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March 6, 2010

90 Dogs Rescued from NJ Puppy Mill

NJSPCA, HSUS, Cumberland County SPCA, Gloucester County Animal Control/Shelter join to rescue dogs


  • This dog was found at the puppy mill operation in Upper Pittsgrove Township, NJ. Heather Cammisa/The HSUS


  • A Chinese crested found at the NJ puppy mill operation. Heather Cammisa/The HSUS


  • A dog found at the puppy mill operation in Upper Pittsgrove Township, NJ. Heather Cammisa/The HSUS


  • From left, Stephanie Shain, senior director of The HSUS's Stop Puppy Mills campaign, and Beau Archer, outreach coordinator for the campaign. Heather Cammisa/The HSUS

UPPER PITTSGROVE, N.J. — Ninety dogs have a new lease on life after the New Jersey SPCA, The Humane Society of the United States, Cumberland County SPCA and Gloucester County Animal Control/Animal Shelter joined forces to remove them from a puppy mill operation in Upper Pittsgrove Township. The removal of the dogs followed several inspections by local authorities, who had attempted to persuade the commercial breeder to improve the facility's standards of animal care, to no avail.  

The dogs included dachshunds, hairless and powder puff Chinese crested, Yorkshire terriers and some mixed breeds. Many of the dogs were suffering from skin conditions and severe cases of dental disease and infections. Some dogs who were in need of immediate veterinary attention were transported to an emergency veterinary clinic for care overnight. The operator of the facility surrendered the animals to the NJSPCA. The HSUS assisted in caring for the dogs and placing them with several shelter and rescue groups to find new homes.

"Over the last 30 days, officers from the NJSPCA have visited this location on several occasions, and have attempted to work with the owner to improve the welfare of the animals on the property," said Col. Frank Rizzo, superintendent of the NJSPCA. "Unfortunately, despite repeated visits, and despite charging the owner with eight counts of animal cruelty, the situation just never improved. The owner's inability to address the deplorability conditions led to today's multi-agency rescue operation. We are very fortunate to be able to call upon a national group like The Humane Society of the United States, and local resources like the Cumberland County SPCA and Gloucester County Animal Control/Shelter to turn around the lives of these animals,"

"Many people don't realize that puppy mills are found in every state, where dozens or even hundreds of dogs can be found living under cruel conditions such as cramped wire cages and inadequate sanitation and veterinary care," said Heather Cammisa, The HSUS' New Jersey state director. "Dogs should be treated like family pets, not like a cash crop."

The dogs are being transferred to local animal shelters throughout the region which are partnering with The HSUS to oversee the recuperation and placement of animals in need. The shelters will evaluate the dogs, address their medical and health needs, and place them for adoption. The animals will all be spayed or neutered in accordance with each individual organization's policies before placement in new homes.

The HSUS' Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force, which participated in this action, investigates and assists law enforcement agencies across the country with case development and rescue of animals from puppy mills. It is named in honor of a couple who left their estate to The HSUS with the goal of helping dogs.

Puppy Mill Facts

  • Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction and are confined inside cramped wire cages for life.
  • Breeding dogs at puppy mills must endure constant breeding cycles and are typically confined for years on end, without ever becoming part of a family.
  • Dogs from puppy mills are sold in pet stores, online and directly to consumers with little to no regard for the dog's health, genetic history or future welfare. Consumers should never buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site; instead, visit an animal shelter or screen a breeder's facility in person.
  • Twelve states have passed laws over the past two years to crack down on abusive puppy mills.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter.

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.

The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was created in 1868 and is the second oldest SPCA in the country. Its agents were established as Law Enforcement Officers in charge of investigating and prosecuting all persons involved in animal abuse and neglect. For more information, visit njspca.org.

The Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CCSPCA) was founded in 1891 and incorporated in June 1947, is a non-profit organization and a chapter of the NJ State SPCA. The staff and board of trustees are deeply involved and committed to all aspects of animal care and welfare. Visit cumberlandcountyspca.org.

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