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October 6, 2009

The HSUS Rescues More Than 100 Animals from Arkansas Puppy Mill

The Humane Society of the United States

LAMAR, Ark. — Approximately 100 dogs, five cats and two guinea pigs have been given a new lease on life thanks to the diligent efforts of the Johnson County Sheriff's Department and The Humane Society of the United States, who came together to rescue the animals from horrific conditions at a Lamar puppy mill.

"These dogs were being kept not as beloved pets, but as cash crops — churning out litter after litter of puppies for the profit of the property owner," said Scotlund Haisley, senior director of Emergency Services for The HSUS. "The animals on this property were in dire need of help — one dog was so matted that we had to cut him out of his cage."

The HSUS was called in by the Johnson County Sheriff's Department to assist with this case. This case originated when concerned citizens complained to the Sheriff's Department and The HSUS of inhumane conditions at the facility. Needy Paws Animal Shelter was also instrumental in obtaining information necessary to build this case. The HSUS is providing animal handling assistance and overseeing sheltering and transport of the rescued animals.

When rescuers arrived at the Lamar property they found a disturbing scene. The dogs, mainly small breeds such as Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas, were being housed in cramped, filthy cages in trailers throughout the property. Some larger dogs were also being kept chained on the property with no protection from the elements. The cats and guinea pigs were also being kept in small cages. Responders found typical puppy mill conditions; many of the dogs were emaciated and suffering from skin and eye infections as well as other medical ailments. It is likely that many of these animals had never known life outside their cramped enclosures.

Rescuers removed all of the animals and transported them to a nearby emergency shelter. Once at the shelter the dogs were checked by a team of veterinarians and given any necessary immediate medical care. The HSUS and volunteers from United Animal Nations will care for the animals while they recover at their temporary home. PetSmart Charities® provided much-needed sheltering supplies. The Johnson County Sheriff's Department plans to pursue criminal charges against the property owners.

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 to rescue animals from abusive puppy mills.

Photos and video of the rescue will be available 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.

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