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More than 100 Dogs, Other Animals Rescued from N.C. Puppy Mill

Suffering dogs show need for stronger state laws

  • The dogs suffered from untreated conditions and lived in chicken-wire coops. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • "It is heartbreaking to see these dogs in such poor condition—no animal should suffer the way they did," said Kim Alboum. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

More than 100 animals were rescued from a Pender County, N.C., property after local law enforcement became concerned about this facility when a consumer filed a  complaint regarding a sick puppy.

The Pender County Sheriff's Department called in The Humane Society of the United States, SPCA of Wake County, Guilford County Animal Shelter, and North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association to assist in the rescue.
The sheriff's office served a search warrant on the property and found large and small-breed dogs and puppies suffering from a multitude of untreated medical conditions. The dogs were living outside in wire chicken coops and in a breezeway filled with filth. In addition, rescuers found chickens, three calves, a horse, and a goat on the property. The owner agreed to surrender the animals.

Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS, said, "It is heartbreaking to see these dogs in such poor condition—no animal should suffer the way they did. This rescue, along with the 13 other we've done in the past 3 years, demonstrates the need for stronger laws in North Carolina to prevent someone from forcing dogs to spend their lives in squalor, without access to clean food and water. We're so grateful to the Pender County Sheriff's Department for taking action in this case and for allowing us to help rescue these animals."

North Carolina's need for better laws on puppy mills

There are no specific North Carolina laws 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 14th rescue that The HSUS has handled in North Carolina since June 2010.

Penny Brown, Pender County animal control officer said, "We are pleased to be able to help these animals get the care and treatment that they need. We are grateful for the assistance from The Humane Society of the United States and their placement partners."

Live in North Carolina? Help puppy mill dogs »

Live in another state? Pledge your help, too »

The groups 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.

Ways to help

  • 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 available upon request.

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation. Follow The HSUS PR department on Twitter for the latest animal welfare news. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty—on the Web at humanesociety.org.

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