PITTSBURG, Kan. – “The animal facilities inspection program at the Kansas Department of Agriculture notified some unlicensed individuals that due to the number of dogs they had at their facility they were not operating legally,” explains Heather Lansdowne with the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
Lansdowne with the Department of Ag says a residence in Cherokee County was found to have more dogs than is allowed without a license. The limit is 20. She explains the Department of Ag let the homeowners know that they needed to get a license, but they didn’t comply.
So this week, the department removed nine dogs from the location — which are now at the SEK Humane Society. After being checked out by a vet, Jasmine Kyle says they aren’t unhealthy. But the females were used for breeding, and all of them have a long way to go before they recover.
“These dogs have not been handled. They are extremely terrified of humans. It is very hard to even hold the dogs, handle the dogs,” says Kyle. “So, that is where us as humane society workers come in.”
Kyle says it’s a situation she sees too often, and can happen even at licensed facilities like dog breeders.
The Humane Society of the United States released its 2021 “Horrible Hundred” report, which highlights what they call problematic puppy sellers across the country. There are seven on the list in Kansas.
“Those are just the identified cases,” says Kyle. “So, always keep your eyes and ears open, and if you see a barn yard outlet and you see dogs in cages and units, that’s a big red flag.”
The report lists Whispering Oaks in Coffeyville, where the Human Society says they photographed dogs in crowded cages, and outdoor enclosures that weren’t structurally sound, creating a concern during inclement weather. But the owner refutes that.
Owner Kristi Hillyard tells us her cages outside are anchored and in good shape, her dogs have 34 acers to run and play on and aren’t crowded when they are inside. She says she follows all the laws and regulations and works hard to make sure her dogs are happy and healthy. She also notes that the USDA just inspected her facility in March and that no issues were found, something the Humane Society report backs up.
She tells us that she knows there are bad breeders out there, but she isn’t one of them.
We reached out to the Humane Society of the United States, but have not heard back at the time of publication.