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May 30, 2012

The Humane Society of the United States Assists in Rescue of 34 Dogs from North Carolina Puppy Mill

The HSUS works with Wilson County sheriff’s department and SPCA of Wake County.

The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team was called in by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office to assist in the rescue of 34 dogs from a Wilson, N.C., property where Maltese dogs were being bred and sold. When responders arrived on scene, they found dogs living in deplorable conditions and suffering from various injuries and illnesses.

For the third consecutive year, The HSUS and animal advocates have urged the North Carolina legislature to pass reasonable laws to protect animals in large commercial pet breeding facilities. However, legislators have repeatedly failed to pass this kind of legislation. Yesterday, legislative leaders chose to send a proposed puppy mill bill to a commission for further review. North Carolina continues to have a serious issue with unscrupulous commercial dog breeders, or puppy mills, and the lack of regulations make it a safe haven for those who want to deny animals humane care for profit.

“On the heels of our legislature’s decision not to enact basic humane standards for dogs in commercial breeding facilities, here we are in Wilson County at our ninth puppy mill in less than a year,” said Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. “The poor conditions found here are indicative of our dilemma across the state and we simply must have regulations in place to protect these helpless animals.”

“When the officers went in and saw the animals in this type of condition, we knew we needed to make sure to move them somewhere they would be well-taken care of and be put into proper loving homes. These conditions appear to have been going on for a length of time,” said Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard. “We’re very thankful that the animals have been removed to safety, and we’re glad to have The Humane Society of the United States accompany us on this effort.”

The Sheriff’s Office investigated this property after receiving a complaint and confirming that the living conditions for the dogs had continued to decline. Dogs were found living in stacked wire cages, lacking socialization and basic medical care, and were suffering from health issues typical of dogs living in a puppy mill. Many of the dogs were covered in fleas, and some had serious infections and eyes burned from ammonia.

The HSUS assisted with evidence collection and coordinated local resources to house and care for the dogs. Once safely removed from the property, the dogs were transported to the SPCA of Wake County. The animals will be thoroughly examined by a team of veterinarians and receive any medical treatment necessary to aid in their recovery prior to being available for adoption.

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

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