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August 23, 2012

The HSUS Assists in Rescue of 28 Dogs from North Carolina Puppy Mill

The HSUS joins Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, SPCA of Wake County and the Great Dane Rescue Alliance at second puppy mill bust in the county this summer

The Humane Society of the United States and other area organizations were called in by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office to assist in the rescue of 28 large-breed dogs and puppies from a Wilson, N.C., property. The Sheriff’s Office served a search and seizure warrant on the property and found that the dogs, mostly Great Danes, were not receiving proper care.

The HSUS assisted in collecting evidence and transporting dogs from the property. They will remain in foster care through the SPCA of Wake County and the Great Dane Rescue Alliance pending the final disposition of this case.

Local law enforcement became concerned about this facility after receiving complaints from people who purchased sick puppies from the breeder. The puppies were being advertised for sale over the Internet. When responders arrived on scene they found animals suffering from a multitude of medical conditions, including tumors, infections and parasites. Some of these dogs could experience persistent medical conditions due to lack of veterinary care. Many of them were severely traumatized from lives without socialization or opportunity to bond with humans.

“The emotional damage that these dogs have endured is heartbreaking. We are confident that in the right hands, their medical conditions will begin to heal as well as their broken spirits,” said Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. “With each puppy mill we discover in North Carolina, it becomes more and more obvious that we desperately need regulations in place to protect these helpless animals. The Humane Society of the United States thanks the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office for leading this rescue effort.”

This is The HSUS’ tenth puppy mill bust in 18 months in North Carolina, and the second puppy mill investigation and seizure in Wilson County in the past four months. In May, The HSUS assisted the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office in the rescue of 34 Maltese dogs.

There are no specific laws in North Carolina to protect dogs sold directly to the public or online by commercial breeding facilities. Law enforcement officers, therefore, are unable to prevent neglect until it reaches crisis proportions. As a result, North Carolina has become a haven for some of the worst puppy mill operators in the country.  The unfortunate tally of recent raids and the awful conditions at these facilities is the strongest possible call to action for state lawmakers.

The HSUS has established a reward program to offer up to $5,000 to anyone who provides any information leading to the arrest and conviction of a puppy mill operator for animal cruelty. Persons wishing to report a valid tip are encouraged to call 1-877-MILL-TIP and will remain anonymous.

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943, stwining@humanesociety.org

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