Local Dog Breeders Churn Out Deformed Puppies and Rack Up Animal Welfare Violations; PETA Calls For Shutdown

For Immediate Release:
May 20, 2024

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Bolivar, Mo.

After learning that breeders Charles and Debbi McGinnis, the owners of Monarch Kennel near Bolivar, churn out dogs who have physical deformities that are highly likely to cause painful medical conditions and lifelong suffering, PETA sent a letter to the pair today urging them to shut down their shameful facility. PETA’s letter calls out the duo for racking up a whopping 14 alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act in recent years, including for confining a dachshund and her five puppies amid so much feces that the animals couldn’t avoid stepping in it and for denying veterinary care for an “extremely thin” dachshund who was attacked by another dog about a month earlier and displaying lethargy, “crusty lesions,” and “open moist sores with a yellow discharge.”

Due to their intentionally bred deformities, dachshunds have a higher risk of developing lifelong spinal, knee, and other joint problems and up to a quarter of them suffer from painful intervertebral disc disease. Germany recently proposed a ban on breeding dachshunds—a national symbol in the country—and other dogs with “skeletal anomalies” that cause serious health problems, who are victims of what the legislation refers to as “torture breeding.” Breeding any dog also contributes to the companion animal overpopulation crisis, in which around 70 million cats and dogs are homeless in the U.S. at any given time.

“Pumping out deliberately deformed puppies while millions of dogs in shelters are desperate for loving homes is reprehensible,” says PETA Vice President of Legal Advocacy Daniel Paden. “PETA urges Charles and Debbi McGinnis to give up all these dogs immediately and reminds everyone never to buy any animal from a breeder or a pet store.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Charles and Debbi McGinnis follows.

May 20, 2024

Charles and Debbi McGinnis


Monarch Kennel

Via e-mail: [email protected]

Dear Mr. and Ms. McGinnis:

In light of your operation’s remarkable history of failing to meet the bare minimum requirements of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA)—and dachshunds’ painful deformities—I’m writing to urge you to stop breeding these animals. We understand that this would be a radical step, but please consider the following with an open mind—and realize that you could set an inspiring, humane example for your colleagues around the world.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) records reveal that inspectors have cited you for at least 14 alleged violations of the AWA in recent years. Last November, a veterinary medical officer found “excessive dirt and grime” on an enclosure confining a dachshund and her four puppies. A month earlier, the veterinarian had found a dachshund and her five puppies confined amid such “excessive amounts of fecal material … that the dogs could not avoid stepping in the feces.” In January 2023, the USDA found that you had not sought any veterinary care for a dachshund who “had been attacked by another dog about one month earlier.” The dog was “lethargic,” “extremely thin,” and afflicted with “lesions with yellow crusty material” as well as “open moist sores with a yellow discharge.”

The long spine and stubby legs dachshund breeders select for often cause these dogs to suffer from herniated and malformed discs and joint pain. Due to these painful deformities, Germany has proposed banning breeding the dogs. A Cornell University veterinarian recently said that “the miniature dachshund is the most likely breed to have an intervertebral disc displacement and … multiple [dachshunds] com[e] in for surgery every week.” Breeding these dogs causes immense suffering throughout their lifetime, and they often need costly medical care that your customers may not be aware of or cannot afford. These surgeries aren’t just costly—they’re dangerous, extremely painful, and traumatic for dogs and their human families. These deformities compromise the dogs’ health, quality of life, and emotional welfare.

Breeders are largely responsible for the homeless companion animal crisis, and there are around 70 million homeless dogs and cats in the U.S. at any given time. Times are changing, and these issues cannot be ignored. Please stop exploiting these dogs and perpetuating the myth that their deformities are something to celebrate. Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Elise Fisher

Evidence Analyst

Cruelty Investigations Department


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