Woman claims dogs at local store kept in cages with limited human interaction

Woman claims dogs at local store kept in cages with limited human interaction

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Ohio placed much too high on the "Horrible Hundred" list of puppy mills released by the Humane Society.

A WTOL viewer says Family Puppy at Franklin Park Mall is using puppy mills for his business, something the owner denies. But Susan Robinson, founder of "Puppy Mill Awareness," says they are coming from puppy mills out of state.

"They don't buy from the horrible hundred puppy mills, but they buy from puppy mills," Robinson said. "Places where dogs are raised as livestock, to be sold for profit. And I don't believe that any dog should have to live their life that way."

That way, she claims, is caged with many other dogs with little human interaction.

"It breaks my heart," Robinson said. "It breaks my heart every day. When I look and see that one or 2 puppies might have been sold that week or maybe more and I think, that just means those puppies will be replaced by puppies in the puppy mill. It's keeping the puppy mill in business."

Family Puppy owner John Stottele denies the claim, telling WTOL by phone his breeders are all USDA licensed and the American Kennel Club inspects them.

When asked about the level of human interaction at the breeders, Stottele says the dogs are put out, "have a doggy door, and can go unfettered whenever they want."

And that some of the breeders' children play with them.

According to the "Horrible Hundred 2017" report from the Humane Society:

"The USDA enforces only the minimum care standards required under the Animal Welfare Act.... which are so low that licensed puppy dealers can still legally keep hundreds of dogs in small, stacked cages for their entire lives, with little or no exercise,
enrichment or human attention."

This Humane Society report supports Susan's claim the USDA standard allows the dogs to be caged their whole life, "as
long as the dogs are provided with basic provisions like food, water and rudimentary shelter."

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