Abusive Dog Breeder Convicted of 91 Counts of Animal Cruelty

Dogs in breeding facilities are at the breeder’s mercy, and in a case in Montana, the breeder had no mercy whatsoever.

A jury convicted Mike Chilinski, a Malamute breeder, of 91 counts of cruelty to animals on October 18th. They deliberated for only four hours before handing down their verdict, and it’s no wonder they were so fast: the evidence was overwhelming.

Chilinski’s den of horrors was discovered through a Humane Society investigation. When officers visited the puppy mill, they found “a chaotic clutter of dilapidated kennels that were littered with feces and debris,” according to a district attorney who prosecuted the breeder. Four veterinarians testified that “most of the dogs were severely underweight, and had scars and parasites,” the Independent Record reported.

Chilinski did not provide enough food or water to his dogs. The dogs lacked proper shelter, and they didn’t get needed medical attention.

One witness testified that “about eight dead dogs were found unburied on Chilinski’s property. The dogs were in various states of decay,” according to an October 16th Independent Record article. The Humane Society’s executive director said that one person could not have adequately cared for the over 160 dogs alone. After the raid many pregnant dogs gave birth, raising the total number to 200 dogs.

3KRTV quoted a representative of the Humane Society of the United States who called Chilinski’s operation “a prime example of a large-scale breeding facility” and called for “stronger laws in Montana to regulate these types of breeding facilities.”

“Large-scale breeding facility” is a nice way of saying “puppy mill,” a notorious kind of business that places profit above the most basic health requirements of the dogs forced to churn out litter after litter. As I have written previously on Care2, puppy mills go mostly unregulated: the federal government itself acknowledged that though it has the responsibility to inspect breeders and ensure the health of their dogs, it has failed woefully at that task. In a 2010 report, the federal Office of the Inspector General found that government inspectors didn’t cite or document violations, so enforcement and punishment wasn’t possible, and that they bent over backwards to minimize penalties against breeders who abused or neglected their dogs. (WARNING: some of the pictures in the OIG’s report are very disturbing.)

The Lewis & Clark Humane Society, which is caring for the rescued dogs, estimates that their upkeep costs $2400 per day. If you would like to send money to help the rescued Malamutes, you can donate online or by mail:

Project Malamute
c/o Lewis & Clark Humane Society
PO Box 4455
Helena, MT 59604


Related Stories:

Puppy Torturers Out of Business in L.A.?

Facebook Bans Puppy Mill Ads

Puppy Mill Breeders Abandon 92 Dogs On The Side Of The Road



Lyn Smith
Lynelle Romaine4 years ago

He needs to be made to do 5 years for each dog he held in captivity. And he needs to do hard time as well. Actually jail/prison is too good for him. The poor animals didn't have it that good. But since he does have to do jail time he needs to do it in solitary confinement and throw a bag of roaches in there with him.
They need to ban all puppy mills and never allow one to open again.

.4 years ago

thank you for sharing

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Piper, for Sharing this!

Lauren F.
Lauren Fetterman5 years ago

Were these puppies being sold in pet stores or over the internet? People need to understand that this is what they are supporting when they buy puppies without meeting the sire and dam and the rest of the litter in the environment where they were whelped and raised.

Donna Cook
Donna Cook5 years ago

"The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Mahatma Gandhi

Vera T.
Vera T5 years ago

Animal laws are so lax - perpetrators are not sentenced severely enough - they get away with the most horrendous cruel acts, and as their victims are mere 'animals' society does not give them the punishment they deserve - the sooner back yard breeding and puppy mills are abolished the better for all, especially the animals - what's the use of 'improving' these mills BAN THEM COMPLETELY

Manel Dias
Manel Dias5 years ago

Precicely the owner of the Puppy Mill is the one who should pay all the medical, vet, food, shelter expenses occured even after rescuing these helpless dogs. He should be punished severly to fit the crime. Only if the Judges do the right way and give the punishment correctly then the rest of the puppy mills will also learn a lesson. Otherwise this is like a desease and nobody cares about treating animals fairly. Because once when you go to the courts they give a punishment like simple slap on a wrist. So this is a big problem.as well as a joke. US needs to enforce more severe punishments and stiffer sentences when animal abusers are breaking the laws. These evil people do not care about the innocent animals only looking to make a quick buck while sbjecting these animals to suffer the hell.

Pamela W.
Pamela W5 years ago

Thanks for the article Piper . I see it dates to just after the court case - have you had any further information since?

I agree with the ones on here that say he should have everything confiscated - buildings, land, everything and the proceeds made available for the upkeep & rehabilitation of the surviving dogs!
Horrific story and I hope Chilinski got a sentence that will get the message across !!!

Hugh E.
Hugh E D5 years ago

How many years in lockup are 91 counts. I expect the owner/s of the mill to fined heavily, but I expect him/them to do some heavy prison time - not jail time, but real, honest to God, penitentiary time. This is as bad to me as baby raping. It makes me sick.

Syd Henley
Syd H5 years ago

In cases such as this, there should be large fines and long jail terms imposed on the puppy mill owners. On top of which, all the owners land and property should be confiscated and sold, (leave them with nothing but the clothes they wear in court) with the proceeds being given to the animal rescue group (in this case The Lewis & Clark Humane Society,) who have taken on the responsibility for the ongoing care of the animals.