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  issue > commercial breeders > licensing

USDA-licensed dog and cat breeders represent only a fraction of all breeders in Minnesota. However, some of these breeders are massive in size (keeping 500, 600, 800 adult breeding dogs) which results in numerous litters being born and sold yearly.

See link below for a list of USDA licensees.

USDA: Animal Welfare License and Registration List

The numbers listed in chart (on above link) fluctuate as existing breeders may:

• switch their "class" of licensing (from A to B to A)

• new breeders may apply, increasing the total number

• breeders may drop their license and choose to only sell directly to consumers where the animal is "seen" before sold; therefore, not requiring a USDA license 


NOTE: The USDA created a rule change to the Animal Welfare Act that changed the definition of "retail pet store." This change went into effect in November 2013.

Prior to this rule change, only breeders with four or more intact females and who sold wholesale (to brokers/pet stores, not directly to consumers) were required to be licensed by the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This rule change closed the loophole in the Animal Welfare Act — by now requiring that breeders and other businesses that sell certain animals through retail (i.e., the Internet, by phone, by mail — "sight unseen") obtain a USDA license and get inspected. Learn more at: AWA > licensing

Located across the entire State of Minnesota

As of 2016, there are 22 Class A (USDA-licensed) dog breeders in Minnesota and 7 Class B (USDA-licensed) dog dealers. (A dealer acts as a broker; can buy from other breeders and re-sale to pet stores or other entities.)

USDA-licensed commercial breeding kennels and dealers are located across Minnesota, from the NW corner in Kittson County to the SE corner in Fillmore County to the SW corner in Pipestone County to the middle of the State in Morrison County.

The highest concentration of these type of kennels used to be in Morrison County. As of 2016, Winona County is documented as having the most USDA-licensed dog breeding kennels. The map below displays where these kennels are located in Minnesota.

NOTE: This map includes both USDA-licensed breeders and brokers.


The number of breeders and dealers fluctuates year to year, and represents only a fraction of all commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota. Non-USDA licensed kennels are also found throughout the State, often in rural areas where animals (and barking) can be “hidden” from neighbors.

NOTE: The federal definition of "commercial breeder" (per the Animal Welfare Act) differs from the State of Minnesota definition.


Size and number of USDA-licensed kennels

Upon review of 2016 inspection reports (available through the Freedom of Information Act), several Minnesota puppy mills house more than 900 dogs and puppies each. Previous years have documented over 1,000 dogs and puppies with one kennel having over 1,700 dogs and puppies. A large kennel may house hundreds of adult dogs (intact females and stud males) and produce unlimited puppies. A female, bred continuously, could have 2 litters per year with an average of four-six puppies per litter.



USDA License # (Class A) Name/Doing Business As City/County Notes


License started: March 9, 2016

(formerly operated as Clearwater Kennel by Wanda Kretzman)

Angie McDuffee/AJ's Angels Cushing/Morrison One of the largest breeders in Minnesota, with over 900 dogs and puppies (594 adult dogs and 402 puppies) as of March 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: August 8, 1996

Barbara Hubner and Lorie Hunt-Heaton Pipestone/Pipestone 123 adult dogs and 84 puppies as of September 2015 (per USDA inspection)


License started: August 5, 2013

Carol Theisen and Jill Pilloud / Northern Lights Kennels Blackduck / Beltrami 32 adult dogs and 11 puppies as of November 2015 (per USDA inspection)


License started: March 3, 2015

Christian Lambright Fertile / Polk 17 adult dogs and 6 puppies as of January 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: January 2, 1960

Craig and Linda M. Kleven / Fair View Kennels Walnut Grove / Redwood 121 adult dogs and 28 puppies as of December 2015 (per USDA inspection)


License started: June 24, 2015

Daniel and Edna Lambright Fertile / Polk 27 adult dogs and 8 puppies as of November 2015 (per USDA inspection)


License started: October 8, 1998

Daniel Kuehne Reading / Nobles 322 adult dogs and 200 puppies as of December 2015 (per USDA inspection)


License started: May 22, 2012

David Yoder Utica / Winona 46 adult dogs and 22 puppies as of January 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License started: April 5, 2000

Gloria Brouwer Jasper / Pipestone 35 adult dogs and 9 puppies as of June 2014 (per USDA inspection); more recent animal counts not available as of 05.29.15


License started: September 6, 2012

Henry Yoder Utica / Winona 44 adult dogs and 9 puppes as of November 2015 (per USDA inspection)


License started: October 20, 2014

Jennifer Scharmer Winona / Winona 25 adult dogs and 12 puppies as of June 2015 (per USDA inspection
41-A-0248 License started: January 2, 1960 John and Lyle Renner / Renner's Kennel Detroit Lakes / Becker 124 adult dogs and 9 puppies as of November 2015 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0248 License started: December 14, 2015 Justin Sawyer / Foot Hills Farm Backus / Cass 65 adult dogs and 22 puppies as of November 2015 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0443 License started: May 9, 2006 Leroy D Yoder Utica / Winona 168 adult dogs and 22 puppies as of December 2015 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0445 License started: September 14, 2006 Marlton and Paul R DeNeui / Family Addition Kennel Clinton / Big Stone 31 adult dogs and 17 puppies as of July 2015 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0485 License started: April 20, 2016 Menno Bontrager St Charles / Winona 24 adult dogs and 13 puppies as of April 2016 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0472 License started: March 28, 2013 Menno Yoder Utica / Winona 38 adult dogs and 8 puppies as of December 2015 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0021 License started: January 2, 1960 Michelle Sonnenberg / Sonnenberg Farms Detroit Lakes / Becker 183 adult dogs and 17 puppies as of April 2016 (per USDA inspection)
41-A-0281 License started: January 2, 1960 Paul and Sheila Haag / Valley View Kennel Eden Valley / Meeker One of the largest breeders in Minnesota, with over 900 dogs and puppies (488 adult dogs and 466 puppies) as of October 2015. Also operates A Maze'n Farmyard, a family amusement cente with a petting zoo and pet store, supplied with puppies from their kennel oeration


License Started: January 2, 1960

S Glenice Viken / SG Kennels Roseau / Roseau 55 adult dogs and 15 puppies as of February 2016 (per USDA inspection)


License Started: May 5, 2016 (formerly operated as Windy Acres Kennels by David Yoder)

Skylineview LLC St Charles / Winona New license and business names. Animal Counts not available as of May 2016.


License started: December 10, 2014

Toby Detweiler / Hidden Hollow Kennel St Charles / Winona 40 adult dogs and 57 puppies as of October 2015 (per USDA inspection)

For list of USDA-licensed Minnesota (Class B) dealers, go to Dealers.


Cancellations and revocations

Over the years, the number of breeders (class A) and dealers (Class B) licensed by the USDA in Minnesota has dropped (see also Dealer cancellations). As stated above, this decrease was due, in large part, to the Internet. If a breeder sold wholesale (i.e., to pet stores), he/she was required to be licensed under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). "Pet store" was originally defined as a traditional store, not a website. To take advantage of this loophole, many breeders chose to cancel their federal license and instead sell directly to consumers on websites, online portals or directly from the kennel. The definition of "pet store" within the AWA has since been changed to try and address this loophole. (See AWA licensing.) Other cancellations are due to other business issues, i.e., poor health, old age, etc. A few federal licenses have been revoked due to repeated violations.



USDA License # (Class A) Name/
Doing Business As
City/County Notes
License cancelled: June 11, 2013

License started: January 2, 1960

Harries K-9 Ranch
ALPHA / Jackson Cancelled USDA license, but is still licensed by the MN Board of Animal Health
License cancelled: January 6, 2016

License started:
April 5, 2000

License cancelled: January 13, 2014

License started: unknown

James And Shari De Neui /
Countryside Big Dog Kennels
CLINTON / Big Stone  
License cancelled: June 3, 2014

License started: unknown

Sawyer’s Furry Friends
BACKUS / Cass  
License cancelled: November 11, 2013

License started: October 24, 2005

Brewster Boxers
BREWSTER / Nobles  
License cancelled: February 20, 2015

License started: February 12, 2007

Danielles Kennel
BLACKDUCK / Beltrami  
License Cancelled: March 16, 2015

License started: March 12, 2001

Roseann and Timothy Strand  
License Cancelled: February 19, 2016

License started: January 2, 1960

Sharon Lanz Pine River / Cass  
License Cancelled: April 23, 2014

License started: May 14, 2009

Tina Moore /
TS Pups
Detroit Lakes / Becker  
License Revoked: April 22, 2015

License started: January 2, 1960

Deloris and Dick Richards Marshall / Lyon License was revoked by the USDA
License Revoked: March 11, 2015 License started: prior to 2006
Ted Johnson Windom / Cottonwood License was revoked by the USDA


Categories: USDA-licensees

There are multiple facilities in Minnesota licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture. (See descriptions below.) Not all of these facilities breed dogs and cats.

Below is an abbreviated definition of the following categories. For specific definitions and explanations, see links below (on USDA-APHIS website).


These are breeders of dogs and cats (as well as other certain types of animals) who sell wholesale. The USDA designates this group as ‘Class A’.

These are brokers — this category can breed their own dogs/cats and can also buy/broker certain animals from other breeders and then sell wholesale. The USDA designates this group as ‘Class B’.

This group shows or uses the animals for entertainment, such as circuses, zoos, etc.. The USDA designates this group as ‘Class C.’

This group transports the animals.

Research facilities
These are research facilities, such as universities, medical facilities or businesses.


USDA-APHIS website

Licensing and Registration Under the Animal Welfare Act (includes definitions and descriptions of regulated busiensses).


Further licensing information

For additional information about USDA licensing and a discussion of legislation pertaining to wholesale vs. retail sales, go to: Animal Welfare Act - licensing



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