INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana has five dog breeders on the Humane Society of the United States' Horrible Hundred list for 2020 and we're tied for seventh worst in the country.
The HSUS combs through federal and state inspection reports each year to compile the Horrible Hundred list, which is a sampling of 100 especially problematic puppy mills across the nation.
Five Indiana puppy mills were cited for a variety of problems, including sick and injured dogs that were in need of veterinary care and dogs living in filthy conditions.
The organization believes there are as many as 10,000 puppy mills in the country, although their report only highlights 100 of them each year. HSUS reports that in the months since the issues were documented at these alleged puppy mills, COVID-19 has forced many agencies to pause their inspection programs.
The five Indiana puppy mills that made the 2020 list are in the following cities:
- Middlebury (2)
Some breeders are named in the report, which also includes specific details about what violations were found at the supposed puppy mills and why they made the "Horrible Hundred" list.
The first breeder in Middlebury was cited by the USDA for a direct violation after a female dog was found "hunched over" with a painful prolapse, according to the HSUS report. Records kept by the breeder indicate he knew about the condition for up to six weeks before the July inspection, but he never sought veterinary assistance for the female dog.
During the same inspection, the kennel — which was listed as having was cited for failure to clean and sanitize, the report noting that the wash-down gutter at the end of the whelping area was "full of feces, old food and maggots." They also noted a strong ammonia odor and "significant amount of flies."
The report filed about the second breeder in Middlebury noted that one French bulldog puppy on the property had hair loss and was covered in scabs, while three other 6-week-old French bulldogs had their ears taped with black electrical tape.
The breeder in Nappanee had his USDA license canceled after multiple violations, including at least one sick puppy which was sold and later died.
In Odon, a golden retreiver was found to have two deep, open wounds that had not been treated by a veterinarian. And in Shipshewana, the breeder was cited for having had multiple animals confiscated due to poor conditions.
In 2019, puppy mills in Kokomo, Loogootee and Odon were included in the list.
Topping the list of the Horrible Hundred for the eighth year in a row is Missouri with the 30 poorly ranked breeders (8 more than 2019) followed by Ohio with nine and Wisconsin and Kansas with eight each.
“With the Department of Agriculture failing to protect these helpless animals, and some agencies being forced to pause their inspection programs amid the pandemic, dogs rely more than ever on the public to vote with their dollar,” said John Goodwin, senior director of the Humane Society of the United States’ Stop Puppy Mills campaign. “Dog lovers can help by refusing to buy a puppy or any supplies from pet stores that sell puppies. In addition, it’s critical for pet lovers everywhere to contact their public officials and let them know they support stronger laws and enforcement.”
Some of the most disturbing findings in the 2020 Horrible Hundred report were outside of Indiana and included:
- A pet-dealer in Kansas that admitted they shot and killed two dozen dogs.
- An AKC breeder in Michigan that is being sued by the state's attorney general for allegedly selling sick puppies, misleading customers and killing unwanted puppies.
- A dealer in Iowa with over 650 dogs where nearly 50 animals have been found sick or injured since 2015. Some dogs were reported to be limping and others had open wounds on their bodies.
- Two dealers in Missouri where multiple emaciated dogs were found in "dreadfully poor conditions," according to the inspection reports.
You can read the full report here.
View the full list below:
- Missouri: 30
- Ohio: 9
- Wisconsin: 8
- Kansas: 8
- Georgia: 7
- Pennsylvania: 6
- Iowa: 5
- Indiana: 5
- New York: 4
- Nebraska: 3
- South Dakota: 2
- Arkansas: 2
- Illinois: 2
- Florida: 2
- Alabama: 1
- Oklahoma: 1
- California: 1
- North Carolina: 1
- Michigan: 1
- Tennessee: 1
- Washington: 1