State of Michigan – (Patch)
Michigan earned a notorious mention on the “Horrible Hundred” list of 100problem puppy mills and puppy brokers released Monday by the Humane Society of the United States. The report, released every May, details the often-filthy, unhealthy conditions dogs and their offspring are kept in at high-volume breeding operations.
Missouri had the highest number of problem puppy mills for the eighth consecutive year, with 30 noted on the list, followed by Ohio with nine, Kansas and Wisconsin with eight each, Georgia with seven and Pennsylvania with six. Michigan had one puppy mill on the list.
The Humane Society said puppy mills sell to pet stores across the country and through their websites, which means puppies from breeders could end up anywhere in the United States.
This year, the Humane Society’s Horrible Hundred report includes the full list of kennel names and license numbers. Since 2017, some kennel names have been unavailable and were available only by city and state. However, Congress required the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which licenses and regulates puppy breeding facilities, to restore unredacted inspection reports to its online database beginning in February 2020.
In Michigan, the one puppy mill on the list was in Camden. The breeder, Paul Steury, was sued by the Michigan AG’s office in December 2019 for keeping dogs in poor conditions and for misleading buyers about the health of the dogs, according to the Humane Society’s report.
In an investigation by the AG’s office, Steury admitted to killing at least six young dogs simply because he could not sell them.
A phone number or email for Steury could not be located.
In its review of inspection reports for puppy mills nationwide, the Humane Society said its researchers uncovered citations for injured and emaciated dogs, dogs and puppies exposed to extreme cold or heat without adequate housing, and dogs living in such filthy conditions their fur was matted with their own waste.
Some breeders admitted to shooting dogs and puppies they no longer wanted, the report said.
The coronavirus pandemic increases the peril for dogs in problem puppy mills because many inspection programs have been put on hold and “dogs rely more than ever on the public to vote with their dollar,” John Goodwin, who heads the Humane Society’s Stop Puppy Mills campaign, said in a news release.
“Dog lovers can help by refusing to buy a puppy or any supplies from pet stores that sell puppies,” Goodwin said. “In addition, it’s critical for pet lovers everywhere to contact their public officials and let them know they support stronger laws and enforcement.”
Instead of buying a dog from a breeder or pet store, the Humane Society suggests adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue organization. In southeast Michigan, options include:
- Adopt a Pet at Michigan Humane Society Detroit, 7887 Chrysler Drive, Detroit
- Michigan Humane Society Rochester Hills, 3600 W. Auburn Road Rochester Hills
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