Kelly's Giant ALAskan Malamutes

Kelly's Giant ALAskan Malamutes

The Independent Aug 15, 2017 Updated Aug 18, 2017 13 Malamute tied to tree An adult Alaskan Malamute, tied to a nearby tree, sniffs through assorted items left on the former property of Kelly’s Giant Alaskan Malamutes in Snowflake. Photo courtesy of Eric Grenda bones of malamute Buy Now The bones of a malamute named Talula lay uncovered only feet from a trailer where breeders Sarah Kelly and Kirk Kelly lived in Snowflake, AZ. Over the past few years, complaints and documentation of fatally ill dogs by customers have been attached to the Kelly’s business. BY Jordan Glenn/The Independent dogs in cage Two adult malamutes sit in their cage with no apparent source of | shade while under the care of Sarah and Kirk Kelly in Snowflake, AZ. Courtesy of Eric Grenda Portraits of Everyone Involved (Left photo): Sarah Robertson Kelly (left) poses next to former associate Sarah Day. (Right photo): Kirk Kelly and Sarah Robertson Kelly, owners of Kelly’s Giant Alaskan Malamutes. Courtesy of the Facebook of Kirk Kelly SNOWFLAKE — A few feet behind an old trailer, a shallow grave yields the bones of an Alaskan Malamute dog — no more than 3 years old, judging by the clean, white teeth. The grave sits on the former property of Kelly’s Giant Alaskan Malamutes, a dog-breeding operation allegedly run by Sarah and Kirk Kelly. For the remaining dogs on the | property, some of which are tied to trees, bones — some of which still have the fur of their former companion attached to it — are left to become an item of entertainment and play for the surviving canines. In the flat, high desert that is Snowflake, there is a growing feud between the Kellys, their former associates and their customers. But to those close to the Malamute breeders, the only casualties are the dogs. As the Kellys move their dogs from location to location, a paper trail of photos, court documents, USDA complaints and alleged falsified veterinary records reveal a long history of questionable breeding practices, a topic about which the Kellys have repeatedly | refused to comment to The Independent. The dozens of breeders, neighbors and online advocates concerned with the treatment of the dogs all ask, “Why hasn’t the local government and animal control taken action?” ‘A Step into Dog Hell’ Introduced by a rough, dirt road, the multi-acre property of Stacy Day, the former partner of Malamute breeders Sarah and Kirk Kelly, is scattered with deep outlines of small dog cages, broken furniture, and the unmistakable stench of years of urine and fecal matter soaked into the dirt — all of which Day said seem to be the product of the Kellys. Now operating on a new property only a few blocks away, Day said the Kellys shared this | property with her for almost two years before their falling out. According to dozens of documents and photos obtained by The Independent, it was the site of numerous cases of sickness, death and questionable living conditions. The 30-plus dogs on the property lived outside in wire fence pens, wrapped around the half-dead trees that are, supposedly, intended to provide shade. Despite having “adequate water” in the eyes of Navajo County Animal Control, the buckets sat dirty and rarely unchanged, according to Eric Grenda, a former veterinary technician and a nephew of Day. Animal control has visited the property several times and allegedly performs daily drive-by’s, | according to Navajo County Health Director Jeff Lee. “When animal control comes up here, the employee I’ve dealt with only does the bare minimum,” Grenda said. “He just looks to see that they have water and at least some shade. He would say it’s because of the laws up here and that there’s nothing to really call animal abuse. I’ve seen things not as bad as this get handled in ways that this should be handled — and it’s not.” Grenda, who was asked to help uphold basic veterinary checkups and medical fixes on the property, quickly figured out that things were much worse than he originally thought. “The conditions up here were just deplorable. Kennels were held together with wiring, | they were rusted, they would break all the time and dogs would get out. They would fight with each other through the fences, stuff like that,” Grenda said. In a video taken by Grenda, a large, thick wooden shed shows it to be the home of a female Malamute and her newborn puppies after their birth. With only two square windows in the front, the wooden shed can turn into a sauna in the Arizona heat. As for the breeding methods, accounts alleged by other breeders who have bought from the Kellys, civilian clients and the Days reveal things worse than just poor conditions; they go against some of the industry’s rules and values. According to Tanya Espinosa, a spokesperson for | the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “any person that has more than five female dogs and/or sells sight-unseen (over the internet) is required to have a USDA license.” Despite owning more than dozens of adult dogs, the Kellys are firm in their beliefs that they don’t need to be registered with the USDA, according to text messages obtained by The Independent. “Dogs have four heat cycles and the AKC says you can only breed on two of those. She was doing all four cycles on these dogs. On one sick dog they had, [vets] did an exploratory surgery to figure out what was wrong and her insides weren’t even in the right place. They were just completely bruised and | calloused and her uterus was falling out due to over-breeding,” Grenda said. Grenda said he repeatedly raised concerns about potential breeding violations, but Sarah Kelly allegedly dismissed his complaints. “These allegedly licensed dogs are going to have hereditary issues forever [like] hip dysplasia, intestinal issues, etc. They’re just going to be prone to things that are awful in big breed dogs,” he said “I would see things and come to her and tell her that these issues are beyond anything or anyone on this property could help with. These issues could only be handled in a sterile setting.” In their eventual falling out in May, a restraining order was filed by both parties, | escalating the tension and aggression by the Kellys toward the Days. Since being kicked off the property by Stacy Day, the couple has been arrested for violation of the restraining order and had involvements with the police many times in an effort to “get their dogs back and take what’s theirs,” according to the Kellys Facebook posts and police reports. For the Kellys, there have been previous issues. Incidents and investigations After years of complaints and conflict, individuals once close to Kelly’s Giant Alaskan Malamutes have reportedly severed their ties. The Kellys’ dog groomer, Terri Franklin, announced her decision to cut ties with the business on Facebook due to the alleged condition | of the dogs. “I have personally had to shave five of their dogs to the skin due to severe mats and hot spots, along with gashes on the skin from Sarah trying to cut out the mats and catching chunks of dog’s skin,” Franklin said. “I thought I was helping them because they had just moved here and were trying to get their kennel back up and running. I soon learned the truth and cut my ties.” Sarah Kelly allegedly bought small white “Toy Breed” dogs to raise and breed on the property in Snowflake, according to Day. After a week in their care, Day said one had died due to a cut across the neck with scissors during an attempt at grooming. “She had reached out to me to see if I had | instructions or a video on how to shave the dog, which surprised me coming from a supposedly experienced breeder,” said Karen H., the breeder who sold the dogs and who wished to not have her full last name revealed due to personal concerns. “She sent me a photo of a matted, dirty ball of hair and it was actually the dog.” Stacy Day said she walked into the kitchen while Sarah Kelly was attempting to groom the small dog. Astonished, she asked what Kelly was trying to do. “It was right as I said that when she clipped the back of the dog’s neck and it started bleeding everywhere,” Day said. “She told me to run and get super glue to close the hole and pinched it shut. It died | two days later. I truly believe it died from infection.” After that, Day said she filed for a restraining order against the Kellys, kicking them off the property. Currently, Kelly’s Giant Alaskan Malamutes sits on a flat piece of land only a few blocks from the old property and the couple operates it like a fortress. In numerous statements responding to complaints from buyers on, the Kellys encourage anyone to visit their property and visit with the dogs themselves. What prospective buyers are usually met with, though, is aggressive behavior and vulgar threats anytime someone gets too close to the property, Grenda said. “I just saw her new property about four days ago and | driving by, it looks like ‘Mad Max’ out there,” Grenda said, referring to the feature-length motion pictures bearing the same name that depicts a post-apocalyptic landscape. “The kennels are coming undone, top falling over. Adequate shade is technically not a requirement here, but what she’s doing is putting up sun-screening for a house window above the cage. That’s ripping off and flapping in the wind, so the dogs are cooking in there from noon until later that night.” The truth about Kelly’s /Snowflake Airizona Puppy Mill |

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