For Immediate Release:
January 23, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Montgomery, Ala. – Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna regarding a just-posted inspection report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) against Blue Ridge Kennel in Wetumpka, Alabama, for serious violations of federal animal welfare regulations. PETA has obtained photos and a video from the USDA documenting the miserable conditions for dogs at this kennel and has filed a complaint with law-enforcement officials urging an immediate investigation for violations of anti-cruelty laws.
The most recent inspection report documented that three dogs—named Preston, Star, and Shakira—were so thin that their ribs, backbone, and hip bones were clearly visible. Another dog, named Rugby, sustained a 4-inch-by-0.75-inch wound to his body during a fight after he had been placed in a run with an incompatible dog. In 2021, Blue Ridge Kennel held or experimented on 123 dogs.
It’s disgraceful that year after year, officials take no meaningful action while sick, elderly, starving dogs are found to be suffering at Blue Ridge Kennel. Federal inspectors have repeatedly cited this testing laboratory for violations of animal protection laws, and the Wetumpka Police Department should step in now to investigate. Blue Ridge Kennel must be shut down immediately.
Since 2020, USDA inspectors have documented 38 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act at Blue Ridge Kennel. They’ve found emaciated dogs, dogs with open wounds, dogs with broken teeth, dogs with 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 dogs could have been someone’s animal 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.