Friday, June 28, 2013

Allen Mast USDA Kennel License Revoked

Michigan Dog Breeding Kennel’s USDA License Revoked following Animal Welfare Act Violations

Calhoun County dog breeder repeatedly failed
to provide veterinary care; dead animal found on property



CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, (734) 718-7100,

Homer, Mich. – The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) has permanently revoked the commercial breeding license for dog breeder Allen Mast of Homer in Calhoun County, following an investigation that found multiple violations of the federal law designed to protect animals in wholesale animal breeding kennels, research facilities, and traveling wild animal exhibitions.

The USDA/APHIS Investigative and Enforcement Services division began an investigation in July of 2012 after Mast’s kennel was cited for repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including citations for inadequate veterinary care. On March 26, 2012, inspectors found a dead poodle in a cage at the facility. As a result of the investigation, Mast’s USDA Class A breeding license (required for wholesale breeders who supply puppies to pet stores) was revoked on May 13, 2013.

A settlement agreement was reached between the USDA and Mast, and he was given 12 weeks to donate and/or transfer ownership and possession of any dogs on his premises. Details on the settlement can be found at

Mast has been operating the wholesale dog breeding kennel since 2009 and has housed between 22 and 38 adult dogs including beagles, pugs, poodles, and Pomeranians, according to the USDA inspection reports available at


Photos from the USDA/APHIS 2012 inspections showed a dead poodle in a cage, excessive dog feces, wire-floored cages, excessively long nails on the dogs, and debris in the kennel area. Photos are available at

“If families could see the conditions in many commercial kennels, they may not purchase the puppies in the pet stores that these kennels supply. Families may unknowingly contribute to cruelty by purchasing pet store puppies, and would not want their pets—essentially, their family members—raised like this.” said Pam Sordyl, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan, an advocacy group.

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan began investigating the Mast kennel in March of 2012 after online USDA/APHIS inspection reports revealed the discovery of a dead poodle at the facility. Local complaints were filed with the Homer Township Zoning Department and Calhoun County Animal Control for missing kennel permits and dog licenses, and Mast received four citations by USDA/APHIS for failure to provide a responsible adult at the premises to let in the inspectors.


“We were hoping the local authorities would be able to protect the animals in the Mast kennel, but we learned that a Calhoun County animal control officer was also unable to inspect the kennel after two visits.” said Sordyl. “These types of operators that ignore federal inspector recommendations and the Animal Welfare Act over and over need to be addressed with fines and prosecution.”


The USDA is not required to notify local law enforcement when direct or indirect violations of the Animal Welfare Act occur.

There is currently no state law that regulates dog breeding facilities like the Mast kennel, but Senator Steve Bieda (D-Warren) and Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) have introduced the Puppy Protection Act (S.B. 117 and 118) to alleviate that loophole. The Puppy Protection Act would provide guidelines for housing, sanitary conditions, enclosure space, exercise, and veterinary care of dogs in all large-scale breeding kennels in Michigan, including those who sell puppies to pet stores and directly to the public. The legislation current awaits its first hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan at



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Group Petitions Missaukee County to stop Michigan's Largest Animal Hoarder

Michigan’s Largest Animal Hoarder
Allowed to have Animals

Michigan group petitions prosecutor
to file cruelty charges



CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, (734) 718-7100,

Lake City, Mich. – On June 4, 2013 Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan launched a petition to stop John Jones “JRT John” from having animals and costing tax payers more money to regulate, investigate and seize neglected animals.  The petition targeting the Missaukee prosecutor has reached over 1,000 signatures.

Link to online petition:

On May 23, 2013, Missaukee County seized approximately 160 animals from John Jones, Michigan's largest hoarder and puppy mill. Just a few years earlier, Barry County seized 85 animals after Jones violated zoning laws.  

“There's a pattern of cruelty here, and since officials didn't include probation in the latest case, he could easily move to another county or state and start all over again” stated Pam Sordyl, Founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan.  

The sheriff’s initial kennel inspection resulted in a multitude of violations to involving basic care standards, however the Missaukee County prosecutor only filed civil charges against Jones under Public Nuisance.

  • According to the inspection reports, Mr. Jones is accused of housing over 160 dogs, including Jack Russells, Shiba Inus and Border Collies, who were discovered by the Roscommon Animal Control Officer to have insufficient water, shelter, sanitary conditions, and protection from the elements. (THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT) Act 328 of 1931) 

  • In addition, Mr. Jones was performing his own removal of dew claws and tail docking on the puppies. Such actions are illegal in Michigan. These procedures are considered a surgery and can only be performed by a licensed veterinarian. (PUBLIC HEALTH CODE (EXCERPT) Act 368 of 1978)               

“Michiganians have no tolerance for animal neglect or cruelty and want those who commit such acts held accountable. The sheer number of animals involved in the Jones case is shocking.” Sordyl

Jones will be facing Chief Circuit Court Judge Honorable William M. Fagerman on Tuesday, June 25th for felony charges for assaulting an officer and resisting arrest during the seizure. Undersheriff William Yancer hopes to include probation terms that will prevent Jones from having animals in other counties or states.

Puppy Mill Awareness is assisting local animal advocates by providing an ordinance called the Humane Pet Acquisition Proposal that would ban the retail sale of animals and protect families from purchasing sick animals. 

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness


Friday, June 7, 2013

Krazie Kritterz Owner Arrested

Mounting complaints at Cheboygan store prompted
state investigation, doors close Saturday


CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, (734) 718-7100,

CHEBOYGAN, Mich. – Saturday, June 8th, 2013, the Krazie Kritterz pet store will be closing due to public pressure and pending charges related to pet store violations. The owner of the store, Joyce LaLonde, was arrested and booked into the county jail on
January 25th, 2013 for not providing a health certificate upon purchase. 

Krazie Kritterz opened in April 2012 and is located at
229 N Main St., Cheboygan Mi. 

According to the local Animal Control Officer, Deputy Swanson, officers visited the store approximately 15 times since the store opened. Complaints related to sick and underage animals, not providing veterinary care, unsanitary conditions, and administrating medications without a veterinary license, which is a felony in
Michigan. Approximately, seven complaints were turned over to the County Prosecutor. 

Sheriff Dale V. Clarmont issued a warrant and arrested LaLonde on
January 25, 2013 after she sold an animal without a 30-day health certificate. 

“Earlier that day, she was cited for not providing a valid health certificate and she turned around and sold another one on the same day” stated Swanson. 

The charges were dismissed with deferred prosecution. 

The Michigan Department of Agriculture was asked to assist the local animal control during store inspections. Dr. Robinson’s June 2012 report indicated they observed several things unsatisfactory regarding animal conditions. A letter was sent requiring improvement to the flooring in order to maintain surfaces beneath the cages capable of being disinfected. A copy of the Ferret Advisory was provided. Some comments were made regarding the parrot, psittacoses birds and psittacosis as it pertains to public health concerns and cleanliness of the birds. 

Other violations noted by Animal Control included, feces found in the carpet, a fish with an injured tail, birds with missing feathers, and ventilation issues. 

Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan also investigated the store.” We became concerned that the store was selling a wide variety of exotic and wild animals, such as hedgehogs and chipmunks, which are not common companion animals and require federal licensing”, stated Pam Sordyl, the founder of Puppy Mill Awareness. 

“I had to notify the store that the European Goldfinch needed his beak trimmed. It was overgrown and curved under. The store didn’t know they had to trim the bird’s beaks.” stated Erica Repp. 

“During two separate visits, I observed the birds in inadequate conditions. Their feathers were greasy and clumps were missing from the large Mcaws which is a sign of stress. None of the birds had toys, were unfriendly or not responsive.” Repp.

Puppy Mill Awareness is assisting local animal advocates by providing an ordinance called the Humane Pet Acquisition Proposal that would ban the retail sale of animals and protect families from purchasing sick animals. 

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness