There are already USDA kennel inspectors. But they are overworked and ineffective, as they confess in a May 2010 audit they conducted of their own operations (available here as a lengthy .pdf entitled "Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Care Program Inspections of Problematic Dealers" warning: graphic photos in document).
Inspection reports are all publicly accessible via the APHIS database in the link Patty provided above:
If you use that link, you'll see that Thunder Ridge Kennel in Iowa was officially inspected five times (at least, on record). There was always at least one "indirect" violation on record. On the day 3/15/2010, which I believe is the day that Iowa rescue groups came to take his animals, the USDA inspector found 21 violations in a report that goes on for 10 pages. Charges ranged from "excessively dirty" food receptacles to "minimal enclosure spacing" (and since USDA regulations don't require very much room to begin with, this is saying something!), to having bug-infested facilities. It apparently takes a lot to shut down a puppy mill, especially when violations are either undocumented or usually amount to a slap on the wrist.
We are already funding these federal government agencies, and their actions are, theoretically, available for public viewing. I think the APHIS database is a step in the right direction for the sake of transparency, and I am glad that they took the initiative to conduct a self-audit. However, I would also like to see proactive steps taken to ensure that the appropriate agencies are actually doing their jobs.
Whistleblower assistance certainly seems to be called for when the local authorities appear to have difficulty monitoring everything within their own jurisdictions. I do find it hard to believe that the physical relocation of a puppy mill housing 100+ dogs would go unnoticed by local authorities. The community, as "concerned" has demonstrated, is more than willing to mobilize to eliminate what they don't want – and I firmly believe that most people don't want puppy mill dogs, they just may not know about them. So kudos to the citizens of Paola for knowing, and for taking a stand on their own front.
Meanwhile, I have reported Rock Creek Kennel's Facebook profile for violating their own terms of service in that a) personal profiles are supposed to be attached to real names, and b) registered sex offenders are not permitted to have Facebook accounts. I have received no response from Facebook. If you would also like to report the profile, the place to do so is here.
I have also forwarded this information, including this thread, to the Kansas Bureau of Investigations. (I hope that moderators/admins will keep this thread available, at least long enough to enable investigation and to keep a public record of where this kennel has been.) I received a pretty quick and helpful response from a Kansas state officer who said that the information was being passed onto the Sheriff's offices of the two Kansas counties where Harold Buzz Powell has been noted to reside. However, sex offender registry and the Dept. of Agriculture are typically separate entities, and need to deal with him separately. Anyway, the ball is in their court, and I hope to hear of a decisive resolution.