I am sure by now everyone has heard of the dog hoarding/puppy mill case from Allegan County. Either way you call it, makes me sick. On April 9th, 2012 over 350 dogs (actually 390 after some of the dogs delivered puppies) covered in filth, feces, urine, matted, with eye infections, (not to mention the over breeding of the dogs) 12 cats, and 2 birds were taken from a 500 square foot house and a barn in Allegan County. George and Cheri Burke were arrested. Were you aware that in 2005 this same couple had 97 (52 dogs and 45 puppies) animals taken from them when they lived in Grand Rapids. At that time they were charged for failure to obtain a kennel license and ultimately fined $392.00 dollars. Were you aware that Allegan County Prosecutor’s office dropped the charge from the original charge a felony of animal cruelty or abandonment of more than 10 animals to a misdemeanor citing just two animals. Were you aware that the couple told the Judge that the dogs in their care were dirty and needed baths and that District Court Judge Joseph Skocelas said that his own dog is often dirty and needs a bath. Their sentencing is set for May 24, 2012.
Were you aware that illness, disease, fearful behavior, and lack of socialization with humans and other animals are common characteristics of dogs from puppy mills and because puppy mill operators fail to apply proper husbandry practices that would remove sick dogs from their breeding pools, puppies from puppy mills are prone to congenital and hereditary conditions. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without veterinary care, food, water and socialization. Puppy mill dogs do not get to experience treats, toys, exercise or basic grooming. To minimize waste cleanup, dogs are often kept in cages with wire flooring that injure their paws and legs and it is not unusual for cages to be stacked on top of each other. Breeder dogs at puppy mills usually will spend their entire lives outdoors exposed to the elements or crammed inside filthy structures where they never get the chance to feel the sun or a gust of fresh air on their faces. Puppy mill female dogs are bred at every opportunity with little to no recovery time between litters. When after a few years, they are physically depleted to the point that they no longer can reproduce, breeding females are often killed. So the next time you hear the words “PUPPY MILL” stop and think, do not buy from that breeder, opt to adopt.
On a final note THANK YOU to the lady who bought a puppy from them soaked in urine with health problems and still called animal control to report the conditions.