Thursday, April 11, 2019

Animal cruelty still a low priority in Oakland County


Only 15 tickets issued in a three-year period,
most not prosecuted 
 

A report issued by Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan to the Oakland County Public Services Department in 2017 outlined major shortcomings with Oakland County Animal Control (OCAC). The document, which compiled dispatch, ticketing, and courtroom data from 2013-2015, alleged that OCAC is not enforcing basic animal cruelty, pet shop, and dog kennel regulations. New cruelty and hoarding case studies suggest animal welfare is still a low priority in Oakland County.

Link to Animal Cruelty Study

Citing multiple case studies, the report detailed a systematic lack of initiative across the 43 municipalities within the department’s jurisdiction, particularly when dealing with retail and kennel facilities. Of the 429 animal cruelty complaints called into the OCAC dispatch office over the three-year period, only 15 resulted in any type of ticketing.




The report called for the department to develop policies and procedures for officers and dispatchers, write contracts that outline the departments scope of work, and begin to enforce existing anti-cruelty laws by ticketing and prosecuting animal abusers.

Since the report was issued to the department in October 2017, additional case studies of neglect have been escalated to senior management and eventually featured in the news, yet the department continues to avoid enforcing the basic cruelty laws.

March 15, 2018 Couple says Novi Petland sold them
sick dog that had to be put down
(Novi, 2018) Three lawsuits were filed against Petland (Novi) including twenty-five plaintiffs for multiple violations of the Consumer Protection Act. Puppies were sold with genetic defects, infections and some had highly contagious diseases, costing the plaintiffs thousands of dollars in veterinary care. One man was man hospitalized after purchasing a puppy infected with Campylobacter. No action taken by Oakland County Animal Control. Puppy buyers are referred to the Michigan Department of Agriculture which no longer regulates pet stores.


Photo provided to OCAC April 5, 2018


(Clarkston, April 2018) Concerned family members documented deplorable and unsafe living conditions at the home of their elderly parents, Ann and Richard Glenn. Over 60 photos and videos were provided to Oakland County Animal Control confirming the show dog breeder had spiraled out of control. Of the 42 small breed dogs, two dogs were at various stages of lethargy; other dogs had urine stains, matting, eye infections, skin rashes and gum disease. With regular oversight and enforcement, these animals could have avoided these conditions. The county avoided significant expenses for investigation, evidence gathering, animal care, and court proceedings, by claiming the complaint was unfounded. 

Livonia Animal Control Intake Photo September 11, 2018

(Oxford, January 2019) Livonia Animal Control seized ill puppies from an online retail seller, Kimberly Ann Kalec in September 2018. To avoid oversight while on probation, Kalec and her partner Stephen Andrew Kalec moved to Oxford and continued their puppy selling business. Oakland County Animal Control attempted to conduct an animal welfare check after a German Shepherd puppy was sold will medical issues. With no one home, the inspection was scheduled the next day with the puppy sellers. The OCAC report read “All puppies appeared to be very playful and a couple were vocal. The puppies all appeared clean, healthy, and active.” Case closed. The purchased puppy was diagnosed with Giardia, was anemic and had low proteins. It is unclear where the puppies were obtained and if they had proper importation records. The OCAC report did not indicate that the officer spoke with the retailer’s veterinarian or if all the puppies had 30-day health certificates signed by a veterinarian.
If you purchased a puppy from a pet store, online seller or breeder with illnesses, please contact Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan at 734-718-7100.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Parking lot puppy sellers on probation move to Oxford, MI

Kimberly Ann Kalec
September 27, 2018

Stephen Andrew Kalec
February 24, 2015


(OXFORD, MI) Within a few months of having her dogs and puppies seized, Kimberly Ann Kalec was scheduling a c-section for a pregnant English Bulldog, obtaining more puppies from her broker and selling more sick puppies.


Kalec has been involved in puppy retail sales in Livonia since 2013 with her ex-husband Stephen Andrew Kalec. Through online classified ads, they were easily finding puppy buyers to meet them in parking lots, both using aliases “Jenny” and “Jeff”. They were convicted of animal cruelty in 2015 and Kimberly again in 2018 after puppies were found with untreated illnesses. The couple recently moved from Livonia to Oxford seeking sanctuary in Oakland County which has a "zero-animal cruelty prosecution policy". Oakland County Animal Control dispatch refers puppy buyer complainants to the Michigan Department of Agriculture which dropped their Pet Shop Program in 2009, or conclude “it is a civil matter”, leaving families frustrated and sellers unregulated.

However, in Livonia, puppy retail sellers and brokers are not welcome.


Ollie For Sale Photo

Ollie died from parvo


According to an open records request obtained by Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan, Officer Brandon responded to a complaint regarding a seller named “Jenny” on September 10, 2018. The caller stated she contacted a listing for a Goldendoodle puppy and met the seller driving a white Jeep Wrangler in a McDonalds parking lot located in Livonia. The seller was accompanied by her 10-year-old daughter. Three days later, the puppy named “Ollie” started having medical problems including diarrhea and lethargy. He was diagnosed with parvo and passed away just a few days later. 

Officer Brandon’s Investigation


Brandon’s investigation found additional online ads indicating that there were several puppies for sale, including Labrador Retrievers, St. Bernards, Shih-tzus, Teddy Bears, Newfoundlands, Goldendoodles, and Dachshunds. Usernames included “englishcreamies” on Petloverz.com, “klcstphdx”, “whatcha”, “benyoies”, and “guesssweet” on Hobbly.com.  The phone numbers included 248-639-8248, 248-955-3413, 248-215-2365, and 248-595-7344.  The investigation led to an address on Floral Street in Livonia.

A search warrant was served on September 11, 2018. Officers noted an overwhelming smell of rotting food and feces. The house was cluttered with debris and feces. Four mixed breed puppies 6-8 weeks old were found in the kitchen. Health Certificates for recent puppy sales were found, but were not signed by a veterinarian. Throughout the home were documents related to veterinary care, purchases of puppies, shot records, AKC registrations and information regarding parvovirus and coccidia. Bottles of vaccines and syringes were also found in the home.

Two cream Golden Retrievers were found in the backyard. Some of the feces resembled diarrhea. 




(Livonia Animal Control Inspection Photos September 11, 2018)

All six dogs were removed from the home. Impound records indicate the puppies had fleas and respiratory issues.






(Livonia Animal Control Intake Photos September 11, 2018)

When confronted about their business of buying and selling numerous puppies and those that were ill, Kalec stated she was “rescuing” puppies. The four puppies were obtained from a “guy named Mike” and had no other information about him except a phone number which turned out to be invalid.

Health certificates obtained during the seizure indicated that Kalec was a high-volume seller. There were 13 health certificates dated between 09/01/18 and 09/09/18 for the sale of dogs. One was from August. 

Multiple puppy buyer complaints 

Four more puppy buyers came forward during the late summer investigation.

  1. An August buyer purchased a Toy Poodle from “Jeff” driving a white Jeep Wrangler in a Walgreens parking lot. Her sister-in-law also purchased a Cavapoo for $400 from “Jeff” which was coughing.
  2. Another August buyer purchased a Golden retriever named Ollie. He was diagnosed with parvo shortly after purchase and died a few days later.
  3. In late August another puppy was diagnosed with parvo and died. The buyer purchased the 9-week Golden Retriever named Mia from a woman named “Jenny”.
  4. Early September the third parvo puppy was reported. The buyer purchased a Maltese puppy named Frozen from “Jeff” 248-215-2365 driving a white Jeep in a Walgreens parking lot for $500. He told the buyer the puppy was his girlfriend’s. The puppy died from Parvo two weeks later and “Jeff” refused to refund the buyer. 

Frozen passed away from parvo
two weeks after purchase

Breeder names, missing licensing 


While Kalec maintains she is rescuing puppies, AKC Registration Forms indicate that the puppies are coming from breeders which normally do no need to be rescued and are fairly easy to sell. The following breeder names were found on the AKC Registration Forms provided to the puppy buyers:

Lynda Carroll (Howell, MI) no USDA license
Merlin Troyer (Millersburg, OH) no USDA license
Linda Wright (Location TBD) no USDA license
Allan Graber (Location TBD) no USDA license
Lavern S. Schwartz (Location TBD) no USDA license

Probation Terms 


Kimberly Kalec was issued three tickets on September 13, 2018. Two tickets were for cruelty and unsanitary conditions, and another for not having a kennel license, or dog licenses and operating a business without a license.

This clearly was not a deterrent for these busy puppy peddlers. Within two weeks Kalec called Wilson’s Veterinary Clinic to a schedule c-section for a two-year-old Olde English Bulldog.

Probation terms include: two dogs signed over to MHS, restitution for housing costs, can not breed, or sell any animals except if licensed by state or municipality in compliance with all regulations for two years starting October 2018. 

Puppy sales continue during probation term 


By December, the couple were posting more classified ads for a variety of puppies.

Puppy - Utica Classified Ads - Claz.org

https://utica-mi.claz.org/classifieds?q=puppy
9-Dec-2018 Oxford, MI For Sale 248-639-8248. call or text 248 639 8248 ready for now comes with everything puppy pack. French Bulldog Puppies for ...

Puppies - For Sale Classified Ads in Goodrich, Michigan - Claz.org

https://atlas-mi.claz.org › Goodrich Classifieds › For Sale
9-Dec-2018 Oxford, MI For Sale 248-639-8248. call or text 248 639 8248 ready for now comes with everything puppy pack. Australian Shepard puppies !

Puppies - Romeo Classified Ads - Claz.org

romeo.claz.org/classifieds?q=Puppies 
9-Dec-2018 Oxford, MI For Sale 248-639-8248. call or text 248 639 8248 ready for now comes with everything puppy pack ...

Prior Animal Cruelty Charges – A long history of complaints 


While living on Stanmoor in Livonia, complaints were filed with Livonia Animal Control going back to 2013. One complainant stated “Possibly dog selling, lots of dogs being “handed” off to a lot of different people”. In 2015 another call arrived concerning the animals “breeder has poor conditions, and puppies have parvo, bought a puppy from them, took him to the vet and they puppy has parvo, breeder Stephen Kalec 248-924-4727.”

Stephen Kalec was instructed to take the last two puppies to the veterinarian within 24 hours. The owner was informed not to keep or sell dogs from the parents that were not on the premises.

On February, 24, 2015 Kimberly and Stephan Kalec were arrested and charged with cruelty to animals, neglect and operating without a kennel license, after finding more puppies at the residence.

Buyers Beware in Oxford 


Their puppy retail business is now home-based in Oxford. They continue to post online puppy ads and meet puppy buyers in parking lots. She is now driving a Black F150 Ford truck. The couple is still using Hoobly.com to advertise under Stephen’s phone number 248-247-4708. They also are breeding Olde English Bulldogs and advertising on their “Olde English Guardians” website. 

One buyer filed a complaint with Livonia Animal Control after purchasing a German Shepherd puppy from Kimberly Kalec in the Meijer Gas Station in Oxford. The buyer was given vaccination papers, but they were not “signed” by a veterinarian. The puppy smelled like feces, was very lethargic, had diarrhea, anemic, low proteins and was diagnosed with giardia. The AKC Registration Form listed Lavern S. Schwartz as the breeder, however Schwartz appears to be an unlicensed breeder, according to the USDA.


On February 21, 2019 Oakland County Animal Control attempted to conduct an animal welfare check after the German Shepherd puppy was sold will medical issues. With no one home, the inspection was scheduled the next day with the puppy sellers. The OCAC report read “All puppies appeared to be very playful and a couple were vocal. The puppies all appeared clean, healthy, and active.” Case closed.

It is unclear where the puppies were obtained and if they had proper importation records. The OCAC report did not indicate that the officer spoke with the retailer’s veterinarian or if all the puppies had 30-day health certificates signed by a veterinarian.


OCAC Scheduled Inspection February 21, 2019

Puppy sales continue, business as usual 


Despite continued complaints, inspections and court hearings, the couple continue to post ads for puppy sales.

Mar 20, 2019 - Both are playful, love children up to date on vaccines and dewormings. Vet records. Vet health certificate. Call or text 248. 639. 8248 ...

Stephen Kalec
 to olde english bulldogge
March 24 at 1:38 PM · 
Old English bulldog platinum Merle great with kids pet rights 2800 or full if requested . Yes we do ship . U pay shipping . 7 months never been bred or had the chance loves to cuddle and kiss your face off .. is crate trained. 

Did you purchase a sick animal? 

If you purchased a sick dog or puppy from Kimberly or Stephen Kalec, please contact Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan at 734-718-7100.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Petland Novi is court ordered to provide a list of their breeders



Petland Novi is court ordered to provide a list of its breeders, brokers and employees for the past five years.

Today, attorney Jenifer Measel prevailed during the second hearing in the Rose vs Petland Novi case. Judge Phyllis McMillen ended the “discovery battle” by offering time for the attorneys to hammer out a list of questions not fully answered. During that time, Petland’s attorney was ordered to provide additional information, as well as, deposition dates.

According to court documents, a Northville family purchased a sick puppy that passed an antibiotic resistant Campylobacter infection on to the owner requiring time off of work and medical treatment.

Petland Novi has stonewalled the buyers since the lawsuit was filed in November by refusing to provide complete answers to questions regarding the store’s business practices and not providing deposition dates. Instead, Petland Novi is attempting to dismiss the case suggesting it is “over pleaded” with eight counts, 118 witnesses, including Bob Gatt, the Mayor of Novi and that the couple may have contracted campylobacter while dinning out.

Measel reminded the court this is a Toxic Tort case and everyone in the chain will be sued. She noted that the CDC investigated the campylobacter outbreak across the country in 2016-17 tracing the source to Petland stores. She will need to start by deposing, not only the pet store owner, Randy Horowitz, but two sales managers (Alayna Markle and Melissa Norvakowski) both of whom testified before the House Agriculture Committee in Lansing in support of legislation that would protect pet retail sales.

According to court documents, the Plaintiffs have asked for such items as…..

  • A list of breeders, brokers or other entities Petland has acquired animals from along with all acquisition records

  • A list of employees, including bookkeepers, payroll, human resources, record keeping, inventory employees and those responsible for purchasing puppies.

  • List of records regarding animals with parvo, intestinal parasites, diseases or genetic abnormalities.

  • A list of veterinarians and technicians.

  • All vaccination and medical treatments.

  • A list of dogs euthanized.

  • A list of dogs presently housed at the store and veterinary clinic. 

Petland Novi was court ordered to provide a list of its breeders, brokers and employees for the past five years.

RELATED LINKS

Doug Rose vs Petland Novi complaint (Click here)

CDC investigation (Click here)

Notorious Ohio Puppy Broker Abe Miller Named as defendant (Click here)

Local 4 - Northville man alleges sick puppy bought at Novi pet store landed him in hospital (Click here)

Feb 20, 2019 Hearing Media Advisory (Click here)


Monday, February 18, 2019

Petland Novi due in court


Pet store stonewalls buyers by refusing to provide complete 
answers to questions regarding its business practices

MEDIA ADVISORY: February 18, 2019

CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, 734-718-7100, pamsordyl@gmail.com

NOVI, MICHIGAN – The third Petland Novi civil case is headed for hearings on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 8:30 am at the Oakland County Circuit Courthouse (located at 1200 Telegraph Rd, Pontiac, MI) in the Honorable Judge Phyllis McMillen’s courtroom located on the third floor, room 3C.

According to court documents, a Northville family purchased a sick puppy that passed an antibiotic resistant Campylobacter infection on to the owner requiring time off of work and medical treatment. Link to press release.

The complaint (Doug Rose v Northlake Pets Inc, dba Petland Novi, Case No 2018-170078-NO) claims fraud, negligence and breach of contract as the dog was represented as healthy and fit for sale as a companion animal.

On Wednesday, the court will be hearing motions regarding Petland’s failure to provide answers to basic questions and repeated failure to provide deposition testimony.  These motions to compel were filed by the Haas & Goldstein law firm representing Plaintiffs Doug and Dawn Rose. The motion states “the Plaintiffs have been requesting dates for the depositions of Randy Horowitz who is the owner …, as well as, Alayna Markle and Melissa Norvakowski, …sales managers” and that the counsel for the defendants “refused to provide dates”.

The motion also states that the counsel for the defendants “refused to provide complete discovery responses...” and that “the Plaintiffs need such documents and information to adequately prepare for cross examinations of witnesses, case evaluations and trial”.

“It is clear the counsel for the defendants (Petland Novi), is engaging in a discovery shell game and purposely attempting to thwart Plaintiffs right to discovery. “
  
Members of Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan will be attending the hearings. Link to Facebook event

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan recommends families adopt their next pet from their local shelter or Michigan Certified foster-based animal rescue organization - many of whom specialize in specific breeds.

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness.

 #

Families file lawsuit against Grandville puppy store, state investigates



Lawsuit claims The Barking Boutique knowingly sold puppies with illnesses violating the Consumer Protection Act

PRESS RELEASE: February 18, 2019 
CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, 734-718-7100, pamsordyl@gmail.com

GRANDVILLE, MICHIGAN – Four families who purchased companion animals from The Barking Boutique (2939 Wilson Ave SW Suite 104, Grandville, MI), have filed a lawsuit seeking monetary damages for fraud, breach of contract and multiple violations of the Consumer Protection Act after purchasing puppies. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has been investigating since November.

The lawsuit was filed on February 06, 2019 at the Kent County Circuit Court and assigned to Honorable Judge Paul J. Denenfeld. (Case Number 2019-01106-CZ)

The puppies that were purchased between May and October 2018 suffered from a range of issues, including giardia, kennel cough, pneumonia, and hypoglycemia - costing the plaintiffs thousands of dollars in veterinary care. The complaint also claims that DNA tests indicate that two of the puppies were not purebreds, as advertised, and one was not a “toy” poodle.

In one particularly heart-breaking case, a Grandville family purchased a Yorkshire Terrier puppy diagnosed with pneumonia, a virus, and hypoglycemia within two days of purchase, requiring 24 hours emergency care for four days. Link to the Mead’s experience.

The Plaintiffs are represented by attorney Eugenie B. Eardley of Eardley Law, a Rockford based law firm.

The named defendants in the lawsuit are The Barking Boutique LLC and owner/operator David Boelkes.

The law firm is asking the court for an injunction forbidding the defendants from selling animals during the pendency of the lawsuit.

State Investigations

The Barking Boutique is currently under a third investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development according to a recent records request response letter obtained by Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan.  

“The investigation records you describe were compiled as part of a law enforcement investigation and disclosure of these records, while the matter is under investigation, would result in a chilling effect on the Department’s ability to undertake an unhindered and thorough investigation.”

This is the third investigation by the state of the store’s operations. The 2017 canine importation investigations resulted in an official warning letter being sent to The Barking Boutique. The department found that the store had failed to acquire veterinary certificates certifying that the puppies were properly vaccinated.

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan recommends families adopt their next pet from their local shelter or Michigan Certified foster-based animal rescue organization - many of whom specialize in specific breeds.

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness.


#





Monday, January 28, 2019

PRESS RELEASE: Notorious Ohio puppy broker named as defendant in Michigan lawsuit



 
A Michigan man is suing Petland Novi, their breeder and broker after being hospitalized with a multi-drug resistant Campylobacter infection. The BBB investigates.

 

PRESS RELEASE: January 28, 2019

CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, 734-718-7100 pamsordyl@gmail.com

FRESNO, OHIO - The third lawsuit filed against Petland’s Novi Michigan location now lists defendants Holmes for Canines and/or Twin Creek Kennels, as the “John Doe Broker” and Amos J. Yoder as the “John Doe Breeder” according to court documents filed by the attorney for Petland.

Broker Abe N. Miller

Holmes for Canines, formerly named Twin Creek Kennels, is owned and operated by Abe N. Miller - one of Ohio’s notorious puppy brokers. Miller’s thirteen-year history in the pet trade is riddled with misconduct documented in detailed inspection reports, a federal audit, multiple lawsuits and cruelty cases.  

Learn more about Miller’s chronic troubles with the law on Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan’s blog

The civil complaint claims both the broker and breeder may be wholly or partially at fault after a Northville man was hospitalized shortly after purchasing a sick puppy from the independently owned Petland Novi store located in Oakland County.

The law firm representing the plaintiffs is asking the court for an injunction forbidding the defendants from engaging in breeding, transporting, and/or selling animals during the pendency of the lawsuit.

The first hearing is scheduled for February 13, 2019 at the Oakland County Circuit Court.

The Better Business Bureau of Eastern Michigan is currently investigating the complaint.

Neither the Oakland County Health Department nor Animal Control had been contacted about the case in November when the lawsuit was filed. It is unclear if Rose’s case has been reported to any public health protection agency in Michigan or Ohio, or if the Petland Novi store is following protocols for detection and prevention.

Breeder Amos J. Yoder

According to Petland, the Rose’s puppy named Thor- a Beagle/Pug mix, was bred by Amos J. Yoder. Yoder’s kennel is commercially licensed by the USDA in Baltic Ohio.

Thor was treated for Campylobacter and Coccidia shortly after purchase and has fully recovered. Coccidia is an intestinal parasite spread through fecal matter, and is most commonly found in puppies that have contracted the parasite from an adult dogs' feces, according to petMD.

The Plaintiffs in the Novi case are represented by attorney Jenifer Measel of Haas & Goldstein, P.C., a Farmington Hills based law firm. Measel stated she continues to be contacted by families who have purchased sick puppies from Petland.  

Link to DougRose vs Petland Novi complaint.

Campylobacter Investigation - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In 2017, the CDC completed a multi-state investigation of a Campylobacter outbreak including 118 cases across 18 states reporting 26 hospitalizations. The vast majority of those individuals sickened reported they had contact with a puppy from a Petland store.  

The CDC advisories focus on hand washing, separating human eating areas from animal areas, and using personal protective equipment correctly, such as wearing gloves when cleaning cages in pet stores. 

Petland is headquartered in Chillicothe Ohio with over 80 retail outlets across the country.

The only Petland outlet in Michigan is located at 27200 Novi Rd, Novi, MI 48377 inside the Twelve Oaks Mall.

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan recommends families adopt their next pet from their local shelter or Michigan Certified foster-based animal rescue organization - many of whom specialize in specific breeds.

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness.

#


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Notorious Ohio puppy broker, Abe Miller named in Michigan Petland Campylobacter lawsuit


(January 2019) Court documents file by the attorney for Petland now lists Holmes for Canines and/or Twin Creek Kennels as the defendant “John Doe Broker” in a recent lawsuit filed against Petland’s Novi Michigan location after a Northville man was hospitalized shortly after purchasing a sick puppy from the Twelve Oaks Mall location.

The plaintiffs, Doug and Dawn Rose, are seeking monetary damages after Doug became infected with a multi-drug resistant Campylobacter infection acquiring weeks’ worth of medical expenses. Doug and the puppy both have recovered from their infections.

Link to January 28, 2019 press release
  
Formally licensed as Twin Creek Kennels, Holmes for Canines is currently licensed as a broker by the USDA in Fresno, Ohio and owned by Abe N. Miller – a notorious puppy mill broker.

Miller’s thirteen-year history in the pet trade is riddled with misconduct documented in detailed inspection reports, a federal audit, multiple lawsuits and cruelty cases.  


Multiple Aliases, Business Names and Addresses


Abe N. Miller is an architect of aliases making it difficult to track his history of unlawful conduct.

Miller has operated as a breeder, broker and transporter in the Ohio Amish community under twelve business names and aliases since 2006. Utilizing four PO Box addresses and four different house addresses, Miller is hard to track!

  1. 2006-07 House of Pets (Breeder) 31-A-0206, 29956 CR 10, Fresno, OH
  2. 2008-10 House of Pets (Broker) 31-B-0146, 29956 CR 10, Fresno, OH
  3. 2009-16 Tri-Star Kennels / Elizabeth A. Miller (Wife) 29952 CR 10, Fresno, OH
  4. 2009-12 Abe N. Miller LLC (Broker) 31-B-0156, 29956 CR 10, Fresno, OH
  5. 2011-12 D M L Kennel LLC (Broker) 31-B-0167, P O Box 172, Charm, OH
  6. 2011-12 Max A. Miller Registered Agent & Attorney for D M L Kennel LLC (Broker) 31-B-0167, 88 S. Monroe St, Millersburg, OH
  7. 2012-16 Quail Creek Kennel LLC (Broker) 31-B-0168, P O Box 96, Charm, OH and 29952 CR 10, Fresno, OH
  8. 2016-17 Lone Oak Kennel LLC (Breeder) 31-A-0567, P O BOX 144, West Lafayette, OH and P O BOX 144, Fresno, OH  
  9. 2016 Comfort Canines (alias for Lone Oak Kennel), 29945 CR 10, Fresno, OH
  10. 2017 Comfort Connies (alias for Lone Oak Kennel)
  11. 2016-17 Twin Creek Kennel LLC (Broker) 31-B-0182, P O BOX 144, West Lafayette, OH
  12. 2018 – Present Holmes For Canine (Broker) 31-B-0182, P O BOX 144, West Lafayette, OH and 29939 CR 10, Fresno, OH
Every time Miller was involved in an audit, cruelty case, lawsuit, or caught working with an unlicensed puppy mill or often failing an inspection, he either cancelled his USDA license or simply did not renew the license. This allowed him to open under a new clean record with an all new business name.

For example...

In April 2012, DML Kennel LLC (broker) failed repeat inspections for transporting puppies underage (he inaccurately recorded the birth dates of numerous dogs), acquiring puppies from unlicensed breeders, missing animal acquisition records and failing to provide access to the property/records resulting in Enforcement Actions.

According to an I-Team investigation in Philadelphia, DML Kennel wrote regulators requesting to change its name to Quail Creek Kennel “for liability reasons.”

“We want to take this opportunity to express our regrets to us straying from the guidelines of USDA. But we want to be a part of the future and look forward to being a better role model for our fellow people. Hopefully you can give us this request even though we feel unworthy of it.”

Abe Miller’s original 2006 address located at 29956 CR 10, Fresno OH 43824 is still be used for Miller’s Ohio Professional Dog Breeder Association registration.

USDA Kennel Inspection Report Details


USDA inspection reports show Abe N. Miller was cited for an array of non-compliances to the Animal Welfare Act in a variety of regulated areas between 2006 and 2016:

·         Cleaning (rancid odors and build-up of feces and urine)
·         Compatible grouping (wounds found on dogs from fighting)
·         Feeding (chewed feeding bowls)
·         Housing (accumulation of brownish fecal and urine stains on doors puppies found with no heat
·         Identification (missing tags)
·         Overcrowding (transportation carriers containing too many dogs)
·         Primary enclosures (sagging wire floors)
·         Procurement of Dogs (sourcing from unlicensed breeders)
·         Shelter (missing lighting and rusted metal)
·         Veterinary Care (dogs with excessive body and ear hair mats, no veterinarian visit, untreated bite wounds, using Bird Biotic mixed in the drinking water and long nails)

Pet Retail Fraud Lawsuits

Abe N. Miller is no stranger to lawsuits. Miller has been mentioned as the breeder or broker in 
several lawsuits and listed as a defendant in the Rose case.

Lisa Griggs v. Furry Babies (Chicago, Illinois)


 A 2013 consumer fraud lawsuit filed against a Chicago pet store, Furry Babies, alleged the chain was selling sick puppies from puppy mills and identified Miller as the broker of one of the puppies.

“The Griggs later discovered that the limited paperwork provided by the Peru Furry Babies store and its agents was fraudulent. When they looked up the name and number of the individual listed on Duke's paperwork, he was not a breeder but rather a farmer in Ohio named Lester Sachtleben. Sachtleben also told Nick Griggs that his German Shepherd-a farm dog become pregnant, so he sold some of the puppies to a man named Abe Miller. But Sachtleben told Nick that he was not in the business of breeding and knew nothing of any USDA licensing requirements. Later Nick confronted Trolinger, the person identified to him by the Peru store and its agents as the owner of the Peru Furry Babies store, and Trolinger admitted that he had been doing business with Miller for many years.

Claure-Roca v. Dreamy Puppy (Fairfax, Virginia)

According to a petition published by the Humane Society of the United States “Dreamy Puppy, LLC, a Virginia based pet store that recently went out of business, advertised that it sourced puppies only from local breeders. However, courtroom testimony and corroborating discovery showed that the pet store was receiving puppies from several Ohio breeders and brokers including Quail Creek Kennel, a broker serving as a middleman between breeders and the store and that has been cited by the USDA for, among other things, obtaining at least 104 puppies from unlicensed breeders Nadia Claure-Roca had successfully sued the pet store for violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, fraud in the inducement, and breach of implied warranty after she had relied on the store’s representations “that its animals are healthy and come from reputable local breeders” and the store sold her a sick puppy who later died of her ailments.

Jessica Edwards vs Petland Novi (Novi, Michigan)

One of Abe N. Miller’s kennels, named Tri-Star Kennels, was also mentioned a February 2018 consumer fraud lawsuit against the Petland Novi location involving over a dozen plaintiffs claiming the store knowingly sold them sick puppies.  

“Alana Savard purchased a Siberian Husky named Argos on April 4, 2015 from Peltand Novi, for $3,530.95 and was sent home with a severe urinary tract infection which would later be diagnosed as congenital polycystic kidney disease in November of 2015. Argos was bred by Elizabeth Miller of Tri Star Kennels. Abe Miller is the registered agent for Tri Star Kennels, which is where Petland sourced Argos.


Doug Rose vs Petland Novi (Novi, Michigan)

Abe N. Miller’s brokerage business, most recently operating under the name Holmes for Canines, is now listed as a defendant in the lawsuit claiming the plaintiffs were sold a sick puppy with Campylobacter requiring the owner to be hospitalized.

Doug and Dawn Rose are seeking monetary damages after Doug became infected with a multi-drug resistant Campylobacter infection acquiring weeks’ worth of medical expenses. The Beagle-Pug mixed puppy named Thor, was also diagnosed with coccidia. Petland has not paid for Thor’s medical expenses. In January 2018 the CDC completed a multistate investigation of a Campylobacter outbreak linking 99% of the cases to puppy stores. The vast majority of those individuals sickened reported they had contact with a puppy from a Petland store. The investigation included 113 cases across 17 states with 23 hospitalizations. 

Transport Cruelty Cases

(Credit: Bucks County SPCA)

A Philadelphia CBS affiliate 2015 news story uncovered numerous instances of misconduct by Abe Miller while investigating a New Jersey pet store selling sick puppies. The investigative story included two animal cruelty cases for inhumanely transporting puppies.

Link to I-Team Investigation “Where are puppy stores getting their dogs from?”: 

1)      “In 2011 one of Abe Miller paid fines in excess of $3,500 dollars after one of his employees pled guilty in Ocean County, N.J. to 20 counts of animal cruelty for inhumanely transporting puppies from Ohio to New Jersey, according to the SPCA.”
2)      “In June 2015, a van carrying a load of puppies crashed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Lower Moreland.
Officials say the impact of the crash caused several of the dogs to be released from their cages and let loose on the highway. All lanes of the eastbound Turnpike were closed for about an hour-and-a-half as firefighters rounded up the puppies. Two puppies were killed in the crash.
Through an Open Records Request, the I-Team obtained documents from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture showing the puppies were owned by Abe Miller of Quail Creek Kennel. The van had come from Ohio and was headed for pet stores in New Jersey when the driver allegedly fell asleep at the wheel.”

Link to NBS Philadelphia news story “78 Puppies Survive, 2 Die in Crash onPennsylvania Turnpike

 
Transporting Underage Puppies

In April of 2012, Miller’s brokerage business, operating under the name DML Kennel LLC, failed repeatedly in the regulated areas of transporting puppies under the minimum age requirement of 8 weeks of age and procuring puppies from unlicensed breeders.

The violations resulted in USDA Enforcement Actions:

04/02/12

Min Age

“You transported, in commerce, puppies that were not at least eight (8) weeks of age.
04/02/12


Procurement


You knowingly obtained dogs from at least two individuals who were required to be licensed but did not hold current valid licenses.
04/09/12

Min Age

”You transported, in commerce, puppies that were not at least eight (8) weeks of age.”
04/16/12


Min Age


“You transported, in commerce, puppies that were not at least eight (8) weeks of age.
04/16/12


Procurement


You knowingly obtained dogs from at least two individuals who were required to be licensed but did not hold current valid licenses.
04/17/12








Records








“You failed to make, keep and maintain accurate records of animals acquired, held or in your passion. Specifically, you did not have acquisition records for all your animals or complete records regarding their method of transport. During an inspection on the above date, you failed to provide APHIS access to examine and copy records required to be kept by the regulations, including records correlating all old and new official tag numbers and tattoos for animals acquired.

The minimal fine of $11,107 imposed was just the cost of doing business for Miller’s large and growing enterprises. Miller simply cancelled his DML Kennel licensed the next month and obtained a new license under the name Quail Creek Kennels which continued to transport under age puppies and source from unlicensed breeders:

“… in June 2015, a van carrying a load of puppies crashed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Abe Miller was cited for transporting puppies underage” 

“ ..in January 2016, records obtained from the Licensee clearly establishes that they knowingly acquired puppies from unlicensed sources..”

Unlicensed breeders

Dogs and puppies shipped across states lines require Certificates of Veterinary Inspections (CVI) which are provided to each sending and receiving state’s Department of Agriculture to regulate the importation of canines and track diseases. These certificates are public records and should include the actual location in which the puppy came from, instead brokers, like Abe N. Miller use their own business address concealing the actual breeder name and address making it difficult for both regulators and animal advocacy watchdogs to confirm sourcing information.  

Working as a middle-man for unlicensed breeders, Abe N. Miller not only uses his brokerage name and address on the CVI (shipping records), but has devised a variety of other schemes to mislead regulators:

  • falsifying certificates of exemption when acquiring puppies from unlicensed breeders
  • not providing identification on the puppies or dogs
  • not providing animal acquisition information
  • not making himself available for property and records inspections 
Feb-22-2010 Procurement of Dogs: “This broker using certificates of exemption when acquiring puppies from unlicensed breeders. These exemptions document the breeder name and address but have no animal information or date on them.”

April-19-2012 Procurement of Dogs“…there was missing acquisition information. ….provided more exemption certification that had been unavailable the night before… Based on this information, it is obvious that the licensee has knowingly acquired dogs from these sources even though they are not licensed or exempt.”

A 2015 I-Team investigation exposed Quail Creek Kennel for selling puppy to a New Jersey pet store from an unlicensed breeder”

“According to Gus’ acquisition papers obtained by the I-Team, Gus came from a breeder in the Amish countryside of Ohio in an area that animal rights groups call “ground zero for puppy mill breeding,” where there are an estimated 540 puppy mills in one county alone. The I-Team confirmed with USDA and Ohio Department of Agriculture officials that Gus was bred by an unlicensed breeder. Gus’ papers show the unlicensed breeder sold Gus to the broker, Quail Creek Kennel. Then, the broker transported Gus almost 500 miles from Ohio to New Jersey. Pat’s Pups purchased Gus from the broker and then illegally sold him to Edwards.  
Jan -21-2016 Procurement of Dogs:  This dealer has knowingly purchased from at least three individuals that require to be licensed under the Animal Welfare Act. On 11/19/2015, APHIS officials collected all records from this facility to perform a records review and inspection. During a review of the exemption certificates provided by the Licensee, it is apparent that 3 individuals falsely signed exemption certificates. Based upon the records, these individuals have more than 4 breeding females on their premise and require a current, valid and unsuspended license to sell puppies to the Licensee.
The first individual signed an exemption form 8 times from 3/9/2015-11/9/2015.The second individual signed an exemption form 5 times from 2/23/2015-10/12/2015. The third individual signed an exemption form 6 times from 3/2/2015- an unknown date in September of 2015.

“The records obtained from the Licensee clearly establishes that they knowingly acquired puppies from unlicensed sources that clearly require a USDA license but do not hold a current, valid, and unsuspended license, which makes it impossible for APHIS to regulate those animals and undermines a working relationship between the licensee and APHIS officials.”

 “The Licensee stated that they will be configuring their system to allow them to more accurately identify how many litters they have purchased from unlicensed sources and be able to more closely monitor the time frame for which they are purchasing them.” 

Ignoring New Pet Protection Laws

According to the Philadelphia’s I-Team Investigation:

 “In July 2015 Quail Creek Kennels (broker) violated the New Jersey Pet Purchase Act after illegally selling a puppy to Pats Puppies store in the Cherry Hill Mall. Puppy was breed by an unlicensed breeder in Fredericksburg, OH and brokered through Quail Creek Kennel.”

According to the Humane Society of the United State’s 2014 Investigation of Virginia’s puppy sales, Abe Miller (Quail Creek Kennel) was supplying puppies to Pauley’s Pups which was found skirting the states disclosure laws – no breeder information was posted.

Pauley’s Pups, Ashland: Skirting State’s Disclosure Law · Date visited: 9/22/2014 · Problem puppy sellers linked to store: In 2007, this pet store was part of an HSUS investigation into Virginia puppy mills. That year, the store was directly linked to puppies from Junior Horton/Horton’s Pups, an unlicensed 20 puppy mill operator whose Virginia puppy mill was subsequently shut down 21. Horton was twice convicted of animal cruelty due to sick, injured and underage animals at his facility. During this year’s visit, we were shown records for a puppy from Abe Miller/Quail Creek Kennel in Charm, OH, a large-scale puppy broker (middleman), and Eli Raber of Baltic, Ohio. Raber was cited for Animal Welfare Act violations in February 2012 for two dogs with such severe dental problems that the roots of their teeth were visible, which the USDA inspector noted could be painful and make it difficult for the dogs to eat. · Breeder disclosure law not followed: At the time of our visit, no breeder information was posted near the puppies in the store, as required by state law. Salespeople did show us paperwork on a few puppies we asked about in the store.


Ohio - A Home to Puppy Millers

In 2016, prior to the USDA records “black out”, Ohio was ranked #5 with the most licensed dog breeders and dealers. 





(Charts prepared by Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan)  

Commercial dog kennels can be found throughout Ohio, however most of them are concentrated Holmes County – central Ohio. Abe N. Miller’s home town of Fresno Ohio is located in Coshocton County, just south of Holmes.


(Chart prepared by Bailing Out Benji January 2019)  
  
Puppy peddling is a big business for Abe N. Miller

According to Philadelphia’s I-Team investigation, Abe Miller claimed to have made $500,000.00 in 2012 by purchasing 12,000 dogs from Ohio breeders and selling them to pet stores.

Miller’s own breeding business has never been a small operation either. Within just two years of operating, his 2008 kennel had over 130 adult dogs which grew to 285 according to the July 26,2016 USDA inspection report.

Michigan

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan reported Miller has supplied 75% or more of the puppies sold at the Petland Novi store since 2010– approximately 60 per month. Several Michigan puppy stores have used Miller as their primary broker, including:

·         Petland Novi, MI
·         Petland Westland, MI
·         Pet Station Dearborn Heights, MI
·         The Family Puppy Novi, MI

Servicing puppy stores across 12 states


During a 6-month period (September 2014 – February 2015), Abe N. Miller’s brokerage enterprise operating under Quail Creek Kennels, serviced 28 stores across 12 states.

Connecticut

Pat Crandell (Triple Oaks Kennel), Dayville, CT

Delaware

Pet Kare 250 Pencader Plaza, Newark DE

Florida

Honey Pets, 1388 Weston Rd, Weston, FL
Orlando East, 453 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL
Petland Davie, 11482 W. State Road 84, Davie Fl
Petland Deerfield Beach, 3964 W. Hillsboro Blvd, Deerfield Beach, FL
Petland Plantation, 801 S. University Drive, Suite C 100, Planation FL
Petland Sarasota, 5380 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL
Puppy Plus, 7071 N. State Rd 7, Parkland FL

Georgia

Petland Kennesaw, 2920 George Busbee Parkway, Kennesaw, GA

Illinois

Furry Babies, 3940 Rte 251, Suite H-16, Peru, IL

Indiana

Starline, 2321 East Overman Road, Mountain City, IN

Kansas

Petland Overland Park, J & C Pets DBA Petland Overland Park, Overland Park, KA

Michigan

Northlake Pets DBA Petland Twelve Oaks, 27200 Novi Road, Novi

New Jersey

Breeders Association, 580 Route 70, Brick, NJ
Breeders Club, 1839 Route 35 North, Middleton, NJ
PV Pets, 2335 Broadway, Pennsville, NJ
Pampered Pups, 2709 Mayslanding, Millville, NJ
Pats Pups, 542 Route P Unit 1, Waretown, NJ
Puppy Barn, 2741 Route 206, Mt. Holly, NJ
The Puppy Hut, 1250 Rte 130, Robbinsville, NJ
Puppy Stop, 138 Fries Mill Road, Turnersville, NJ

New York

Shake a Paw, 1 Atlantic Blvd, Brooklyn NY

Pennsylvania

Augie Manifest, Apollo, PA
Brookside, 1000 S. Market Street, Bloomsburg, PA
Pets Plus, 553 South Broad Street, Lansdale, PA
Tropical Pet Center, 381 South Main St. Wilkses Barre, PA

Virginia

Dreamy Puppy, 14220 Sullyfield Circle, Chantilly, VA
Petland Fair Fax, 9404 Main Street, Fairfax, VA
Judy DC, Fredericksburg, VA
Pauley’s Pets, 12100 Washington Hwy, Ashland, VA