AR-News: (WI - US) Puppies left out in the cold at puppy mills

Snugglezzz at aol.com Snugglezzz at aol.com
Sat Feb 7 18:19:33 EST 2004


Puppies Left Out in the Cold 

(PLYMOUTH, WI -- February 5, 2004) It's seven degrees and the 
temperature is dropping. Six puppies huddle together for warmth in a 
wire cage. Their water bowls are filled with solid ice. They've been 
out in the cold all day and they will stay there all night -- day 
after day, until someone comes along to buy them.

Those are the conditions videotaped by FOX 6 undercover cameras 
during a recent visit to Pretty Penny Kennels in Sheboygan County. 
Dozens of puppies are raised in the outdoor cages -- even in subzero 
temperatures -- and the owner says he wouldn't have it any other way.

"I have better luck with them outside," says kennel owner Gerald 
Schulz. "Outside there's a lot less germs. I wouldn't want to live 
my life inside."

The conditions at Pretty Penny Kennels are unchanged since FOX 6 
first investigated the kennel in 2001.

NO NEW LAW
That investigation helped lawmakers pass a new state law that 
regulated pet breeders for the first time in state history. But 
before the law took effect, former Governor Scott McCallum vetoed 
the law's funding and current Governor Jim Doyle failed to restore 
the funding in the state's budget. The law would have taken effect 
this week.

Pet owners and rescue groups say without a law, puppies are 
suffering.

SICK PUPPY
Betty Merrill bought a miniature dachshund at Pretty Penny Kennels 
on January 17, 2004. She says she bought the puppy to get it out of 
the freezing temperatures. "I didn't realize at the time just how 
sick she was," Betty told FOX 6. Merrill quickly took the puppy to 
an animal hospital and x-rays confirmed the puppy had pneumonia. If 
untreated, the condition would have been fatal, according to 
Merrill's veterinarian.

Gerald Schulz told FOX 6, "I sold it for less because I thought it 
had kennel cough." Schulz also says he will pay for the puppy's 
medical bills, although he has not yet contacted the Merrill family 
to discuss the issue.

Schulz says in cold temperatures he adds more bedding and more 
puppies to each cage to help keep the animals warm. He says he 
provides puppies fresh water four times daily because it freezes 
quickly. Schulz sells about 1,000 puppies a year and says he gets 
very few complaints from his customers.

The Sheboygan County Humane Society says it does get complaints 
about Pretty Penny Kennels, recording nearly 50 complaints in the 
past two years. The complaints are sent to the county sheriff's 
department.

"We get calls to go out there on a fairly frequent basis," says 
Captain David Adams. "There's nothing the sheriff's department can 
do under the current law."

NOT DEAD YET
State lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that would regulate 
large breeders, dealers and shelters. The proposed law would also 
establish minimum standards for the humane treatment of the animals 
in their care. Assembly Bill 536 is nearly identical to the law that 
was repealed before it could take effect February 1, 2004.

Larry Balow (D - Eau Claire), one of the bill's co-sponsors, says 
pet owners should get involved if they want their lawmakers to 
support a new law.

"All I can say to people is you've got to put pressure on your 
legislators if this is important to you," Balow said. "If Wisconsin 
doesn't do something we will be the state with all the puppy mills 
in here because these breeders know they're not going to be 
inspected, they're not going to have to be licensed and nobody's 
going to bother them. We don't have to put up with this."

The legislation was "postponed" in the Assembly's Committee on 
Agriculture, and is it now being considered by the Legislature's 
Joint Finance Committee. To voice your opinion on the Pet Facilities 
Law (AB 536), you can contact the following legislative leaders and 
members of the Joint Finance Committee:

Senate Leadership
Senate President Alan Lasee 608-266-3512
Senate Repub. Leader Mary Panzer 800-662-1227
Senate Dem. Leader Jon Erpenbach 888-549-0027

Assembly Leadership
Assembly Speaker John Gard 608-266-2343
Assembly Repub. Leader Steven Foti 888-534-0038
Assembly Dem. Leader James Kreuser 888-534-0064

Joint Finance Committee
Co-Chair Sen. Alberta Darling 800-863-1113
Co-chair Rep. Dean Kaufert 888-534-0055
Sen. Russell Decker 877-496-0472
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald 608-266-5660
Sen. Sheila Harsdorf 800-862-1092
Sen. Ted Kanavas 608-266-9174
Sen. Mary Lazich 800-334-1442
Sen. Gwendolynne Moore 888-326-6673
Sen. Robert Welch 800-991-5541
Rep. Michael Huebsch 888-534-0094
Rep. Shirley Krug 414-461-2223
Rep. Dan Meyer 888-534-0034
Rep. Kitty Rhoades 888-529-0030
Rep. Dan Schooff 888-534-0045
Rep. Jeff Stone 888-534-0082
Rep. David Ward 608-266-3790 

How to Contact Us 
Your tip could lead to our next FOX 6 Investigation. To reach 
investigative reporter Bob Segall, call him at (414) 586-2149 or 414-
799-TIP6 (8476). You can also send a letter to:

FOX 6 Investigates
9001 N. Green Bay Road
Milwaukee, WI 53209



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