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  issue > commercial breeders > licensing

USDA-licensed dog and cat breeders represent only a fraction of all breeders in Minnesota. However, some of these breeders are massive in size (keeping 500, 600, 800 adult breeding dogs) which results in numerous litters being born and sold yearly.

NOTE: On February 3, 2017, the USDA removed animal welfare documents from the APHIS website. Animal Folks is a plaintiff in a lawsuit, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, against the USDA for this action. For details, see lawsuit: USDA.

UPDATE: On August 18, 2017, the USDA rolled out a "refined" public search tool that provides access to some Animal Welfare Act compliance records. Link is below. While the USDA stated its purpose was to provide transparency, critical information, such as breeder names, addresses, and license numbers, from the documents has been redacted.

USDA: New APHIS Compliance Database and Search Tool

08-18-17 USDA Announcement of New Search Tool


02-07-17 USDA Announcement of Removal of Documents

USDA: Animal Welfare License and Registration List

Due to the redaction of information about USDA licensees, it is now difficult to monitor, track, and assess the various breeders, dealers and other licensees. The licensees listed will fluctuate if:

• a licensee switches his or her "class" of licensing (from A to B to A)

• new licensees (i.e., breeders, dealers, exhibitors) apply, increasing the total number

• a licensee drops his or her license and chooses to only sell directly to consumers where the animal is "seen" before sold; therefore, not requiring a USDA license 


NOTE: The USDA created a rule change to the Animal Welfare Act that changed the definition of "retail pet store." This change went into effect in November 2013.

Prior to this rule change, only breeders with four or more intact females and who sold wholesale (to brokers/pet stores, not directly to consumers) were required to be licensed by the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This rule change closed the loophole in the Animal Welfare Act — by now requiring that breeders and other businesses that sell certain animals through retail (i.e., the Internet, by phone, by mail — "sight unseen") obtain a USDA license and get inspected. As of August 2017, it appears no additional licensees have been added in Minnesota due to this rule change; this fact is hard to believe and it begs the question whether or not the USDA has the resources to fully enforce this new rule change. Learn more at: AWA > licensing (pet store rule change)

Located across the entire State of Minnesota

NOTE: The data on this page is not fully updated due to the removal of animal welfare documents and redaction of data by the USDA., creating less transparency.

As of 2017, there are 25 Class A (USDA-licensed) dog breeders in Minnesota and 7 Class B (USDA-licensed) dog dealers. (A dealer acts as a broker; can buy from other breeders and re-sale to pet stores or other entities.)

USDA-licensed commercial breeding kennels and dealers are located across Minnesota, from the NW corner in Kittson County to the SE corner in Fillmore County to the SW corner in Pipestone County to the middle of the State in Morrison County.

The highest concentration of these type of kennels used to be in Morrison County. As of 2017, Winona County is documented as having the most USDA-licensed dog breeding kennels. The map below displays where these kennels are located in Minnesota.

NOTE: This map includes both USDA-licensed breeders and brokers.


The number of breeders and dealers fluctuates year to year, and represents only a fraction of all commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota. Non-USDA licensed kennels are also found throughout the State, often in rural areas where animals (and barking) can be “hidden” from neighbors.

NOTE: The federal definition of "commercial breeder" (per the Animal Welfare Act) differs from the State of Minnesota definition.


Size and number of USDA-licensed kennels

NOTE: The data below is not fully updated due to the removal of animal welfare documents and redaction of data by the USDA, creating less transparency.

Upon review of 2017 inspection reports (available through the Freedom of Information Act), several Minnesota puppy mills house more than 900 dogs and puppies each. Previous years have documented over 1,000 dogs and puppies with one kennel having over 1,700 dogs and puppies. A large kennel may house hundreds of adult dogs (intact females and stud males) and produce unlimited puppies. A female, bred continuously, could have 2 litters per year with an average of four-six puppies per litter.



USDA License # (Class A) Name/Doing Business As City/County Notes


License started: March 9, 2016

(formerly operated as Clearwater Kennel by Wanda Kretzman)

Angie McDuffee/AJ's Angels Cushing/Morrison One of the largest breeders in Minnesota, with over 900 dogs and puppies (648 adult dogs and 382 puppies) as of July 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: August 8, 1996

Barbara Hubner and Lorie Hunt-Heaton Pipestone/Pipestone 52 adult dogs and 125 puppies as of October 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: August 5, 2013

Carol Theisen and Jill Pilloud / Northern Lights Kennels Blackduck / Beltrami 0 adult dogs and 27 puppies as of September 2016 (per USDA inspection) NOTE: In November 2015, this breeder had 32 adult dogs and 11 puppies (per USDA inspection)


License started: March 3, 2015

Christian Lambright Fertile / Polk 17 adult dogs and 6 puppies as of January 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: January 2, 1960

Craig and Linda M. Kleven / Fair View Kennels Walnut Grove / Redwood 98 adult dogs and 26 puppies as of December 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: June 24, 2015

Daniel and Edna Lambright Fertile / Polk 17 adult dogs and 7 puppies as of April 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: October 8, 1998

Daniel Kuehne Reading / Nobles 321 adult dogs and 231 puppies as of December 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: May 22, 2012


David Yoder Utica / Winona

Prior to  cancellation:

46 adult dogs and 22 puppies as of January 2016 (per USDA inspection)

NOTE: David D. Yoder, Jr. opened a license at the same address as this licensee, David J. Yoder, on August 2, 2016. New licensee could be his son.


License started: April 5, 2000



Gloria Brouwer Jasper / Pipestone

Prior to cancellation:

3 adult dogs and 21 puppies as of October 2016 (per USDA inspection).

NOTE: This breeder had 25 adults and 5 puppies in Feb 2016 and 35 adult dogs and 9 puppies in June 2014 (per USDA inspection). The USDA license was listed as cancelled by the breeder as of Jan 27, 2016; however, she has continued to be inspected in 2016.


License started: September 6, 2012

Henry Yoder Utica / Winona 47 adult dogs and 24 puppes as of November 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: October 20, 2014

Jennifer Scharmer Winona / Winona 24 adult dogs and 12 puppies as of June 2016 (per USDA inspection
41-A-0248 License started: January 2, 1960 John and Lyle Renner / Renner's Kennel Detroit Lakes / Becker 134 adult dogs and 46 puppies as of Nov 2016 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0482 License started: December 14, 2015 Justin Sawyer / Foot Hills Farm Backus / Cass

70 adult dogs and 61 puppies as of May 2016 (per USDA inspection)

NOTE: This breeder was previously operating under license #41-A-0436

41-A-0443 License started: May 9, 2006 Leroy D Yoder Utica / Winona 94 adult dogs and 104 puppies as of April 2016 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0445 License started: September 14, 2006 Marlton and Paul R DeNeui / Family Addition Kennel Clinton / Big Stone 4 adult dogs and 24 puppies as of Sept 2016 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0485 License started: April 20, 2016 Menno Bontrager St Charles / Winona 23 adult dogs and 43 puppies as of Oct 2016 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0472 License started: March 28, 2013 Menno Yoder Utica / Winona 38 adult dogs and 8 puppies as of December 2015 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0021 License started: January 2, 1960 Michelle Sonnenberg / Sonnenberg Farms Detroit Lakes / Becker 186 adult dogs and 107 puppies as of Nov 2016 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0281 License started: January 2, 1960 Paul and Sheila Haag / Valley View Kennel Eden Valley / Meeker

One of the largest breeders in Minnesota, with over 800 dogs and puppies (489 adult dogs and 396 puppies) as of July 2016. In October 2015, counts were over 900 dogs and puppies (488 adult dogs and 466 puppies).

NOTE: Also operates A Maze'n Farmyard, a family amusement cente with a petting zoo and pet store, supplied with puppies from their kennel oeration


License Started: January 2, 1960

S Glenice Viken / SG Kennels Roseau / Roseau

16 adult dogs and 1 puppy as of November 2016.

NOTE: In February 2016, this breeder had 55 adult dogs and 15 puppies (per USDA inspection)


License Started: May 5, 2016 (formerly operated as Windy Acres Kennels by David Yoder)

Skylineview LLC/ Amos Yoder St Charles / Winona 104 adult dogs and 75 puppies as of Nov 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: December 10, 2014

Toby Detweiler / Hidden Hollow Kennel St Charles / Winona 40 adult dogs and 55 puppies as of October 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License Started: November 9, 2016

John Yoder /

Hidden Hollow Kennel

Fertile / Polk

12 adult dogs and 17 puppies as of November 02, 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License Started:

September 27, 2016

Anna Kerner /

Anna's Angels

Steen / Rock

9 adult dogs and 13 puppies as of September 21, 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License Started:

July 14, 2016

Sandstone Valley, LLC / Dan Yoder

St Charles / Winona

31 adult dogs and 34 puppies as of July 5, 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License Started:

August 4, 2016

Rebecca Stille / Aria's Friends

Faribault / Rice

76 adult dogs and 32 puppies as of Dec 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License Started:

August 2, 2016

David D. Yoder, Jr.

Utica / Winona

43 adult dogs and 33 puppies as of Dec 2016 (per USDA inspection)

NOTE: A licensee by the name of David J. Yoder held license #41-A-0468, which used the same address as this licensee, but cancelled on May 31, 2016. David D. Yoder could be the son of David J. Yoder.

For list of USDA-licensed Minnesota (Class B) dealers, go to Dealers.


Cancellations and revocations

Over the years, the number of breeders (class A) and dealers (Class B) licensed by the USDA in Minnesota has dropped (see also Dealer cancellations). As stated above, this decrease was due, in large part, to the Internet. If a breeder sold wholesale (i.e., to pet stores), he/she was required to be licensed under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). "Pet store" was originally defined as a traditional store, not a website. To take advantage of this loophole, many breeders chose to cancel their federal license and instead sell directly to consumers on websites, online portals or directly from the kennel. The definition of "pet store" within the AWA has since been changed to try and address this loophole. (See AWA licensing.) Other cancellations are due to other business issues, i.e., poor health, old age, etc. A few federal licenses have been revoked due to repeated violations.



USDA License # (Class A) Name/
Doing Business As
City/County Notes
License cancelled: June 11, 2013

License started: January 2, 1960

Harries K-9 Ranch
ALPHA / Jackson Cancelled USDA license, but applied for and obtained license by the MN Board of Animal Health (BAH). (It appears this breeder's state license has since been removed from the BAH list. BAH data about breeders is not released so information cannot be verified.)
License cancelled: January 6, 2016

License started:
April 5, 2000

License cancelled: January 13, 2014

License started: unknown

James And Shari De Neui /
Countryside Big Dog Kennels
CLINTON / Big Stone  
License cancelled: June 3, 2014

License started: unknown

Sawyer’s Furry Friends
BACKUS / Cass  
License cancelled: November 11, 2013

License started: October 24, 2005

Brewster Boxers
BREWSTER / Nobles  
License cancelled: February 20, 2015

License started: February 12, 2007

Danielles Kennel
BLACKDUCK / Beltrami  
License Cancelled: March 16, 2015

License started: March 12, 2001

Roseann and Timothy Strand  
License Cancelled: February 19, 2016

License started: January 2, 1960

Sharon Lanz Pine River / Cass  
License Cancelled: April 23, 2014

License started: May 14, 2009

Tina Moore /
TS Pups
Detroit Lakes / Becker  
License Revoked: April 22, 2015

License started: January 2, 1960

Deloris and Dick Richards Marshall / Lyon License was revoked by the USDA
License Revoked: March 11, 2015 License started: prior to 2006
Ted Johnson Windom / Cottonwood License was revoked by the USDA


Categories: USDA-licensees

There are multiple facilities in Minnesota licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture. (See descriptions below.) Not all of these facilities breed dogs and cats.

Below is an abbreviated definition of the following categories. For specific definitions and explanations, see links below (on USDA-APHIS website).


These are breeders of dogs and cats (as well as other certain types of animals) who sell wholesale. The USDA designates this group as ‘Class A’.

These are brokers — this category can breed their own dogs/cats and can also buy/broker certain animals from other breeders and then sell wholesale. The USDA designates this group as ‘Class B’.

This group shows or uses the animals for entertainment, such as circuses, zoos, etc.. The USDA designates this group as ‘Class C.’

This group transports the animals.

Research facilities
These are research facilities, such as universities, medical facilities or businesses.

Glossary of AWA Terms (includes USDA definitions of terms above, including descriptions of Class A, B, and C licensee)


USDA-APHIS website (general)

Animal Welfare  - Animal Welfare Act


Further licensing information

For additional information about USDA licensing and a discussion of legislation pertaining to wholesale vs. retail sales, go to: Animal Welfare Act - licensing



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