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June 1, 2009

Kennewick, Wash. Puppy Mill Dogs on Road to Recovery

The Humane Society of the United States

KENNEWICK, Wash. — About 400 American Eskimo dogs seized from a Kennewick kennel by The Benton County Sheriff's Office and The Humane Society of the United States have been moved to shelters in Washington and Oregon to begin their new lease on life. The last dogs cared for at the Benton County Fairgrounds temporary shelter were released to local animal shelters this morning; staff and volunteers will close the temporary shelter today.

The HSUS commends the Benton County Sheriff's Office, volunteer animal care teams from United Animal Nations, Spokane Humane Evacuation Animal Response Team, PetSmart Charities, Coleman Animal Health Center, local veterinarians and close to a dozen Northwest area shelters for their support and assistance on this case.

"This successful rescue would not have been possible without the compassion and support of numerous humane organizations and agencies. These wonderful dogs will now have the chance to get into the loving homes that they so deserve" said Dan Paul, The HSUS' Washington state director.

The dogs suffered from a variety of medical conditions due to being kenneled or caged their entire lives. In addition, a number of dogs were pregnant or had recently given birth. Ella Stewart, owner and operator of Sun Valley Kennel, was charged in early May with misdemeanor animal cruelty, which prompted the continued investigation and the seizure on May 27. The Benton County Prosecutor's Office continues to review the case for additional charges.

For a full list of shelters that received the dogs and for adoption information, click here.

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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.

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