December 3, 2009
Puppy Mill Tipline Fights Cruelty
The HSUS announces tipline to report puppy mill abuse
Do you think there might be a puppy mill in your community? Are you a law enforcement officer who has "insider" knowledge of a problematic puppy mill? The Humane Society of the United States' toll-free puppy mill tipline, 1-877-MILL-TIP, was created to encourage anyone with any puppy mill information to contact The HSUS' Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force for help.
Since the task force was assembled in June 2009, Manager Justin Scally (pictured at left) assisted in the rescue of more than 1,200 dogs and puppies from puppy mills in the first five months. Scally explains more in the interview below.
HSUS: What do you want people to know about the tipline?
Scally: The number is 1-877-MILL-TIP. We encourage anyone with solid information on potentially illegal conditions at a puppy mill to call the toll-free number at any time. We're here to help.
HSUS: What is the Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force?
Scally: The task force investigates puppy mills and works with law enforcement, animal shelters, and other agencies to develop cases, execute raids/rescues on puppy mill operations, and ensure enforcement of any laws that are being broken. We provide expert guidance to local, state, and federal agencies in the prosecution of animal abusers in relation to the operation of puppy mills. Read more about the task force, The Wildes, and why the task force was created »
Do you think there might be a puppy mill in your community? Let us know! Call 1-877-MILL-TIP.
HSUS: How does someone join the task force? Is it volunteering, or is it a paid position?
Scally: The task force is currently comprised of HSUS staff members. However, animal advocates interested in helping us on rescue missions can contact our Disaster Services department for more information on how to become a disaster responder with The HSUS.
It is important to remember that you don't have to be "on the front lines" of a puppy mill investigation or rescue to make a difference in the lives of these animals. Volunteers are needed every day to educate, advocate, and lobby for the dogs who live in horrendous conditions. Consumers need to know that there is often a world of cruelty behind the cute puppies for sale on websites, in pet stores, and through classified ads.
HSUS: How does the task force get involved in the raids? Who should call?
Scally: The task force receives calls for help from law enforcement agencies, animal control agencies, animal shelters, concerned citizens, and puppy buyers who may have witnessed inhumane conditions at a puppy mill.
HSUS: What is the typical response procedure?
Scally: How we respond to each case depends on the circumstances from which we receive the call for help. If a report comes to our organization from a concerned citizen, we may initiate an investigation and present that information to law enforcement for further action. In other circumstances, the local law enforcement authority may request expert assistance which may include animal rescue or case-building expertise. We often assist agencies with evidence collection on puppy mill rescue missions to ensure successful prosecution of animal abuse/neglect.
Call 1-877-MILL-TIP if you have information about a potential puppy mill in your community.