OKLAHOMA – The Humane Society of the United States published its fifth annual ‘Horrible Hundred’ list this week.
It’s their list of 100 puppy mills in the country, and they use it as a way to draw attention to the people who run the operations.
Two Oklahoma breeders made the list – one in Chandler and one in Stroud.
The report describes terrible conditions documented by state or USDA inspectors at dog breeding operations around the country.
The HSUS defines a puppy mill as a breeding establishment that puts profit over the welfare of the animals.
One of the Oklahoma breeders on the list is Tom Coleman in Chandler, Okla.
Coleman, who reportedly had his license revoked in Georgia for violations of the Georgia Animal Protection Act, has a history of sick dogs, the HSUS said in its report.
Before moving to Ohio and then Oklahoma, Tom Coleman was state licensed as a pet dealer in Georgia, but in February 2012, the Georgia Department of Agriculture revoked his license for violations of the Georgia Animal Protection Act. The revocation stemmed from repeated incidents during which Georgia inspectors found sick and sometimes deceased dogs in Coleman’s kennel who tested positive for Brucellosis, a serious zoonotic disease, followed by Coleman’s failure to properly contain the disease and comply with a quarantine. According to Georgia state records, Coleman’s facility, then known as Copper Lake Kennels, was placed under quarantine due to dogs in his facility testing positive for Brucellosis. During a February 2012 inspection of Coleman’s facility, it was discovered that he had violated the quarantine by removing the infected dogs. According to Georgia state records, Coleman told the Georgia Department of Agriculture that he had “moved to Utah and had taken the [quarantined] dogs with him.” The Georgia Department of Agriculture later discovered that he had actually “moved himself along with the dogs to Ohio,” according to state records. While in Georgia, Coleman was also USDA licensed, and had a history of problems found at his USDA inspections as well. ©The Humane Society of the United States, May 2017 | 100 Puppy Mills 39 Canine Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that is highly contagious to other dogs and can be spread to humans or livestock. In recent years it has become more prevalent in Ohio and Oklahoma, and both states are attempting to contain its spread. After revoking Coleman’s license, the Georgia Department of Agriculture contacted the Ohio Department of Agriculture to alert them of Coleman and the potentially contagious (Brucellosis positive) dogs that had crossed state lines. Ohio required Coleman to euthanize female dogs who tested positive for Brucellosis and test all of the puppies at the Ohio kennel. Ohio state records show that the state’s Department of Agriculture quarantined Coleman’s facility in March 2012 and again in May 2012, after being alerted about Coleman’s history and the disease risk. Coleman operated in Danville, Ohio, until April 2014 when he auctioned off the property. After he sold his Ohio property, The HSUS did not know if Coleman had ceased selling dogs. But according to an Oklahoma kennel license list that The HSUS received in May 2016, a Tom Coleman DBA Miguel Delgado was listed in Chandler, Oklahoma. Upon further investigation, it appeared that this Tom Coleman was the same one connected to the previous Georgia and Ohio kennels. The HSUS reported information about Coleman’s history to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture in June 2016, believing he may be in violation of Oklahoma commercial dog breeder licensing requirements. According to Oklahoma’s Commercial Pet Breeders application, applicants must indicate and provide an explanation if they had a license revoked or suspended from another state or surrendered a license in another state, among other criteria. The HSUS shared Coleman’s history with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture due to concerns that he might have become licensed under false pretenses. The HSUS has also received consumer complaints about Coleman/Delgado in recent years. As we noted in a prior Horrible Hundred report, Coleman was once federally licensed but his USDA license was cancelled in January 2012. Animal Welfare Act violations cited on Coleman’s USDA inspection reports included: four schnauzer puppies with recently cropped “raw and unhealed” ears that were “laying on the wire in feces;” waste under the wire enclosures that had been “allowed to accumulate to excess for at least a week” and that was causing a strong odor; Yorkies in cages with wire flooring that had large openings (1.5 inches) that were causing their feet to fall through; and a cocker spaniel in a cage with her puppies that had “no clean area for the dogs to lay down” due to accumulated feces.
The other Oklahoma breeder listed in the HSUS report is Jerry Hine in Stroud, Okla.
HSUS investigators reportedly found stench and crowded wire cages.
Investigators also found that on Hine’s website, he allegedly offered to ship puppies without the required USDA license.
Jerry Hine operates a puppy store in Stroud, Oklahoma, and also breeds dogs in an adjacent building. Due to multiple complaints about the conditions in the store and kennel, The HSUS sent investigators to the property in December 2016 and again in March 2017. Although the investigators did not find signs of illegal animal cruelty, they did witness several signs of puppy mill like conditions, including a foul odor and dozens of dogs confined to small, crowded wire cages. The owner told one of the undercover investigators that the dogs were never taken out of their cages for routine exercise. During a December 2016 visit to the pet store (Pink Poodle), an HSUS investigator heard a number of dogs barking outside and upon entering the store, a strong ammonia stench was prominent. Numerous puppies were on display, many of whom appeared to have ‘oozing, irritatedlooking eyes,’ according to the investigator’s report. The puppies were housed in a row of cramped, wire cages. In addition to selling puppies through his pet store, Hine offers them for sale online. Hine’s Add Love Pets website (addlovepets.com) offers a variety of breeds like Maltese, Yorkshire terriers and Weimaraners. The website offers, “I will ship nationwide. Shipping starts at $250.” A USDA license is required for commercial breeders with five or more breeding females who ship puppies sight-unseen to pet buyers. Yet when the HSUS inquired about Hines’ license status with the USDA in March 2017, HSUS ©The Humane Society of the United States, May 2017 | 100 Puppy Mills 40 was told that there was no record of any entity called Jerry Hine, Pink Poodle or Add Love Pets holding a USDA license. This was not the first time Hine has been investigated; according to news reports, in 2007, local authorities followed up on complaints of poor conditions and dogs living inside a trailer. A potential buyer witnessed dogs in stacked wire cages without water and noted a stench of ammonia. At that time, authorities cited Hine for not having the proper license. Hine is now state licensed in Oklahoma, but still does not have a USDA license.
The organization notes in its report that if you purchase puppies or dogs from a store or off the internet, you could be supporting puppy mills.