Two weeks ago, the owners of a Jewell puppy mill shooed us off their property when we tried to ask them about a scathing report. Now they are talking, to a local newspaper.
When we first approached the owners of Julie's Jewels about a report from The Humane Society of America, listing them as one of the worst puppy mills in the country, we were met with shouts. "Take your cameras, put them in your car. Leave. You got three minutes," one yelled.
"You need to leave. No cameras showing our place. You need to go," another added.
But two weeks later the owners did agree to do a story with their local newspaper, where they insisted they were good and loving dog breeders. The newspaper article did not include information about how the puppy mill lost it's federal license after the owners reportedly tried to force USDA inspectors off the road. Or about the violations against the breeders.
"This report here," Bill LaHay with Iowa Friends of Companion Animals said, "Just a few things that are mentioned, nursery pens had excessive build up of feces and urine in bedding. Very dirty and unsanitary. Noticed a dead rat in advanced state of decay in one husky pen."
LaHay has a file full of complaints from people who say they were burned by Julies Jewels.
People like Lucas Lindstrom, who bought his dog, Morrison, from the breeders two years ago. "And immediately had problems with him," Lindstrom said. "Within the first two months of having him it was probably a couple thousand dollars. Maybe 15-hundred, two thousand dollars in vet bills. Intestinal problems."
Lindstrom was also promised paperwork that proved Morrison was pure bred, but he says those papers never came.
"I don't think Julie's Jewels is the place to get any dog from what I've seen of the inspection reports and the records there and their behavior when you guys did that first story on them." LaHay says.
No one from Julie's Jewels returned our calls for comment.
Click to learn more about Iowa Friends of Companion Animals.