Local breeders battle HSUS accusations

Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 1:53 pm

A Curryville family finds themselves battling against the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)after they were listed as a “problem puppy dealer” in a recent release by the animal rights group.

Tom and Debra Ritter, owners of Cornerstone Farms, located south of Curryville at the junction of highways M and V, have been accused by the HSUS of having 15 “violations.”

The alleged issues include “ ‘a strong ammonia [urine] odor,’ many dogs without adequate space, and a litter of seven golden retriever mix puppies who didn’t have any water,” per information from the HSUS.

According to the Cornerstone Farms owners, the allegations stem from a personal attack on their family in which someone contacted the HSUS and other authorities with false accusations and exaggerated accounts of their business.

Even the HSUS release confirms a private party tipped them off.

“An eyewitness reported Cornerstone Farms to The HSUS and to local law enforcement. The witness reported that this facility houses hundreds of dogs in substandard conditions,” the company’s statement says. “In a statement provided to law enforcement, the witness declared that the operators routinely shoot unwanted dogs and bury them on the property.”

The statement concludes by saying that “local law enforcement declined to take action.”  Cornerstone Farms’ owners say local law enforcement, as well as representatives of the state Senate, have paid their facility several visits and have even walked through the entire farm. No issues were identified.

Pick up this week’s edition of the Times for the rest of the story. 

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