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More Than 60 Dogs Rescued from N.C. Breeder

Dogs with severe medical issues show need for stronger state laws


Update March 1, 2013: All the rescued dogs have been transferred to our emergency placement partners for this operation (SPCA of Wake County, Guilford County Animal Shelter, Saving Grace, and Moore Humane Society) except for the eight dogs still receiving treatment at the animal hospital. The dappled dachshund is among them (see video above).

The Humane Society of the United States, SPCA of Wake County and Guilford County Animal Shelter were called in by Sampson County Sheriff's Office to assist in the rescue of more than 60 dogs from a Sampson County, N.C., property.

The sheriff’s office served a search warrant on the property and found a variety of small-breed dogs suffering from a multitude of untreated medical conditions. The owner agreed to surrender the dogs.

"This case is a prime example of why North Carolina badly needs to pass legislation requiring mandatory standards of care for large-scale breeders. We need stronger laws on the books to prevent someone from forcing dogs to spend their lives in misery and squalor," said Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. "The Humane Society of the United States is grateful to the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office for taking action to rescue these animals."

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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 13th rescue that The HSUS has handled in North Carolina since June 2010.

Local law enforcement became concerned about this facility when puppy purchasers filed complaints regarding conditions at the facility.

"In massive breeding operations, dogs are often subjected to deplorable conditions and lack proper medical care. It is heartbreaking to see these dogs in such poor condition," said Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton. "I am grateful to The Humane Society of the United States and the other organizations that stepped forward to assist with the care and temporary housing of these poor animals."

The HSUS, SPCA of Wake County and Guilford County Animal Shelter have safely transported the dogs to a temporary emergency animal shelter where they will be thoroughly examined by a team of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment. PetSmart Charities is providing the necessary food, supplies and enrichment items for the dogs. North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association assisted with recruitment of veterinarians to provide the dogs with much needed medical care.

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. To help dogs in commercial breeding facilities like this one, sign the pledge to stop puppy mills.

**Photos and b-roll available upon request.

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

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