Feds Find Dogs Neglected at Van Buren County Puppy Mill; PETA Seeks Criminal Probe

For Immediate Release:
July 22, 2021

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Van Buren County, Mich. – Armed with a damning U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report documenting neglect and filth at a local puppy mill operated by Jacob Lambright, PETA sent a letter today to Van Buren County Prosecuting Attorney Susan Zuiderveen asking her to investigate and file cruelty-to-animals charges, as appropriate, against those responsible for depriving dogs of water, shelter, and sanitary conditions, as found in a federal government inspection.

According to the June 16 report, which was just released, a USDA inspector found three dogs in an enclosure with no water and instructed Lambright to fill the water receptacle. The dogs then drank for nearly a full minute without stopping. Twenty-nine dogs were confined amid “excessive feces,” and 17 dogs shared just five doghouses, in which they couldn’t all fit at once. One dog was tied with a “heavy chain” to two logs, and another was tethered to a fence, which the report notes “can lead to injury or strangulation of animals and possible death.”

“Most puppies sold in pet shops come from factory-style mills like this one, where dogs are treated like breeding machines, tied up like old bicycles, and left to languish in their own filth,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA wants those responsible prosecuted and urges everyone never to buy animals from the pet stores that keep these cruel operations in business.”

Michigan’s anti-cruelty statute requires that dogs be given sufficient water, doghouses of appropriate dimensions for their size, and space free of excessive waste. Violators may face felony charges, jail time, and mandatory psychological counseling, among other consequences.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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