There's a special place in hell for people who mistreat animals. Our furry (or feathered, or scaled) friends bring hope, joy, and love into our lives. But some people are seemingly heartless.

According to frontiersin.org, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a big spike in interest in pet adoption, and if your local shelter has no more animals to adopt, like the ones in my area when my wife and I were looking for our first dog, you may look to breeders. There's nothing inherently wrong with buying your pet from a breeder, as long as you find someone who is reputable. Unfortunately, that's where the trouble starts.

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It can be very difficult to discern if the breeder you're considering is not only worth your time, but that they're also treating their animals with the same love and attention that you plan on giving them. My wife and I spent hours researching breeders to make sure we weren't supporting a business that treated dogs as a disposable commodity. A flashy website with smiling faces can be hiding a troubling truth. One of the first places we started our research was the Humane Society's Horrible Hundred list.

A dog breeder listed as "non-compliant critical" by New York state is right here in the Hudson Valley

The annual Horrible Hundred list exposes some of the most heartless dog breeders in the country. While the report stresses that it isn't a compilation of the "worst" puppy mills, as many sites are never inspected at all, the Humane Society says it wants the report to act as a layer of research for readers to use to make an informed decision in their puppy search. You should treat this article similarly.

States like Missouri (where my wife and I were living at the time of our puppy search) top the list of problem breeders, but New York State is not immune. While the majority of New York state offenders seem to reside in the Finger Lakes (unfortunately not literally in the lakes), it's sad to say that one of the list's worst culprits is here in the Hudson Valley.

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yamong/Getty Stock
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Hudson Labradoodles, near Hudson, NY, has made the Horrible Hundred Report. The report included allegations that on a March 8th visit, state inspectors found puppies being kept in stunningly unsanitary conditions, with multiple dogs having their fur "matted and covered in waste material". The report also described the facility as being covered in a "strong horrible foul odor", and when officials showed up again nine days later, none of the problems at the facility had been addressed. Unfortunately, that's not even the worst part...

Abused abandoned dog in exile looking sad
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The terrible truth is that this isn't Hudson Labradoodle's first time on the Horrible Hundred Report. The facility made the list in 2019 as well, with many of the same infractions. Inspectors have also been turned away in the past by the owners, so it is difficult to tell exactly how bad the conditions were and how many dogs were suffering at those times. While Hudson Labradoodles was eventually found compliant in April of this year, it doesn't erase the years of horrible treatment of innocent animals documented by the state.

So beware if you are looking for a new pet. Even the Hudson Valley isn't immune from breeders poorly caring for their animals.

You can find the full Horrible Hundred list here.

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