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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lily's Story Part 1

On March 15th, there was a puppy mill raid in Wyoming, Iowa.  A breeder suspected of animal neglect and cruelty was investigated after reports had been filed.  100 dogs were examined by two licensed veterinarians one by one, as they were removed from the facility.  They pulled the dogs that showed signs of neglect or cruelty and the others went back into the facility to stay.  66 dogs out of the 100 were kept as evidence.

Quotes from the breeder's USDA inspection report,  "A total of 66 dogs at the facility were identified to be in need of veterinary care by a veterinarian licensed in the state of Iowa during the time of inspection.  These veterinary care issues included chronic skin conditions, gingivitis, dehydration, an umbilical hernia, ear parasites and infections, chronic eye problems, abscesses of the scrotum, and various purulent discharges from the penis and anus as per the veterinarian...  Food and animal waste from washdowns has been allowed to accumulate immediately adjacent to the outdoor runs of the main building.  The pile is not less than five feet in diameter and not less than one foot at the highest point.  In addition to the amount present, the accumulation is showing signs of degradation.  Therefore, it is clear that this has been allowed to accumulate for some time...  The main building had a strong odor.  Some windows were open at the time of the inspection.  However, they did not supply sufficient fresh air...  The veterinarian present indicated that some of the Boston Terriers, due to their body structure, had abscesses and/or ulcerations from them constantly being on the mesh in use...   The feet of these puppies were observed passing through the openings in the floor...The enclosures had 3 square feet of floor space when subtracting space taken by the food and water bowls.  The enclosure contained three dogs.  The minimum floor space required for these three dogs is approximately 17 square feet... The food receptacles for all outdoor housed dogs are excessively dirty...  The dogs had not received water twice in a 24 hour period...  The water bowls for all outdoor housed dogs are excessively dirty...  All wash downs in the breeding rooms had excessive accumulation of animal and food waste...  The outdoor washdowns were covered solid with animals and food waste...  The facility owner refused (inspection).  Refusal to allow inspection is a serious violation of the Animal Welfare Act."

Here are some links to articles about the case.

The USDA inspection report from the raid

The original plan called for any dogs pulled from the facility to reside at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The college offers a Veterinary Technician Training Program and had the kennel space necessary for this operation.  Once the dogs arrived at the school, the college allegedly began receiving threatening phone calls that allegedly originated from the breeder of the dogs.  The college suddenly recinded their offer to help.  66 dogs that were now in a safe place, were in need of a new safe place and fast. The authorities were in dire need of placement for the dogs that were being held as evidence.
The call went out for local rescues to step up to the plate in a game that they weren't even playing.  The groups would be required to take these animals into their homes at their own expense.  They would have to agree to keep these dogs for an undetermined amount of time.  They would agree that the dogs did not belong to them, and they must obey any judgements made over the case. They knew they were taking a risk with their funds, and with their hearts.

Rescue volunteers from groups all over Iowa stepped up, never hesitated, and took in all 66 dogs.  Not one dog had to go back to the breeder due to lack of a place to go. Rescuers took them to their own veterinarians to be evaluated and provided them with any medical care they required.  Rescuers fostered the dogs in their homes, paid for food, toys and treats, and paid veterinary bills with their own funding.  But in the end, their biggest expense was the toll it took on their heart. 

Meet Miss Lily.  She is just one of the 66 dogs.  She wore a tag at the time of her liberation from the breeder.  On that tag was a number, #104.  There was no name on the tag. There was no spark in her eyes.

The edges of her ears were torn from her cagemates.  She had open sores, scabs, and scars on her head, legs, and body.  Her haircoat was sparce, to the point where you could see her skin through what should be a full coat.  There was so much dander on her skin from it's dryness that it looks like she was playing in the snow.  She had a permanent head tilt to the left, from an undiagnosed neurologic problem.  In this condition, Lily's body was used to make puppies and turn a profit. 

Lily's rescue group was Safe Haven of Iowa County.  Her foster Mom was Rinthea.  Lily was taken to the veterinarian and she was placed on antibiotics for 3 weeks for skin wounds and infections.  Then she went home.

At her foster Mom's, she received a collar and a name tag.  On that tag, was a name...her name.  Lily learned to live in a house with people as part of a family. She began to learn housetraining.  She began to learn what love means.  Lily slept on cushions, and pillows, and soft cushy beds instead of a wire cage bottom for the first time.  She met new dogs and discovered cats.  Some of them would play with her, and some would not.  She rolled on the soft carpet and in the grass.   She felt hugs and received kisses.  Lily learned her name.

As time was spent together, Lily's photos began to exude personality and love for life that was not there in the beginning.  A spark now shined in her eyes.  Rinthea's facebook posts of her time spent with Lily were passionate and powerful.  But these days were also stressful.

The rescue volunteers waited anxiously to hear about the fate of the dogs.  They were waiting on word from the courts as to the results of the investigation.  Would charges be filed?  Would the breeder lose is USDA license?  How long would the dogs be held as evidence?  What was going to happen, and when?  Would they be relinquished permanently to the rescues and made available for adoption?  Would the dogs go back to the breeder?   Would they sit in limbo for months or even years waiting for the case to come to trial? 

To be continued...

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Anonymous said...

I know as a Vet/Rescuer you will not let this comment go on your Blog but you really DON'T Know what you are Talking about regarding this Kennel. How long was "Lily" at this Kennel?? I see you didn't Post that. If I recall she was ONLY there for 3 Days. Also how many dogs did this breeder Rescue from other breeders in the past and send to Rescues?? I don't see any of that posted. Regarding the "Refusal" of inspections I think it says in there That HE WASN'T HOME.

ALL I see in this BLOG of yours is a bunch of One Side Crap that you have NO Clue what you are Talking about. You Should REALLY get the Facts before you Post.

Also where are all the inspections regaring your Facility and these so called Rescues?? Oh wait the State Comes and Inspects so theres Now way for us to see your Inspections.

Immydog said...

I love when people who combat my words, are too cowardice to use their name...

Attempts were made November 2nd, and 4th for inspections of this man's facility. All dealers are required during normal business hours to allow inspections. November 4th there was a person present, but inspection was refused. Another attempt on January 12th resulted in refusal of inspection despite a kennel employee over 18 being available to escort the inspector. I have allowed my employees to escort the inspector in my absence.

It's called having nothing to hide.

Anonymous said...

I think its time to post part 2. Lets see what this breeder did from the day #104 was returned March 18th fast forward to 16 weeks later. Really? Lets see the pictures and talk about the condition of how she was when she was sold.

Lets get part 2 out there. Then lets hear the defense....

ameow2002 said...

Gee anonymous...where is your name? I DO know what i am talking about as we had 4 of these dogs in our state licensed rescue. All skinny, unsocialized, filthy, caked in urine and feces, open sores, skin conditions, ear infections, dehydrated, infested with the parasites Giardia and Coccidia...all of this documented by licensed veterinarians. I suppose these 4 dogs were 'rescued' by the Buzzard too? The state, the USDA, the attending veterinarians that night, Jones County, the media and the public have failed these dogs time and time again and it is way overdue for the real story to be told! I know the rest of the story...but anonymous will have to wait to read about it!

barkmeow said...

To anonymous: We all have our own opinions on things but if you are going to state 'facts' you cannot be credible if you don't even want to post who you are and have documention to back up what you are saying. I would love to know what rescues he sent dogs to......DO TELL. To quote yourself "yours is a bunch of One Side Crap that you have NO Clue what you are Talking about. You Should REALLY get the Facts before you Post".....

tuckrocks said...

Dear Annoymous - In case you are not Mr P here is a link to the USDA report.

Id like for you to see the wording, the information from the report page by page and tell me if that is how you define a good breeder.

I do give you credit if indeed Mr P had the bostons in horrible shape for only 3 days in MArch HOWEVER hes had them for 16 weeks and some of those dogs were in TERRIBLE shape STILL! Dont tell me that he was taking care of them when they come back with tears, bite wounds, infected injuries, covered in feces, oil, skin rashes, and the list can go on.

have you ever been to Mr P's buildings personally? If so please feel free to take pictures and send them to us. We'd love to see how well the dogs are being treated.

He has NEVER done anything to allow anyone in his facility other than the USDA (see 17 page report) so if he wants people to back off he aught to allow for anyone to come into his buildings unannounced any time of the day.

Buzz Powell said...

Well I've been getting several People telling me about this site so I felt I'd come leave a comment.

I am the Breeder in Question here and Just want to Tell all the Rescues thanks for all the Attention to our Kennel. We could of Never Paid for all this Advertising. Its funny that you think you are Hurting our Kennel. You would be if all the Alligations we true but since all you can do is Lie and turn the Truth into lies to try to benifit you Brokers. (Oh I mean "Rescues").

The Funny thing is we were thinking about Closing in February becasue I was working Full Time and Tring to Run the Kennl. But after All the Attention in March and Once we WON in Court and got our Dogs back within 15 Days our Business had more than Doubled. Our Current Place is No Longer Big enough for all our dogs so now we are in the process of tring to either build on to the Kennel or buy a bigger place. We want to thank all the Rescues for all of this. I love reading all the Lies and how you take the Truth about our dogs and turn it into lies. The Funny Things is the more you lie the better our business gets.

Yes, we had a 10 Page USDA Report. Get that Right its NOT 17 Pages. Its little Lies like that that people get mad about and come to us. They feel if you can lie about little things what else are you lieing about. But all changes have been made and I no longer work outside the Kennel.

We get people constantly calling and asking the Truth. When we show them how you guys turn everything it just makes it better for us. Instead of working with Breeders you want to fight us. Thats fine with me becasue We Will Never Close. We will always be here. You guys have singled me out and thats fine with me. Becasue for every lie you tell the Truth will surface.

I just wanted to leave a Comment saying Thanks for all the Attention. You have really Helped our Business Grow and I just wanted to say thanks. We were on the verge of closing and you helped us grow.

Anonymous said...

Dear Buzzard,

Not biting.

Love, Me.

Anonymous said...

You claim that you had just bought all the dogs that were seized and that's the reason they were in such horrible condition. You also claim you were about to close. Now why would a Miller who is about to close be buying more breeding stock?

Anonymous said...

Using the word truth and capitalizing it doesn't mean that what is said is accurate by any means. Reputable breeders do not need to advertise via the 5:00 news, their work speaks for itself. No one is getting mad and spreading lies, it's just not fair that dogs should live the way they do in tiny cages and flinch at any sign of human contact. It's downright depressing. Furthermore, if the dogs were being cared for properly, why did they have horrible skin infections, parasites and were extremely malnourished. I find it very interesting that business is booming due to the "publicity" received. What do people say when they are looking for the "Truth"? "I saw that over 50 dogs were taken off of your property under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, can I buy one of your puppies? Do you really not care for your animals? I would like to buy one please." ??? If the dogs were truly cared for properly they would never have been taken off your property in the first place. There are plenty of dogs being euthanized EVERY DAY in shelters, why would rescue groups seek your dogs out? No offense, but they have enough dogs on their hands as it is. I just hope that some day justice will prevail and all of the dogs will know the love that they deserve. Feel free to comment on the fact that this is anonymous, at least I care enough to say something.

Underdog Rescue said...

I am the person who bought this dog from the auction on 7/24/10. Was
she muddy, yes, but only because she was temporarily housed in a run
with a dirt floor. Only because she had been given, by Buzz Powell,
her owner, a large bowl of water to sit in during the day. I saw this
first hand. I want all of you to know that I have been to several
breeding kennels, and the dogs that came from Buzz Powell don't even
compare to some of the things I've seen. He had other breeds than
Bostons and all were clean, well cared for and social.
I am in rescue to help animals. That was what I was there to do
yesterday. What is unfortunate is that this posting on Facebook has
made it harder for
myself and every other rescuer to do just that in the future. For as
long as commercial breeders exist, and they will exist, whether I or you
or anyone likes it or not, I choose to help
dogs by giving breeders an alternative to euthanizing dogs as they get
old or if they decide to retire them. I want to give breeders an
alternative to selling dogs at auctions where they could end up in a FAR
worse situation. In this case, even though this breeder was worried
that this exact ramification would result, he did right by the dogs in
working with rescues, with full knowledge that that was what we were.
have this publicly
displayed on the Internet in a damaging and disparaging manner within 12
hours did only
one thing- made him regret trying to trust and work with a rescue group.
Please see the bigger picture. I understand your passion but it is
misplaced in this instance. For my part, I apologize to Buzz Powell and
to the untold dogs that will not be helped in the future because of the
mistrust this attack has fostered in breeders.
I am happy to answer any questions about the conditions of this dog or
any other dog I saw come from this breeder.

Shannon McKenzie,
Underdog Rescue

tuckrocks said...

So if MR Powell was a good person he would call you no matter what. If he wanted to clear his name he would answer questions, allow cameras in his facilities, and clear the air instead of continuing to bash rescues.

If mass breeders were good people and genuinly cared about their dogs they would GIVE them to rescues.

If he knew rescues were there the day of the sale and he WANTED to find good placements for his dogs WHY did he charge so much?

If he was a genuine person and was planning on selling out his breeds as the flyer said why did he pulls dogs if he didn't get 200.00 for them?

So Lily was dirty because she was in a dirt run with a bucket of water to sit in...that was nice...

He was never going to sell those dogs to rescues in the first place. IF he had that intention he would have accepted the many offers over the past 4 months that he was offered.

And since when is the term neglect based on severity? Neglect is neglect. You and I have seen dogs in worse condition but until you see the vet reports, the USDA reports, the pictures that have been compiled you only saw what you saw that day...

And until Buzz decides to SHOW us how his operation is now running we will never believe differently.

Bless you for helping these dogs to freedom but we can agree to disagree....

And Buzz if your a TRUE man with a heart you will get these dogs to rescues. By you generalizing every rescue is bad shows poor professionalism on your part.