PETA Urges USDA to Shut Down Blue Ridge Kennel Permanently, Following Animal Welfare Violations

For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Wetumpka, 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 in Alabama, which conducts tests on dogs, for serious violations of animal welfare regulations:

The USDA needs to show some teeth and seize the long-suffering dogs imprisoned at Blue Ridge Kennel, which would be a good first step toward shutting down this miserable facility permanently. It has proved once again that it cannot or will not comply with even the bargain-basement protections for animals afforded by the federal Animal Welfare Act. The most recent violations show that Blue Ridge lied about what it does to animals in order to obtain at least three dogs, and other dogs in its possession may have been acquired from illegal sources, because there was no paperwork to identify them. The kennel kept some dogs outside in the heat without access to water and failed to get veterinary care for other dogs, including a 12-year-old yellow Labrador named Blue, who could barely stand or walk. Another Lab, named Party Girl, had severe dental disease and two mammary masses—one an inch wide—that the facility left untreated. Blue Ridge Kennel has repeatedly proved that it can’t be trusted to care for dogs and should be shut down.

In January, PETA filed a complaint with the Wetumpka Police Department, and in February, the USDA filed an administrative complaint against Blue Ridge Kennel. Since 2020, USDA inspectors have documented 43 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act at the facility. They’ve found emaciated dogs; dogs with open wounds, broken teeth, or masses on their bodies; and dogs who were denied adequate veterinary care. The kennel has purchased dogs from individuals who didn’t possess licenses, which means these animals could have been someone’s companions and could even have been stolen from someone’s property. For years, the company has violated federal regulations mandating the formation of an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

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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