March 23, 2009
The HSUS Helps Rescue Nearly 400 Dogs from Ark. Puppy Mill
PARIS, Ark. — Nearly 400 neglected dogs were rescued today from a Logan County, Ark. puppy mill. The HSUS was asked to help by local law enforcement in preparation for this large-scale raid.
The dogs were found living in horrific conditions in dilapidated structures throughout the 82-acre property. Members of The HSUS' Animal Rescue Team and the Humane Society of Missouri removed approximately 350 dogs, 17 miniature ponies, six cats and several exotic birds and turtles from the property.
"Most people don't realize that this is the cruel reality behind those cute puppies for sale in pet stores and online," said Desiree Bender, Arkansas state director for The HSUS. "These dogs were kept in tiny cages and forced to breed continuously for the profit of the mill owners."
When rescuers arrived at the property, they encountered a disturbing scene. The dogs, ranging from Shih Tzus and poodles to Akitas and Shelties, were suffering from serious medical ailments and housed in filthy conditions. Many of the dogs were severely matted and suffering from untreated lacerations and serious skin and eye infections. Some of the first to be freed were day-old puppies. It was obvious that many of these animals had never known life outside their wire cages.
"Puppies were being sold over the Internet among other avenues. We also recovered purebred registration papers from several kennel clubs," continued Bender. "People were buying the puppies without knowing the cruelty they were supporting. It is vital that anyone buying a puppy go and see where they were born, meet the parent dogs and ensure they are being well cared for."
All of the animals were swiftly removed and transported to a nearby emergency shelter set up specifically for this rescue mission. After arriving at the shelter, the dogs were checked by a team of veterinarians and given any necessary immediate medical care.
Volunteers from United Animal Nations are on hand to assist with the temporary shelter for the rescued animals. Much-needed supplies were provided by PetSmart Charities®, which sent its Emergency Relief Waggin'® full of donated goods such as wire crates, dog food and bedding.
"United Animal Nations volunteers are working hard to get the dogs settled and cared for," said Janell Matthies, UAN emergency services manager. "They seem to be acclimating nicely and are beginning to interact with their caretakers. We are even seeing an occasional tail wag."
Tips on Avoiding Getting a Puppy Mill Dog
- If you have decided you're ready for a dog, follow The HSUS's top five puppy buying tips and you'll be far more likely to secure a healthy, well-socialized dog who doesn't drain your emotions or your pocketbook. One, in other words, who doesn't come from a puppy mill.
- Click here for all our tips.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.