For Immediate Release:
May 17, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Montgomery, Ala. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding additional citations that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued to Blue Ridge Kennel, which conducts tests on dogs, for serious violations of animal welfare regulations:
The USDA has issued yet another raft of citations against Blue Ridge Kennel, a hellhole of a contract dog-testing laboratory in Alabama. When someone is caught driving drunk enough times, their license is revoked and they are no longer allowed to drive. However, the agency seems content to let Blue Ridge Kennel mock federal regulations indefinitely.
In another spate of citations, USDA inspectors found several dogs with chipped teeth and other agonizing dental problems unaddressed by staffers for nearly a year. Some dogs were suffering from foul-smelling ear infections, and rusty metal protrusions were found again in dogs’ pens, along with peeling paint in a quarter of them. Astoundingly, inspectors uncovered that two members of the facility’s animal oversight committee—the body in charge of ensuring the animals’ safety—had no training in what they were supposed to be doing and hadn’t filed appropriate paperwork on two occasions. The agency also found that three dogs with thyroid problems were months overdue for treatment, that Blue Ridge’s plan to prevent parasites in the dogs held there was lacking, and that this plan wasn’t being followed anyway.
All these findings are on top of a whole parcel of other citations from just weeks ago. And in January. And even before that. USDA inspectors have found emaciated dogs as well as dogs with open wounds, broken teeth, and masses on their bodies. The agency has caught the kennel purchasing dogs from unlicensed people, which means they could have been someone’s animal companions—or maybe they were stolen.
Since 2020, the USDA has cited Blue Ridge Kennel for 71 violations of federal animal welfare laws. It’s high time for the agency to show some teeth by shutting this hellhole down.