Michigan Puppy Mill Shuts Down

October 2000

PETA began receiving e-mail messages about Susan Padgett, a breeder in Otsego County, Michigan, who had been charged with cruelty to animals after 31 dogs were seized from her home and property.

According to reports, Padgett was housing 50 or more dogs on her property in a 9-foot-by-11-foot shed. Allegedly, many of the dogs were suffering from untreated eye and ear infections and injuries, one dog suffered an untreated infection from a botched tail-docking, and one pregnant dog was emaciated. Reportedly, all of the dogs were suffering from inadequate space and improper housing.

PETA contacted Otsego County Animal Control to inquire about the welfare of the dogs remaining in Padgett’s custody. We also wrote to the county’s assistant chief prosecutor, asking that Padgett be required to forfeit custody of all of her animals and be strictly prohibited from owning or harboring animals, if found guilty.

In the end, Padgett was sentenced to the following: forfeiture of all animals except one, who must be spayed or neutered; prohibition from owning any animals for breeding purposes; $4,000 restitution to Otsego County animal control; enrollment in a “pet care” course; and unannounced visits by animal control to her property.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind