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Undercover Investigation of a Dog Factory Farm

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Last week, the animal protection organization Mercy For Animals released a video taken undercover by an employee wearing a hidden camera at a dog factory farm in Kamrar, Iowa. The worker was employed between April and June of this year.

The employee documented horrific abuses such as workers ripping out puppies' testicles without a single drop of painkillers, leading many to suffer from herniated intestines due to botched castration and die from their wounds. Workers were filmed cutting of the tails of puppies with clippers, again, without any use pain killer. A process called "thumping" was used at this facility where workers picked up puppies by their back legs and slammed them to the ground bashing their heads in order to "euthanize" the ones who weren't growing fast enough.

Many of the mother dogs were documented as suffering severe uterine prolapse - a condition where their uterus literally falls out of their bodies as a result of their repetitive, forced breeding. These dogs received no veterinary treatment.

Some of the most disturbing footage is of animals suffering as a result of standard, routine breeding practices. On the video, you can see row after row of mother dogs confined in what the industry calls "gestation crates," metal cages that are so narrow the dogs can't even turn around or move side-to-side more than a few inches. The dogs are confined in these crates for four months, taken out to give birth then feed their young for several weeks in a "farrowing crate," which allows them to lay on their side but still not turn around. After about two and a half weeks, the puppies are weaned and the mother dogs are put back in the gestation crates to restart this cycle, which lasts about four years until their reproductive cycle slows down to a point they're no longer economically viable. By this time, many of the dogs suffer lameness and crippling leg deformities due to muscle atrophy. Their tired, battered bodies are loaded off to slaughter.

After viewing this footage, best-selling author and animal behaviorist Dr. Jonathan Balcombe stated, "this video depicts scenes of unbearable suffering and inexcusable neglect." Veterinarian Dr. Armaiti May commented, "I was greatly disturbed and appalled to watch footage of such horrifying cruelty."

Perhaps the most shocking part of this investigation is that all of the cruelties described are standard agricultural industry practices and this farm's method of production follows its industry's guidelines for "humane" treatment of its animals. In fact, most likely no laws were broken because animals raised for food have virtually no legal protection while on the farm. The video sent shockwaves throughout the restaurant and retail industry with major companies scrambling to be sure their meat wasn't coming from this farm.

Wait a second. Wait just a second. I just realized that I accidentally (OK, it was purposeful) wrote 'dog' every time I meant 'pig' and wrote 'puppies' instead of 'piglets.' My apologies. We can all rest easy knowing that these abuses weren't inflicted on our beloved household pets.

To watch the video, click here.

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