Reports released by the humane society claim two Daviess County breeders kept dogs in inhumane conditions.
One in Montgomery, where boxers were described as being malnourished, showing flakey skin and crusty eyes.
The other in Odon, with puppies housed in a kennel with a heat index of 108 degrees heavily panting and showing signs of “heat stress”.
These breeders are accused of running puppy mills.
“It is not surprising. We have a lot of issues in our communities with having breeders bring us pets out here to the animal shelter when they are no longer able to bread them or unable to sell them,” says Beth Trousdale, Washington Animal Shelter.
While Trousdale isn’t surprised to have two breeders on the list, Daviess County Chief Deputy Gary Allison is.
“Yeah I am a little surprised about that because the investigations that we have done on these locations they take very good care of their animals,” says Allison.
The sheriff’s department is accompanied by the state veterinarian during investigations.
Trousdale says at the shelter they often get rescues that fit the bill for puppy mill animals, “I did have a lady make a comment once that, you know, if we didn’t want to take the animal that she would take care of it themselves.”
As long as the living conditions are humane, breeding dogs as a source of income is not inherently against the law.
“They view this as a way of making a living. So they have breeding stock just like cattle and hogs and turkeys and chickens,” says Allison. He says he doesn’t use the word puppy mills, he just reefers to them as breeders. “Puppy mills is a name that I think is given to these operations by the Humane Society. I don’t really differentiate by name.”
The animal shelter encourages people looking for animals to do research before purchasing any pet.
The National Humane Society compiles its report from USDA investigations.
They withhold the exact locations of the breeders listed in the report.
But the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department says they have investigated just two breeders in the last 30 years and that both times the animals were in good condition.
Major red flags for someone who may be running a suspect operation, is if they won’t give you an exact address of their facility.
Often times, they will meet the buyer at an off site location so that they cannot see what is behind the scenes.