Brian Kelly

(KMOX)-An undercover investigation has found that thousands of puppies being sold in New York pet stores are being imported from Missouri puppy mills, including up to five mills listed among the state’s notorious “Dirty Dozen”.

The Humane Society of the United States claims that the hidden-camera probe found that over a four-month period this year, more than 3,000 puppies were shipped from Missouri to New York.

The Society’s Missouri Director, Barbara Schmitz, believes that’s just the tip of the iceberg, “Missouri is known as the puppy mill capital of the country. We have many, many, many high volume breeders here in Missouri who are literally exporting hundreds of thousands of puppies a year.”

Schmitz says all the New York pet stores denied knowing that the puppies came from high volume mills, which leads her to believe they all did know, ‘I think if it is a lack of knowledge alone then some of the  facilities or some of the pet stores  would have said , ‘Oh, I just don’t know’ or some of them would have admitted the relationships. Instead there was a very consistent response.”

Schmitz says the society is urging inspectors to take a look at conditions at some of the facilities where the puppies were born. It is also looking at other legal options both in Missouri and New York.

Copyright KMOX Radio

Comments (37)
  1. Sandy says:

    New York pet stores know that Missouri’s legal, licensed, and inspected kennels produce the best puppies! Why on earth is this an ‘undercover investigation’? The information and numbers are not a secret. There are approximately 1300 licensed breeders (that you slanderously call puppymills) operating in Missouri. Many of these sell to high-end pet stores in New York and elsewhere. It is called marketing. It is perfectly legal and provides a service to customers who choose to shop in pet stores. .

    1. Naomi says:

      sounds like you are a puppy mill owner

    2. Jessica Davies says:

      You are 100% correct. It’s legal. It’s also a filthy horrendous industry. They produce the best puppies? Really? Where do you get those facts from? Licensed? They have to be in order to sell to pet stores. Inspected? They have to be to be licensed and at that, the inspection reports are filled with nothing but violations. 1,300 licensed breeders does not count the thousands of unlicensed ones as well. Morally, it’s not right. ADOPT. DON’T SHOP!

      1. Sandy says:

        Dog breeding is a “filthy horrendous industry?” What exactly are you basing that on, besides HSUS’ lies? How many licensed kennels have you actually seen? I assume that you are identifying all licensed dog breeders as ‘puppy mills’? Even the vast majority who have not had ANY violations? MOST licensed breeders have passed many inspections without ANY violations.
        The few who have had repeat serious violations are in the minority, and are being dealt with as the law allows. It is not a death penalty issue.
        Unlicensed illegal breeders do exist, of course, and are being ferreted out by Bark Alert and punished accordingly, as they need to be. I question your claim of thousands, though. If you KNOW even ONE unlicensed illegal breeder, you should turn them in to Bark Alert to be shut down. Of course you do not really even know of ONE. You are just regurgitating HSUS BS lies.
        Missouri does produce the best puppies. Unlike you, I have first-hand experience in the field. I raise some of those superior puppies, as do many licensed breeder friends. I have also visited many other kennels, and have never seen anything resembling “filthy or horrendous”. Wagging tails and happy barks are the common sights and sounds. .

    3. Lynne says:

      something that only a puppy mill lover would say.

      1. Lynne says:

        you are a participator in the filthy, horrible business of puppy mills and I will work diligently to dismantle the entire “:industry” Animals that have been bred to be companions deserve much better care and attention then are being provided in puppy mills. I would hide my ace in shame if I were you.

      2. Sandy says:

        Lynne, I am assuming from your post that you consider all legal, licensed, complaint dog breeders to be filthy horrible puppy mills? So how many licensed kennels have you actually seen? Are you also relying on HSUS to supply you with the lies and hatred for your misguided attempt to ‘dismantle the entire industry’?
        Have you witnessed first-hand the “care and attention” being provided in licensed kennels? Or are you just taking the untrustworthy word of HSUS and the other militant animal rights extremists with an agenda? What do you really know personally about this legal industry? Do you really want to ‘never see another dog or cat born’ like Wayne Pacelle, HSUS, says he wants?
        “If you were me”, you would not be hiding in shame. You would be proud of what I have accomplished over the last 40 years in this business of caring for animals. I have made a lot of people (and dogs) very happy providing them with a valued canine member of their families!

    4. dogparknut says:

      Sandy – ever been to a Missouri dog auction where the breeder dogs are being sold by the breeders who are done exploiting them? I have. It’s the saddest thing you will ever see – scared and often times sickly dogs. The breeder dogs at mills live a terrible life. If they are lucky they get bought up for a few bucks at the auction by a rescue group. If not, they get bought up to be bred again and again. If they are lucky enough to be dumped in a pound (which many breeders do because they are nothing but unusable objects to them) or taken by a rescue when they are at the end of their breeding life, they will finally have a few years of living a way a dog was meant to live. Living in wire floor cages, no socialization, limited if any exercise, poor grooming, etc, is nothing but CRUELTY. Now go get some education about this and help these dogs instead of defending this disgusting industry.

      1. Sandy says:

        I’m sure I have been to more dog auctions than you have in the last 23 years. However, an auction is not my choice of venue for aquiring breeding dogs, although I have seen some really nice dogs sold there. The dogs are there for a reason. Would you rather they be just killed outright as some animal rights terrorists would have you believe occurs routinely at all kennels? Of course, the killing of old breeding stock is just another AR lie to generate sympathy for their agenda. Most breeders have one or two retired breeding dogs at any one time, but have a hard time rehoming them, as their ads are flagged and removed by avid animal rights rescues that do not want the competition for sales.
        You might try getting an education about how dogs are really treated in a licensed kennel. Your version is just not typical of the average MODA-licensed kennel. Why don’t you go visit some real licensed kennels instead of slandering the entire industry on just the fantasies that the HSUS is shoving down your throat? The dogs do not ‘live a terrible life’. Dogs do not have to sleep in your bed to be happy.

  2. Sandy says:

    Why would anyone quote Barbara Schmitz and expect anything but lies and slander? She is the crazy HSUS lady who accused a respected (single) veterinarian, Dr. Foster, of hiding a wife and 500 dogs. Of course, it was a vicious LIE! This was during a radio program debate and was an ugly attempt at discrediting her opponent. She doesn’t care what she lies about or who gets slandered. Typical HSUS methods. Lies and deceit.

    1. Vish says:

      “If you were me”, you would not be hiding in shame.”….

      My guess is, she would never WANT to be you. Anyone who is a productive member of our working society would not want that kind of taint on their hands. Although, my guess is; anyone who does a “job” that takes no education, no talent, no skill, and from what I have seen–no concept of cleanliness or compassion then I guess you will believe and say anthing to help you sleep at night. I am sure it is very handy to be able to have a “job” right there behind the trailer park, so you probaby have a great one up on everyone else. So you have got us figured out, we ALL want to be just like you.

      1. Sandy says:

        When you are totally clueless about a subject, sometimes it is better to just not comment. Your lack of knowledge of professional animal husbandry is astounding. I won’t bore you with all the qualifications it takes to be a successful dog breeder, but I will tell you that being hateful is one quality that prevents one from being successful.. In other words, you would fail miserably at this. Keep your day job!

  3. Lorry Schlick says:

    Anyone who has any brains knows the Missouri is the puppy mill capital of the US and despite the comments above, the mills are horrific. One need only go to the internal audit done by the Office of the Inspector General who looked at how BAD a job the inspectors did and published it in May of 2010: Everyone knows there are not enough inspectors, they aren’t doing their jobs because their workload is impossible and infractions get a slap on the hand. If my neighbor did what these mills do to these dogs, we would call Animal Control and or the police. But because these mills are under the USDA (yes, the dept of AGRICULTURE!) there are zero to little consequences to their abuse, neglect and mistreatment of these “Breed or Die” dogs. The ones lying here are those who talk about these commercial kennels like they are a paradise for dogs when in fact it is hell on earth for them. Stop the coverup and greed for breeding! Get a real job, puppy farmers!

    1. Reta Lane says:

      So true Lorry! Puppy mills are ran by heartless subhumans that have no feelings. We know that Missouri is the worst and Oklahoma is right up there with them.
      There are hundreds of thousands of these little dogs in shelters that are being slaughtered continously. There should be a ban on all breeding as long as we are killing over 4 million a year.
      There is never a reason to go buy a dog when you can have any size, breed and age from all the rescues located all across the United States.
      My wish for all the puppy mill breeders is that someday, somehow, you end up in a cage for the rest of your life. I think puppy mill breeders are pure evil.

    2. M. Darton says:


      Unfortunately, people with very intelligent brains do not know about puppymills. There is just not enough information out there. We try our best to educate the public, but there are people who simply do not know. Please do not go around saying anyone with brains knows about this, because many do not. It’s our job to continue the education process and inform people of these horrific places. There are many great groups out there (National Mill Dog Rescue, Hearts United for Animals, Best Friends Animal Society, etc.) who do wonderful education and I’m grateful for their continued work. As citizens, we must step up and reach out to others who may not know about this. We need to take this to our own communities and help get the word out about these disgusting puppymills.

      In some states, there are enough inspectors. The problem is the Animal Welfare Act is so badly outdated and the standards these dogs are allowed to live in are sub-par. In other states, it’s true there are not enough inspectors which can be difficult to overcome when we are in a recession and our politicians feel we need to cut corners. Obviously, the uneducated politicians do know and realize the full problem of puppymills and the effects they have on our country and economy. The inspection program obviously needs to be revamped and the Animal Welfare Act needs to be updated. These dogs are suffering and we must continue to work together to protect the dogs (and cats, birds, etc.). All pet stores who sell any type of animal should be under the same scrutiny. There are bird mills, rabbit mills, etc. It’s a true shame. All of it. As a country, we are better than this.

    3. Sandy says:

      Lorry, how many professional licensed kennels have YOU actually seen? There are 1300 legal licensed kennels. You hear about a very few (12?) with violations (yes, some serious ones), and you smear the entire industry? What about the over a thousand licensed Missouri kennels raising dogs in a professional, humane, caring manner who have had ZERO violations?
      A ‘hell on earth’ for the dogs? Hardly! They have a continuous supply of nutrious food and clean water, canine and human companionship, preventative health care, grooming when needed, plenty of exercise, and even the opportunity to do some very natural things, like breeding, giving birth, and raising puppies!! Who is lying? It is the ones who have never seen a real licensed compliant kennel in operation, but who just repeats HSUS’ tired old lies.
      Your rant about “the mills are horrific” rings hollow here. “Greed for breeding’? What is that? Breeders work long, hard hours without vacation time (or even weekends off), buy the best dog food, pay costly vet bills, licensing fees, vaccines and wormings, heat and air conditioning for the dogs, marketing costs, etc. If there is any ‘profit’ after expenses, the breeders deserve it for all their hard work!

      1. Terry Ward says:

        If you WERE a responsible breeder, you would do everything in your power to rid your profession of the thugs.
        Instead you protect them ,deny their existence and dribble humanewatch rhetoric like a running toilet.
        If you cared about dogs you would work to clean up your industry.
        But you won’t, and you don’t.

  4. Lorry Schlick says:

    By the way, I am founder of Citizens Against Puppy Mills and have been doing this puppy mill rescue and awareness a long, long time and can’t be sold this bill of goods nor should anyone else! I have seen the ravages of the MO mill dogs first hand and what you milllers have done to these poor canines is abhorant— the debarking, the rotting teeth, the infections, and on and on and on!

    1. ltw says:

      Thanks for what you do, Lorry – I hope the citizens of MO wise up soon and enact some stiffer legislation for these so-called “legitimate” breeders.

    2. dogparknut says:

      Lorry – will check out Citizens Against Puppy Mills and share far and wide!

  5. Vicki says:

    Not once have you mentioned your dogs living conditions.
    Are they in cages?
    Are they in your home?
    Have you addressed the fact that there are thousands of dogs who are killed every week across the country because owners don’t spay and neuter them so there are already enough dogs to go round?
    “even the opportunity to do some very natural things, like breeding, giving birth, and raising puppies!!”…very natural….once or twice, perhaps even three times but their whole life??

    Get a grip ! Your thinking is warped. How about your kennel address so we can see for ourselves? I get that there are people who have family pets who are bred a couple of times but are taken care of in home but I don’t understand why there are dogs, in kennels, just used for breeding. I am so sick of seeing innocent animals used as slaves and breeding machines never mind all the abnormalities that are bred into them because they are “desirable”.

    I was talking to a lady with a corgi the other day and she was telling my children (after they asked her) why her dog didn’t have a tail (it had been “docked”, i.e.cut off) and I could see that it slowly dawned on her what she was saying had no merit but she had never noticed before as no-one had questioned her about it. My kids are only 5 & 7 but they already know what is right and wrong in the animal world. I wish a lot more grown ups would get it!

    1. Sandy says:

      My dogs’ living conditions are fully compliant with all laws and rules, state and federal. USDA, MODA, AKC, and my vet each inspect yearly. That is at least 3 ‘surprise’ or unscheduled inspections and 1 planned inspection. And now YOU want to bring your friends and ‘inspect’ my kennel, too? Exactly what is YOUR expertise or credentials for conducting ‘inspections’ of an already highly regulated dog breeding facility?
      The primary difference between family pet breeding and licensed kennel this: family pet breeding a couple of times = amateurs; licensed and regulated dog breeding = professionals. Many people prefer that their canine family members be raised in a professional sanitary regulated and inspected facility that knows what they are doing than in an unlicensed uninspected haphazard ‘home’ situation.
      As for the thousands of dogs killed every week because owners do’n’t spay and neuter, you are barking up the wrong tree. Why don’t you petition HSUS for help? Their millions of fraudently obtained donations could go a long ways to pay for spaying and neutering the strays and family pets who are filling up the shelters.

    2. dogparknut says:

      Thank you Vicki for raising your children the way all children should be raised!

  6. Jean Clelland-Morin says:

    Pet-factories are helping fill our shelters. Those who buy animals from stores, are helping fill our shelters. “Humans” proliferate powerless, voiceless beings for their egoistic exploitation. Then the innocent “leftovers” are dumped on death row. / My only grandchildren are feline and canine – all rescued from the cruel streets of San Antonio. The last I read, S.A. was “down” to euthanizing 25,000 animals a year!! Boycott pet-factories. Spay/Neuter. Adopt!!!!!!!

    1. Sandy says:

      ‘My only grandchildren are feline and canine’. I have come to the conclusion that people who humanize anmals to that extent have a very warped view of real life, and are generally unhappy, lonely, and somewhat unbalanced. They seem to end up commenting on newspaper articles hatefully bashing anyone who disagrees with their skewed view of the world. Just general observations, but if the shoe fits…

    2. dogparknut says:

      Right on Jean and bless you for rescuing your babies off the street!

  7. Jean Clelland-Morin says:

    Sandy. Animals don’t care about their race. They just want to survive and be loved. Only egoistic humans care about the animal”s race. Get a job!

    1. dogparknut says:

      “They have a continuous supply of nutrious food and clean water, canine and human companionship, preventative health care, grooming when needed, plenty of exercise, and even the opportunity to do some very natural things, like breeding, giving birth, and raising puppies!!” Sandy – this is what ALL dogs deserve, except for being force-bred money making machines. You imply it’s okay to force breed them mulitple times because they get paid in quality food, vet care and exercise? Give me a break!

      1. Sandy says:

        Good grief! You silly people who think dogs are “force-bred’ in kennels!! The urge to mate is incredibly strong in dogs; they certainly don’t have to be ‘forced’!! To keep them from having a litter every heat, the male and female must be separated. If left up to them, they would have a litter every six months.

  8. Taylor Segen says:

    When I hear someone defend puppy mills I know they are either a puppy mill breeder or a breeder who cares only about income. Responsible breeders would work to stop puppy mills and other unethical breeders so they would all be on the same footing with the same expenses for providing top, quality care to their dogs. Since I have yet to hear a person who admits to being a breeder make any claim that there need to be regulations I am forced to conclude “Responsible breeders are an oxymoron.”

    1. Sandy says:

      Sorry, but the responsible breeders are ALL being villified and called ‘puppy mills’. The uninformed misled public is being spoonfed misinformation and stupidity by the HSUS, PETA, and the mindless followers (like you, I guess). Good licensed fully compliant dog breeders who are doing everything right are being slandered and called ‘puppy mills’, a term that is NO LONGER reserved for bad breeders and filthy places, but is being used to describe ANY person raising dogs.
      Are you really so uninformed as to believe there are no regulations for dog breeders? Dog breeders are more regulated than nursing homes or daycares.

      1. dogparknut says:

        There are very few “Good licensed fully compliant dog breeders.” The only reason we should breed dogs is if we have a shortage of dogs and last I checked, the shelters and pounds are busting at the seams with them. Oh and don’t forget, many, many cute little pure bred dogs that come from “Good licensed fully compliant dog breeders” are euthanized every day because most of them are purchased on impulse and end up getting dumped or left outside, unfixed and reproducing, and, they are not killed with a nice little shot in the vein. Gas chambers and heart stick methods are still legal in many states. That is the truth whether you like it or not. Most puppies are bought on impulse at puppy stores. They offer interest free credit with no credit check and other incentives which mean people who are not financially able or committed to the work it takes to care for a puppy are buying dogs when they have no business doing so.

      2. Sandy says:

        “There are very few “Good licensed fully compliant dog breeders.” According to those who inspect these kennels, the quote goes something like this: :”The vast majority of licensed breeders are doing a good job.”

    2. dogparknut says:

      Well said Taylor!

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