Abandoned Hilltop Mansion

I had found this Abandoned Hilltop Mansion but had no idea what the situation was.  You cannot see it from the road so we had to just drive up hoping it was something abandoned!   One fall day in 2022, Zenning with Zay & I took a chance to check it out.   Sure enough, it was abandoned!

From the outside it looked pretty amazing! We couldn't wait to get inside & explore it. There were some large holes in the roof & it as clear it had been abandoned for a while. The strange thing is that on Google maps it was definitely active.

When I opened the we were in absolute shock at the state of this place. It too a minute to even grasp what had been going on here but it quick became clear. There were animals that seemingly had to run of the mansion unsupervised. It wasn't until six months later did I discover the truth behind this place. I had taken a picture of a credit card wit a name on it for research purposes but completely forgot I had. I had planed on waiting a while before posting this one so I didn't do any research. I had also found a health card there but it as from an elderly women & turned up nothing..

As you can tell, I loved the look of this place! It was so decrepit as it stood atop the hill. I am sure it was a beautiful place at one time with a million dollar view. So back to the story. The gentleman's which I found did reveal a lot of information. The man was a breeder of essentially a mutt. From what I read the breed was not recognized but this may have changed.  Back in the 1970s a group of breeders got together four different breeds. These were bred with the intention of creating the ideal therapy dog. The man who's name I had found was listed on forums etc as being a breeder which aligned but there was so much more going on.

Right away this place had bad vibes. It didn't take too long to realize that what was happening here was pretty awful. The dog crates all had several inches of dried poop in them. There is really no other way to describe it other than squalor. There was a main floor bedroom & it too had several inches of compacted, dried poop. In fact, the bedroom bathroom was biohazards. What you can't see in the photos but can in the video is the fact the dogs had at one point chewed a hole through the wall. Clearly some had been locked inside for so long they had to break free.

Here's where things get bad.   I was researching all I could as clearly something here was not right.  It started with this man being the breeder for this articular breed.  I read many review & testimonials that all seemed good up until around 2012.  This aligned with the last dates I found inside the Abandoned Hilltop Mansion.   From numerous posts it seemed this guy was running a shady operation.  Nobody was allowed to see the environment which the litters were raised in.  He would show up with a dog & basically say take it or leave it without letting your choose our own.   These went on  & on.   There were warnings & even comments saying this guy is dangerous & not playing with a full deck.  So far from what I saw here, all that checks out.  There was one very detailed comment advising this guy was a collector which explains the entire room full of bird cages.  As well said he was a broker for a few puppy mills.  I kinda feel this was a bigger operation than what was assumed.

I also found that the man had attempted to trademark the breed in 2012 however the application was listed as dead in 2014 due to "Interruption of proceeding". It seemed 2012 was the end of this operation. Posts kept saying they were no longer hearing from him & more & more negative reviews came out. There was even a MASSIVE backlash at a Toronto editorial which listed these starting at $1200 mutts as great Christmas gifts. This one article had HUNDREDS of angry comments! There were complaints of the temperament, & various other behavioral issues. These are often caused by poor environment, inbreeding etc.

It was around 2013 when it seems this man fell off the map. There is still contact information out there but it seems its all old or disconnected. I couldn't find anything about an obituary or criminal charges. Now for my conclusions. This was his parents house & he was living with them until they passed. I believe the husband passed on before his wife & was stricken to the main floor bedroom. The women had a bedroom upstairs with the roof caved in. Her name was on a chest in the room as well as the health card. By now her health was failing & the son had really expanded his "breeding" operation to now use the main floor. I suspect the mother either passed or moved into assisted living. At the same time, I feel this man's mental health was going. As the house decayed it could have lead to health problems.  The fact none of the bathrooms were remotely usable & the dozens, if not hundreds of pee bottles all over the bedroom tell a very clear story. The house was basically unlivable. I think at some point he left, was removed or passed on & the nightmare was over. This Abandoned Hilltop Mansion was one very sad place. It was bad exploring it but only got worse with research & filling in missing pieces.

10 thoughts on “Abandoned Hilltop Mansion”

    1. Perhaps this was one of the triggers for Toronto banning the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores in 2011. Of course this has me more curious about the breeder. I rescued an Australian Cattle Dog from what may have been such a place (never saw the original facility); he had a broken front leg when I got him. The “rescue” was shut down shortly after and owner was charged criminally. This in Minnesota.

      1. The breeder seemed to have some major issues based on the state & living conditions of the house. I hate to speculate but calling it as I see it.Sad place all around.

  1. Very cool find ! but there is one specific point i ( and many owners of this mutt breed) disagree with.
    “ There were complaints of the temperament, & various other behavioral issues” maybe you mentioned this to intensify the horror and backstory of this property , but it’s quiet far from the truth. i’m curious as to why you didn’t share the name given to this made up breed. ( i’ll do the same incase you’re trying to maintain the privacy )
    Us Gan owners actually have a very tight community! we keep records, we have meet ups , we share all our stories with our beloved mutts. and even after years of the breeder going a-wall, there is constantly people begging for any information possible as they are in high demand , MAINLY FOR THE DOGS GREAT AND CALM BEHAVIOUR. this is something majority gan owners will agree on , as it’s constantly mentioned and praised. maybe they struggle with a bit of anxiety , which is most commonly followed by obsessive licking. but no complaints of these dogs being aggressive.
    Overall i am fascinated by this find and the research you’ve put into it , i will now be subscribing ☺️

    1. Fair enough! I had done a lot of research & from what I read it wasn’t actually recognized but perhaps that has since changed. Just presenting the info as I found it & meant no disrespect.

  2. I just wanted to jump in and mention that I got my Gan in 2014 and I know others who got theirs around 2018. My dog rarely barks, is calm and has a special intuition of knowing when someone needs emotional support. I can’t believe that my dog came from a “puppy mill” such as the one you have reported here. It’s sad that this breed will no longer be available. Thank you for your research. I hope someone out there will have further information to shed some light on what happened to Gil. Kind regards.

    1. Apologies as I didn’t mean this breed is of bed temperament, just reporting on what I had read on some that came from this person. The good reviews I read certainly outweighed the bad 1000 to 1!

  3. I originally found the video on reddit and my ears definitely perked up when you said you’d post a followup with research info. I’m not brave or physically capable enough to explore anything myself, but I love watching videos like this. The main attraction for me, in terms of house explorations, is my curiosity toward the people whose lives were lived in these spaces, and what on earth could’ve caused them to abandon their homes. And it really is truly a mystery, considering that most houses end up being willed out or sold when the owner no longer lives there. Something remarkable has to happen to force someone out of their home so abruptly that they don’t or can’t take their possessions with them. I appreciate that you kept the camera motions steady and slow because I like seeing all the details and picking up clues, and was definitely coming to most of the same conclusions. One different one, though, was that in cases of mental health and hoarding/squalor, there’s a pattern that may have played out here, like in many other cases. When folks like this live in larger houses, they don’t actually live in the whole house; once the hoarding or disrepair take over a room or area, it essentially gets treated as disposable space and ignored thereon. I suspect the master bedroom was the most recently occupied space. Also, I have a theory about the plastic sheeting in the doorways. It wasn’t related to the dogs; it was for the birds so they could have a confined place to fly inside, especially smaller birds like finches. Most of the non-collection cages in that area were pretty small, and most small captive birds wouldn’t try very hard to get around the sheeting, so it would suffice. I also suspect that the original bird person was the father and that one room was for his collection, and he probably spent a good deal of time in there. It appeared to be the only room with anything resembling normalcy, and I found it telling that the furniture was covered in there but nowhere else. Dad passed away, mom didn’t want to go in there anymore, and draped the furniture because it was a cared for space. When mom died, son avoided it too mostly, so it stayed in better condition. If birds were a beloved creature to this family, the son would want to show kindness by allowing them a bit of freedom to fly around. This points me to believe that this was a man who wasn’t intentionally being cruel to his animals. Rather, I believe he was (very sadly) just so deep into a mental health crisis that he couldn’t find his way out. The sketchy sales behavior was probably rooted in shame and paranoia about having his living situation witnessed, and less so about what buyers would think of his animal treatment. People like this…they often times start with good intentions, but when the responsibility starts to get overwhelming, the shame at their failure becomes mentally paralyzing so they comfort themselves with more animals. It’s a cycle. Wouldn’t surprise me if the father had been a vetrenarian by trade, possibly using the runners as boarding kennels, and the small barn as a space to care for larger animals that would require him to be near for monitoring. Like a horse recovering over the weekend from a surgery. If the son grew up in this sort of home, he would’ve felt more competent than most at caring for animals, but mental health issues have a way of isolating you that can end up with losing one’s support system (help when needed). Since you didn’t find an obit or criminal record, I bet it went down like this: someone tipped off the law about a possible puppy mill operation and aspca (or whatever org) came to do an animal welfare check. Conditions are observed, man is showing clear signs of instability (possibly in poor health too), and calls were made. Rescue operation for the critters, man taken to the hospital for an eval, and committed to psych. The house was owned outright and I doubt he had children, so no one has had reason to touch the house since then. He likely had any criminal charges dropped bc his daddy saved the judge’s dog when he was a kid or something. Rural community type stuff. As long as the area is still receiving property taxes from his address, they won’t bother checking the property out, so I assume he’s still alive.

    Sorry for the novel, but by the way you spoke and what you’ve included on this post, you seem like a similarly curious person and tbh, the ADHD urge to theorize was too strong lol. But anyway, thanks for sharing your little adventure in a competent and interesting way, it’s good shit 🙂

  4. This sadly makes a lot of sense. I have a dog from this breeder, listed as being from another location, but who knows. She was born in 2006. She is a sweet dog, but I have been asked many times if she was a rescue because she is so skittish and scared of other dogs. I do believe that this person was an animal lover… but not all animal lovers have the ability to care for them properly. There were many inconsistencies with what we were told. I do know that dogs that were done with breeding were sent to the shelter – I know two people who were able to get them before they went to the shelter, with just a promise to have them spayed. Definitely a sad situation.

    I saw on another site, that they are claiming that it was a woman related to the home owner that was living there and allowed goats into the main floor, not dogs… but the stacked dog crates, bags of dog food and boxes of milk bones tell a different story… also it was clearly a male using the pop bottles. Not to mention the mail in his name. I understand that there is guilt associated to owning a dog that came from this place – but we need to acknowledge the possibility of this, so we don’t repeat the same mistakes. All the red flags about how to spot a puppy mill applied in this situation, we just didn’t know better at the time… or didn’t want to believe it. These were highly sought after dogs.

    I would be interested to see the inside of the dog houses attached to the dog runs. I’d like to believe that at some point, they lived in humane conditions, possibly before coming in the house.

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