September 25, 2009
The HSUS Assists in Rescue of Dogs from Alleged Tennessee Puppy Mill
PORTLAND, Tenn. — The Humane Society of the United States worked in conjunction with the Sumner County Sheriff's Department to remove 108 border collies from squalid conditions at an alleged puppy mill in Portland, Tenn.
"Today marks a new beginning for these dogs, who may have endured years of constant confinement in filthy pens and cages," said Scotlund Haisley, senior director of Emergency Services at The HSUS. "We commend the Sumner County Sheriff's department for taking allegations of cruelty and neglect of animals seriously."
The HSUS was called in by the Sumner County Sheriff's Department to handle the removal, transport and placement of the animals and to help gather evidence. The Sheriff's Department, worked with several law enforcement officials over the past year to investigate claims of inhumane conditions at All Around Border Collies made by current and former facility employees. The property owner breeds dogs for sale and runs Border Collie Rescue of Middle Tennessee. According to his Web site, the property owner takes in rescued border collies. But many of the dogs on the property were those the owner had bred and made available for sale on the Internet.
The dogs were housed in a dark, vermin-infested barn and filthy outdoor pens. Border collies are natural herding dogs, and require extensive exercise to maintain a healthy temperament and physique. Lack of exercise and socialization is especially devastating to this breed. It is possible that many of these neglected animals had never known life outside their cramped enclosures.
The property owner surrendered 68 of the dogs who The HSUS will transport to rescue groups and humane societies throughout the region, where they will be made available for adoption. The sheriff's department seized another 40 who will be housed with local organizations pending a possible criminal investigation.
After Jan. 1, 2010, the recently passed Tennessee Commercial Breeder Act will require mass breeding facilities with more than 20 unaltered females to be licensed and meet humane standards of care.
This operation is made possible in part from funding provided to The HSUS by the Kenneth and Lillian Wilde Foundation, who created the Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force, which investigates and assists law enforcement agencies across the country with case development and rescue of animals from puppy mills.
Photos and video of this rescue will be available to the media upon request.
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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.