27 Investigates: Liberty business named in puppy mill report

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) — All over social media, local animal rights activists are organizing protests against a local puppy business.

They are upset over a report issued by a national animal rights group, so 27 Investigates reporter Amanda Smith looked into the controversy.

The National Humane Society has named Ohio Puppy on Belmont Avenue in Liberty one of the worst puppy mill operations in the country.

“I found an article from the Humane Society of the United States that listed the top 100 worst breeders and sellers of dogs and right here in Trumbull County, in Liberty, on Belmont Avenue, there is Ohio Puppy. They are a large-scale seller and breeder of dogs and as a dog advocate, and a dog rescuer, we do not feel there is a need for the continued mass breeding of dogs,” said Mark Rhodes of Trumbull K-9 Connection.

However, the owners of Ohio Puppy said those charges are not true.

Smith went to Ohio Puppy and at first, the store employees asked her to leave. She left a number, and store operator Martha Drozdik called her later and said she would talk to Smith on camera.

“We are not a puppy mill. I do not buy from puppy mills,” Drozdik said. “Before we bring a puppy here, I want to sit down at the table and see what they’re doing. The USDA has checked them out but I want to see how they are doing,” she said.

Drozdik said she makes sure the puppies are healthy before selling them.

“They have to be up do date on their shots, they have to have bordatella, which is for kennel cough, and they have to have their wormings,” Drozdik said.

Smith decided to test her claim that her puppies all had proper medical care and asked to see the veterinary records for a dog. Within minutes, Drozdik showed Smith the records for that puppy and all the other animals in the store.

She could even show Smith the codes for where she bought her puppies and said she has rejected puppies from some breeders because of their health conditions.

Drozdik said she feels she is being unfairly targeted by activists.

“I have talked to several animal activists. They all have the same head on their shoulders. They do not want you to breed dogs. I asked one woman, I said ‘You probably don’t want humans to breed and she said you’re absolutely right’,” Drozdik said.

To see the National Humane Society report, click here.

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