The Post tracked a puppy mill pipeline stretching from the Ozarks to South Florida, one that brought thousands of sometimes-sick puppies from mass-operations to local pet stores. At least 2,500 puppies were delivered to Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties from out-of-states breeders in an 11-month period. Roughly one in three of those came from breeders or distributors cited for problems by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees wholesale dog breeding. Citations varied from keeping animals in too-small and rusting cages with exposed nails or wires, to caked feces, to infestations of roaches and other insects that covered the walls and ceilings of kennels. In dozens of cases, kennel owners averted USDA inspection entirely.