, while holding their chin up. This was a very uncomfortable experience for the dogs. I have seen it done at dog shows, and this was nothing like that…. At one point in time, I had to leave the room because there was an Italian Greyhound screaming at the top of its lungs. It had deformed toes (several were chewed off) and just being placed on the table was excruciating. I had never heard a dog make those sounds before. It took everything I had to stop myself from running up to that table and grabbing that dog. I know that Rob Hurd would have loved that though. Further proof that all of us animal lovers are “AR”s and extremists. Even Rob got onto the floor and helped with the auctioning. He would hold up the six-week old puppies and show them off to the crowd, as Bob stated that. “they have their entire breeding lives ahead of them.” At one point in the auction, I watched Rob sarcastically salute to a dog as it was whisked away to its new home. This made me absolutely sick. Moms with puppies were going for $2500. 

Example of dogs standing on wire cages in Missouri Mill

There were 348 dogs up for auction from the Grell’s and another breeder, Nancy Carlson from New Designs kennel and Illusion Japanese ChinThis number doesn’t include puppies that they “threw in” with the price of the mom. Most of these dogs were in pretty bad shape. You could tell that they had recently groomed the dogs a little, most were shaved down- but they all still smelled pretty badly. That being said, the auctioneer was very honest and up front with what was wrong with the dogs, but he threw in the disclaimer that everything will be sold as is.

Let’s see, there were dogs with:

 Missing teeth or NO teeth (this is applicable to most of the dogs),  broken jaws, soft jaws, three legs, many dogs were missing toes (one only had a single toe on each back foot), a Shiba had a badly broken back leg that hadn’t been fixed (so it was curled up and deformed under its body), many of the males one had a single testicle, there were a dozen or so dogs that had open umbilical hernias on their stomachs (that were the size of a pen hole), other dogs had closed hernias, a few dogs had “tick sized” knots on their backs (according to the auctioneer), missing eyes, spots on their eyes, cloudy eyes, under bites, and  over bites. Word to the wise, if the dogs have this many problems on the outside, they are a mess on the inside.  

Photo of generic puppy mill.
Many of these breeds were at
the auction.

None of this matters in the world of puppy mills, however. These were all products… property to be used, abused, and profited from. When referring to the age of the dogs, Bob and Christine would refer to them as an ” ’08 model” , like it was a car. I distinctly remember them auctioning off a Bichon saying, “She may be an ’03 model, but she’s got plenty of litters left in her”. The whole scene was sickening. These dogs (the sick and injured) were going for thousands of dollars. It was tough to watch and impossible to bid against. I overheard an Amish couple talking about how these prices were the highest they had seen them in years. But why? Just a week ago at an auction in Missouri, they were giving away Shih-tzus for $1 but 6 days later they are worth $500 or more? 

Once the equipment sale was going on outside, the room cleared considerably. It was pretty easy to tell who the breeders were, and who the rescuers were. Not that it made any difference to the auctioneer. Money was money- and competition was his paycheck. The most expensive dog that day went for over $3000, less than 20  dogs went for under $100, a few were between $100 and $200, but most were $750 and up. A very sad day for the dogs. 

In the end, we were able to save a handful of lives, and I saw a few other rescues walking out with precious souls as well. This article isn’t dedicated to those that we saved… It is dedicated to those poor dogs that are being recycled into a worse life. I had to watch the Amish load their vehicles and it was sickening. Three to four dogs thrown into a travel cage- no food, no water, no blanket. who knows how long they would be in their tiny vans. And if you know anything about Amish puppy mills, they are the worst. The dogs often live in completely darkness and are badly abused. 

Puppy mills are legal. Dogs auctions are legal. We need to educate or friends, family, and coworkers, as well as elect officials into office that will help us stop these atrocities. 

Now that I have been to this auction, I am forever changed. I saw so many evil people who use animals for profit and I have lost a lot of respect for humanity. Thankfully, there are a few amazing angels out there that are willing to rescue animals from these (and other) situations. If this story hit home for you, please remember to share it with anyone that you know.  Please, SHARE THIS ARTICLE,  spread the word and help us educate as many people as we can reach! 

Remember to always adopt, instead of shop for your next pet.

Thank you for reading this article… PLEASE “like” us on facebook by clicking hereIf you are interested in upcoming auctions, also visit our facebook page and contact me there! 

EDITORS NOTE: Since this first auction in 2012, I have been to several more auctions. Some better, some worse than the one above. My feelings on the subject have never changed and I have certainly learned more about attending. Now our organization works hard to raise funds for upcoming auctions in order to save as many lives as possible! And we work with other rescues to ensure that they have a safe place to go afterwards.


Since photos were not allowed on premises, I have added photos from around the country of puppy mills and puppy mill auctions.

An example of what cages look like on the inside of a “reefer” or semi-trailer.

Example of an Amish Puppy Mill. This one is located in Ohio

114 thoughts on “My Auction Adventures

  1. Reblogged this on The F and T and commented:
    An acquaintance of mine recently went to a puppy mill auction in Vail, Iowa. She and her friends managed to save some dogs, but the rest of them went back into the breeding system. Please read, and share…we can make a difference.


  2. We have been talking about rescusing a new dog or puppy latley. Wish I would have known about this!

  3. Well written account and a much needed perspective on the disturbing dog breeder activities that are often cloaked from public view. Good job. I hope it convinces people to get involved enough to outlaw this horrid industry.

  4. tank you for sharing this- as a rescue person who has gone to several auctions- it is mentally and emotionally exhausting. You have to push your basic instinct and love for animals way deep to not expose yourself and have them bid dogs up on you if they know your heart is involved in your bidding. We were able to get Richard the french bulldog out of this auction and are thankful for that- even it if was only one dog we saved- it is one less dog that has to suffer living this life of profit and cruelty.

  5. I truly don’t know how you did it Mindi…just reading your article was difficult…and I didn’t know the Amish had mills…such a gentle people…or so I thought.

  6. A room full of evil? Wow… I was in that room and I am pretty sure as a preschool teacher and mother of two, I am not evil. However, I believe slandering good people for self promotion and inventing horror stories (I.e. lies) cheapens your ’cause’. I am sure when you initially started your crusade for animals, your heart was in the right place, but could it be you have become jaded and are assuming every breeder is ‘evil’? I have no doubt you have witnessed some horrible treatment of animals, however, the Grell family farm just isn’t one of them. If you want to do good things, do good things, but don’t drag good people down who also do good things in this world. We all have our own viewpoints, but name calling those who don’t agree with yours is not the honest way to be heard. Please be careful of what you post and realize that your offhand comments may make you feel better, but they may not be the whole story.

  7. You have stated many lies and misrepresentations on this “auction adventure” page. You say you have read “so many awful things about this property? The only thing they’ve been written up for is cob webs or things so minor, one could argue that humans live in worse conditions. People have more cobwebs in their house than the Grell’s had in their kennels. I wouldn’t describe it as “hell on earth”. The “room full of evil” is so far from the truth. In fact the dogs were very social and the only reason they acted a little scared was because of the loud echoing in the building where the auction was being held.

    Your description of “semi-trailers” was defamatory. If you do some research, you’ll find that “reefer” trailers have better insulation that most houses. You’ll find that the air conditioning and heating works significantly better in these trailers than a normal building, and you’ll find that the dogs were on hard surfaces, not the wire cages you are mis-representing on your web site.

    When you make fun of the “name” of the dog, you should know that Karen Grell knew ALL her dogs by name. She LOVED her dogs, and they weren’t just a number to her. The styrofoam cooler you are describing was not the property of K-D Kennels. If it was such a terrible nightmare for you, why were you there?….oh the trauma you must have experienced- feel so sorry for you.

    When you talk about the “showing of the dogs”, have you ever been to a professional dog show or even a 4-H dog show? The dogs were being shown just like they would at a dog show.

    Grell’s did not sell 348 dogs. There were consignment dogs brought into the sale. None of the Grell dogs smelled and the photos you have on your post do not represent any of the dogs that were the property of Karen Grell. In fact, the reason her dogs brought higher prices demonstrate the high quality and reputation of Karen’s dogs.

    It is also a known fact that when dogs get old, they lose teeth. Guess what, when a Momma dog chews off her puppies toes, do you think anyone want to buy it? The answer is no. If Karen chose to keep a puppy instead of putting it down, then that again shows her love for the dogs. In addition, the Shiba with the broken leg had a splint when it was broke. The Shiba would not keep the splint on; it was fixed, but the Shiba wouldn’t let it heal properly. You try to portray this picture that is so very inaccurate. These dogs were healthy, clean, and happy.

    I especially like how you put pictures of cages that were not even at the Grell’s to get everybody that’s on your “cause” to get all fired up. There will always be people who want puppies from a reputable breeder. You bashing one of the most respected and clean breeders does not do any good for your cause.

  8. Can you point out where we made fun of the “names” of the dogs? Never once did I comment on that. And if you read my post more carefully, at the beginning it says that Karen Grell only brough 240 dogs to the auction, the rest were from Nancy Carlson and another consignment source.

  9. I quote “This included their birth dates (if known), color of dog, “name” of dog” You are mocking that Karen named the dogs.. I mean why would someone name the dogs if they are just a dollar sign? She named all the dogs and knew the name of each dog just by looking at them. What birthdates weren’t known? Karen was a very knowledgeable person that knew everything about her dogs, including their birthdates. All the dogs were very friendly which means the owners of K-D Kennels socialized with the dogs, giving them love. What dog sold for $3000?? I was there, and no dog sold for that amount of money!! Your words above are faulty. Maybe you should stop spreading lies about a reputable breeder.

  10. Thank you for your bravery! I commend all that you do. Thank you!

    May Karma send a big dog to bite those profiting from the puppy mill business in the butt! (Figuratively speaking)

  11. I have a copy of the pamphlet in my hands. If you look in the back, where the consignor dogs are- there are no birth dates listed. That is what I was referring to. You act as though I am bashing the Grells when, in fact, I am educating people about the auction process. I have mentioned that New Design Kennels also had dogs there, so please do not assume my thoughts and motives.

  12. Thank you for sharing – this is horrible – but it happens all over America and it makes me sick to my stomach. Most people won’t read it, because they don’t want to know about it. But every single human with a heart should read your story and more. We foster and rescue and applaud your bravery at being in that environment and not freaking out.

  13. Anonymous writes: “I mean why would someone name the dogs if they are just a dollar sign?”

    This was an AUCTION.

    And you dispute that these dogs were viewed as dollar signs? You seem confused. What kind of screening did this loving owner of ~ 240 dogs do to ensure these loved ones found loving homes?

  14. First of all I would like to THANK Bailing out Benji as most people do not know anything about puppy mills.
    Second… I believe that Anonymous IS Karen Grells or a relative…

    I look at the pictures and read the worlds as my stomach turns and tears run down my face. There are to many dogs, cats, horses etc., that are killed everyday in town shelters and puppy mills. The town shelters are bad enough but the puppy mills… they are doomed to a life of coldness – no love, cuddles, attention or medical treatment. They are sweet souls that are hurting every minute of every day. Yet you have the people like anonymous that would rather stand up for the people that treat (in this case) the dogs this way. Just think… if these people were to use the time, energy and money they spent on puppy mills for something good… WOW!! What a difference they could have made in this world.

    There really are some good, kind and loving people in this world. Sadly there is also some cruel, greedy, self-centered,immoral and just plain nasty people out there.

    I will personally see to it that everyone I know sees this essay. I have been trying to explain puppy mills for a long time, this should help. Please do not ever let the people that have no idea how amazing the dogs are (they are not able to see the love, fear, kindness, wants and needs of the animals) deter you, then they really do win.

    I need to cuddle my puppies now as I am so very thankful to have them in m life.

    I thank you for everything you do.

  15. I live near Amish country and I know firsthand what goes on. The Amish are twisted and evil in their treatment of animals. Auctions and puppy mills abound in my area. I am a member of the local animal shelter and neglected/abused animals are a part of my daily life. The very God these people profess to worship will not tolerate much more. The bible says the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Now true that is. Proverbs 12:10 says A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. The Amish need to have the words of God thrown in their face and then defend their wicked ways. They can not argue their beliefs when confronted with the truth. Theirs is a truly sick society.

  16. I have 2 australian shepherds from a seizure by the humane officer. Over 100 animals were taken. 40 were australian shepherds. My 2 dogs are blind from birth. All of the dogs were very thin, several had embedded collars, urine and feces matted into their coats. Several had a tatoo with a number on their back leg. They were kept on 2 ft chains living in their own filth inside a dark storage area. This breeder saw nothing wrong with her animals. Over 80 rabbits were taken from cages stacked 3 deep covered in urine and feces, 40 horses who had never seen a ferrier or had their teeth floated, 15 goats (several with broken legs). All of these animals were from a local “farmer”. These poor animals were destined to be sold. All of these animals have been rehomed or placed in foster care. It is a daily battle for anyone with a heart to look at these puppy mills and auctions and think my pets could suffer like that. My dogs did suffer at the hands of an unscrupulous money hungry breeder. Today they live inside a real home surrounded by love, enough food to eat, fresh water, room to go outside and walk freely, toys, treats, and medical attention. I love them and Bill Gates does not have enough money to buy them.

  17. That was the most difficult article I have ever read, with tears in my eyes, those poor animals! What can be done to stop this from happening over and over and over again. I have said this many times before, these subhumans only
    care about the almighty dollar and nothing else, and they will do anything to get the $$.
    I have rescued one cat from a high kill shelter, and wish I could do more.
    Thank you for writing this very difficult piece.

  18. Puppy mills and the people who propagate this industry make me sick. Awful. Awful. Awful. We have to start educating kids at the elementary school level so they can influence their parents, their friends… Maybe this issue will be one of the past once they reach adulthood.

  19. It obvious that anonymous is so proud of what she/he does that she/he is ashamed to use her/his real name.

    It is obvious that she/he is in the business. If the business is so good that he/she is defending it, why is he/she afraid to use his/her name?

  20. I went to the auction I saw 1st hand was a glimpse of hell. I helped rescue some of the dogs and I do know the dogs were frightened and had little or no human contact another words I would say feral. This is the case with little lhasa apso that I brought homel How do you explain that Anonymous ? When we left we saw a little dog loaded like no more than a piece of garbage on the back of a pick up truck. Reminded me of Romney’s dog on top of the car. I’m sure that dog had a lovely ride home if it survived the trip. If they cared so much about the dogs why did they sell them to the highest bidder with no regard to what kind of people were buying them? They were disgusting. The whole auction was disgusting. Karma to you anonymous

  21. Karen is my aunt and I was helping at this auction. I love animals. I own 3 dogs and 2 cats of my own. Karens dogs were very clean and well taken care of. Most of the artical is a lie. All the kennals were very clean and the dogs all had food and water and a warm place to live. I was very impressed with how nice the refers were set up. There were no cages piled on top of each other as the picture suggest. The dogs were not on wire cages. In fact I was one of the people helping to watch the dogs and several times my aunt was showing people the dogs and got very emotional as they were like her childern she knew them all by name and you could tell the dogs knew her as they got very happy when they saw her and heard her voice. They were not negleted by any means. Karens dogs were well taken care of and that is why the dogs sold well. Nancy’s dogs were also very clean and well cared for. So if you want to tell the story tell the whole truth and not bits and pieces to make your story sell and do not put pictures of other kennels that were bad into the artical to make it look it this is what Karen’s kennel looked like as it is false. None of Karen’s dogs were stacked in wire cages. All the buildings and trailers had heat and air which some homes don’t even have. How many of the dogs you rescue are outside dogs that live in a dog house and do they get heat and air?? Start telling the truth and quit trying to slander good people. There are some bad breaders and kennels out there but Karen’s is not one of them.

  22. Excuse me, are you freaking kidding me!! This IS NOT A PUPPY MILL!! You have the right to your own opinion , but I draw the line at spreading false rumors that you have no first hand knowledge of. I have known this kennel for many many years and they have NEVER RECEIVED BAD REPORTS. If you think I’m wrong, please go ahead and post the proof you have. You should not be posting this information without the information to back it up. The only bad review they’ve ever received was for cobwebs in a building. I’m pretty sure since you spend too much of your time slandering people, you have more cobwebs in your own home than were in her building. This kennel is a reputable dog breeder who just decided that they wanted to retire to spend time with her family. And if you want to say she doesn’t care, you should have asked her the names of the dogs. She had a name for every one of her 240 dogs just by looking at them. She also knew which building and which kennel they belonged in. She was so heartbroken to see her dogs leve that she had to leve the buildings. I know from first hand experience that her kennels look nothing like the “example” photos that you have decided to share with your readers. These picutres give people a false inpression of this breader. Each mother and her pups had large pins with access to the outside of the building and plenty of room. They were well taken care of and each one of them loved. I have no clue where in the hell you got all of you inofrmation from they are obvioulsy not a good source. If you have REAL proof to prove me wrong, please feel free to present it to me. These pupplies didn’t need to be “resuced” they just needed to find homes. If they didn’t she would have kept them until she could find homes for them. This so called horror story is ruthless and heartless. I really hope that next time you decided to wirte a story about something and are going to slander and degrade people and their hard work you get hard cold facts and information before hand.

  23. Excuse me, Shawna… I was at this auction, these are my words and this is my first hand account… I witnessed all of these atrocities with my own two eyes… This breeder has been cited for several violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including the use of expired medications, buildups of old feces and bedding material, as well as structurally unsound cages. All of these reports can be found on the USDA website, which is where I get my facts. Not to mention, they were auctioning off the expired medications that she was in trouble for using…. Whether or not Karen Grell has a name for all of these dogs isn’t the question. If she truly cared about where these dogs were going, she would not have been auctioning them off to the highest bidder- she would have screened them for actual homes. Allowing them to be cycled into another breeding operation is heartless and greedy. There were breeders there that have terrible facilities, but none of that mattered. It was about the paycheck at the end. As for “slandering”, I would be in trouble for libel because it is written and not spoken.

  24. You forget, there were other dogs there from other breeders. The dogs that came from Nancy Carlson WERE piled up in cages like that. And I would love to show you my own photos of the place, but taking pictures was prohibited- or else I would have posted some. If these dogs were so well taken care of, then why did Bob Hughes have to announce at the beginning of each bid what was wrong with each dog?
    Why were there dogs that had no teeth?
    Why were there dogs with open wounds (hernias)?
    Why were there dogs with missing eyes?
    Why were there dogs with missing legs?


    People that care about their animals don’t do that.

  25. Here is the link for you to check it out…. They have received one violation on each of their reports, except for two… Cobwebs? No, try cages that are falling apart and feces build up.

    As for Nancy Carlson… We have excessive rust on the cages, giant holes in the flooring of the dog cages, build up of hair, debris and grime, and severe accumulation of fecal matter… Here is that link.

    As for Leroy Yoder… One of the bidders that took home several dogs… Lots of repeat violations. Build up of feces, hair and debris, Expired Medications, excessively thin dogs, dogs with very visible illnesses, dogs constantly shaking heads and turning in circles, excessive matting… Here is the link for HIS reports. But as long as he was paying money, no one cared what kind of live these dogs were going to live.

    And neglect of the health of the dogs DOES make them a puppy mill… By my definition a puppy mill is any breeding operation that puts the profit over the welfare of the dogs…. These dogs needed extreme vet work done and they weren’t receiving it. Any other questions?

  26. Someone who loves their dogs would never, ever sell them at auction to breeders whose only interest in them is profit from repetitive breeding. If Mrs. Grell loved her dogs, she would have enthusiastically given them to resuce organizations for rehoming into the first real home they have probably ever known…one with soft beds, freedom to run, unconditional love, toys, fresh air and a loving touch and kind words. K-D Kennels is a puppy mill. Please don’t call it something that is is not. Grell’s motive for having dogs was profit, nothing else. In the end, the income earned from K-D Kennels and the ensuing aution was all that mattered.

  27. And as for selling them at auction, do you know how the kennel business even works? I’m not talking about puppy mills, I’m talking about actual reputiable breaders? Please tell me what resucue shelters would have taken in that many dogs? Yes, it was a business and there was a profit made, but don’t pet stores and some humaine societies make profit off of the dogs they find for homes. Business have to make profit to survive. Do you really think that a pet store screens the people that are purchasing thier animals. The auction was a way to make a clean break from the business so they could retire. If this were in fact a puppy mill they would have been shut down years ago. The only way puppy mills survive is by flying under the radar. They obviously have not if they have routine inspections by the USDA.

  28. Reputable Breeders don’t sell to Pet Stores… SO, yeah. I think it is absolutely wrong that they don’t screen the homes first. Again, I blame the puppy mills. Shelters and rescues screen the homes, they have contracts- and they make sure the animal is vetted before it leaves. So the “adoption fee” is going towards shots and spay/neuter. Something that you obviously know nothing about.

  29. Most of the sick and injured dogs did not come from K-D Kennels. But this post only comments on the fact that other dogs were auctioned by other breaders. K-D kennels should not be punished for other breaders neglect to care for their animals just because they were brought to thier property. If that’s where the major violations and neglect are then talk about them no K-D kennels. Every breader will get behid sometimes, but they have never put profit over welfare.

  30. *Most of*

    But some. I talked about Nancy Carlson’s dogs too. You are just taking it personally because you know them. It doesn’t matter. These are the facts as I know and saw them. You are entitled to your own opinion. I saw suffering and crying, you saw normal dogs. I think that alone speaks volumes.

  31. Leroy D. Yoder of Utica, MN, whom was presumed in attendance at the Grell auction and who was said to have purchased dogs, had himself, on a recent 7- page USDA inspection report dated 12/5/11, over 200 dogs to his name, and 17 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Anyone who loves their dogs would never, EVER allow them to go home with someone as uncaring and incompetent as this.

  32. Hi Cathy!

    Are you aware how ridiculous you sound to claim that someone who AUCTIONS their dogs to the highest bidder loves those dogs?

    You sound absolutely absurd.

    Your aunt Karen may – or may not – be the “best” dog livestock producer in the state, country or world.

    However, for you to claim she loves the dogs and does not seem them as simple dollar signs, while she agrees to sell them to anyone who will pay the highest price, is a huge disconnect.

    Did you bring your own dogs to the auction, on the chance you could make a few bucks? If not, why not? Because you actually care for them, perhaps?

    Be honest with yourself and your family.

  33. Shawan, you are making the claim that any dog breeder licensed by the USDA cannot be a puppy mill.

    You either:
    a) know nothing about the dog breeding industry, or
    b) are incredibly dishonest.

    Puppy mills are perfectly legal and generally licensed by the USDA.

    Whether they should be legal is a completely different issue.

  34. Shawna, please read all posts and comments before you keep posting, you’re making it hard to read your comments because your questions have been answered time and time again in comments and posts. Each is entitled to their own opinion, and yours seems biased because you personally know the breeders. All of us here who are fighting for the good of animals, see it for what it is: animal cruelty. It has been said again and again, but no animal lover would auction off their animals like a house sale if they truly cared. Pet stores who sell dogs are bad, we have said that all before, and they sell dogs that come from puppy mills which is why we are fighting against the puppy mills. Karen Grell and the others have PUPPY MILLS because they are a commercial dog breeding facility that is in operation with an emphasis upon profits above animal welfare. No one with that many dogs can care for them the way an animal should be cared for. Plain and simple. It’s just not feasible. Even if they try to give them good conditions and love, it’s not possible to so it is ultimately abuse, whether they mean to or not. Look a puppy mill dog in the face who has never seen love, and you’ll understand why there are people out there (like those on this site) who work everyday to help animals who don’t have the voices that we have. They can’t say whether or not their conditions are good enough or if they are happy, but we can make sure of that, as humans are the reasons that animals suffer. Please stop the hate and name calling, we are here for our furry companions who need our help.

  35. Shawna did you go to school? Your spelling is terrible. No pet stores do not screen the puppy or kitten buyers and reputable breeders do definitely screen. Reputable breeders will never ever sell at an auction, nor do they cram several puppies or dogs into one small cage! Humane Societies do not make profit on animals they place into
    good homes, the animal is spayed or neutered and receive all necessary vaccinations, and most also include microchipping.

  36. You know we’re just going to leave it at this…I know what I know and beleive what I want becuase I actually know these people and have been around kennels my whole life. I will leave you to think what you will.
    Ina, for your information, yes I went to school and I’m still in school as a pre-med major. I did not take the time to go back and check my spelling because I was typing out of frustration.

  37. The only good Puppy Mill (and this dump was a Puppy Mill) is an empty one.
    The people who partake in this seedy business, make excuses, justify the behavior of those that involve themselves with this trashy business and profit off these victims (the dogs) have a missing component in their gentetic makeup or were raised with little to no compassion.
    The Amish have mistreated their horses for years and now they’re starting in on the dogs, real Godly people they are : (

    The ignorance of the comments by those that connect themselves to the people or to these hell holes shows what we’re dealing with here.
    They probably think Hitler was a great man too.
    The whole White Trash style of caring for animals this way needs to be outlawed because it’s obvious that you can’t educate some people.

    And there’s no name calling about it, White Trash, Seedy, Dump, Cruel, Neglect, Heartless, Slobs, all describes this situation and the people in it to a T! Love has nothing to do with any of this, nor compassion.
    Get some therapy, use some of that dirty money to turn your life around and see the light of your evil doings.
    I’ll pray for you.

    Spay and Neuter Be Part Of The Solution Not The Problem!
    And Until There Are None Adopt One Or Three!

  38. Wow… name calling… hmmmm…. talk about your words speaking volumes about your character.

  39. No one breeding companion animals should be dealing with a number of animals larger than they can spend one on one time with. Each and every life is worthy of daily touch, talk, eye contact and love. If anyone can claim that can be done with 240 dogs……I’m not going to write the name I have for you. It cannot be done. That and the daily physical care….no. If tha breeder has enough hired help to accomplish all this then they aren’t making any money so why are they in business? Maybe those are the millers with 700-800 dogs?

    If puppies get a chance at a life with a family in a real home with a bed, love and play time, what did these poor breeding adults do to end up having to live their lives in confinement with the bare essentials for living at best and at worst, in pain or discomfort, dirty, sick, scared. in the dark, knowing no comfort and having the life bred out of you.

    This is mill life. The puppies MIGHT find good homes or they MIGHT end up in lousy homes, be rehomed on Craigslist, or at a kill shelter because no one cared about finding them the RIGHT home. But they get a chance. The mom and dad dogs get what?

  40. Dear Jennifer Why were you in that room? Were you part of the auction? The Grell’s had a website for their kennels that made all sorts of claims about hand raising puppies and all kinds of other touchy-feely stuff. Sorry ma’am. You’re either naive or you think that it’s okay to treat animals as objects, standing in metal wire cages where they urinate and defecate and where they are bred every cycle and no one cares about their physical or emotional well being.

    Are you a relative of the Grells? Are you an interested neighbor or good friend who hoped to score a “tried and true” breeding dam?

  41. Dear Anonymous. Some dogs lose teeth with age. Those who have regular vet care tend to keep their teeth because a good “dental” every couple of years as the dogs get older will protect them. * It is absolutely not normal for a dog to lose all of its teeth. This is neglect. Pure and simple. Your remark is all the more ignorant when put in the context of breeding dogs. Dogs should not be bred when they are over 7. The dogs on question are not at an age where they should lose any teeth.

    A place could be absolutely sterile but it’s still a puppy mill when dams are bred every cycle starting when they’re too young and lasting until they’re too old. It is still a dam when a breeder has more females than he or she can give proper care and affection to.

    The author isn’t against all breeding. Just the breeders like J and D that treats animals like objects and neglect basic care because it eats into profits.

    Good breeders also known as hobby breeders do not make profit. They do it for the love of the breed and their females and/or males are members of the family and experience the lives that all dogs deserve, love and affection, good medical care, exercise, etc. They have few breeding dogs and when they sell puppies, they carefully screen potential buyers, provide a health guarantee and require buyers who can’t keep the puppy or dog for whatever reason, return the dog to the breeder. Hobby breeders’ dogs aren’t confined to small cages all day long every day of their lives , don’t lose all of their teeth, don’t urinate and defecate in their own space, and aren’t callously tossed aside or killed when they don’t turn profits for the owners.

  42. Shawna- you seem to have very low standards. The facts about this place should prevent you, out of embarrassment, to say nothing.

  43. Wow. Reputable breeders will not sell to pet stores. They carefully screen potential buyers. No, the humane society does not profit. It charges a minimal fee that does not begin to cover the physical and emotional damage to animals brought there, many from puppy factory operations like this article describes. “Businesses have to make a profit to survive” you say, but businesses, like puppy factories, have no right to exist in the first place.

  44. I also have the experience mill auctions in Missouri & Arkansas. My first one was a eye opener into that world of crime. And to it is a crime. Livestock is treated better & under stricter laws than these puppy mills. It’s a horrific experience that I have done time & time again. Passing laws to protect these animals is a nightmare in itself. It’s property not a pet, companion, friend & one that will love unconditionally. I even bought chi for as low as 1 penny. Which I’m proud to say is in his forever home with all the love & care he deserves……….

  45. “Like her children?” You don’t auction off your children! Dogs need more than water and shelter, they need lots of love and kindness, they need a family. They don’t need to be bred endless number of times and kept in cages. Do not defend these actions because there is nothing you can say. It’s inhumane.
    If you abuse your children less than your neighbor does that make you a good person? NO! You’re still an abuser. A puppy mill is a puppy mill and is abuse.
    Dogs or any animal are not meant to be caged and bred over and over. How many ways can we say it.

  46. Then shame on you Shawna. Your obviously inteligent if your a pre med student and so more the shame. How can you look those dogs in the eyes. Maybe you also believe in testing on amimals since most Dr’s do. I think there is no point in talking with you at all.

  47. OMG, this totally disgusts me, any over breeding never mind the hell holes they call mills, I still for the life of me do not know why any State can allow this. Why is it the government does not get involved are they to stupid to see that they are over run with stray and abandoned dogs due to over breeding, bad breeding, and sick dogs from these hell holes they call mills. it is heart breaking and souls destroying, these are gods creature and he aid treat all creatures alike, so ok, lets put the mill one in cages with no real floor and live in the disgusting state those poor animals have to live in.
    If it can work in the UK I can work an where, they have the full support of the government. Police and vets, without their support it is a waste of time. They do still have the odd problem but it gets sorted fast with jail sentence and huge fine. Until your government sets an example of the states and their governors who obviously close their eyes to this problem, or getting paid behind closed doors, it will never end so expose those idiots and get all mills closed and those sick evil people in jail where they belong. Sorry for being so harsh but these are living breathing feeling creatures

  48. Amish do not see animals as companions. The see animals as a means to other things. They do not treat their animals well. Even if they have a dog as a pet it is not allowed into the house. They do not treat their horses any better. I live in a old order community. They do not let their horses out of the barn to graze for fear they will get fat. I have honestly never seen a fat horse. That horse stays in that little stall till it is needed to pull them where they want to go. It lives in darkness. Do you ever see old horses that can no longer pull? NO they are killed when they are not usefull any longer. I could go on and on about the ways but trust me. Animals mean no more to them than that fly I just killed with the flyswatter.

  49. Thank you so much for sharing this experience. I belong to a Golden Retriever rescue in Canada and we had 5 dogs in from a 600+ dog puppy mill in Quebec. Puppy mills need to stop! I will definitely be sharing your article!

  50. Thank you “Bailing out Benji” for this first hand account of an auction. I read it with an open mind but still ended up with a nightmare. Anyone that condones what they do in a mill is in need of a lot of help. Condoning the conditions these dogs have to live in all the time (even if it’s just till they are bought) until they are lucky enough to find a real home to live in. I have seen dairy farmers with a lot more cows pay more attention to their livestock then these dogs get treated. Now I am not saying EVERY farmer is like that but that is their living just like the dogs are to the millers but if they want to make good money on their livestock they need to be well and healthy. No mill has the amount of time even with help to care for 240 dogs. They would need at least another 24 people helping them out whether they were paid or not. Along with the vet care all of those dogs needed is beyond do-able. I don’t care if every dog had a name or not, if they only had wire under their feet and wire around them for the life they had with each miller is no way a dog’s wish to live their life. Did they ever get a chance to go out in a large run and chase a ball, play tug-o-war with someone? Did they ever get a chance to feel grass under their feet and roll around in it? How often can a person with that many dogs give each of them a bath even once a year? If millers want to keep this sort of business going why do they need so many dogs? Why isn’t even 10 dogs per person enough? I do feel that is an amount of dogs 1 person can take care of on a daily basis. And that goes for shelters also. 1 person per every 10 dogs. More dogs mean more people needed on a daily basis.

  51. I agree with you DeAnn, it is heart breaking, and to think it happens in this day and age and allowed to happen. I have 6 dogs, 3 we adopted rather than they be dumped or put down, and it takes ages to bath each one, but they get done, how can they give any care for those poor dogs. My dream is to win the euro lottery and shut all over breeders, even if it means bribes and back hand payments to get goverment members to put an end to this sort of misery on a huge scale.

  52. I so agree with you and we need to keep exposing those horrible puppy mills and pray to god some day they will all be out of BUSINESS!!! People stop buying dogs from them!! Animal lover of six from puppy mills and one from a dog auction so I can relate to your feelings! M

  53. Well done Erich, there is no difference, it is all to do with greed, with no care or love for these dogs/ C

  54. well said, I could not agree more, this is a sick greedy business, the more I read the more I hate the very thought of puppy mills and over breeders.

  55. Anonymous, ok why are you Anonymous, do you fear the truth, are you some kind of fool, or blind, does the word auction of any animal not make your blood run cold, do you not know what it is like to love and hold any pet, to feel the love and trust they have for you, the devotion they have for their owner, do you not know how they will give their life for their owner, I for one prefer dogs to humans, you can trust them 100%, if dogs could talk you would have a lot to answer to, anyone who condones dog auctions or any animal auctions should be thrown in jail and the keys thrown away, personally I would shoot them, much cheaper and rid the world of all it’s evil.

  56. I so appreciate these comments. When I selected a breeder for my Cavalier, I wanted to see the parents, I needed to know what the breeding protocols were, and how they were cared for. My buyer contract stipulated that my Cavalier breeder be contacted in the event of my demise, I am in touch with them even to this day, and my spaniels will NEVER be neglected, loose their teeth, or yearn for love and attention. MK . . . you are so right. I just read your post and love that you speak to the standard all dogs deserve. Well, maybe more than our pups . . . .

  57. So the AKC can make part of their millions off of the filthy, inhumane puppy mills. That is why they name them. And… to make it look like they actually know their dogs names. Give me a flippin break!

  58. How can we get you to see the truth about this? If Karen loved the dogs she would have called the ASPCA or HSUS or countless other rescue groups in America. If these large welfare/rescue groups aren’t able to take all of the dogs then they split them into smaller groups where multiple rescues can take them in, place them up for adoption, and screen the potential adopter. Karen took them to auction and that says she didn’t love them. She wanted money. It breaks my heart that you don’t understand that and it breaks my heart wondering who has these dogs now. Do you or Karen or all the others involved ever think about where they could be? If they’re happy? Loved? This is a terrible, terrible business no matter how pretty a picture you try to paint. Please, open your mind. I’m sure they are good people in other ways but this is a terrible “business” that they should have never started and that you should never defend.

  59. Not that I think breeding for any profit is OK but where would we be if no one bred we would have no dogs…but in saying that I do not think breeding in large places like this is OK. I have personally delt with hoarders and their Illnes they can have up to 100 animals and they have names for all those animals does that make it OK to have sick animals no it don’t most have illneses that require vet care which they do not get why to meny animals same situation as large breeding facilities. I own a 9 year old boxer who with care and love acts like she is two her teeth are perfect and she has had 4 litters produced when buyers were checked home checked etc that is love not locked in cages bred till they can’t breed no more only see people when it is feeding time no wonder they show love when a human comes they know people mean food not love I do not care about how much this woman is respected or how well her dogs looked she sold her so called loved pets to evil people how can that be love if she loved her pets where are the contracts to make sure her loved pets are looked after when they leave home if she had a warm placein the winter and cool place in the summer why not make sure they got that after they left if she loved them. The dog with the broken leg in a small breeding place they would have made sure that leg healed proper and made sure that dog didn’t do harm to the splint but i guess loves means letting the dog do what it wanted?? And we there or not those other dogs belong to her or not on her property she had the obligation to call animal welfare to make a complaint about those other people but chose not to cause her love for the animals are so strong…..I understand the need to defend your friend and family but at what cost to the ones with no voice???? My question to all defenders what if it was a child??? What if it was life or death would u defend then what if it went to court would u defend then knowing u could be arrested for animal cruity what then???? If people want to breed to better the breed or produce a good dog by all means but at such large quantaties is wrong the animals DO NOT!! Get the care they need and it should not be aloud but just my thoughts.:-)

  60. Sorry my spelling sucks 🙂 🙂 🙂 my tab is messing up justhang in there with me 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  61. Can my organization, “No Kill Maricopa County”, re-print this post, in it’s entirety on our blog? I will include the direct link back to your blog and give you author credit (but only if you want your name included). Our website is if you would like to verify. We are a relatively new group and we just added a blog to our site and only have 1 pot as of yet. I would love to include your account of this auction, as it’s something people out here just can’t quite grasp.

  62. So glad to hear that the puppy mill in vail is gone.7 years ago bought my daughter a puppy from there not knowing what it was. Started seeing more about puppy mills and the light went off. Now we will allways resue or adopt . It broke my heart when I read the poor baby’s are still being used and abused . Let’s pray some day it will stop and animals have more rights.

  63. any time animals are on one side of the scale and $$$$ on the other, guess what is going to win out?? Buying animals under ANY circumstance is to treat them as commodity, product, something to be bought, sold and disposed of. Animals are not commodity or product!! If you put money into the hands of breeders at any point – even to ‘salvage’ the animals – you are putting money into the hands of people to carry on doing what they are doing.
    If you ‘love’ animals please never, ever purchase animals. They are sentient beings and deserve love and respect.

  64. I am an animal lover, involved with rescues from puppy mills and support you 100%. Today I am writing letters to your Congressmen about the mills in Iowa…as horrible as the above pictures look, at least these people had shelter for the dogs. I just saw a post and picture where the dogs are out in cages with little or no shelter in 100 degree heat….In Iowa….we all need to write letters…………. If everyone who reads this post would write 1 or 2 emails…maybe Iowa and others would start to get the message. We are going to start a campaign to start picking outside Pet Stores to make people aware….We were able to shut down a big breeder in Denver… it does work….Show the people where these puppies come from….little by little we can make a difference!

  65. We actually bought our puppy from K-D kennels in Vail, IA 4 months ago. So from personal experience I can believe this article is correct. When we went down to pick up our puppy, he was VERY unsocial (even though Karen had claimed that the grandchildren had came over to play with the puppies every week- how does that happen when there are over 200 dogs there?), his nails were long and untrimmed, and he needed a hair cut real bad. I can understand a puppy being scared leaving momma and all, but this was bad. When we went to pick him up, we weren’t allowed to meet them at their home (go figure) so we had to meet up in another town at a golf course to get him. I’m so happy we got our puppy when we did, but so sad to hear I had contributed my money towards a puppy mill.

  66. Emily, Thank you for sharing your story… Please follow up with us if your puppy turns out to have an illness. That would be an interesting piece of the puzzle. It is always a huge red flag when breeders want to meet off site, always always always ask to see where the parents are living!

  67. He actually just recovered from meningitis! Thankfully he recovered, with much help from the veterinarians 🙂

  68. I am so glad to hear that everything cleared up nicely! Thankfully you caught that early 🙂 Did the vet know how it was spread? A lot of times it is spread by tick bites, which reflects upon the breeder’s refusal to use flea and tick medication on dogs. One breeder told me that since their dogs never play in the grass or with other dogs, they don’t need preventatives.

  69. They weren’t sure how he contracted it, but he had some sort of allergic reaction to his distemper and rabies shots and he came down with meningitis a couple days after that reaction, so we’re not sure if it was the shots or what… I would hate to blame, but hearing about this kennel just makes me sick. And that is one lame excuse for not using flea and tick medication. I’m actually in pre-vet school right now and would love to see this stopped… Both the puppy mills AND this auctioning business. I’d never heard too much about it before, so I really appreciate your insight on the situation. I’m just sad that my poor little puppy was born in this place, but glad that he’s in a better home now with us!

  70. What gets me is that these dogs went for as much as they did, considering their health. To me, if you are going to pay $750-3000 for a dog…. why would you pay that much for one that isn’t in it’s top condition? That’s just backwards. I would much rather pay $200 for a rescue, knowing that it has all it’s shots and has been treated for any conditions it may have, than to “try my luck” at one of these auctions. Seriously… this has got to stop. It’s horrible and a black mark on human kind.

  71. I actually did purchase a puppy in May of this year from Grell’s Kennels… must have been just weeks before all this happened. I’d never bought a puppy like this before and my goal was to simply get a puppy that had poodle blood in it for the low allergins. I’m torn about this now…. I bought a miniture schnoodle from them, and he’s had so many problems from the start, actually, just as Emily commented above, our baby got an allergic reaction to his rabies and distemper shot as well and also contracted meningitis – we almost lost him….BUT I am so thankful he is a part of our family and I am so thankful he wasn’t auctioned off like a piece of furniture! Yes, we unknowingly bought from a puppy mill, but we saved a life and wouldn’t trade him for the world!!

  72. and just to add to my other comment – we also met somewhere other than their farm, our puppy was and is still very timid. He smelled really bad when we got him, needed a bath and his claws were so long that we had to traumatize him with a bath and toenail clipping within the first couple hours. As for the meningitis issue – I thought we were going to lose him… he was having seizures every 2 hours, his temp. spiked to 106 degrees and he spent one night at the hospital and 1 1/2 months on anti-seizure meds before we got him back to a healthy puppy. I have never been so scared in my life and as I said earlier am so thankful he’s a part of our life…. but without a vet team that is A+, I think we would have lost him! He is now almost 7 months old and thriving!!! I’d be interested Emily in knowing what breed you bought?

  73. of course, once someone has an animal …it’s tragic to think you might lose them to disease and most decent people will do all they can to help the animal. problem is when you buy an animal from an auction or puppy mill like the one described above, you are putting money into the pockets of people that will ultimately do this again….breeding animals with little to absolutely no regard for the animals health or welfare

  74. I don’t disagree – but as I said…. I had no idea that’s what I had done. I went this route this time because in the past, I’ve also experienced being lied to by people at shelters who I’d gotten a puppy from and found out that later, they were also ill or had issues that had to be dealt with. Unfortunately, not all shelters are honest either.

  75. I have tears in my eyes reading this. So disturbing. God bless the rescue groups. I just hugged my failed foster dog a little tighter. (I say failed because I adopted him).

  76. OMG!!!!are you insane, this is just unbelievable. A dog is not intended to be kept in a cage with no family to love it, with as many dogs as a puppy mill breeder has, I dont care how “good” of a person/family they are, theres no way that the interaction, cuddling and love that a dog deserves can be given, I dont care if she didnt have the 3oo and some as stated, even 50 would not get what they deserve as “mans best friend” sick, and you will be judged in the end, Karma for sure


  78. I see now that K D is listed as a “boarding facility”. Think an investigation needs to be done because I would bet money they are still breeding and selling dogs!

  79. This hurts and angers me.what are they many puppy mills..give it up.go to work ..this is not work plain lazy ass ppl trying to make a buck.those who rescue are workers and they should be proud of what they do.but you ppl with puppy mills are such low life..sorry I’m angry…

  80. How can anyone possibly remember 240 names? That’s insane. Nobody should have that many dogs, it’s impossible for anyone to properly care for them, regardless of how much they love every single one of them.

  81. I wish I could kill these people. Stand them against a wall and shoot them down! What kind of a country is America? Damn this country. Where animals are abused everyday, everyday. The F***G Amish are one of the worst with their GOD crap. They love GOD. Well GOD doesn’t love them! One day will come when these abusers will get theirs. I hope they suffer just like they make their animals suffer.


  83. Puppy mills are EVIL regardless of what you do or who you are if you are breeding or buying from a mill auction to breed you are EVIL also. There are endless pictures and evidence to back up the word EVIL. You are in it for the money not for the well being of the animal you are breeding. Get off your soap box and try to sell some one else you lies. You make your world of breeding sound so good and I am sure it is very good to you but not your animals. Oh yea give us the line “I love my dogs and take very good care of them”. BS. I just hope one day we are able to shut you down also!!!!!!!!!!!

  84. I think what you did is great. I’m looking to adopt a dog in the future and I was wondering, how do you find out about when/where puppymill auctions are going to take place? I can’t find much info about it online. Thanks.

  85. the best way to put these bas***ds out of business is to not support them in any way whatsoever….adopt your dog from a shelter, a true rescue or any one of numerous ads that appear in the newspaper, on kijiji, craigslist, ads on community boards, vets, pet supply stores, etc. etc. etc.

  86. What a shame to hear that they treat these poor innocent animals that way. Shame on the Amish……their God told them to treat animals that way…..well I can tell you this who ever their God is is not God it’s the devil that they follow because God would tell them to do that. Shame on them……..

  87. Thank you for sharing this information, you are so brave to show us the reality where we leave … I had no idea this is happening so close around us….I dont understand why the law allow this kind of cruelity……yes is an auction but, more than this is a business and they dont care about these dogs…

  88. They were a USDA licensed commercial breeding facility. So YES! It was a puppy mill!!!! The dogs were classified as LIVESTOCK not companion animals. Did they go out for walks to go to the bathroom? Hell no! They were forced to deficate and urinate in the cage they spend their life in. It is unnatural for a dog to foul the area he lives in. The best puppy mill is a concentration camp for the animals in them. They are not part of a family but a cash crop for the losers who run them. No beds, no toys, no walks, no proper Vet care. All that would take time and cut into profits. She “loved” all 240 dogs? Give me a break. She loved the money! Get a real job and quit making a living off of the abuse and misery of these dogs!

  89. Connie, our problem is with commercial breeding where the dogs are kept caged and classified as livestock under the USDA. If ALL these hell holes closed down we would be left with responsible breeders ( who would NEVER sell to a pet store, over the Internet, out of the back of a vehicle etc) We also have Rescues, and shelters where you cam adopt and save a life. We recycle our garbage for God’s sake but these babies get killed and thrown in a land fill? So we are not against all breeders or pet ownership.

    Puppy Mills pump out 2 million puppies a year and we, the taxpayer, pay over $2 billion to roundup, house, euthanize, and dispose of 2 million dogs a year. There is no genetic testing done at a commercial breeder nor is any effort made to avoid genetic health issues. Some dogs have been proven with DNA tests to not even be the “breed” they were sold as even though they had AKC papers. The AKC willingly sells papers to puppy mill dogs and gets’ 80% of their income from doing so. AKC papers are not a guarantee of health or quality breeding,(says so right on AKC’s site), only that the parents are “purebred”. Purebreds with hip displasia, epilepsy, luxating patellas, blind gene, deaf gene, and on and on. When the pet store person looks the consumer in the eye and says that their puppies came from a private breeder, they are lying and that’s consumer fraud!

    You are absolutely right about the lack of care for these animals. In 2010, the Inspector General issued a scathing report on AHPIS’s ability to enforce even the inadequate standards for USDA licensed mills (puppy mills). The report is 69 pages long, but it only takes a minute to scroll down and see the horrendous neglect these dogs must endure. These were ALL inspected and approved mills. These people have sold their souls.

    Click to access 33002-4-SF.pdf

  90. Shawna, PRE-MED???j!!!!! I wouldn’t let my pet rock go to you! You are clearly ethically challenged with no compassion for living breathing beings. And you don’t have a clue about the subject matter. We aren’t going to LEAVE it at all! Our Numbers are growing. Today 70% of people surveyed do not know what a puppy mill is or the connection to pet stores and the Internet. But we are going to change that. I promise you. Whether you ever get it or not, I don’t really care. You’re not worth the bother.

  91. NO person should EVER be allowed to be keeping hundreds (or even dozens) of companion animals in cages for profit like livestock – EVER! Just the fact that these dogs, which are pack animals and need the socialization with other animals and humans, are being so confined is pure cruelty. Even if the owner provides a/c and heat, so what? Our society values these creatures as companions and it’s time the laws start reflecting this. That cute little puppy from the pet store came from a puppy mill I guarantee you. Puppy mill = any breeder who is trying to breed for profit. True lovers of our companion animals breed on a very limited basis because of the love of the breed and the costs of providing proper vet care are too high to make any money. They breed only after getting genetic and temperament testing done and the puppies are raised in the home and are handled and well-socialized by humans. And they would NEVER farm out their puppies to a pet store. Even the puppy mills with the ‘highest ratings’ are bad news. We have a rescued dog who was a cage raised stud and it took 6 years to get him to sit on a humans lap he was so terrified. Any puppy one buys from a pet store is supporting the cruelty and suffering the breeding dogs endure. Karen? I am so glad you ‘retired’. The fact that you bred dogs in such high numbers without socialization and proper vet care is despicable! How do you sleep at night?

  92. no one should be breeding ANY animal, while shelters, rescues and others are hard pressed to rehome animals that are already here. Breeding on a limited basis is still breeding and serves only to propogate the notion that one breed deserves special attention – too many “purebreds” end up in the same places as the mutts…when the novelty, vanity and attention seekers run out of steam.

  93. Proverbs 12: 10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. (KJB)

  94. Heaven forbid if there should ever be an uprising and the animals take over the world. There are many humans that will be in trouble for their bad handling and care of animals. Then they would think twice about how they treat animals. Animals have feelings as do us humans. You treat an animal how you would want to be treated if you were that animal. They are helpless because they can’t get away from their situations. They need a human voice to help protect them.

  95. Wow Jennifer, I can tell you find the name calling very upsetting. But the fact that the dogs in commercial breeding facilities are classified as livestock and not protected under companion animal laws (like they are under responsible breeders who keep their dogs as pets IN their homes), doesn’t seem to bother you one bit? They live their lives in those cages. No bed, no toys, no walks no family. The AWA standards for livestock says the cage they live their lives in must be 6″ bigger than they are sans tail. Dogs are sociable animals and need human interaction and exercise. The best puppy mill is a concentration camp for a dog. How do you groom over 200 dogs? YOU DON”T. Where do they urinate and defecate? In the cage they are forced to live in, and sleep in. Is that how you treat your pet? No attempt is made to find these breeding dogs homes when they are done breeding. They are sold at auction to the highest bidder or disposed of. Where is your shock and dismay for them? Nothing? I have to say Jennifer, the last thing I care about is what you think of anyone standing up for those who have no voice. You should be ashamed of yourself.
    We are angry and disgusted by the behavior of anyone who makes a living off of the backs of these companion animals. THEY ARE NOT LIVESTOCK. Ask any soldier who’s life has been saved by a dog, or a disabled person who can live alone because of a dog, or an autistic child who opens up because of the unconditional love of a dog. You talk about how much these dogs are loved? You need to convince yourselves of that to make this horrible abuse more acceptable in your minds. You will never convince anyone outside of this disgusting industry that it’s anything other than animal abuse. By the way, responsible breeders belong to kennel clubs. Commercial breeders DO NOT belong to kennel clubs because they sell to pet stores over the Internet and anyway they can. Kennel clubs state right in their bylaws that their members are not to sell to pet stores of over the Internet. The link below was established and is maintained by Veterinary professionals. It has the best information on what to look for when getting a pet. It says it all!

  96. Lisa Marie Hoy, They lie about it to every one and themselves so they can pretend it’s OK to make money this way. It’s called rationalization. Some of them just don’t give a damn. But I spend most of my time at education camps, schools, and adult venues spreading the word. People are learning the truth and it’s starting to take effect. Most people will not support this low life industry when they learn the truth and these puppy millers will have to find honest work to make a living. This is a multi-billion dollar industry but it costs taxpayers over $2 billion to round up, house, kill and dispose of the 4 million homeless pets each year while these liars are pumping out over 2 million puppies under these heartless circumstances. We, the taxpayers, are subsidizing this industry and it has to stop! Please write your legislators, sign petitions, and let your family and friends know the truth. Educate everyone you know. That’s what we do. Please check out this site. The Puppy Mill Project is in Chicago and we’re making a difference!

  97. In May of 2010, the Inspector General issued a scathing report on the inability of the USDA/APHIS to enforce even the already inadequate standards of the AWA (Animal Welfare Act) that these dogs which are classified as livestock fall under. The report is 60 pages long but you can easily scroll down and see the horrific conditions in these “inspected” and “approved” USDA licensed mills! Should be criminal. These people should be shot!

    Click to access 33002-4-SF.pdf

  98. Lets be clear – there are no “responsible” breeders! How can one be considered responsible, when thousands, no millions of dogs are being killed or abandoned because of lack of good, caring homes. Breeders of any stripe are adding to those numbers – we all know that so-called purebred dogs go to shelters, pounds and are abandoned as well as cross-breeds. There are so many animals that need a home and I hope people continue to turn to rescues. Where money is on one side of the scale and animals on the other – guess which side will win out?? It’s money almost everytime. Money to the breeders, back yard, puppy millers or otherwise….money to the AKC who are nothing more than a money machine – they’ve been proved corrupt so many times, i’ve lost count and finally money to the vets; many of whom charge exhorbitant prices for their services.

  99. As a vet tech, it is also well-known that people who truly care for their dogs get their teeth checked at annual exams at the vet’s office and have a thorough, under anesthesia dental performed on their dog’s mouth if need be. They should never have to “lose teeth”. Knowing your dogs by name doesn’t prove love or care for that matter. And as to your excuse that the Shiba would not let its leg heal properly, the owner was not monitoring the recovery after the vet (if there even was one in this picture) set the splint. A dog with a broken leg and a splint needs to be wearing an e-collar, monitored heavily, pain medicine administered, bandage changed regularly, and physical quietness reinforced. There is no excuse for a dog not to let itself heal. You are obviously naive and a coward at that – anonymously posting your defenses for a disgusting system of animal abuse – from backyard breeders to puppy millers to auctioneers, you all need to have your heads examined for sanity. Shame on you and shame on the Grell family. I can’t wait for the day when the auctions and puppy millers are at last all shut down. We are on our way toward that thankfully.

  100. Shawna, You are terribly confused and likely disheartened learning that your friend Karen Grell has ‘been cited for several violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including the use of expired medications, buildups of old feces and bedding material, as well as structurally unsound cages. All of these reports can be found on the USDA website.’ But this doesn’t mean you should continue to defend her and the other commercial breeders out there in this country with excuses like, “Every breeder will get behind sometimes”. No they won’t. Not the reputable, responsible ones. The ones who “get behind” on routine veterinary care, clean housing, proper social enrichment, proper nutrition, ought to get out of their business and find rescue groups across the country to bail them out, not sell the poor, deprived animals at auction for profit they have not obviously been spending on the animals in the first place. That is putting profit over welfare in its most blatant manner. You are delusional.

  101. Uh, try Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for one. There are countless sanctuaries and shelters that would have shared the responsibility. You are so ignorant, Shawna!

  102. Imagine, Shawna, if you had 240 “patients” to see EVERY DAY. No matter how devoted you were, this would still require that you do not sleep, eat, or leave the premises in order to give EACH PATIENT a total of six minutes of individual attention… Even if you called each one by name,and had assistance with their “care” you could not possibly address their needs in that time, or make them feel even slightly valued… If, like most humans, you actually ate, slept and traveled to the corner store on occasion, you cut that time in half. How does that equate to a loving or professional environment for you? Stay in school. Hopefully someone has you changing bedpans for a year or two before “Med School”,so you get the picture on what it takes to be HUMANE in a careless world.

  103. It she loves dogs so much then why doesn’t she KEEP them all or rescue ones that dont’ have homes?? To me, that seems like LOVE but not breeding dogs for a profit! Not creating so many dogs she can’t possible give them all the love and attention they deserve this is GREED not LOVE! These people dont’ hire the staff necessary to walk, play and socialize all these dogs… why? because it’s all about the money and it’s sickening no matter how much you try to justify it.

  104. Exactly!! there is NO way to ensure that these dogs went to loving homes, in fact, I bet if someone walked up and said they wanted to buy a dog to experiment on or skin alive the breeders wouldn’t bat an eye at selling them one! No way no HOW can you justify this! You are a FOOL for thinking this is ok! Would you like to live in a tiny room your whole life, used only to produce babies????

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