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Dogs still neglected at alleged ‘puppy mill’ in Van Buren County, despite previous inspection

A multitude of dogs were discovered living in poor conditions at a residence in Bloomingdale. Two weeks later, conditions were unchanged.

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. — A US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) inspector found a multitude of dogs living in poor conditions at a residence in Van Buren County.

The conditions at the Bloomingdale residence were discovered during a routine inspection on June 16. The report was finally released on Thursday.

The USDA report states that there were 13 adult collies, 8 shelties, 4 juvenile collies, 2 Labrador retrievers, a Rottweiler and a French bulldog in a single shelter on site.

An animal care inspector stated that four of their outdoor enclosures housed all 13 adult collies, and that none of their enclosures were weather-proof.

In the report, the USDA inspector wrote that the structures were unlawful because they must allow “each animal in the shelter structure to sit, stand, and lie in a normal manner, and to turn about freely,” and should “provide protection from rain, wind, and snow and are required for the comfort and welfare of the animals.”

The plot owners also tethered two dogs inside one enclosure, which is prohibited. They were attached to logs by heavy chains.

The inspector asked the owner to fill their water bowl. The dogs reportedly drank for 45 to 60 seconds straight.

The report also stated that the owners were not cleaning any excrement from the outdoor enclosures.

PETA describes the site as a ‘puppy mill,’ or a location housing multiple dogs for breeding and selling purposes. The organization seeks a criminal probe against the owners of the property.

“Most puppies sold in pet shops come from factory-style mills like this one, where dogs are treated like breeding machines, tied up like old bicycles, and left to languish in their own filth,” said PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch.

“PETA wants those responsible prosecuted and urges everyone never to buy animals from the pet stores that keep these cruel operations in business.”

Update, 7/29/2021: 

A follow-up report from June 30 on the state of the Van Buren property was just released. The inspector returned to the home and found the conditions were still poor.

There are still 8 dogs in small outdoor enclosures. There is no break from the elements on one side of their shelters -- which are required by the USDA to keep the animals warm and dry. 

Previous issues were reported with the lack of water for the dogs. The two water receptacles set out for the three Labrador retrievers have floating a green, brown substance on the top. The inspector reports that it was difficult to see the bottom of the water receptacle.

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