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November 26, 2013

Approximately 40 Dogs, 75 Other Animals Rescued from Suspected N.C. Puppy Mill, Cruelty Situation

Suffering dogs show need for stronger N.C. laws

  • The HSUS and other groups helped rescue dozens of dogs and other animals. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • The Gates County Sheriff found pugs, Boston terriers, border collies, and other dogs. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • The property also held cats, miniature ponies, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, and chickens. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Rain didn't dampen the satisfaction of saving so many animals from suffering. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

(Nov. 26, 2013) – Approximately 40 dogs and more than 75 other animals were rescued from a Gates County, N.C., property after local law enforcement became concerned about this facility when a consumer filed a complaint regarding an emaciated horse. The Humane Society of the United States, SPCA of Wake County and SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina were called in by Gates County Sheriff's Office to assist in the rescue and removal of the animals.

The sheriff's office served a search and seizure warrant on the property and found a variety of small-breed dogs and puppies, including pugs, Boston terriers and border collies, suffering from lack of basic care, with no access to clean water or food. Some dogs were found living outside without proper shelter and others were found living inside a building filled with filth.

If you live in North Carolina, please act now to stop puppy mills »

In addition, rescuers found more than 75 other animals, including cats, mini ponies, bunnies, and chickens on the property. The owner agreed to surrender some of the animals.

Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS said: "This suspected puppy mill, along with the 14 others in North Carolina we've rescued animals from in the last three years, exemplifies the need for stronger state laws to stop this terrible suffering—no animal should be forced to live with no access to water or medical care. We're thankful to the Gates County Sheriff's Office for taking action and letting us help rescue these animals."

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 15th North Carolina puppy mill rescue The HSUS has been involved in since June 2011.

Edward Webb, Gates County Sheriff's Office said: "We are thankful to all that have assisted with the endeavor today. We do our best with our limited resources and are grateful to The HSUS and surrounding communities."

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.

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, act now to stop puppy mills in North Carolina.

**Photos and video of this rescue are available by request.

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Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 240-672-8397; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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