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The HSUS Assists in Rescue of More Than 200 Dogs from Ohio Puppy Mill

The HSUS, Humane Society of Richland County, Red Rover, and other groups remove dogs from inhumane conditions

The Humane Society of the United States and other animal rescue organizations were called in by the Humane Society of Richland County to assist in the rescue of approximately 250 dogs from a Shelby, Ohio, property. The owner of the dogs surrendered them to the Humane Society of Richland County earlier this week, and rescuers quickly mobilized to provide the dogs with food, water and veterinary evaluations. The dogs were mainly Chihuahuas and Shar-Peis and were found living in cramped wire cages and pens, covered in their own waste, without access to veterinary care or proper socialization. Many of the dogs suffered from skin irritations, eye infections and severe flea infestations.

“Ohio is one of a minority of states in the country that does not require commercial dog breeders to be inspected by the state, or adhere to any standards of care. This has made the Buckeye state a convenient location for some of the worst puppy mill operators in the country, including this one,” said Karen Minton, Ohio state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States is relieved that this owner made the right decision to surrender these dogs and hopes that state legislators will enact a law with strict standards of care so that Ohio does not continue to be a haven for puppy mills.”

“We were shocked to see that these dogs were living in squalid conditions for quite some time, so we are glad that the owner called us in to help,” said Missy Houghton executive director of the Humane Society of Richland County. “We were fortunate to be able to call upon The Humane Society of the United States, RedRover and all the other groups who stepped in to help improve the lives of these animals.”

The dogs are being removed from the property and will be taken to several of The HSUS’ Emergency Placement Partners in the state and across the country, including The Humane Society of Greater Dayton, C.H.A Animal Shelter in Columbus, Cleveland Animal Protection League, Cincinnati SPCA, Cleveland SPCA, Toledo Area Humane Society, WolfSpirit’s Toy Breed Puppy Mill Rescue in Canton, Friendship Animal Protection League of Lorain County, Shar Mar Rescue of Wooster, Lost Dog and Cat Rescue in Arlington, Va. and Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C. The shelters will evaluate the dogs, address their medical and health needs, and place them up for adoption. Much-needed supplies were provided by PetSmart Charities®.

Senate Bill 130, which would require high volume breeders to be licensed and inspected by the state, has passed the Senate and awaits action in the House.

To help improve the lives of dogs and protect consumers, 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 illegal 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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