Meet one breeder Representative Loehner is Protecting

My plan, if Governor Nixon allows SB 113 to pass, is that beginning the day that Proposition B should have been allowed to take effect, I'll be covering breeders who would have been closed down under B's more rigorous standards but are allowed to continue under the lax laws and enforcement of SB 113 and ACFA. However, I thought I would start a little early with one breeder because of comments made during the SB 113 House floor debate this week.

During the debate on SB 113 in the House, Representative Loehner made a comment that the dog breeders in his district know their animals well—more so than those advocating for Proposition B. He said he'd visited breeders in his district and found many to be better than child care centers.

Allow me to introduce you to one breeder in his district. Note, I wouldn't recommend reading the rest of the article if you're eating.

USDA Customer no 43518, is Carl and Barbara Neubert of Neubert Kennel and Farms. They canceled their old license (20353) in order to upgrade to a class "A" license. On November 23, 2010, they had 105 adult dogs.

Among the violations (pulled from APHIS and the Petshop Puppies website for this breeder: earlier license and later license):

August, 2006

A review of the written Program of Veterinary Care on file revealed that the last documented visit by the attending veterinarian was on 12-17-04. The attending veterinarian needs to visit the premises on a regularly scheduled basis, at a minimum once per year. This is to ensure the health and well-being of the animals.

...

In the outdoor portion of the enclosure housing two Labrador Retrievers North and West of the house, there were multiple sharp wire points in the Northeast corner of the enclosure near the bottom. A system must be in place to ensure that all enclosures housing dogs are free of any sharp points that may injure the dogs contained within.

...

In many of the outdoor enclosures housing dogs West and North of the house, the water receptacles had a moderate to severe algae buildup in the bottom and sides. All water receptacles must be cleaned and sanitized at least every two weeks to prevent an excess buildup of food debris, excreta, and disease hazards.

April, 2008

In the outdoor portion of the indoor/outdoor enclosures of the main whelping building North and West of the house---one housing one adult Pug and one adult Beagle (North side)---there was approximately a one-foot by one-foot area of the floor in the Northwest corner of the enclosure that was filled with old dog bones. The dogs are fed meat and kibble as part of their diet. Many of the bones had sharp points and/or edges that could potentially injure the dogs' feet as they move inside the enclosure. In addition, the affected area also limits the amount of floor space available to the dogs. This food waste should be removed daily or as often as necessary to minimize physical risk to the dogs.

...

In several of the outdoor enclosures housing dogs North and West of the house---in particular, ones housing one adult Bassett, two adult Shelties, and three adult Siberian Huskies----there was a mild to moderate algae buildup on the bottom and sides of the water receptacles. All water receptacles must be cleaned and sanitized at least once every two weeks, or more often if necessary, to prevent an accumulation of dirt, debris, fecal material, food waste and other disease risks.

May, 2009

There are accumulations of fecal material in various areas of the facility. I observed dogs and pups walking in this fecal material and becoming soiled.

...

Two primary enclosures in whelping room house pups on 1x1 coated wire. At time of inspection I observed 2 puppies' feet falling through the mesh. Facility provides a mat for these pups but the mat only covers about 2/3 of the floor area.

These pups are at high risk of significant injury to their legs which could lead to undue pain and or euthanasia due to injury.

...

Larger breed puppies being raised in sheltered housing with direct access to outside component. The inside component is raised about 18 inches above the ground. The outside component uses the ground as a substrate. Facility is using a combination of cinder blocks and stones as a ramp. This is very unstable and 2 pups are trapped outside at time of inspection. This method allows for puppies to be injured by falling off these stones and also being trapped outside and subjected to weather conditions which could lead to illness and possibly death.

...

Plastic kennels used as shelters in outdoor facilities have no wind/rain breaks.

These are required to prevent driving rain from flooding the shelter and precluding dogs from having a dry and comfortable rest area.

...

Outdoor facilities housing 22 dogs do not have compliant shade sources.

...

Sheet metal walls of whelping area have rotted and peeling sections.

July, 2009

Facility feeds freshly butchered beef to the dogs. In one pen housing 3 dogs there is a whole head covered with maggots. These feed source is in no way uncontaminated, wholesome, or palatable to the dogs. This can obviously serve as a ready source of disease transmission to the dogs.

On November 23, 2010:

The drainage system for the older kennel building is not completely connected to a drain line. The waste and water from the outside washdowns is currently spilling off the washdown to the ground at the west end of the building. This has created an accumulation of fecal and feed waste adjacent to the kennel that is producing a insect and odor hazard. At the time of the inspection this area contained a strong odor of fecal waste. This drain system must be completed to allow for rapid and complete removal of fecal and feed wastes from the kennel area to protect from insects, pests, and odor.

Within the older kennel building a drain pipe was missing from a drain area in the upper enclosures and the lower enclosures. This allowed waste water flow from the upper washdown through an enclosure in the lower row containing two dogs into the lower washdown. The owner had placed a towel in the bottom of the lower washdown to reduce the amount of drainage at that end but water was observed dripping into the lower enclosure and contacting the dogs contained. This drain should be properly constructed to allow the dogs housed below to stay clean and dry.

This facility has been supplementing commercial dog food with beef remnants and bone scraps. The leftover bones and remnants are left within the enclosures and are accumulating to an excessive level. In several enclosures scraps and remnants were observed to be deteriorating and becoming blackened. The practice of not removing the remnants and bone scraps creates a disease and pest hazards within the kennel area. All bone and scraps should be routinely removed from the structures. Affects approx. 73 adult dogs.

...

The second and third ground enclosures from the east in the middle row of runs have shelters without adequate wind or rain breaks. All outside shelters must have sufficient wind and rain breaks at the entrance to the shelter to reasonably protect the interior and provided bedding from the effects of wind and rain. Appropriate wind and rain breaks must be provided to these shelters. Affects 3 adult dogs.

...

At the time of the inspection there was no bedding present in the shelters located within the outdoor ground runs as well as the shelter boxes on two hutch units on the west end of the whelping building. Current air temperatures during the inspection was in the 45 to 50 degree F range with overnight temperatures into the 30 degree F range to be expected. All outdoor shelters must be provided with clean, dry bedding when the ambient temperature is below 50 degrees F with additional bedding provided when the temperature is below 35 degrees F. Bedding must be of sufficient quantity to allow the dogs to nest and conserve body heat. Affects 58 adults and puppies.

...

An enclosure containing three adult Shetland Sheepdogs was provided within a single small shelter. Another enclosure containing two adult Labrador retrievers were provided a single medium sized shelter. Another enclosure containing 4 Brussels Griffon was provided with a single small shelter. In each of these situations an inadequate amount of space was available for all dogs within the enclosure to enter the shelter and make normal postural adjustments freely and simultaneously. Additional shelter space must be made available for these pens and all pens must have adequate amount of space to allow the dogs to enter, stand, sit and lie down freely. Affects 9 adult dogs.

...

Two of the ground enclosures within the older building have doorways that have been chewed to the point of the plastic sheeting being pulled away from the wall and having areas of chewed plastic that is difficult to clean. These areas must be repaired to good repair to allow for thorough cleaning. Affects 3 dogs.

...

The wire mesh enclosures on the north side of the older building have openings near the top of the outside wall. This opening is large enough to allow an adult Papillon to fully extend her head outside the enclosure. A gate within the grounds runs east of the older buildings has been pushed to the point of allowing the beagle contained within the enclosure to stick her head between the gate and the gate post. Pieces of wire mesh flooring has been wired in place on the gate to keep in the dogs but the edges of the wire mesh are causing a safety risk to the dogs within the enclosure. All enclosures must be constructed to securely contain the dogs. Affects 2 dogs.

...

This facility supplements the diet of the adult dogs with meat scraps and bones received from a nearby meat processor. During the inspection it was observed that several pens had large accumulations of bones and fragments within the enclosure. Some of the leftovers were blackened and partially covered with gravel and dirt. Within the same outdoor enclosures the owner stated that she did not pick up and remove the solid fecal matter but rather hosed the pen down approximately three times a week. During the inspection numerous pens were observed with dried, white feces accumulating in the enclosure along the areas of the pen with a brownish organic matter that appears to be fecal sedimentation. This practice does not adequately remove the feces from the enclosure and does not reduce disease, odor, or pest hazards within the kennel area. Along with this accumulation of bones is present in the enclosures. All excreta and feed waste must be removed from the enclosures on a daily basis to reduce disease hazards, insects, pest, and odors. Affects 43 dogs.

...

The doors, walls and floor of the older buildings have areas that are in need of a thorough cleaning and sanitation. The aluminum doors have accumulations of a brownish, oily buildup that should be removed. The walls on the ground runs as well as the concrete floor has areas of brownish accumulation that should be removed. All enclosures must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized once every two weeks or as often as necessary to prevent these accumulations. Affects 34 adult dogs.

What's interesting is that the pre-license inspection in 2008 found the breeder to be "in compliance". From the general pattern of repeating violations, we know that the breeder didn't suddenly degrade. No, what happens is that you get extremely inconsistent inspection results between inspectors. One inspector does nothing more than a cursory glance around, while another does a thorough job detailing all of the problems.

If we were to look at the state inspections, we'll probably find that the state inspections were even more erratic, and incomplete. We don't know for sure, though, because state records are much more difficult to access.

I find it ironic that one of the amendments proposed during the SB 113 hearings in the House was an amendment to add back in the provision that cage areas must be cleaned daily. Loehner used an argument that the inspector wouldn't be able to tell if the cage was cleaned daily. I think from the inspection report, we can see that the inspectors can tell if the cages are being cleaned daily.

Under Proposition B, this breeder would be shut down, no doubt about it. Under existing laws and SB 113, this breeder will be allowed to continue—no doubt about it.