PAWS Magazine

Issue 38, Summer 1998

PAWS exposes Arlington puppy mill reseller

A PAWS investigation into Wendy Faith Laymon, an Arlington puppy mill reseller, has resulted in the Snohomish County Auditor’s office citing her for facility violations and ordering her to stop selling dogs imported from Midwest puppy mills.

Laymon has a Snohomish County kennel license, which allows her to house and breed 25 dogs on her property. Her license does not allow her to import puppies for resale. Despite this, a PAWS investigation revealed that Laymon had been importing hundreds of puppies from the Midwest—over 500 in the past year alone. All of these puppies came from mass-producing puppy mills in Missouri and Iowa. Snohomish County Auditor Bob Terwilliger has told Laymon that she must remove all imported puppy mill puppies by August 6 or face the revocation of her license.

Laymon was also cited by Terwillinger for failure to install an air-return appliance in the converted latté trailer that she uses as a kennel, and failure to cover the kennel’s central food storage container. Terwilliger gave Laymon one week to comply with these requirements.

PAWS’ investigation revealed that Laymon has used at least eight names and aliases in her business dealings in the past few years. Terwilliger ordered Laymon to only operate under the name "Best Friends."

Sick puppies Julie Sterling (with her puppy mill pug, Bob) and Kim Clowe, who both purchased sick animals from Wendy Faith Laymon, spoke to Seattle media at a PAWS press conference in June.

Laymon has left a trail of dissatisfied customers over the past few years. Many of Laymon’s customers found that their new puppies became tremendously sick shortly after being purchased. Many of these puppies suffered from severe diarrhea, as well as coccidia and giardia (parasitic conditions related to filthy living quarters). One customer accrued more than $2,000 in vet surgery bills in one week after her seemingly healthy looking dog became severely ill shortly after purchase.

After a June 2 PAWS news conference featuring four of Laymon's dissatisfied customers was covered by Seattle television stations, PAWS was inundated with calls from other dissatisfied Laymon puppy purchasers. All told similar stories of being misled by Laymon about the origins of their puppies, as well as their health. They also indicated that Laymon never allowed them to see her kennels; instead she brought puppies to them in her living room. According to a former employee of Laymon's, the kennels were cramped and filthy. "Puppies were stacked in crates in the garage," said the employee, "there were maggots all over the place."

Cramped, dirty conditions have been identified as a major breeding ground for parasitic conditions such as coccidia and giardia; many of the dogs Laymon sold tested positive for these conditions shortly after purchase.

Selling sick and diseased puppy mill puppies is apparently a lucrative business for Laymon. The value of the puppies purchased by her from Midwest puppy mills in the last year is estimated to surpass a quarter of a million dollars. It is unclear how Laymon spends her money. Laymon was sued recently by a former customer, who won a $350 judgment against her, but Laymon still has yet to pay. Until very recently Laymon had a publicly accessible Web site on the Internet, but her service provider told PAWS that they removed the site because Laymon agreed to pay her bill in installments, but her first check bounced.

The auditor’s office has assured PAWS that there are no more second chances available to Laymon. According to Terwilliger, the auditor’s officer will now aggressively monitor Laymon, and move to revoke her license if she violates it in any way.

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