Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup (Southeast Michigan) Message Board › Westland Dog Food Co., Inc. (Exposed)

Westland Dog Food Co., Inc. (Exposed)

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,219

Yesterday's Westland protest started off with a bunch of giggles over their naked fence.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,222

We are going into our third month of sustained protests in Westland! Yesterday we began passing out Breeder Fact Sheets including a list of their 2011 out of state breeders – some with over 200 dogs!!

Download the Breeder Fact Sheet

Inspection reports including violations to the Animal Welfare Act for their 2011 breeders have been posted to our Meetup files. I am encouraging the pet store owners and employees to take a look at these. Ask the owners if they visit these kennels themselves?

Some recent violations include

Anna Mary & John Reiff, 38866 Rocky Branch Roa, Latham, MO
9.21.11 …severe accumulation of feces & food waste on the ground.

Beverly Fox, 7207 HWY 309, Ozark, AR ***DIRECT VIOLATIONS***
11/3/11 …maltese female had a lesion on its right hip, skin was reddened, loss of hair, with scabs present.

Ann, William and David Remy (Broker), P.O. Box 911, Boonville, AR
12/14/10 ..outside runs of bulldog enclosure had a build up of animal waste. Animals could move freely without coming into contact.

Elaine & Chris Wilson, 554 Rt FF, Everton, MO
8/26/10 ..dust, gunk and dirt in the interior of the feeders.

Patrick Fulton (Broker), 603 South Broadway, Alden, MN
3/31/11 ..transporting underage puppies.

Please join us on Saturdays from 12-2:30! RSVP Here!
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,223
Beverly Fox
7207 HWY 309
Ozark, AR


If the pet store is looking for more evidence, I will continue to post inspection reports. I have records going back to 2001!

Here is another interesting case. Beverley Fox, from Ozark AR, has accumulated non-compliances (violations to the Animal Welfare Act) during almost every inspection currently posted on the USDA website! She has shipped puppies to Westland Dog Food Supply (Shih-tzu, Yorkie, Maltese) since October 2010.

11/3/11 NC Direct
8/11/10 NC
6/29/09 NC
6/12/08 NC

Her November 3, 2011 report was disturbing:

1) An adult, female, Maltese, identification number xxxx, has a grayish colored mas of material accumulated on her upper bottom teeth. All teeth observed by the inspector were covered with this mater. The gums were reddened and swollen. Dental disease can make it difficult for an animal to eat and can be painful.

2) An adult, female, Maltese, identification number xxxx had a lesion on its right hip. The skin was reddened, there was a loss of hair in the area, and there were scabs present.

The license must have these dogs evaluated by a veterinarian with the next 48 hours to obtain an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

Download Beverly Fox Nov 2011 Inspection Report

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,224


Katie D.
South Lyon, MI

The puppy mill protesters outside should have been a warning.

I stopped here on my way home to pick up cat food, and couldn't resist the cages of cute, wiggly puppies (who could?). A sweet little Rottweiler caught my eye, and they put us both in an exercise pen to play. Adorable, right? Right. Soft brown eyes and a fuzzy nose had me ready to drop $1000 right then and there. Luckily, the protesters outside gave me pause to at least ask about the puppy papers, and make sure she didn't come from a mill.

The pet store employee's were very kind, and assured me that she came from a great breeder that they knew personally, and had always gotten good puppies from in the past. They showed me her papers, noted that she was AKC registered, and had champions in her bloodlines. I asked if the breeders were responsible, and only had a litter or two a year. Sure, sure, they said. The people outside were just mad at any place that sold puppies at all, as they prefer that people adopt.

I wanted to believe it.

Things got a little sketchier when the employees told me that if I brought the puppy home, I'd have to limit her play to 15-20 minutes a day, or I would stress her immune system and she would get sick. Really? 20 minutes of play for a 10 week old puppy?

Thank god for smart phones. I casually ducked down a dog food aisle and entered the breeders name into Google. Jesus Christ. 209 dogs on the premises during a given inspection, 70 dogs without beds or shelter in Missouri in January, layers of feces and urine over 3 inches deep in limestone lined kennels, the list of violations went on and on. The breeders were listed as raising USDA livestock. More posts talked of owners all over the United States that had adopted from pet stores that used these breeders, all assured they were not puppy mills, all ended in heartbreak.

My heart breaks for those dogs, and I should have known better.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,225
Westland Dog Food Co is telling customers we are protesting because we believe people should adopt instead! Do you think I am standing out in 40 mph winds in frigid conditions because I want to promote adoptions???

For those of you who are worried about the puppies that are not purchased, DON”T. They will be fine. Eventually the puppy will be marked down and sold, but for a lesser profit. Low puppy turnover will help our campaign and the store will realize they are not better off selling puppies.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,233
On Saturday, March 10th we met a customer who purchased a boxer in 2010. She asked us to provide any breeder information we had collected. This is what we found:

Dona Cope’s kennel in Missouri is also called “Looney Tune Hill”. (5049 Farm Road, Aurora, MO)

She has a USDA License since 1993 which means she is allowed to sell wholesale to retailers like Westland Dog Food. It also means she is inspected by the USDA once a year usually. USDA inspection reports are open to the public. The USDA keeps three years of inspection reports online. I noticed that she did not have a 2011 inspection, but she is still “Active”. The rest of the inspections can be found on the PetShopPuppies.org website.


There were violations in 2010, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003. It sounds like a horrible place based on some of the violations. This one bothered me:There are at least 5 barrels (shelter) for adult dogs where the dogs are taller than the barrels.” They live in barrels? Yikes.

She is definitely a puppy miller. Her inventories range from 36 – 92! You can find inventory numbers at the bottom on the PetShopPuppies.org link.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,245
On Saturday, March 24 we met a family who purchased a golden retriever puppy from Westland Dog Food Co a couple years ago. They suffered heartbreak after they had to put the dog down due to medical issues. This is after dealing with severe aggression issues in which the store would not take the dog back. He was in such bad shape they took him to the Humane Society to be euthanized. They will never buy from a pet store again.

Often times, these cases go unreported as the family does not realize that there are bad breeders behind the pet store pumping out puppies on an assembly line with no regard for their health or wellbeing. Once the store got the money in their hands, they washed their hands of any issues.

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,257
Since we have been meeting families with sick dogs, we checked with the Police to see how many did file formal complaints. We found two reports, but unfortunately the details for the inspection were not available.

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,289

Store, protesters face off over puppy sales

Members of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan have been protesting in front of Westland Dog Food Company in an effort to get the company to stop selling puppies.

April 15, 2012
Written by LeAnne Rogers, Observer Staff Writer


Each Saturday since the beginning of the year, a group carrying signs and leaflets has been gathering in front of Westland Dog Food Co. to protest the sale of puppies — animals they charge are bred at puppy mills.

“We always ask the stores if they can switch to a humane model of just adoptable pets. We have asked over 100 Michigan stores to take the pledge and over 100 stores have agreed,” said Pam Sordyl of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan.

Store owner Steve Fourment disputes the allegations that the dogs he sells are from overcrowded, unsanitary kennels, noting his breeders are federally licensed and inspected, along with his store being licensed by the state.

“The standards are quite rigid. I'm licensed in Michigan. Everything we do is legal and lawful. Most of the puppy mill footage is decades old,” Fourment said. “We've been here for 40 years and plan to be here another 40 years. We stand on our reputation. I want the consumer to know we are offering healthy puppies.”

Having protesters in front of a store is a last resort, said Sordyl, who earlier led protests in front of a Westland Petland store at Ford and Wayne roads. That store subsequently closed, although Sordyl said that isn't her group's intention.

“We started going there every Saturday for six months straight. That paid off. People knew us,” Sordyl said. “I send letters and make calls. If there is no response or they say no, I do a public awareness campaign and protest. We start with a couple of weekends, then do a public awareness campaign. We don't go away.”

Fourment doesn't have plans to go anywhere, either. Founded in 1968 and family-owned, Westland Dog Food began as a kennel producing championship Field Trial beagles. The dog food business began when a special formula food was developed working with Cornell University — a formula sold exclusively at the Westland store.

“We have a full-service vet who takes care of our dogs. We ask a lot of questions of first-time puppy buyers. We try to match their lifestyles with the right dogs,” said Fourment, who points to a bulletin board crowded with photos of dogs sold by the store and their owners. “It's heartwarming. My customers think they (the protesters) are misguided.”

It's ironic that his store is being targeted, Fourment said, when a bigger concern should be the unlicensed and unregulated home breeders where the majority of dogs are purchased nationwide.

“Those kinds of people are not accountable. We offer a one-year guarantee. People know where to find us,” Fourment said.

The protesters legally can be on the public sidewalk, but Westland police have been called when a large banner was staked into the public right-of-way and traffic was impeded. Citing unsigned threatening letters sent to out-of-state breeders he uses and an e-mail sent by a man affiliated with Sordyl's group, Fourment said he was concerned about his personal safety and that of his business.

“I have no idea about a letter. Those (breeder) addresses are public on the USDA website,” Sordyl said, adding that would not be the type of message her group would send. “Our goal is not closing a store — it's adoption. We like the mom and pop stores. We want them to succeed.”
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,290
The store stated they are licensed by the state? The Michigan Department of Agriculture stopped licensing pet stores in 2009, so that was the first false statement. Not all of the store’s breeders are licensed federally (USDA). Jim Cunningham and Robin Sheets do not have a USDA license and each shipped puppies to this store in 2011 from Missouri – the nation’s Puppy Mill Capital. You can read about their breeders on our website. http://www.meetup.com...­

The store stated “Most of the puppy mill footage is decades old”. So you admit to working with puppy mills and some of it is recent? Bob & Dee Ann Cleveringa who have shipped puppies from Iowa from 2009 to 2011 were cited for excessive fecal matter in November 2010 and the store still purchased puppies from this kennel. Is the store actually visiting these kennels? Are they reading the inspection reports? These are puppy mills.
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