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Archived news


APPOINTMENT: On April 29, 2016, Governor Mark Dayton appointed Dr. Graham Brayshaw as a board member to the MN Board of Animal Health, replacing Dr. Holly Neaton. The appointment was effective May 4, 2016. Dr. Brayshaw's background and expertise involves the care and treatment of dogs and cats — and knowledge of shelter management and animal forensics. He is the Director of Animal Services at the Animal Humane Society. The MN Board of Animal Health is guided by a five-member citizen board. Under Minnesota Statutes, three of the board members must be livestock producers and two must be practicing veterinarians. One duty of the Board is to administer and enforce the Commercial Breeders Licensing and Enforcement law which deals with the regulation of commercial dog and cat breeding facilities in Minnesota.



Located in Cushing, Minnesota, Clearwater Kennels has been the largest dog breeding kennel in Minnesota housing over 1,200 dogs and puppies. On March 2, 2015, the USDA filed a complaint against Clearwater Kennels for violation of the Animal Welfare Act. A settlement agreement was reached and this agreement was signed by the judge on March 11, 2016. Prior, on March 9, 2016, Clearwater Kennels (owner Wanda Kretzman) cancelled its USDA license. Also on March 9, 2016, a USDA license was granted to AJ's Angels to operate the kennel on the same property. The owner of AJ's Angels is the daughter-in-law of Wanda Kretzman. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has granted a state license to AJ's Angels. Animal Folks will be posting additional information about these actions on this website.

Original Complaint filed by USDA Against Clearwater Kennels

Consent Order between Clearwater Kennels and USDA

Post of cancellation of USDA license: Clearwater Kennels

Post of new active federal USDA license: AJ's Angels

USDA Inspection Report: Angie McDuffee AJ's Angels



The Winona County Board of Commissioners voted to approve applications from six commercial dog kennels to operate within their county; these breeders have already been operating without a permit. Animal Folks had submitted a complaint against one applicant in 2012 to the Sheriff office. Below is the document submitted to the Board of Commissioners by Animal Folks and an article about the meeting. (Link does not include items in Appendix, submitted to Commissioners.)

- Submission to Winona County Board of Commissioners RE: Applications for permits by 6 breeding kennels to operate in Winona County

Article: Winona County board approves Amish dog kennels

On January 20, 2016, the USDA inspected the kennel of David J. Yoder (Utica, MN) and cited him for violation of the Animal Welfare Act (lack of veterinary care). This violation was after this breeder had been granted a permit by the county. Links below. 

- USDA inspection report

- KTTC article: New violation at Yoder's breeding facility

In April 2016, the USDA cited a different breeder (David A. Yoder in St. Charles, MN) with violating a requirement of the Animal Welfare Act: Lack of cleaning and sanitation. This Yoder had beengranted a local conditional use permit in 2013. His animal count is 106 adult dogs and 69 puppies.



On February 29, 2016, the Town Board for Lynden Township (in Stearns County) voted to revoke the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) of Valorie Muggli (now LaBeau), a dog breeder operating since 2007 in that township. Animal Folks was present for the meeting. For details and copies of the resolution and the original CUP, click on:

Town Board Resolution - Revocation

Muggli (LaBeau) - Conditional Use Permit

Update: LaBeau has appealed the Township's revocation of her license. Stearns County cited LaBeau for three misdemeanors. Case is still active.

Update: LaBeau was charged with three misdemeanors, including operating without a state license. Awaiting trial.


• NEWS: The HSUS, ASPCA and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association have filed a legal petition with the USDA to improve the standards of care for dogs in commercial breeding facilitiies. 

• Request for rule-making

• Copy of legal petition (pdf)



Older news

• Minnesota: U of M launches first animal trauma center

March, 2011

"Examples of trauma cases capable of being treated by the Animal Trauma Center include

injuries resulting from moving vehicle accidents, major falls, bite wounds, and smoke or chemical inhalation. In addition, most of the region's police department K9 units rely on the VMC to provide care for canine officers injured in the line of duty."


• Minnesota: Governor Dayton signs bill to increase penalties for harming police dogs

March 2011

Governor Mark Dayton signed House File 141/Senate File 121 into law. The new law increases the penalties for people who injure or kill police or other public safety dogs. Major, the police dog, helped usher in stiffer criminal penalties in Minnesota for people who harm or kill public safety animals. The German Shepherd is now retired from the Police Department after a robbery suspect stabbed him four times in November 2010.


• Missouri: Better Business Bureau releases Study of Puppy Industry in Missouri
March 2010

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Missouri conducted an investigation and study of the puppy industry in Missouri. This study included a review of the buyers, sellers, breeders and enforcement of laws pertaining to the puppy industry. One of the responsibilities of the BBB is to monitor the marketplace, rooting out questionable activities affecting consumers. The report: The Puppy Industry in Missouri



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