Thursday, February 07, 2008


It's been a busy January and now February. I've been working on an investigative followup to the 1000 dog puppymill Hillsville, Virginia that was raided in November by local Animal control and national Humane Society officers.


In late January reporter Angela Rodriguez and I traveled to Hillsville incognito to shoot undercover video of the puppy place. We watched as this puppy was purchased by a representative of Virginia P.A.W.S.


The puppy buy was a bit more in-depth than that, with Angela and I posing as a couple looking for a dog with the other lady acting as a relative who ended up purchasing the dog for P.A.W.S., an animal welfare group.

It was quite interesting as we became buddy buddy with the employee who handles dog sales. He told us more and more as we talked. Good Stuff.


We took the dog to a veteranarian about 70 miles away and he gave the dog an objective lookover. We didn't tell the vet how or where we got the dog nor that we were doing a news story and he still pegged the dog as a puppymill pup.

The dog has a deformed sternum and a severely enlarged heart and may not live a full healthy life.

We took our undercover video to the prosecuter, county manager, and animal control officials in the county where the puppymill is and although they bregrudingly allowed us to roll our cameras while they watched they seemed interested in what they saw.

The owners, say the employee, plan on building back up their breeding stock. They keep small dogs and pregnant dogs outdoors with no heat. And until the animal control officer saw our tape, the puppymill had not brought their wire bottomed indoor puppy cages up to code by providing a place for the puppys to lay.

The animal control officer visited the place just 2 days after watching our footage and the kennel quickly made the code adjustment.

As I wrapped up my fourth trip to Hillsville (alone this time) I was confronted by the family after I broke my cover to shoot the B-roll needed for the story. As I rolled disc the family started quizing me about my presence near they land and I quized them back about their intentions and the future of their kennels.

A quote directed toward the Humane Sociedt that struck me as defining--- "We're going to rub their noses in it because we're tired of them messing with us." They said they'd get as many relatives to get individual kennel permits as needed to get their stock back up to the 1000+ range.

The 2 stories we produced from this effort can be seen here...



"Tricks of the Puppy Trade"


incognitoblogreader said...

Why should anyone give this story (or any of your other stories) any credibility after you and Angela chose to mislead people by going incognito? After all, if you chose to lie to "get a story", then why should anyone believe that you did not lie in the story?
I did get a good laugh when Angela had the nerve to say "Oh come on junior, don't play that .. be straight with us, we will give you a fair shake" after she and you chose to lie just to get access to his property.(I.E.: the incognito visit)
Do you really think you can lie one minute, then expect people to trust you the next?
Just remember Chris, you have to deal with the public(and me)on a daily bases and you cannot get your shot or a comment if people do not trust you. Because of your chose to be dishonest, you and everyone else at WBHP have lost all trust from me. I shall no longer give access to anyone from WBHP for any interviews or cameras. Think about that the next time you have to "get the shot" for your next assignment... you may just have to ask me for access?

Josh said...

I know this is an old entry, but is this the same one?

Just curiosity, Catching up on the blog entries

("Run n Get em" on b-roll)