VALLEJO -- The Animal Legal Defense Fund Thursday filed a suit against a Vallejo dog breeder and seller for allegedly keeping her California Carolina Dogs in inhumane and unsanitary conditions and illegally operating a kennel.
The complaint filed in Solano County Superior Court alleges the residential property of California Carolina Dogs at 900 Carolina St. in Vallejo has received complaints since at least 2013 about the strong odor of urine and feces, flies, dog bites, unsanitary breeding conditions and dogs running at large.
According to the complaint, California Carolina Dogs owner and operator Susan Brashear Anthony has illegally been operating a puppy mill with possibly as many as 50 dogs, which prioritizes breeding efficiency over the health and welfare of the dogs.
The alleged conditions violate the California Pet Breeder Warranty Act and Vallejo city ordinances, and California Carolina Dogs has never been licensed as a kennel, according to the complaint.
The Vallejo Municipal Code prohibits more than four dogs over four months old on any property unless it is a licensed kennel, according to the complaint.
The fence on the property was at least seven feet high in violation of the city municipal code's three-feet limit but it allows a height of four feet if it does not create a visibility hazard, the complaint states.
The suit claims Anthony uses a high fence to conceal conditions at the illegal breeding operation.
"The Animal Legal Defense Fund will hold individual breeders accountable for treating animals like cash crops and defying animal protection laws," ALDF executive director Stephen Wells said in a news release about the lawsuit.
The Solano County Sheriff's Office responded to complaints since 2015 about conditions on the property and unlicensed, unvaccinated dogs, according to the complaint. Anthony said she would surrender the dogs to shelters or humane societies but failed to do so, according to the lawsuit.
Anthony, 60, said Thursday afternoon she did not want to discuss the specific allegations in the complaint which she called part of "a history of harassment."
"My dogs are happy and the neighbors are happy," Anthony said.
Allegations about unsanitary conditions are unfounded," she said.
"I love my dogs. They're like my children," Anthony said.
Anthony questioned why the lawsuit was filed Thursday, on her birthday, and she said she will retain an attorney to recover her legal costs.
"There is no problem, they have fabricated a problem. If you have a problem you talk to your neighbor first," Anthony said.
The California Carolina breed is a species from Asia that crossed the Bering land bridge into North America, Anthony said.
"They were Indian camp dogs. It's a rare breed. They're not aggressive. I don't want them breeding with pit bulls. You can't just release them to anyone," Anthony said.
The suit asks the court to enjoin Anthony from operating a dog breeding business, having more than four dogs on the property, allowing dogs to be at large and disturbing the peace of citizens and having a fence over seven feet high.