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The HSUS Assists in Rescue of 20 Dogs, Other Animals from North Carolina Puppy Mill

Second puppy mill in two weeks and 11th in the state in 18 months

The Humane Society of the United States and other area organizations were called in by Pamlico County Animal Control and Pamlico County Sheriff’s Department to assist in the rescue of approximately 20 dogs, one cat, a parrot and a ferret from an Oriental, N.C., property. The Pamlico County Sheriff’s Department served a search and seizure warrant on the property and found that the animals were being housed in inhumane conditions. The owner has surrendered the animals to the sheriff’s department.

Local law enforcement became concerned when conditions at this long-term commercial breeder’s facility deteriorated. The breeder was known to be selling puppies on the Internet. When responders arrived on scene they found small-breed dogs including Pomeranians, chihauhaus and shih tzus suffering from severe skin infections, eye infections and matting. The dogs actively being bred were living inside the home, but the others were kept in filthy pens in the yard. The other animals were also in unacceptable condition.

“North Carolina desperately needs regulations to protect dogs like these and the countless others who are suffering from lack of proper care in puppy mills,” said Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. “The unfortunate tally of recent raids and the awful conditions at these facilities is the strongest possible call to action for state Senators to put a bill forward in 2013.”

The HSUS, Saving Grace Animals for Adoption, Pawfect Match Rescue, Colonial Capital Humane Society have safely removed the animals from the property. The local organizations will help provide the animals with any necessary medical treatment and rehabilitate them for possible adoption.

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. This is The HSUS’ eleventh puppy mill bust in 18 months in North Carolina, and the second in a week. On Aug. 16, The HSUS, SPCA of Wake County and the Great Dane Rescue Alliance assisted the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office in the rescue of 28 dogs, mostly Great Danes.

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, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

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