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An Interview with a WI "Puppy Farmer"

Little Corgi pup from the mill described in this interview.
(Click on photo for a larger view)

What Is A Puppy Mill?   *   What Can I Do About It?   *   Laws/Legislation   *   ACTION ALERTS!


     FINAL UPDATE: Mr. Schulz is out of the "dog business" forever. He died on June 28, 2022.

     15 May 2014 UPDATE: In 2011, Pretty Penny Kennels applied for and was granted a "temporary license" under WI Act 90. However, Mr. Schulz declined to upgrade his facilities to comply with the new regulations, so was denied a permanent license.

     Under the law, Mr. Schulz may still sell fewer than 25 dogs a year, from three litters. If you have reason to suspect that he is selling more dogs, or are concerned about the conditions in which his remaining dogs are being kept, please see our Filing a Complaint page for details on how to contact DATCP with your concerns!


 pawprint bullet point   SEE THE ACTUAL INTERVIEW (Windows Media Format video)    pawprint bullet point

The following article was transcribed from a news broadcast titled, "Inside a Puppy Farm," on WTMJ - Channel 4 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 23, 1999. The report was given by Mike Jacobs. If you have the Windows Media Player installed on your computer, you can also click here to see the actual broadcast of this interview, used with permission from WTMJ news.

       PLYMOUTH, WI Nov. 23, 1999 - There's nothing cuter than a puppy. And as the holidays approach, puppies are big business. But the business side of puppies is rarely as pretty as the puppies themselves.

       Case in point: Gerald Schulz's kennels, near Plymouth in Sheboygan County. He¹s got numerous dogs in dozens of outdoor cages. Schulz advertises in the paper, selling 25 different breeds in all. Today's TMJ4 has received complaints about Schulz's operation, so we checked things out.

       We found cage after cage of puppies outdoors, with four to six dogs in each pen. Two cages caught fire last Sunday while Schulz was at church. Twenty-one puppies died in that fire.

       But it wasn't Schulz's first fire. A fire that damaged his barn 11 months ago killed several dogs. And while we were there last week, another puppy pen caught fire. Schulz put it out with a garden hose. Apparently a heating pad in the pen shorted out, just like the fire last Sunday.

       Schulz runs extension cords to heating pads in all of his outdoor pens. In the most recent fire, the puppies weren't hurt. But Schulz didn't seem too concerned that he could have lost several dogs in the fire, "I could lose 'em all tomorrow from a disease or something too. It's a rough business trying to keep 'em all alive," he explained.

       Animal lovers have filed several complaints against Schulz with the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department, alleging "animal neglect", saying conditions were "disgusting" and made them "sick to our stomachs."

       Deputies investigated and found the animals "in good health". In every case, "there were no arrests made", or even any violations found. That's because Gerald Schulz seems to be perfectly legal. The sight of dozens of puppies in cages, outdoors, may upset some people. But it's not against the law.

       Schulz has been raising dogs for 30 years, and he's got an answer for every complaint raised by the puppy people:

  • He says there are not "too many dogs" in each pen: "They're much better dogs if you get 'em with more dogs. If you've just got one dog to a pen or even if you've only got two, then one's dominant and when you get 'em home, he's always fighting you for who's the boss. When you've got more in a pen like I do and they're mixed up once in a while, they're more submissive, easier to train."

  • Schulz says they don't need to be let out for exercise: "Then they'd be unhappy, they'd want to get out again. This way they don't know no better. They're happy where they are."

  • He says dogs don't need to be indoors during the winter, "There's no need for it. They were outside for a million years. It's only the last 200 that people have been putting 'em in the house."

       The Sheboygan County Humane Society doesn't like Schulz's operation, but it's powerless to act. Schulz doesn't think much of them, either. "The Humane Society people don't know nothing. Most of 'em are girls from town. They love animals - that's great, but they don't have no common sense. They think they should be on the davenport. The house is the worst place there is to keep a dog."

       Puppies are just the final product of Schulz's business. The actual breeding goes on in a barn. For each breed Schulz sells, he's got one male and four or five females per pen. They make puppies, which makes money for Schulz.

       You want labs? He's got em. How 'bout a cocker spaniel? He's got lots of them, with more arriving. Prices range from $200 to $400 each. The dogs we saw all looked healthy. There were no signs of cruelty or neglect. According to Schulz, "Anybody who raises something for money is interested in taking care of 'em, cause if you don't, you don't make any money."

       Besides, under Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 951, crimes against animals, keeping unhealthy dogs or treating them cruelly can get you arrested. Though some people say those laws are 'vague' or even 'weak.'

       One thing is clear; Schulz doesn't want any animal activists snooping around his property, trying to shut him down. "Besides that, I'd kill 'em if they came. (I've) been arrested twice for misuse of firearms. Next time I can't leave no witnesses."

       Schulz may be joking, but the look on his face was serious — dead serious. When asked if he was joking, he said, "A guy's gotta protect his place. Home is his castle. They leave me alone, I'll leave them alone."

       We have had calls from people who are happy with the puppies they purchased from Schulz. We've also heard from people who weren't so happy. But the main complaints aren't about the dogs themselves, rather about the conditions in which they're being raised.

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures
from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
                Saint Francis of Assisi

More on Pretty Penny Kennels:

 pawprint bullet point   Interview with a WI "Puppy Farmer"   pawprint bullet point   Inside A Wisconsin "Puppy Farm"   pawprint bullet point   Photo Album   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Mill Memo: Pretty Penny Update   pawprint bullet point   Goldie's Story   pawprint bullet point   The Story of Scratch: A Courageous Little Dog   pawprint bullet point

What Is A Puppy Mill?
What Can I Do?
Laws/ Legislation


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WTMJ news video Copyright © 1999, WTMJ, and used with permission of the station. All rights reserved. Please DO NOT COPY.

Photos Copyright © 1999, by Elizabeth Meadows. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

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