February 2, 2011
The HSUS Rescues Nearly 100 Dogs from Tenn. Puppy Mill
The Humane Society of the United States was called in by the Marshall County Sheriff's Department to lead the rescue of 97 dogs and one cat from a Lewisburg, Tenn., property. The dogs were being housed in unsanitary conditions and lacked proper socialization and medical care. All of the animals have been surrendered by the owner to the custody of the Marshall County Sheriff's Department.
"Many of these dogs were so filthy and uncared-for it was difficult for us to even tell what breed they were," said Leighann McCollum, Tennessee state director of The HSUS. "This is the perfect example of the squalid conditions dogs in puppy mills are forced to endure. The Humane Society of the United States is thankful to the Marshall County Sheriff's Department for standing up for these animals and enforcing Tennessee's animal cruelty laws."
This case began when the sheriff received an anonymous tip concerning the welfare of the dogs. The Tennessee Department of Health's Animal Welfare Division also found alleged violations of cruelty laws at the facility during a routine inspection. When responders arrived on the scene they found nearly 100 dogs, mostly poodles and other small breeds, living crowded amongst their own feces in small wire enclosures.
The HSUS has safely removed all of the animals and transported them to an emergency shelter set up and staffed by The HSUS and United Animal Nations. Once at the emergency shelter the dogs and cats will be examined by a team of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment. UAN and The HSUS will provide the animals with daily care until they are transported to partner shelters for evaluation and adoption. PetSmart Charities® donated much-needed sheltering supplies for the rescued animals.
"The Marshall County Sheriff's Office will continue to fight against puppy mills, cock fighting, dog fighting and any other cruelty to animals," said Marshall County Sheriff Norman Dalton. "We ask that pet owners treat their animals kindly, and they will receive that pet's unconditional love in return."
The HSUS' Maddie's Fund 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. The task force is able to assist these animals thanks in part to a generous donation from Maddie's Fund.
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, please visit an animal shelter or screen a breeder's facility in person.
- Fifteen states, including Tennessee, have passed laws over the past two years to crack down on abusive puppy mills.
High-quality video and photos from the rescue will be available by request from The HSUS public relations department.
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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.