Dog Breeder's Violations Festered For a Year, New Report Shows

Mar 4, 2011 at 8:22 am
click to enlarge Jennifer Silverberg - State inspectors told dog breeder LInda Baxendale that if she didn't agree to shutter her business, they'd call in law enforcement, a new report says.
State inspectors told dog breeder LInda Baxendale that if she didn't agree to shutter her business, they'd call in law enforcement, a new report says.
Jennifer Silverberg
State inspectors told a Stone County dog breeder in March 2010 that she needed to obtain additional housing for her dogs and get veterinary care for her dogs. They gave her a month to remedy the problem.

But that breeder, Linda Baxendale of Kneedeepincollies, never put a veterinary program in place. And even though she did obtain some additional housing for her dogs, she never moved it to a place that allowed her dogs to access it, according to a new report from the Missouri Department of Agriculture obtained by Daily RFT.

But because state inspectors never returned to verify that Baxendale had made the changes they requested, those problems festered for eleven months before inspectors returned February 17 to find a nightmarish situation: a trailer housing 42 dogs, with feces and urine everywhere. They've since shut down Kneedeepincollies and confiscated the dogs.

Daily RFT previously broke the news of the violations in the March 2010 report, and we suggested in our blog post that the problems encountered by inspectors in February 2011 appeared to be a match for the conditions Baxendale had been told to fix one year before.

But the newest report -- which details what state inspectors found February 17 and was released by the state yesterday in response to our records request -- is the first official confirmation that Baxendale never did clean up the problems she was cited for last year.

The new report shows that Baxendale never got a veterinary inspection. And, the inspector writes, "While there are unused dog houses on site they have not been moved to provide the dogs with access to them. Wind and rain breaks have not been provided. Each animal should be provided with shelter that they can sit, stand and turn about freely while inside."

The violation was ordered to be fixed by April 4, the inspector notes, and was not.

Indeed, the new report shows just how bad things had gotten. There were approximately 42 dogs living in Baxendale's double-wide trailer, "with feces, urine and wasted food on the carpeted floor," according to the report.

Adds the inspector, "The level of ammonia inside the home not only burns my eyes and nose but makes it hard to inhale."

The inspectors gave Baxendale two choices: Either she would shut down her business immediately and "surrender the animals to the state," or they would contact local law enforcement to "evaluate the situation." She chose to shut down.

The dogs are now in the care of the Humane Society of Missouri. Jeane Jae, vice president of communications for the organization, tells us that, for the most part, they're doing well. (One dog, sadly, was so ill that he had be euthanized soon after he was taken from Baxendale's home.)

"The other dogs are doing great," she says. "They all had internal, intestinal parasites, but they're getting treatment. They're running around -- and we'll start making them available for adoption next week." Prospective pup parents should keep an eye on the Humane Society's website for more info.

For the record, Jae is hopeful that lapses like the one in Baxendale's case will soon be a thing of the past. She praises the new department director, Jon Hagler: "We're working very closely with the department of agriculture at this point, and they're trying to redouble their efforts to make sure these kinds of things don't happen again. We're encouraged that things are improving -- that it's a new day with the inspection program and that they are trying their best."