MO Puppy Mill Posing as Dog Rescue Group

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The Humane Society of the United States has submitted a complaint to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster requesting an investigation of the purported dog “rescue” group operated by state-licensed dog breeder.

The HSUS’ complaint contends that Laymon is violating the state’s consumer protection law, also known as the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, by deceiving the public into believing that the dogs in her operation are rescued from other facilities, when in fact many of the dogs may be coming directly from her puppy mill.

“This is only one example of the corruption that is prevalent in the high-volume dog breeding industry,” said Barbara Schmitz, Missouri state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “This puppy mill operator is not only profiting from breeding dogs in an inhumane manner, but now is also profiting by misrepresenting her operation and playing on the emotions of people who care about dogs and want to rescue them.”

The HSUS named Laymon’s breeding facility, Shadow Mountain Kennel, as one of the worst licensed puppy mills in the state in its 2010 and 2011“Missouri’s Dirty Dozen” reports. The kennel received a “dishonorable mention” in both reports based on consumer complaints about sick and dying puppies Laymon allegedly sold over the Internet, as well as USDA and state inspection records citing Laymon for numerous violations of federal and state welfare standards.

The violations included excessively matted dogs, inadequate veterinary care, and dirty housing conditions. In 2009, the USDA fined Laymon $7,125 for repeated violations and suspended her license for three years. However, Laymon continues to be licensed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture even though she has been cited by that agency at least 36 times for animal care violations.

HSUS’ complaint to the Attorney General explains that in April 2010 Laymon created the non-profit “rescue” operation, “Rescue A French Bulldog.” The “rescue” primarily operates through the website, rescueafrenchbulldog.com, where Laymon offers French Bulldogs to the public for “adoption fees” that range from $500 to $950. Laymon also uses the website to solicit “donations,” ostensibly to help feed and care for the dogs.

Based on inside information HSUS received from a former consultant of Laymon’s, it appears that Laymon created this “rescue” to entice dog-lovers into buying dogs from her facility that she might not otherwise be able to sell, and to circumvent anticipated changes in state laws regulating dog breeders. The HSUS believes this situation has become more common as consumers are becoming aware of the abuses that occur at puppy mills.

To avoid unscrupulous puppy sellers, The HSUS recommends always visiting a rescue group or breeder in person and avoiding Internet-only transactions. Consumers who wish to file a complaint about an unscrupulous puppy seller are encouraged to contact The HSUS at humanesociety.org/puppycomplaint.

36 thoughts on “MO Puppy Mill Posing as Dog Rescue Group”

  1. Thank you Monica and Alexis! I couldn’t have said it better. People don’t seem to understand or care about the horrors of puppy mills. There is only ONE definition of a puppy mill and it’s a house of horrors, plain and simple. No true reputable breeder would refer to themselves as one and no one I know has any other connotation of the word other than what I just stated. As for not caring about people, please! Damn straight I don’t care about people who are capable of this kind of cruelty! I don’t want to hear that they are just trying to make a living. There is NO excuse for the way they treat these animals. NONE. This woman is obviously making a LOT of money off of suffering animals – I’ve never heard of a $900 “adoption” fee – plus asking for donations, etc. Having the IRS go after her sounds like an EXCELLENT idea to me!

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  2. @Lace – I too lost my respect for the HSUS after the Vick incident and right after, when they had a couple of hundred dogs seized from a fighting operation, despite a good number of them only being puppies and many not “trained” yet. No evaluations, nothing. However, after that episode and the following uproar over it, they changed their tune and admitted their policy was flawed and changed it. I’m still not a big fan, but glad they saw the light, so to speak. PETA just totally digusts me. They kill far more than they save and deemed the Vick dogs a waste of money to rehabilitate. Yet look at the vast majority now! As far as this woman is concerned, she needs to be exposed and shut down. Then thrown in jail for fraud and animal abuse.

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    • I meant to say that HSUS had a couple of hundred dogs siezed euthanized, not just siezed. And I don’t agree with them supporting Vick either. What he did was despicable. Truly sorry? I don’t think so. Only sorry he got caught.

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  3. A good place to start looking at HSUS is how they spend their donations (which are vast, by the way). Remember some years back one very high profile “people charity” was widely discredited when it was learned from a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA request) that over ninety percent of what they received in donations actually went to their administrative expenses including very bloated salaries and perks for their head honchos. There are places to look for evaluating rescues too, some people will only donate where the rescue has met the standards of these rating groups. My own preference is to say no to HSUS because of their support of Michael Vick and because I do not think Vick should have any more “second chances” than he gave those dogs and should probably himself should have had to suffer a goodly taste of what he did to them. But HSUS was seen to take incredibly strong action on a terrible situation with a privately owned and severely mismanaged HUGE herd of starved horses in the midwest when no one else would act and their people were right there with trailers, vets, food, water, volunteers, blankets, and backed it up with lawyers to make sure the abuser (per news reports last name was Meduna) got convicted and actually did significant time with also long-term prohibition of being around any animals whatsoever – and the organizations that can get that accomplished are very few and far between. HSUS’ prez Pacelle is by his own description not much of an animal lover and there have been some pretty scary news reports of how animals involved with HSUS in some ways don’t end up in good situations (e.g., dead). As I say though I make my judgment against HSUS because of their support of Vick. IMO bad bad call on their part.

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  4. And I think it is awful that some people who run puppy mills try to justify it by trotting out the God thing. Would sure love to know how that woman equates concern over her treatment of animals with the flat-earth concept, though! Amazing the self delusion that goes on!

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  5. With all these violations for 2 years running why is this “rescue” still open? Has anyone advised Governor Nixon of this so that he will finally realize he made a grave and serious mistake when he “compromised” on Prop. B.

    It was no compromise, it was a deal with the devil. The Department of Agriculture seems to selectively enforce the pathetic laws we have in place.

    Those responsible should be on the unemployment line. Why is there no more public knowledge about this? Why are there no protest marches or letter campaigns.

    This is unconscionable and I hope that someone will organize a rally against it. If so, they will definitely have my support.

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  6. How can I find out if a family member is buying a puppy in Mo and if it’s a puppy mill?

    I tried looking at the BBB site and they are not listed. I’m afraid this is going to be an expensive heart ache for a puppy and a child. 🙁

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