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investigation, Mast’s USDA Class A breeding license (required for wholesale breeders who supply puppies to pet stores) was revoked on May 13, 2013.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



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