Paws behind bars logo of the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, Inc.


Silver Lining Awakening

Photos and Commentary by F. Menish, June 2008

(Click on any photo for larger view or see our Silver Lining Photo Album)
This pup at Silver Lining Kennel seems to be saying, Get Me Out of Here!

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Note: Though most USDA-licensed breeders in Wisconsin hold a Class A license, which enables them to sell only animals that are bred/raised on their own premises, Silver Lining Kennel, Inc., in Colfax, WI holds a USDA Class B license, certificate number 35-B-0169. Class B license-holders are essentially "[brokers] whose business includes the purchase and/or resale of any animal," whether bred by the licencee or by others. Reportedly, the owners of Silver Lining Kennel also operate the Pic-A-Pet Plus petstore in Menomonie.

As of 27 September 2011, Silver Lining Kennel and Pic-A-Pet Plus pet stores now also hold Wisconsin license number 268586-DS and have upgraded to become compliant with the minimum Standards of Care specified by Act 90/ATCP-16. These photos and commentary are from June 2008, prior to the passage of Act 90.

The sign for Silver Lining Kennels proclaims PUPS & Boarding.

       I stumbled upon Silver Lining Kennel while driving on the roads less traveled in Dunn Co WI. A prominent sign at the end of the road caught my eye: "PUPS - BOARDING." Being a dog lover and camera buff, I thought I might take the opportunity to snap some photos and video for my granddaughters. They always enjoyed seeing pictures of 4-legged friends I run into during my country travels.

       My first impression was that this was a very busy boarding kennel. The runways were full of dogs. Then I thought, if this were a boarding kennel, they must be very breed-selective, especially by size. The preponderance of dogs were small species…. Doxies, Pugs, and the small fluffy lap dogs whose names I am not familiar with. I was somewhat amazed by the population number.

Outside runs at Silver Lining Kennels.
Wire cages suspended on the sides of a structure that looked like a poultry building.

       After snapping a batch of pictures, I ventured to another area, which at first I thought was a poultry building. There were wire cages suspended out the sides of the structure and stainless steel catch pans beneath. The cages were in rows, 2 high, with doors to the interior….. all were off the ground. Moving closer, I saw the pups, and realized, "This is another kennel!" Here were pups of the same breeds as the "runway" dogs.

       This is a strange way to provide for young dogs, I found myself thinking. No toys, no food bowls, and no provisions for water evident. The cages were approx 1.5 feet high and 2 feet deep and 2 feet wide. The cage floors were of approx. 1.5" x 1.5" coated wire.

Close-up of the wire cages the pups were kept in. Note how the paws are splayed to keep from going through the mesh.
A Mama dog tries to walk on the wire mesh of her filthy cage.

       That is what the pups were huddled on… and not just pups, either. No solid surface for support -- just look at this poor Mama's splayed paws, and can you imagine how uncomfortable it must have been for her to lie down? The piles in the foreground are feces.

       The cages suddenly lost the "shiny clean" impression they first provided when I saw the large accumulation of feces and urine that was lying in the collection trays, inches below the pups and the mama. The foul odor and flies the dogs were exposed to were beyond comprehension. I could not fathom this as being an acceptable, much less humane, way to raise man's best friend.

Tray full of curdled urine and moldy feces just inches below the pups and mama dogs.
A room with a view at Silver Lining Kennels.

       It then dawned on me that if someone didn't really care how the dogs felt (suffered) this is the way to go….. certainly not labor intensive, it was a puppy manufacturing building, not a "kennel". My granddaughters would not be subjected to any pictures of these conditions.

       The whole time I was walking around the kennels, poking my camera into things, I did not see one other human being. When I later looked up Silver Lining Kennel on the internet and came across their website, I was interested to read that their "dogs and puppies are used to seeing a lot of people." I was there on four different occasions, and never once did I see another person!

Another filthy cage, another sad dog.
What did I do to deserve this? this mama dachshund seemed to be asking.

       The buildup of feces and urine today were beyond comprehension.... the urine puddle beneath the Mama Doxie was cheese-like in consistency. The collection tray was full of mold...... It made me sick to hear her whimpering as she looked at me... like what did I do to deserve this?

       I was disgusted and amazed to learn that Silver Lining Kennel is licensed by the USDA. This is one of the "better" facilities! Wisconsin's need for Humane and Economic controls being placed on this cancerous enterprise are obvious. It's utterly unimaginable, and sickening, that the mills go unregulated in a state whose animal husbandry practices used to be the bench mark for all others to follow!

NOTE:   As of 27 September 2011, Silver Lining Kennel and Pic-A-Pet Plus pet stores now also hold Wisconsin license number 268586-DS and have upgraded to become compliant with the minimum Standards of Care specified by Act 90/ATCP-16. These photos and commentary are from June 2008, prior to the passage of Act 90.

For more details about USDA licensing requirements under the Animal Welfare act, please see: Animal Care Resource Guide: Licensing Requirements and/or Animal Welfare Definition of Terms.

For more details about Act 09/ATCP-16, please see: Dog Breeders and Sellers Law, DATCP website.

 pawprint bullet point   Silver Lining Photo Album   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   USDA Animal Care Resource Guide: Licensing Requirements   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   USDA/APHIS Animal Welfare Act "home" page    pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   DATCP Dog Sellers and Dog Facility Operators License List   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   FILE A COMPLAINT   pawprint bullet point

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