Breeder: Angie McDuffee
Business name: AJ’s Angels
Address: 24302 US-10
City, State, Zip: Cushing, MN 56443
USDA License: 41-A-0484
Date of CAPS Investigation: 7/10/19
Time of CAPS Investigation: 1818
Weather at time of investigation: 66°F and sunny
Approximate number of dogs observed at time of investigation: 400
Breeds: Yorkshire Terriers, West Highland Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Skipperkies, French Bulldogs
The kennel’s primary structure was a building with two long sections running east to west, and connected at their northern end with a hallway. The northern section had outdoor cages visible on its northern and southern side, while the southern section had outdoor cages visible on its northern side. The eastern wall of the southern side had about eight outdoor cages on it, and there were about 92 cages per row on the longer sides. Each cage
was about five feet long and 1.5 feet wide, constructed of untreated wire walls and ceilings and treated wire floorings. The cages were elevated about 2.5 feet above the ground on wooden frames with concrete floorings below them. Cages had metal doggie-doors allowing access to indoor portions not visible to me. I did not observe dogs in all of the cages. Some cages had one two three dogs in them at a time. I observed dogs for about 30 minutes; some cages I was not able to see clearly. In the easternmost cage on the northern side of the kennel, three Yorkshire Terriers were standing and pacing. One of the Yorkies paced back and forth and walked in circles the entire 30 minutes. In one of the cages on the eastern side of the southern part of the kennel, I saw two Yorkshire Terriers who went in and out of their cage during my 30-minute observation. One of the Yorkies paced and back and forth along the northern end of the cage for about five minutes at a time.
Clearwater Kennels, owned by Wanda Kretzman (she owned Happy Tails with then husband, Gary McDuffee, which CAPS investigated in 2005; USDA fined them $7,000 shortly thereafter) was the largest dog breeding kennel in Minnesota, housing over 1,200 dogs and puppies. Kretzman agreed to pay a fine of $25,000 and to drop her license, which she did on March 9, 2016. The same day, USDA granted a license to AJ’s Angels, run by Angie McDuffee, to operate the kennel on the same property. Angie is married to Jason Lee McDuffee, Wanda’s son. During the USDA investigation of Clearwater Kennels, Wanda used the name “Jason Lee” rather than Clearwater Kennel. CAPS investigated pet shops in California and New York that listed Jason Lee as the breeder of numerous puppies, yet he did not appear to have a USDA license. The Jason Lee breeder website was and is identical to the Clearwater Kennel website, except that there is a photo of an elderly man with a Golden Retriever. The site claims Jason Lee has been breeding for 30 years, yet he is only in his late 30’s.
Certificates of Veterinary Inspection, in-store signs and documentation, and state-required reports by New Jersey pet shops indicate that AJ’s Angels sells to Choice Puppies (the Hunte Corp.) in Goodman, Missouri and J.A.K.’s Puppies in Britt, Iowa.
Evidence contradicting pet store claims:
1. Puppy Kisses, 128 Federal Rd, Danbury, CT 06811
On 4/22/19, I visited Puppy Kisses and saw the name AJ’s Angels noted as the breeders for on cage cards for several puppies in the store. The manager of the store told me that all of the store’s breeders have grassy play yards for their dogs, and that dogs are kept in enclosures with outdoor runs and indoor tiled pens. She was specific in telling me the store’s breeders do not use cages. These statements are contradicted by all dogs visible on the AJ’s Angels property being in wire cages with no visible play area. It’s also contradicted by the dog’s behavior showing signs of stereotypies, such as pacing and spinning in circles, indicative of the dogs being stuck in cages without outdoor access or stimulation for long periods of time.
2. Petland Kennesaw, 840 Ernest W Barrett Pkwy NW #494, Kennesaw, GA 30144
In 2016 an animal activist noted the name AJ’s Angels as a breeder of a puppy in the store. On 6/28/19 an employee of Petland Kennesaw told me that the store’s breeders do not have dogs in cages. The evidence of hundreds of dogs in elevated wire cages at AJ’s Angels contradicts this.
3. Puppy Experience, 487 Main Rd, Aquebogue, NY 11931
I visited Puppy Experience on 5/19/18. An employee said that the store’s breeders do not keep dogs in wire-bottomed cages. The evidence of hundreds of dogs in elevated wire cages at AJ’s Angels contradicts this.
4. Puppy Love, 197 Franklin Ave, Franklin Square, NY 11010
I visited Puppy Love on 5/15/18. An employee said that the store’s breeders do not keep dogs in cages. The evidence of hundreds of dogs in elevated wire cages at AJ’s Angels contradicts this.