FOX Files: Former Dog Breeding Site Registers as a “Rescue” | News
Some dog breeders may be finding new ways to stay in the animal business. Investigative reporter Chris Hayes found a breeder location with a troubled history that’s now claiming to be a dog rescue.
State inspectors cited the location 15 months ago for “accumulation of urine, feces and hair on the floor” and lack of outside shelter where “8 beagles only had 2 igloo dog houses.” That’s when it used to be called “Sunset Kennel.” It was run by breeder Ovella Lange, who supplied a chain of mall stores called “Pampered Pets”
Last February, Lange forfeited her breeder license to the Missouri Department of Agriculture and agreed to auction off her nearly 300 dogs.
Yet, we visited the same address, which now advertises as a dog rescue. We talked to Lange’s son Ryan Rumfelt during an undercover visit. He told us he started rescuing dogs in November.
If you search for Rumfelt on facebook and you’ll see his page for the “Pampered Pets” stores. They’re all closed now.
Rumfelt told us by phone to look up his non-profit called ‘Seeking Furever Homes.’ It advertises on a Web site called ‘Adopt a Pet.’ A recent visit to the Web site showed a photo with Rumfelt’s Mom, Ovella Lange, holding a dog. Seven of the nine dogs available from ‘Seeking Furever Homes’ were puppies.
We asked the St. Charles Five Acres Animal Shelter to take a look at the ‘Seeking Furever Homes’ dogs. Kim Brown did not make a judgment about Rumfelt, but she said Rumfelt should explain how he has so many puppies. She said, “Only two of those puppies were mixes. Everything else was as a Tea Cup Yorkie or a Mini Dachshund. I’ve been doing rescue work for 8 years and I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve had pure bred litters of small toy breeds.”
Rumfelt would only follow up with us by phone. He said he’s doing the right thing and he said Missouri State Agriculture Inspectors just came out and found no problems. He said the State inspects him just as it would a breeder.
He insists he only “rescues” dogs and he claims his prices reflect that. He said he charges $150 for most dogs, with $50 refunded after a spay or neuter. He told me the Teacup Yorkie was $300, with $50 refundable.
The price of a dog is something else rescue groups say you should question. Brown said, “Most rescues they want their dogs and cats to find homes quickly. We don’t want them staying in a shelter for months and months an $175 is a pretty normal amount to pay.” Brown explained that price includes overhead expenses such as spay/neuter fees, microchipping and other Vet care.
What do State Inspectors have to say about a former breeder location becoming a rescue? According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Ovella Lange is the one prohibited from having a license to house animals. Nothing says her relative can’t, even if he operates on the same property.
The recent State Inspection cited Rumfelt for failing to prove his adopted dogs are being spayed and neutered after he sells them.
We’ll stay on top of developments in this story.
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