Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Veterinarians consider puppy mill dogs "working dogs"

I found the court decision today for the Chapman case up in New Brunswick where the New Brunswick SPCA had charged Ester and Harry Chapman with cruelty to animals - the decision came out June 25th, 2009 and you can find it at

To make a long story short, the Chapman's were found innocent - there is the Judge's reason for finding them innocent - who's name is Judge Paul E. Duffie - and you can read that in the above judgement - and then there's the reasons I'm going to talk about, which are my own opinions, which to me are just interesting thoughts and the basis for conversations that a person could have.

The first thing that picqued my interest was that the seizure happened in March, 2008 - done by the New Brunswick SPCA, and then in April 2008 - the kennel had their licence renewed by the Department of Environment and Local Government. That is very bad and looks very bad on the New Brunswick SPCA - someone isn't talking to someone else within the government of New Brunswick - or the Department of Environment isn't doing their job, or their rules are too lax on what they consider to be an acceptable kennel environment.

It also says in the "evidence from the crown section" that - "They found that there was a strong smell of ammonia, poor air quality and poor bedding and that there were other animals having some problems, but the kennel was addressing their needs."

The NB SPCA only took 3 puppies and one adult out of the 350 dogs that were present at the facility - but in that paragraph it states that there WERE a lot more than just those 4 animals "having some problems" - but it's only in that ONE paragraph that we ever hear about them - so it seems like the kennel is treating the animals much better than perhaps it seemed like it was to the SPCA officers on the day of the seizure.

Donna Wareham worked for the Chapman's and she said in the court document that "they provided the best care they could." What does that mean? There were 350 dogs at the kennel on that day - that's not to say that at other times there weren't a lot more there - with the maltese dog - she had advanced periodontal disease and had to have everyone but 3 of her teeth pulled after she was seized - and the vet said that her condition should have been noticed a lot longer before it was - which was only after she was seized.

Ester Smith said that her workers had noticed a foul smell coming out of her mouth the week before - "She said it is common with small breeds to have problems with their teeth as they don’t like to chew on bones." What does that mean?

And here's where we start to go off the radar with some of the stuff that was said at trial.

Dr. Ted Morris was the vet for Kilburn Kennels - he was the only vet they ever used since the day they opened - and he NEVER visited the kennel - although he did see over 1,900 of the puppies that they sold, "and treated several others" - when he was asked about the condition of the maltese dog's teeth he said -

He estimates that the Maltese was a working dog and would survive well with his K-9 teeth.

What do you think about that? Dogs in puppy mills are "working dogs" - so they only deserve to have a certain quality of life and service. Yeah, that's really sweet. When I read that I almost lost my lunch. That's on page 6 of the court judgement if you want to go look it up.

Dr. Ted Morris also told the animal protection officers that they could NOT return any of the puppies back to the breeder because of medical and safety reasons. He stated it was all a question of bio-security. Were the Chapmans running a chicken farm or a breeding kennel? I don't know. Maybe you can ask him.

In an article in a New Brunswick newspaper, Harry Chapman said - "As for the dog with the bad teeth, 80 per cent of all dogs in the countryside have bad teeth."

Does this mean that if the Chapman's would have had their kennel in the city that they would have taken better care of the 350 dogs in their kennel? Was it only because they were in the country that they didn't give proper dental care to their dogs teeth?

They've decided, now that they were found not guilty - to sue the New Brunswick SPCA - because there FORCED - yes, FORCED - to SHOOT - 175 of their precious animals - SHOOT IN THE HEAD - what they called "euthanize" - "it was the only humane way" - because there was nothing they could do with them - and I guess they didn't feel like feeding them anymore - after they were charged by the SPCA last year.

You can read that article at "Acquitted Couple says they will sue the SPCA"

Personally - I sincerely hope the couple gets what's coming to them.

A slightly shorter article is in the Telegraph journal - you can go and read it here if you can stomach it.


  1. Hubby Mike found that recently when he googled around.

    I just glanced at it, but it appears that the proposed regulations, in Pennsylvania I think, are that each dog has to get a 20 minute walk each day - and large group outings, for example hunting, doesn't count.

    One single law like that would make it very easy on the court system. If one doesn't have the time to walk the dog for 20 minutes each day, then that person has too many dogs or not enough time and the dogs could be seized and the person charged.

    it is unbelievably sad that this vet didn't speak out before the seizure and court case. Of course, having 1900 dogs go through his doors and an endless supply yet to come, the money is just good.

  2. Anonymous10:13 AM

    Once I thought it was just because I am a cynic, but having watched the CBC Marketplace piece on vets I question whether Vets are implicit supporters of puppy mills. Pets sold at pet stores have numerous health problems that come to light after the animal has been sold and bonded with the owner and low and behold where does the owner go to get help. Vets make large sums of money off these animals and their silence or in some cases support of these operations make me think its to lucrative for them to want to lobby for any changes to the way these puppy mills(factory farms) are run.

  3. Deborah10:19 AM

    Unfortunately, given the judge's raionale, it appears that the couple was in compliance with the law as it is written. The real problem seems to be that the law, as it is written, is far too vague. It should be much more specific. What would also help would be a legal (and enforced) restriction on the number of dogs that could be housed in a a kennel or breeding facility at any given time, and severe restrictions on breeding practices, ie how many times a bitch can be bred per year, per lifetime, etc.

    Don't get me wrong, I am ABSOLUTELY appalled reading about the conditions of this "facility" which is clearly a puppy mill, and am appalled at the very idea of puppy mills, however, the law can only be enforced as it is written, and therein lies the problem.

  4. Anonymous6:59 AM

    Clearly a puppy mill, you make me laugh, dont you have anything better to do with you time? I mean honestly. xD, and Im not here to argue with anyone, I am voicing my opinion.