Runaround Sue

While reviewing the Schindler inspection report, I could not get past the discrepancy of opinion between the investigators, who noted time and again that the dogs at the Schindler mill were essentially being housed in incredibly unsanitary conditions and multiple statements from the attending veterinarian, Sue Sculley, who repeatedly indicated that medically, the dogs were in great condition.

Small cage + snow = BOO & BRRRRrrrr!!!

Again and again, the Schindlers were cited for the lack of adequate space provided for their dogs and puppies.  There is a very simple calculation for determining the space needed for housing dogs, which is as follows:  (length of dog in inches + 6) x (length of dog in inch floor space in square inches).  Also, each female (bitch) that is nursing puppies must be provided additional floor space to effectively whelp them.  If the amount of floor space per each nursing puppy is less than 5% of the minimum housing provided for the bitch either the attending veterinarian (for a research facility) OR a state administrator (for breeders/exhibitors) must approve it after inspection.

Not enough space? Ummm, 85 yards missing space!

The Schindlers attending vet, Dr. Sue Sculley, provided the Schindlers with an UNDATED note indicating, “all bitches and puppies in the designated whelping houses have sufficient floor space based on breed and behavior.  I approve the current housing used for bitches and puppies.”  The USDA inspector found this approval insufficient and indicated that in 4 out of the 6 cases it reviewed the space provided for mothers and their puppies did not even meet the minimum space required for dogs that weren’t whelping puppies.  The mill was also found to be non-compliant in this regard on 3/08/2010.

I reviewed just the 6 cases the inspector referred to in the report, which focused on basset hounds, cocker spaniels and schnauzers each with 5-9 puppies each.    In just these 6 cases alone, the dogs were missing 85 yards of space that was supposed to be provided for them.  85 YARDS!!!!  15 more and the dogs would have been missing an entire football field.   And remember that the Schindlers had at anytime between 700-1000 dogs at their facility; extrapolating the 6 case studies to that population is mind-boggling.

They are missing as much of a football field that Arkansas QB can throw in the air!

Of additional concern was Dr. Sculley’s statement that she had had a relationship with Herman and Bonnie Schindler since May 1990.  Now think of that level of collaboration and closeness when you read her comments regarding the Schindlers and their dogs:  “This is a professional breeding facility that has high standards, not only for the quality of their breeding stock and the care and well-being of their animals, but also for the living standards of the animals that continue to strive to provide adequate care and maintain reasonable health and wellness standards. All health issues are addressed in a timely and prompt manner. Sincerely, Dr. Sue Sculley, DVM”

Seriously, I must ask how a veterinarian would really sign their name to a statement legitimizing the work of a business like this?  Doesn’t she realize she’s possibly putting her professional reputation and even credentials on the line by telling such a baldfaced lie, not to mention potentially giving other veterinarians who work with breeders a bad name, even those who are legitimate and work to ensure that the breeders actually do adhere to an adequate standard of care.  Shame on you Sue!

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