The Humane Society of the United States has long identified Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ohio and Pennsylvania as the major puppy-mill states but right here in Wisconsin this horror also exists. Just because it may not be on the scale of some of these other states doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

Dog Auctions

Leon Horst runs dog auctions near Thorp, the first last year and two more since then, one on March 10 and the latest just this past Saturday, Jun 2.

Their flier advertises – “Now Accepting QUALITY Consignments — Only quality breeding stock or healthy and marketable puppies will be accepted. This is NOT a dumping ground for old and/or unproductive dogs.”

Check out the scrapbook that features some of the 242 “quality” dogs from that auction.

Animal Advocates Speak Out Against Dog Auction – June 4, 2007 – More than 100 dog owners crowded a meeting to speak up for their four-legged friends. Last year near Thorp, a breeder held Wisconsin’s first dog auction. Since then, there have been two more there, including one on Saturday (June 2). Now dog lovers say they need to stop.

Meet Boogie, a beagle pug mix who’s had a rough start to life. Rescuers bought him this spring near Milwaukee; they say his mother was so stressed by horrible living conditions that she chewed off her own puppy’s foot.

“There’s usually 5 or 6 in a cage. They almost have to lay on top of each other to be in there,” says Kati Gruber, with the Dunn Co. Humane Society.

The state has no laws preventing dog auctions and concerned dog lovers say the animals sold at those auctions need help. People appealed to state legislators Pat Kreitlow and Jeff Smith to get a law on the books.

“I really do think that we need the state inspectors. I think it’s ridiculous,” Jean Secraw says.

Secraw has been breeding dogs in Colfax for 25 years- she’s U.S.D.A. licensed and her dogs get heating and air conditioning, luxuries auction dogs don’t have.

“I just, I cringed and I just felt sick looking at these poor animals, not knowing what was happening to them,” Gruber says.

The Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project hosted the meeting. Executive Director Eilene Ribbens Rhode says some of the dog’s she’s seen at the auctions are covered in feces and have limbs chewed off. Many of the dogs will never fully recover.

“The damage is pretty much most of the time irreversible. You can improve on it considerably and end up with a dog that’s great, but not what most people would expect,” Gruber says.

Leon Horst runs the dog auctions near Thorp. He says he’s planning another auction for September. (

The Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project has been working and fighting for eight years to end atrocities like these auctions and various puppy mills around the state. They are also working to improve the standards by the Pet Facilities Law. This law still fall far short of what is desperately needed but you can help moving things in the right direction by signing the petition.

To find out more about puppy mills and what you can do please check out – The Horrors of Puppy Mills and be sure to also see the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project to see what you can do here!

We’ve got to work together to put and end to these atrocities!! Our opponents have alot of dirty money backing them and they don’t hesitate to line political pockets through lobbyists.

Read some of the stories of some puppy mill dogs

Mr. Peabody

Puppy Mill Dogs Want Only One Thing

And I’ll leave you with this one last thought before I close. It’s a poem by Jim Willis

Before I Die…


‘Tis lonely here in prison,
I dream of sun, of fields,
I saw them from a window once,
but I don’t know how they feel.


I’ve never known a caress,
a friend, a bone, a toy,
I’d happily companion,
a human girl or boy.


But some men have decided,
with selfishness and greed,
that my fate shall be a cage,
and for my keep, I’ll breed.


What should fuel this folly?
My kind may bark in vain.
We care not for your commerce,
and few know of our pain.


We’re hidden well from justice,
for our freedom some may cry.
God grant me, please, just one request –
Let me play once before I die.


Copyright 2002 – Jim Willis

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