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Dog and cat dealers: The middleman
An animal dealer is a "middleman," also referred to as a broker. This type of company may breed (and often does) animals themselves but they also buy puppies or kittens from many different kennels for resale to pet stores.
Dealers are also described as "fluff and buff" shops — they buy from other breeders (located nearby in their own town or from kennels throughout the United States) and then "clean up" the animals before shipping them to pet stores.
In documentation available to the public (i.e. Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, required for transport of an animal across state lines), the dealer's name will be listed as the seller but, often, the original breeder's name is not listed so the public has no idea who bred the puppies or kittens or the conditions of the actual breeding kennel.
Minnesota animal dealers
There are multiple animal dealers operating throughout the United States. Because dealers buy animals for resale (wholesale), they are required to obtain a Class B license from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Minnesota has multiple animal dealers located in strategic areas of the state. In southern Minnesota, two of the largest dealers are:
Menning Enterprises, located in Edgerton, Minnesota, is one of the largest dealers who supplies puppies to pet stores in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Illinois and Canada. (This dealer/breeder also supplies a puppies to other kennels in these states as well as selling directly to consumers in Minnesota and nationwide.) NOTE: It has been reported by some pet stores that this breeder/broker may have sold its facility to another breeder; not confirmed. It appears the Menning website is still active as of 2017.
Menning Enterprises has or currently sells puppies to the following pet stores:
Fulton Enterprises, located in Alden, Minnesota, purchased Toenges Enterprises, who had been operating for years. Fulton Enterprises is owned by Patrick Fulton, who had been the kennel manager for Toenges Enterprises. Toenges Enterprises cancelled their USDA license (which allowed them to sell to pet stores nationwide) on January 15, 2010. Fulton's USDA license started as of March 15, 2010.
This company has or currently sells puppies to the following pet stores:
NOTE: As mentioned above, Menning Enterprises and Fulton Enterprises are dog dealers. They purchase dogs/puppies from other breeders and then re-sell them to pet stores. It is difficult to obtain documentation as to who are the original breeders. However, some of this data can be obtained by the consumer after the puppy is purchased.
Other Minnesota dealers
A list of other USDA-licensed Minnesota animal dealers can be found at: Dealers.
A large breeder (Class A, USDA-licensed) in Morrison County is A.J. Angels (formerly Clearwater Kennel) with 1,030 dogs and puppies per 2016 USDA inspection report; this breeder has sold primarily to brokers. Another large breeder is Happy View Kennel (owner Paul and Sheila Haag) located in Meeker County with 885 dogs and puppies per 2016 USDA inspection report; he sells to many Minnesota pet stores. For USDA-licensed breeders go to: Commercial Breeders