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White Paper

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In recent decades, the animal welfare aspects of irresponsibly-managed commercial dog-breeding businesses have attracted national attention, prompting legislative and regulatory actions. However, the environmental impacts of such businesses, also known as puppy mills, have received far less attention. Most puppy mills are secretive; therefore, it is hard to get documented information about their environmental impacts. Although the former Whispering Oaks Kennels near Parkersburg, W.Va., also kept secrets, reliable environmental information regarding its operation became available because in the summer of 2008, Wood County cited the facility for violating the State’s water pollution and solid waste statutes. This report is based on documented information generated by legal actions and eventual settlement. A chronological list of events involving Whispering Oaks’ effects on the environment is appended.