For Immediate Release:
August 21, 2023
Brittney Williams 202-483-7382
Saline County, Neb. – Damning reports just released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveal that dogs suffered from apparently infected eyes and puppies were held in dangerous enclosures at Shaw Chinese Crested & Miniature Pinschers, an operation that churns out dogs for sale near Wilber and is run by Peggy Shaw. In response, PETA rushed a letter to Saline County Attorney David Solheim asking him to investigate the facility—which confines approximately 170 animals—and file applicable charges against those responsible for the neglect.
According to the most recent report, on July 5 a dog was found squinting with a “glob” of discharge in the outer corner of the right eye along with curling toenails that were so long that they affected the animal’s ability to walk. On June 16, a USDA inspector saw another dog “constantly squinting” her right eye, which appeared to be blueish, hazy, and emitting “excessive” green discharge. The inspector also documented that 32 puppies were confined on slatted flooring that their feet slipped through and that four other dogs were exposed to “sharp” and “protruding points” in an enclosure.
“Allowing dogs to languish with oozing eyes and keeping puppies in perilous enclosures are standard practice in miserable mills like this one, where animals are treated as nothing but commodities,” says PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Daniel Paden. “PETA is calling on Saline County authorities to prosecute those responsible for this neglect and urges everyone never to buy any animal from a breeder or pet store and to adopt from shelters instead.”
PETA is pursuing charges under state law because the USDA doesn’t render relief or aid to animals during its inspections and these violations carry no federal criminal or civil penalties.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Solheim follows.
August 21, 2023
The Honorable David Solheim
Saline County Attorney
Dear Mr. Solheim:
I hope this letter finds you well. I’m writing to request that your office (and the proper law-enforcement agency, as you deem appropriate) investigate and, as suitable, file criminal charges against those responsible for neglecting dogs at Shaw Chinese Crested & Miniature Pinschers, a breeding facility operated by Peggy Shaw at 1735 County Rd. 2100 near Wilber. PETA hopes investigators will visit the facility with a veterinarian who has expertise in canine health and welfare so that they can identify any animals in need of care and opine on the conditions of and for the approximately 170 animals there.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors documented neglect at the facility in the attached reports, which were just made public. On June 16, an inspector found that one of Shaw’s dogs was “constantly squinting” her right eye, which was “blueish and hazy” and emitting “excessive” green discharge. While Shaw claimed a veterinarian had examined the dog, “no documentation [was] provided upon request” to the inspector. The same day, 32 puppies were found confined on slatted flooring, which their feet were passing through, and four other dogs were exposed to “sharp” and “protruding points” on a panel intended to prevent them from digging out of an enclosure.
On July 5, another dog was found “squinting with a glob of whitish colored discharge in the outer corner of the right eye,” in which an indentation the size of a ballpoint pen was found. The same dog’s “toenails … were long with at least one of them curving around causing the toe to splay to the side while walking.”
These findings may violate the state’s animal neglect statute, Nebraska Revised Statute § 28-1009, which prohibits recklessly failing to provide care as is reasonably necessary for an animal’s health. The USDA renders no aid or relief whatsoever to animals on site, and these reports carry no criminal or civil penalties and don’t preempt criminal liability under state law for neglecting animals. If you’d like to learn more about the USDA’s findings, please see the contact information for its office in Riverdale, Maryland, here.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Vice President of Evidence Analysis