80 mistreated dogs rescued from puppy mill near Kankakee

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KANKAKEE, Ill. -- It was called Operation Spring Break, but it was not a fun trip.

Eighty neglected dogs and puppies were rescued from a puppy mill in St. Anne, Ill., near Kankakee.

At times there were three to four dogs in a small cage – many of those and others mistreated.

They were small breeds: Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Yorkies. Most had skin conditions from sitting in their own urine and feces. That also caused urine burns, eye issues and respiratory issues.

All these animals will get a thorough veterinary inspection and are expected to be put up for adoption soon.

APRIL 9, 2015 UPDATE: The dogs are not up for adoption yet, but they should be soon. More information here: https://www.facebook.com/AnimalRescueCorps


  • Jill Hinshaw Pudwell

    The USDA really needs to step down or re think what is acceptable.
    The USDA started out with farm animals, then when farmers started breeding they started those inspections, but haven’t upgraded the care/ inspections or eliminated the money under the table .

    • Dianne Arp

      Yes, Jill. Sadly the Dept of Ag is of little help in situations like this. They’ve been to Adrian’s more times than you can count and yet conditions were found satisfactory. Our undercover investigator was there in December 2014 and took a picture of a dog missing an eye. Yet, satisfactory according to the DOA. We worked tirelessly with Kankakee County to take action. Please see my post below for more information on our organization.

  • Dianne Arp

    The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) worked tirelessly with Kankakee County to get them to take action. We started a change.org petition that has over 2500 signatures and presented it to the Kankakee County Board in February. Our undercover investigator gained access to Adrian’s in December and evidence from that undercover footage was also presented to them. They knew CAPS wasn’t going to go away so they worked with us to develop and implement a plan to get those dogs out of that basement. We are a nationwide organization that investigates puppy mills and pet stores selling puppy mill puppies, and we’ve been doing it for 23 years. We were not going to let this go unaddressed. Kankakee has some of the strongest animal control ordinances we’ve ever seen, yet they were not enforced. And Adrian’s has been doing this for almost 20years. CAPS ran Adrian and Louise Gutierrez (Adrian’s owners) out of Villa Park IL where they were selling sick dogs at a flea market there. Adrian’s was the catalyst for our work with Villa Park government to enact legislation keeping them, and the likes of them, out of Villa Park permanently. So Adrian’s knew from experience CAPS wasn’t going to stop until it was addressed and the dogs were removed. Well, the dogs are now safe and getting the medical care they’ve needed for years – all because of the work we did. Visit our website below for more info on the great work we do. Thank you.
    Dianne Arp
    Chicago Outreach Coordinator
    The Companion Animal Protection Society

    • Terri

      So since these parasites have done this before, what’s to stop them from doing it again? Are they being riminally charged with anything? Please watch them so they don’t do this again.

      • Dianne Arp

        Terri you ask great questions. Generally in situations like this the ball is in the City or County Animal Control’s hands and enforce the ordinances already on the books (which, in KC, are some of the strongest we’ve seen) and cite Adrian’s for all their violations. Then it’s up to the County State’s Attorney to prosecute. If fines are not doled out, there is no deterrent for these puppy miller to stop. Additionally, it’s my understanding that Adrian’s “relinquished” the dogs to the rescue group. Which means they’re now property of that rescue group. All of which leaves the door open to a). no charges being filed, and b). for Louise and Adrian to set up shop again. Another interesting note: when our organization’s undercover investigator gained access to Adrian’s in December to get film footage and pictures – there were 140 dogs on the property. Only 80 were rescued yesterday. What happened to the 60 dogs? KC has laws in place stating Adrian’s must provide paperwork showing where all those dogs went. Will it be done? Because this situation has been allowed to go on for nearly 20 years, I’m cautiously optimistic. Time will tell. For more about the great work we do, please visit our web site at http://www.caps-web.org Thanks Terri!

    • Carrie

      Instead of focusing on this one rescue, why not contact your local animal shelter instead and give a home to an animal that’s been waiting for one? Don’t just focus on this one high-profile rescue–support your local animal control and rescue. There are plenty of pets that have been waiting just as long for a good place to live and be loved. And there’s less wait time and much less hoops to jump through.

      • Dianne Arp

        Excellent response Carrie. Often when puppy mills are busted like this people feel badly for the dogs and want to help by adopting or donating. Rightfully so because puppy mills are awful places. But there are lots of great animals at local shelters waiting for forever homes. The Kankakee County Humane Foundation is a wonderful organization run by great people working very hard to save lives of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. And they exist solely on donations. A lot of money is being raised by the rescue who took possession of the dogs saved from Adrian’s Puppy Paradise. Kankakee County residents’ money included. Which takes away from the local shelters who desperately need donations. It’s important to know that the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) had 501C3 rescue groups ready to take ALL Adrian’s dogs, get them to waiting veterinarians, then to waiting foster homes. This option would’ve costed Kankakee County nothing; not a penny. KC Humane Foundation is located, ironically, about 1/4 mile south of the former Adrian’s Puppy Paradise. Check them out!

  • Sherri Waldvogel

    How can I help?? I would be able to help take care of these poor dogs, including helping to socialize them. So glad they are safe now.

  • Sally Jones

    The Daily Journal in Kankakee actually reported on this a month ago, and the concerns for this facility have been going on for the better part of SEVEN years from the Animal Control department, not a “year and a half” as this live report indicated. One investigator from the Department of Ag had been coming by once a year every June to survey the conditions, and never returning to follow up within 30 days as promised when small concerns were raised that Gutierrez could be fined for. There are a total of six employees that inspect facilities like this state-wide. Gutierrez ran the facility primarily by herself at an advanced age, and had been recently in and out of the hospital due to a broken hip. She wouldn’t let anyone come down to the kennel, claiming kids would scare the mother dogs and possibly injure puppies in the cages with them, but it was believed the real reason was to avoid anyone seeing the environment the dogs were raised in.
    There really was no “hot tip” on this–it was widely believed not just by local animal rescues, but by many residents in the area as well. Even passerby on the road by this once-bar-turned-kennel would question the legitimacy of this being any kind of “puppy paradise” from the look of the exterior and yard.

    • Terri

      The Daily Journal and Kankakee County Officials are a joke. Come to our county and look around. Had CAPS not become involved these parasites would still be in business and I wouldn’t be surprised if they set up shop again.

      • Dianne Arp

        Terri, you are correct. The results of our investigation yielded much inaction by County officials, for years. And we heard the same from numerous Kankakee County constituents. Adrian’s has been doing what they were doing because they could get away with it. That’s why we had to come in strong, armed with irrefutable evidence so they’d have to act. We put pressure on them despite ignored emails and phone calls, missed deadlines, empty promises, etc. They knew we weren’t going away so they worked with us on a plan to implement. All of this has definitely not earned CAPS a spot on their Christmas card list, but we knew that was a possibility going in. But was a risk we had to take. For the dogs. It’s ALWAYS about the dogs for CAPS. Always.

      • Sally Jones

        Terri, you’re totally incorrect. The Journal brought this story to light for the first time that many people didn’t even know the facility existed, and the Kankakee Animal Control tried to work with the USDA numerous times to investigate this facility–they suspected someone inside was tipping the facility off about the raids because little to no fault was ever found with each subsequent investigation. The paper also found that the USDA has but six individuals investigating the ENTIRE state of Illinois. You’re blaming a community when in fact it’s a federal organization that couldn’t get the job done. Talk about passing the buck. CAPS was also not solely responsible for the investigation, nor was this Animal Rescue Corps–the former is responsible for helping write legislation shutting down puppy mills (this was a puppy broker, not a mill), and the latter is a high-profile rescue group out of WASHINGTON DC that came halfway across the country to “bust” with a flashy video and an immediate donation fund request–there were nearly a dozen groups involved with this raid, and they barely get a mention on ARC’s site article.
        Chances are without the paper reporting this–correctly I might add–you’d have never known about it.

      • Steve Lawson

        This is actually for Sally. What is worse ARC swooping in and getting these dogs out and then asking for donations OR The Puppy Mill Project swooping in after doing NOTHING and claiming they were the ones who “saved” these poor dogs? Actually, the answer is they worked together, though I’d give ARC more credit since they actually DID something. Inaccurate reporting once again by WGN who report anything friends want them to… Facts please!!

    • Dianne Arp

      Sally, you are correct on all points. When CAPS started getting hammered with complaints about Adrian’s we put them on active investigation status. And got our undercover investigator in there to get the proof we needed. Then we got the petition going which was signed by over 2500 people. Each time someone new signed the petition, Mike Bossert would get an email, so would Mark Ernst (head Vet at the IL Dept of Ag), and so would Stan James (Head of Comm Services). We presented our findings to the Board in late February – all of which didn’t win us any popularity contests with the State’s Attorney or Animal Control Director. They were not happy with “outsider” coming into their town, they made that very clear. I say all this to say that the results of our investigation yielded much of what you stated. So we hear you loud and clear.

      There used to be a time when journalism was well respected, at least those of us over 40 can remember that time. Now, anyone can report anything, without fact checking or researching. It’s very disappointing.

      • Sally Jones

        Who was reporting incorrectly that you’re referring to: WGN or someone else? The local paper had their facts pretty straight from what I understand when it was first reported, and even during the bust.

    • Dianne Arp

      Sally, I’m unable to reply to your comment below, so I’ll try to do it from here. Actually Terri is more accurate in her comments than you think. The Daily Journal, and many KC residents have known for years about the abuse going on at Adrian’s Puppy Paradise. A DJ reporter told me so, and KC residents have contacted CAPS with complaints. That’s what moved Adrian’s to “active status” for CAPS, so we sent our undercover investigator there. Animal Control says (operative word) they’ve been trying to get the Dept of Ag DOA) to help. The truth is – KC has some of the strongest animal laws on the books. All they had to do was enforce them and Adrian’s would’ve been gone long ago. I have a document stating the DOA wanted KC A/C to step up and enforce their laws because they (DOA) couldn’t handle the load they have. This was a document produced as a result of a meeting with KC A/C and the DOA. As far as who was tipping Adrian’s off, we can’t say for sure who it was. From our meeting with the State’s Attorney, the Animal Control Director seemed unusually concerned about the effect of all this on Louise. And she voiced it several times, which we found disturbing.

      You’re correct about other groups being involved, who are not getting a mention in the press or ARC’s PR. What I can tell you is that CAPS put the pressure on KC officials because we got a petition going that has over 2500 siguatures. We had undercover film and pictures. We questioned them about their already existing strong ordinances and why they weren’t being enforced. We would not let up on KC officials. All this didn’t win us any popularity contests with KC officials. It’s my understanding the State’s Attorney doesn’t take too kindly to “outsiders” coming into his town. For example, research why Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart had to come to Kankakee County to shut down a puppy mill in 2010. Why did yet another “outsider” have to do their job for them? And it’s clear Boyd wasn’t happy about what Dart did.

      Lastly, CAPS had 501C3 rescues lined up, at the ready, to take ALL Adrian’s dogs – no matter how many there were. The dogs would’ve been immediately transported to waiting veterinarians, then to waiting foster homes when healthy enough. This would’ve been done at no cost to the county or taxpayers. But, they decided to go the other route – as you mentioned with all the flash and glitz and donation requests. Money coming from KC residents who would normally be donating to their local shelter – the Kankakee County Humane Foundation. So their local shelter is suffering from this action plan. That’s sad.

    • Carrie

      Mary, support your local animal shelter instead and adopt a pet that has been looked after and is ready to take home. These animals in this rescue will need time and proper treatment. Focus on helping the animals in your own community first that have been there all along.

  • Dianne Arp

    To all those who are expressing a desire to adopt one of these puppy mill rescued dogs, they are now property of the rescue group. You need to contact them for adoption details.

    Since there’s been an outpouring of people wanting to adopt these dogs, the approval process may be lengthy. So may I suggest that you visit the Kankakee County Humane Foundation to adopt a dog/puppy or cat/kitten? KCHF is located about 1/4 mile south of the former Adrian’s Puppy Paradise on Route 1 in St. Anne IL. They have some adorable kittens and puppies there right now, I personally saw them yesterday. They also have some wonderful dogs and cats – all in need of a home. Often we get caught up in wanting to help dogs that are publicized as a result of a puppy mill rescue. It’s understandable because we feel badly for them. But there are lots of animals at KCHF that need homes badly! So give them a ring at 815-933-5999 or via email at k3humanefoundation@gmail.com

    In addition to working for the Companion Animal Protection Society I also work for a rescue group. So I push rescue/adoption whenever I can. Thanks folks!!

  • Steve Lawson

    Dianne Dorado Arp
    April 13 at 2:57am

    Getting lots of questions about why CAPS isn’t mentioned in the press or by the Animal Rescue Corps regarding our work with Adrian’s Puppy Paradise. Rather than respond with my opinion I figured I’d post facts in timeline fashion.

    Our CAPS investigator gains access to Adrian’s Puppy Paradise in December, obtains film footage and pictures.

    CAPS investigator mentions this to her Facebook “friend.” The “friend” asked to see the film and pictures. Our investigator sends with the understanding they not be shared with anyone as it’s proprietary. The “friend” agrees.

    Two weeks later Carrie Meyer (Puppy Mill Project/PMP) calls our investigator. It’s unclear how Meyer obtained the CAPS investigator’s phone number. Meyer asks our investigator for CAPS film and pictures. The investigator tells Meyer CAPS is investigating Adrian’s, the info she’s asking for is CAPS’ property, that her mother is fighting for her life in the hospital, and not to call again. Meyer continues to call every day for 3 days badgering our investigator for CAPS’s property. Meyer gets increasingly hostile with each call until she yells at our investigator. CAPS investigator tells Meyer if she called again she’ll hear from her attorney. Meyer’s calls stop.

    Later that same day the Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) calls our investigator; call ignored. ARC calls again the following day demanding CAPS property be given to them; call ignored. CAPS investigator receives an email from ARC demanding she turn over CAPS property to ARC. The email is ignored. It’s unclear how ARC got our investigator’s cell phone number and email address. I have chosen not to name the ARC member publicly, though that may change.

    The following week CAPS’ property appears on PMP’s Facebook page. We demand Meyer remove it, and she does. It’s unclear how Meyer got CAPS proprietary info.

    By February CAPS had enough information to approach Kankakee County (KC) Council on 2-25-15. No mention of another group conducting an investigation into Adrian’s – from the KC Council, State’s Attorney Jamie Boyd, Animal Control Director Julie Boudreau, or the PMP rep.

    Subsequent meetings held with State’s Attorney (SA), Animal Control Director (ACD), reps from the KC Humane Foundation, and reps from the PMP. No mention of another group conducting an investigation at any meeting or in any email. Attendees agree to keep all written and verbal discussions confidential. My email – regarding concerns about ARC founder Scotlund Haisley’s alleged operating tactics/legal troubles (via Google search) – is forwarded to ARC. It is unclear by whom.

    It’s unclear when PMP injected themselves into our investigation as they remained silent during our meetings with the SA and ACD. But when they did, they did so without CAPS’ knowledge.

    Fast forward to April 7 and PMP taking credit for CAPS’ work.

    So we have Meyer/Puppy Mill Project angry with CAPS because we wouldn’t give her our proprietary info.

    And we have ARC angry with CAPS because we wouldn’t give them our proprietary info, and because they were upset I questioned their alleged tactics in a confidential email they weren’t privy to.

    CAPS shone a spotlight on KC with our petition, our analysis of their existing ordinances, our investigative materials, and my speech before the City Council. CAPS held the SA and ACD’s feet to the fire despite attempts to make us go away – and they are not happy with us. It was clear SA Boyd doesn’t care for people coming to HIS town like we did. Boyd has a long history of icing “outsiders” out. Fun fact (and one that makes SA Boyd rather irate): research Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart who closed down a puppy mill in KC in 2010. Why didn’t SA Boyd and ACD Boudreau do anything about that mill? Why did Dart have to do it?

    Many people and organizations have told us that Carrie Meyer and Co. have been trash talking CAPS for years to anyone who’ll listen (including the ARC, according to an ARC member). This is sad because we’re all fighting for the same cause. We just figured they’d stop by now. It is also ironic because – Meyer is “CAPS trained.” Meyer approached CAPS because she wanted to work for us. So we took her under our wing and trained her. To an extent. Meyer began including Janie Jenkins in her training sessions. Suddenly both disappear. Won’t respond to calls or emails. Months later The Puppy Mill Project appears.

    Much of this will come as a shock to longtime CAPS members. My purpose was to respond to the questions I’ve been getting and comments I’ve seen. I know this is upsetting but let’s keep emotion in check. Thanks.

    • Steve Lawson

      Here is some news. WHY would TPMP do this? I am trying really hard to understand this. Why would a legit rescue do this, wasting another’s time. That equates to dogs dying.

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