JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – Earlier this year KMOX News told you about a Missouri dog kennel, repeatedly cited for having sick animals and filthy conditions.  Now KMOX has learned it’s being shut down by the state.

Federal inspection reports reveal S & S Family Puppies in Milan, Missouri had a record of denying animals veterinary care and forcing them to live in cramped, dirty and dangerous cages.

Missouri’s Attorney General has taken notice too, and  ordered the breeder to close it’s kennels and to leave the business for at least eight years.

The Humane Society of the United States had listed S & S among it’s “dirty dozen”.  the Society’s Kathleen Summers says there have been five years of documented issues. “Dogs with oozing sores, injuries that hadn’t been treated, sanitation problems, puppies with their feet falling through wire, dogs exposed to freezing temperatures.”

Humane Society officials applaud the AG’s action, but say the case is an example of why Missouri needs stronger laws.

Copyright KMOX Radio

Comments (17)
  1. Cheryl says:

    This is a great step for Puppy Mills, but ALL the MO puppy mills need to be closed down. Prop B was passed last November to close the MO mills, but Jay Nixon overturned the bill. Please everyone contact him. I realize he recently made consessions for mills & breeding, but it’s still NOT Prop B!

  2. Gilllian Devlin says:

    Great News! NOW Close them all!!!!

  3. Eileen Otworth says:

    WE need to restrict breedong not encourage it. killing is not a solution to pet overpopulation

  4. savethem says:

    Definitely good news.

  5. Michael Vincent says:

    Perhaps a new strategy to help enforce humane treatment or better yet, abolish puppy mills that violate state laws, would be for all of us, org’s, shelters, etc. to contact our states’ “Federal lawmakers” to see if they can put restrictions on federal funds states may get for grants, programs, etc. if their state DOES NOT fully enforce their animal protection laws in all areas, especially these puppy mills of torture! If the feds can withhold money for other causes, why not this also? Put pressure on the governors and state reps or no money for certain projects!!! Let’s get serious about helping our friends! Everyday is a very LONG one for them!!

  6. Mindy Smith says:


  7. Jan Przybylski says:


    The Stephensons’ dogs, however, are not going to rescue groups or shelters where they could be adopted into loving families. Instead, the state is allowing them to be transferred or sold to other commercial breeding facilities. Forty of the dogs are scheduled to be sold to the highest bidder this Saturday at the Southwest Kennel Auction in Wheaton, Mo.
    And because only the Stephensons were mentioned in the Attorney General’s statement, we suspect many of these dogs may be transferred to a second kennel operated by another family member, Brandi Cheney. USDA records list Stephenson and Cheney as co-owners of S & S Family Puppies. In fact, last year several aggrieved consumers sued Diana Stephenson and Cheney under the Missouri consumer protection law. The consumers alleged that Stephenson and Cheney sold them sick puppies but misled them into believing the puppies were healthy. A copy of the plaintiffs’ complaint was sent to Attorney General Koster.
    Nevertheless, as detailed in our March 2011 Dirty Dozen update, Cheney recently obtained a USDA license for a new kennel, called Circle B Farms, which has also been cited for severe animal care violations.
    Thus, the surviving dogs likely won’t have a chance at a better life, but merely a life in another puppy mill. This is unacceptable. Puppy mill operators who have repeatedly violated both state and federal laws should not be permitted to move or sell their surviving “stock” to other puppy mill operators. The dogs have already suffered untold trauma and should not be transferred to another breeding facility, especially considering that local and national animal groups are prepared to help these dogs. It’s time they find a loving home.

    1. kathy1949 says:

      Wait a minute – I read that MO ageed to NOT auctiion off dogs confiscated from breeders. Contact AG Koster NOW ! Auctioning off these dogs is not acceptable – they have suffered too much already.

    2. skippy says:

      I heard the animal rights people complain that the dogs that are stolen from dog breeders arent housebroke. They want everything perfect and free so they can sell them. I have in my office a animal rights bible that was written in 1933, the animal rights movement follow it to the letter. All of you better run when I expose who wrote it. This has very little to do with animals and everything to do with control, profit and greed.

  8. Brenda Wilson says:

    What doesn’t Missouri’s governor understand about a democratic vote? Why have a vote system that gives him the right to overturn it just because BIG AG didn’t like the outcome of the PEOPLE’s vote. This sounds pretty UNCONSTITUTIONAL to me.

  9. Christina Erskine says:

    This is all well and good, but to allow these dogs to be ‘auctioned off’ to other mills, and/or a relative of the S&S mill, makes this shut down nothing more than lip service. These dogs should have been awarded to rescues. The message has no teeth. Shame on Missouri and shame on people that seem to be living in caves, continuing to support mills with their consumer dollars.

  10. kathy1949 says:

    BRAVO to the MDA and Koster!

    Now, how about shutting down Rabbit Ridge in Edina, MO – which has had 11 (taxpayer paid) inspections in the last 12 months and this breeder chronically and willfully violates damn near all AWA and ACFA laws/regulations. Has no program of vet care and always has sick and/or injured dogs. Per inspectors the entire facilities are dilapidated and with excrement, rust and mold in and under pens and the food/water dishes. This breeder has approx 300 dogs!!!
    Tell Koster – Shut Down RABBIT RIDGE KENNEL !

  11. skippy says:

    The animal rights people come into kennels right after major storms. They come in when the dogs are dirty from mud. They say the animals are sick but only take photos of the one or two dogs being treated for sores. The dog breeders who sell to pet stores only get $50 a pup and they are sold to brokers. Animal rights want all animal breeding to stop, they also want rice farming and soy bean farming to stop. I have seen people like them before theres nothing OK. They think the sky is falling. Go Home.

  12. lisa says:

    Skippy you don’t know what you are talking about. There haven’t been enough storms in the history of the world for the puppy mills to have racked up all the violations they have. People in favor of better treatment of animals simple want others to take a humane course of action. Having hundreds of dogs in wire cages stacked on top of each other and never let out, eating and drinking filthy water.. this is disgusting and a shame for Missouri.

  13. Melanie says:

    Keep wearing those blinders Skippy. You probably have a puppy mill yourself and that’s why you’re speaking against animal rights!!

    1. Margaret says:

      that once before too. Today, I alcrel saying… Please, don’t put the Polly Pockets in your Milk. Ugh! Also, have to say I am excited about your Tuesday Link Up! Can’t wait to link!

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