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Chickamauga KennelsPuppy Mill

V Review updated:

Puppy mill at its finest...

About a year or two ago, a friend of mine that lives four hours from me asked me if I could check into a "kennel" for her in Chickamauga, Georgia. I immediately went to the website that has red flags of "puppy mill" all over it: multiple breeds for sale, almost all are CKC (Continental Kennel Club) registered, vague information, normally high-dollar dogs for LOW prices, etc.

I spoke briefly with the owners, and I headed up there. Before I even got out of my car, I could hear hundreds of dogs barking and crying.

When I got out of my car (a good 50 yards from the kennels), the stench of urine and feces was overpowering. A young woman came out from a shed in the front of the kennels, asked if she could help me, and went and got the older male owner of the kennels.

He took me back to look at some dogs - Cavalier King Charles Spaniels - that my friend wanted me to look for. Frankly, I just went back to look at them to get an overall feeling of the place.

There were concrete runs with 5-6 dogs in them (runs were approximately 10 feet long by 2 feet wide). They were running in their own feces and urine, their hair was matted, tear stains matted near their eyes, and they were barking madly. We continued past several ROWS of these runs and into the first of two chicken houses converted into more kennels (I think there were 4 rows of kennels across and a dozen deep - approximately 48 pens in each chicken house). In these pens were terrified dogs that were barking aggressively or would throw themselves to the back of their pens when someone approached. The male owner yelled at them to "shut up" as we walked all the way to the back.

When we got to a run with the Spaniels in it, I was saddened. They ran up to the gate, but when we approached and when the owner opened the latch, they stumbled over each other trying to get away: tails tucked and to the back of their cages. He would grab one by the scruff, and the dog would have its tail tucked, completely stiff when picked up.

One dog had an old eye injury causing the eye to be "blued, " another dog had a skin irritation in which the skin on its back had bumps, sores, and had lost fur, and the other one was a fear biter. It would sniff my hand (through the cage), then snap and try to bite at me. I was more mad than anything else.

I asked about one of the Spaniels (who was lethargic and had a skin irritation), and the owner said he would "cut me a deal" at $300 for the puppy (these dogs sell for $1, 500 pet quality). Because I knew I could get it into a Vet, I took the dog and made note of everything.

He told me to "wait a minute while he got its shot records." We walked back past the runs of dogs, the stench overwhelming, and went to the little shed where the young woman had originally walked out of when I arrived. I was shocked at what I found: rabbit-sized chicken wire cages with adult dogs in them - "breeding pens" is what the young woman said. They were crammed with Yorkshire Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, and Chihuahuas. The shed was poorly lit and was an "impromptu" workshop for giving injections and deworming. The dog's "health records" came in the form on a tiny notebook sheet (the ones that are about 2" wide and 4" long) torn out with some dates and stickers scribbled down for vaccinations. Who knows if the dog ACTUALLY got them?

I left there and immediately placed a call into the Georgia Department of Agriculture Animal Protection Division. That wasn't good enough as they are still in operation today.

If you ever wanted to see what a "puppy mill" is, go to Chickamauga Kennels.


  • Mo
    Monica Campbell-Greer Jun 26, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I bought a coton de Tular from Mr York and Bella was in excellent health. She is now 6 months old and a complete nut for attention. I am glad I made the purchase and plan to buy a male soon.

    -2 Votes
  • Li
    LizBethV Nov 29, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I patronized this kennel (I am embarrassed to say) back in 2007. I was shocked when I arrived at the cacophony of barking. There were two employees hosing the concrete runs and removing feces, but it was just still too much. (the smell...omg) I was not familiar with the plague of puppy mills (officially knows as commercial breeders) at the time and was thinking this place was a one-off establishment. I bought the puppy, a cavalier, and I know it was a mistake now, but at the time I felt I was "saving" the puppy. She had bloody diarrhea within a couple of days, tape worms and fleas something horrible. Mr. York gave her a capstar to kill the fleas when we got ready to leave with her and on the drive home, fleas were jumping off and dying all OVER the back seat of my car. It was insane! When I gave her a bath upon arriving home, bloody water was coming off her ears from all the flea bites/flea dirt and she was anemic due to her infestation. Due to her terrible condition and the multiple vet visits it took to straighten her out, I spent more on her early care than on her purchase price. In hindsight, I could have bought an AKC registered, health-tested GORGEOUS cavalier for $2, 000 from a conscientious reputable show breeder and have come out cheaper. Additionally, I would have had the lifetime support of the breeder and the reassurance that my dog was bred from health tested lines and whose dogs were kept and raised in humane conditions using sound breeding practices. In fact, this is what I did when purchasing my second cavalier.

    Please learn from other's mistakes. Buying a puppy here is NOT saving a puppy but merely dooming countless hundreds of others to life in a chicken coop These places would NOT survive if people did not buy puppies from them. Anyone can make the mistake once, but more than once is no longer a mistake.

    1 Votes
  • Ms
    Mswynne Nov 03, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The above positive comments regarding Mr York and his puppy mill are family members who stand to gain from the sale of these poor mistreated animals. I have read all of the comments and sadly they are all true. It was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever personally witnessed. I did not purchase a puppy but rather left crying and couldn't sleep for days. I plan to make some calls but there is power in numbers so I beg anyone who is willing to call and report this abusive establishment to do so. The lady who gave me a tour is Mr Yorks relative. One Yorkie in particular was staring at me through the cage with pain in her eyes. She was the mother of four puppies. When I asked how often she is let out of the cage the lady informed me that none of the mothers are let out of their tiny cages throughout their entire pregnancies until well after giving birth because she claims the female dogs will fight. I said you mean they stay in these cages all that time and never get exercise? She replied, well I have to do that because of the fighting. I was speechless. I wish i had asked why she couldn't let them out one at a time each day for exercise but as I said...I was speechless. That poor Yorkie was clearly mistreated and depressed along with the other mothers in that room. The lady got carried away and said too much regarding one litter of puppies that all died a few months prior. She quickly said but it's no big deal that just happens sometimes. I'm sure they do experience loss all the time due to neglect and it isn't a big deal to them. It's a way to make money but these poor innocent animals pay the price. I pray that Mr York and his family are forced to shut this place down.. and as for punishment...God will handle that part as well.

    3 Votes
  • Su
    SupportersAreBlind Apr 25, 2014

    I also visited Chickamauga Kennels back when someone had mentioned a few toy breed dogs in horrible condition running the roads near the location. I stopped to ask if they were his dogs. He said they must have gotten out. It is obvious that the people that support this kennel in this complaint are friends of Mr York. Maybe they buy a lot of dogs from him or sell dogs to him I don't know. The place was as described. When I got home, I did a Google Earth search of the address and you could clearly see the chicken houses and dogs in outside pens that werent attached to any shelter what so ever. Just because a place is state certified doesnt mean its up to par.

    3 Votes
  • Rb
    rburr00 Mar 29, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    i have lived near Chickamauga kennels and there is no smell or the sound of screaming dogs there it is a very good place to buy a dog from someone who takes very good care of them. These people who are complaining are lying about this and if they have a complaint he will listen but these people want to start trouble and this kennel is state certified and the people who run the kennel are good people who do good and isn't what these people are saying. I'm trying to say before you judge you need to know what you are talking about.

    -5 Votes
  • Lo
    Lori Nelson Feb 15, 2021
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @rburr00 You're related to Mr. York. Shane Burr quit lying to people.

    0 Votes
  • Hp
    hpotter Feb 18, 2014

    My mom unfortunately pUrchased a yorkie from this puppy mill. She paid well over $ 1000.00 for him. She fell in love with him instantly. He showed signs of poor heath, she contacted the seller Curtis York on several accounts with her concerns. He was No help & showed no concern. My mom felt sorry for the puppies & wanted to rescue this poor little puppy. Most of all she felt so sadden for the poor, mistreated adult dogs that are constantly being breed. Sadly to report her precious yorkie Samson died shortly after she rushed him to UT Knoxville as advised by the Emergency animal clinic off amnicola. He was diagnosed w a congenital heart murmur. Her heart was broke...not only for samson but for the adult dogs & puppies that are at this horrid place. I met a lady recently at Walgreen's that had purchased a puppy & 9 weeks after it died. If its the last thing i do i will see this inhuman place is shut down!

    3 Votes
  • Ez
    ezzard Sep 02, 2013

    Just purchased my first West Highland Terrier from Mr. York. My puppy has a great deal of blood in his stool.
    The place was AWFUL. I will be taking my puppy to my vet TOMORROW.
    This puppy mill was so sad for the animals.

    3 Votes
  • An
    anna1987 Nov 29, 2011

    I believe that if everyone has a complaint to call 1-877-mill-tip. I just recently went to chickamauge kennels and I believe it a puppy mill. I already called the humane society. I think it would help if everybody called and told thier story about the kennels. Thanks

    2 Votes
  • An
    AnnMarieTheFlameThrower Oct 21, 2011

    This does not relate to these people, but I do not care

    There are NO full grown Maltese at 1 and 1/2 pounds.

    Those types of people - are LIARS

    0 Votes
  • Cl
    clar30171 Oct 20, 2011

    I wish I had seen this thread before I visited, or I would never have gone. "Maltese lovers" have you ever been to the facility? I know you say you purchase dogs from him, but how could you turn a blind eye on his facility? No, I did not see "washed and cleaned pEns." What I saw was pens filled with feces and urine, the smell of rancid urine was so bad that when I got in my truck my clothing smelled like it, dogs with health issues that needed to see a veterinarian including one limping (and yes, I pointed that out to him. His response? He'd knock $100 off its price, ) and I saw many dogs that had "shut down" and were incredibly skittish and aggressive. The sound of barking dogs was deafening, but I guess that's what happens when you have HUNDREDS in pens everywhere.

    3 Votes
  • Ma
    Maltese lovers Sep 15, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have spoke with Mr York on several occasions and have discussed many things about this subject I know that he loves animals and cares for them the best he can you say he is a mill but do you guys know him personally and how much he spends on all his dogs no you don't these pins are washed and cleaned every day water food always full shots and records all up to date and he will tell you to take the pup to the vet and will guarantee all his dogs he is a kind loving man who will help anyone he can including all who has wrote on this it takes a lot of money and time to keep the dogs healthy and yes they are a few dogs that has had problems but apparently the people that he does help and including y'all that have posted bad things on here don't truly know what you are talking about they clean the pins every day all dogs have auto feeders and water is filled every day if you would talk to Mr.York and explain your problems he would work with you anyway he can I have bought a couple of dogs from him myself and he has always been upfront about anything I have asked him

    -6 Votes
  • Ia
    ian2312 Jul 06, 2011

    i woul close the ###ing ### down iwould put them down they are not anaimal lovers they or monry grabbers who need put down by a vet

    2 Votes
  • Ka
    katrob Jan 19, 2011

    I went to this kennel once and my first sentence to anyone who asked was, "if they had one dog, they had 300!" I had never seen so many dogs of so many different breeds in one place (other than a dog show) in my life. My daughter had saved her own money to buy a Pom. Lord knows I did wrong by letting her get this poor creature, but I couldn't leave it behind in those conditions. My vet referred to it as a rescue--I spent hundreds of dollars to get her healthy. These animals were living in darkness and filthy conditions...the smell of our pup was gastly...lots of love, care, and money saved her.

    I have since heard from another breeder who is AKC compliant, that Chickamauga Kennels was rejected by AKC inspectors and they cannot sell any animal as an AKC dog.

    2 Votes
  • Br
    Brenda S. Jan 08, 2011

    I also purchased a jack russell from Mr. york in 1999. This was my first dog so I was dumb as to what I saw, but looking back now, i know this is a puppy mill. I feel sorry for the way these animals have to live, only in a cage and in all kinds of weather. These people do make a living with this, but it's not acceptable in my book. I have a friend that purchased a westie from Mr. york and it had the mange and had to be treated shortly after she purchased it. It had to be put down at 7 yrs old because of blindness. I think it is horrendous that people want to make a living out of breeding dogs. My jack passed away at 10 yrs old from an accident and then I went to responsible breeder that only breeds jacks to get my jack I have now. What happens to these dogs when Mr York passes, he was an older man back in 1999.

    2 Votes
  • Gu
    guffey90 Nov 17, 2010

    We also went to this kennel to purchase a Yorkie. the smell was horrible in the front shed that we went to. and yes they were small cages with anywhere from 2 - 5 dogs/puppies in them. i could hardly stand to be in there. We found a adorable puppy just like i wanted. we paid a couple hundred more than i expected but she was so cute, i had to have her. We took her to the vet the next day, and found out that she had Coccidia. She seemed fine till the next week. After a emergency vet visit and the next day at our regular vet, she recovered, barely. She had one good week then got pneumonia last Friday. The vet had pretty much given up on her but my husband and I didn't. I have the last few days/nights taking care of her, trying to nusre her back to good health.
    These puppies are to young and innocent to live the way they do with this man. We have called repeatedly and emailed them with no response yet. He should definately be shut down. We don't want anyone else to endure the emotional and financial stress that we have had in the last month. Puppies are supposed to be joyful not this kind of stress and worry.

    3 Votes
  • Co
    Couldn't Believe My Eyes Sep 28, 2010

    My mother-in-law and I went there to buy a Yorkie as they had some "on special". The older man came out and took us to the front shed with the sale puppies in it. There was only one Yorkie left for that price and the man opened the cage (with 2 other kinds of puppies) and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck. I took the little thing and he had scales and hair missing all over his body. When I questioned the man about this he said it had a bad case of fleas. I told him I had never seen fleas do that and I wondered if the puppy might have mange. He said he didn't think so. I put the pup down on the concrete floor to see him wlk and I was told he had never walked on the ground before. I proceeded to ask if we could take the puppy to my vet to see what the problem was before we decided to take him. He agreed to my surprise.
    At the vet we were told that he didn't have fleas or mange, but that he had canine SCABIES. The vet also told us that it was so bad that if the puppy had not been removed when it was, that he probably would have died (most likely from infection from the sores that he got from scratching). Needless to say we were not about to take that puppy back to those conditions. We called the man and told him what it had, and of course got this song and dance routine about how he had just gotten some new females from another breeder and the mom must have had them and given it to the pup. This condition is very contagious and you can't tell me he didn't know if more dogs had this and that the flea treatments weren't working. The vet told us that the "kennel" and the owner, Mr. York, had been investigated several times. Unfortunately, according to the "laws", he was doing just enough to get by and no more, so nothing could be done. I'm wondering if maybe the laws need to be changed to keep these inhumane breeders from doing business. I hate to say it, but when people like myself go to these puppy mills and see the conditions, we are so upset for the animals that we purchase them to get them out of there. This, in turn, is still funding their business and... the cycle continues!

    4 Votes
  • Cs
    csjustice Apr 28, 2010

    They also advertise as Mystery Hill Kennels.
    sometimes the Sherrif's dept. has a unit to investigate and shut down puppymills. also Humane society?

    2 Votes
  • Vo
    vonwals Mar 16, 2010

    My assessment was quite fair and 100% honest. If I wanted to make it subjective and embellish it, I could have, but I think the actual facility speaks for itself.

    3 Votes
  • Vo
    vonwals Mar 16, 2010

    I don't believe J. Smithers has been to this location. Either that, or they are blind by the "great deal" they got on a puppy.

    How do you defend the injured and sick animals that were there? The dog with an eye injury left untreated? The dogs missing hair on their backs and dry skin? The fear biters?

    Did you even bother to see the dogs inside the "vetting building?" The ones that were crammed 3-4 in a TINY space. I'm not talking a "run." I'm talking tiny spaces equivalent to that of a dog crate? The ones standing on their own feces? The "breeding cages?"

    That is well below a reasonable standard of care.
    You said you raise horses so the smell of manure is always present. There's a vast difference between the smell of dog...and the smell of rancid urine and feces lingering in the air.

    For what it's worth, the puppy that was purchased from them came with the following ailments:

    * Staph infection on inside legs and stomach area
    * Severe ear mites on the verge of causing permanent damage
    * multiple grooming visits to get the stench of urine and feces off the dog
    * flea infestation and anemia caused by fleas
    * Heart murmur
    * Blind in one eye

    ** The above was found in the first few Vet visits. **

    Subsequent visits:

    * Luxating patella
    * Several hundreds of dollars in working with a behaviorist due to its skittsh temperament, and it is still not over it.

    A proper kennel, in any sense of the word, does not have such a disgusting facility and produces MUCH better quality and HEALTHY animals.

    4 Votes
  • Sh
    Shilohplace Mar 12, 2010

    Please does anyone know who we can contact and try to shut this place down. Puppy mills are being closed down all over the US. I myself have a doxie from a puppy mill closed in TN 2 years ago. Lets find out what we can do.
    Phoebe Huggins
    [email protected]
    Together maybe we can get this placed closed

    6 Votes
  • Js
    J. Smithers Nov 22, 2009

    The cages were more like 4 x 10 inside with another 4 x 10 outside so the dogs could come in and out as they chose ~ certainly better than keeping a dog in a crate (as most show breeders do) and only allowing them out for a few minutes a day while the cages are being cleaned. I was rather pleased that the dogs were kept 3 or 4 to a cage (or run as some call it) ~ the cages were certainly large enough for that and more ~ instead of seeing them in the solitary confinement of a crate as so many of the breeders did who kept them in their homes. Doing their own worming and inoculations was a common practice among the breeders we visited (esp. the show breeders). The setting was rural. The cost of dogs (and everything else) is based on the economy of the area you are in. We, too, were greeted by a woman who said she cleaned the cages and took care of the puppies, that she would have to get the owner ~ that she didn't know prices and which ones were for sale. I raise horses in Tn. We clean our stables daily but, yes, there is a lingering odor of "horse" ~ that's why we are located in a rural area. I think your assessment was unfair. The puppy we chose was and is a healthy, bouncey, happy addition to our family.

    -5 Votes
  • Dc
    D. Carter Oct 17, 2009

    I have been to this so called kennel and it is exactly as you have described. Why can't something be done. To my knowledge, these people make their "living" by selling these dogs, because they are on disability. Something needs to be done. If these people do not LOVE DOGS, they should NOT by breeding them for selfish reasons.

    1 Votes

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