Cedarcrest Kennel of Ava, Missouri, also known by its website called “Pup 4 U,” has consistently fallen on the “Horrible Hundred” list of the worst dog breeders in the United States. Sadly, many of those puppy mills are licensed and continue to operate despite being exposed. Luckily, this kennel’s operations have finally come to an end.
The puppy mill owner lost their most recent license, causing them to shut down for good. Rescuers saved 42 dogs and puppies from the facility. While the pups are traumatized, they’re slowly learning that some humans can be kind.
A Step in the Right Direction
Marilyn Shepherd ran the horrific puppy mill, and she shut it down after her “hobby or show” breeder license was permanently revoked. The business was on the Horrible Hundred list for six consecutive years. It had multiple violations from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and some lawsuits from the Missouri Attorney General, which go back almost 25 years! For those reasons, Shepherd lost her license.
“Cedarcrest Kennel has been featured in national media as an example of why Missouri consistently ranks as the worst state in the country for sub-standard puppy mills,” the Humane Society said in a press release.
The Humane Society of Missouri rescued the 42 innocent dogs currently suffering at the puppy mill. Irish Terriers, Yorkies, Schnauzers, and Cairn Terriers were just some of the rescued breeds. There were many puppies, along with adult dogs, who had been forced to breed over and over again.
Most of the dogs were terrified of humans and unwilling to trust their rescuers at first. They also had many medical concerns, including cuts, ear infections, open wounds, and matted coats. The living conditions they were found in were deplorable. Several puppies were crammed into small cages with wire floors.
Ready for Loving Homes
Rescue staff is doing everything they can to save these dogs and prepare them for forever homes. Several puppies are coming out of their shells and enjoying playtime, but the adults are much more hesitant. Patience and love is the key to gaining their trust.
“You know, the first time you handle some of these dogs, they cower, they go limp in your hands. People are scary to them,” said Ella Frank, the assistant director of the animal cruelty task force. “Just watching the transformation, their emotional and mental growth, is amazing.”
Many of the dogs have already been treated for medical conditions and are ready for adoption. A few have even found forever homes already. If you’re interested in adopting one of these wonderful dogs, visit the humane society’s website.
Puppy mills like this still exist because the public is funding them. Dog breeding laws are very loose, and people are quick to buy puppies without doing their research. If you get a puppy, make sure you’re able to meet their parents and see the breeding location. Or better yet, choose to adopt a dog in need instead. You’ll be saving a life if you do!