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March 9, 2010

The HSUS Helps Rescue 100-Plus Allegedly Neglected Dogs and Cats

Miss. Animal Rescue League, United Animal Nations also assist Kemper County Sheriff



PRESTON, Miss. — The Humane Society of the United States and the Mississippi Animal Rescue League assisted the Kemper County Sheriff's Department in the seizure of 165 dogs and cats who were found living in deplorable conditions in Preston, Miss. The animals were removed from Raven's Hope, a non-profit organization that claims to offer animals for adoption. The seizure is the largest known animal rescue in Kemper County.

"We are immensely impressed with Sheriff Moore for his dedication in this case, and his commitment to seek justice for these defenseless animals under Mississippi law," said Adam Parascandola, director of Animal Cruelty Issues for The HSUS. "Whether Raven's Hope started with good intentions, it is now clear that the organization is unable to properly care for this number of animals, and we want to make sure they get the care they deserve."

When responders arrived on the scene they found breeds ranging from hound mixes to Labrador retriever mixes housed throughout the 3-acre property. A veterinarian on the scene determined that many of the dogs suffered from medical ailments such as skin infections, untreated wounds and other serious ailments. They were being housed in feces-ridden outdoor pens and inside the cramped, unsanitary home.

This rescue was set into motion by the Kemper County Sheriff's Department, which received numerous tips about cruel conditions and neglected animals in need of veterinary care and reached out to The HSUS for assistance with animal handling, transportation, sheltering and much-needed supplies. The HSUS then called in United Animal Nations to provide animal care and sheltering support. PetSmart Charities® donated food and other supplies to the rescue efforts. 

Mississippi Animal Rescue League provides assistance to animals in need throughout the state and assisted in Tuesday's rescue mission. "Many organizations and shelters in Mississippi, including the Animal Rescue League, are on the front-lines every day helping homeless animals in our state. There are no easy answers to Mississippi's pet over-population problem but when animals are suffering, we can't turn away," said Debra Bosewell, director of the Mississippi Animal Rescue League.

All of the animals are being safely removed and transported to an emergency shelter where they will be examined by a team of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical care. The HSUS, with assistance from United Animal Nations, will provide the daily care of the animals until their disposition is determined by a court.

"United Animal Nations volunteers are working hard to get the animals settled and cared for," said Stacy Harris, UAN field leader. "They seem to be acclimating nicely and are beginning to interact with their caretakers. We are even seeing many happily wagging tails."

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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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