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March 24, 2014

60 Dogs Rescued from N.C. Puppy Mill

Dogs living in deplorable conditions show need for stronger state laws

The Guilford County Animal Shelter, the Virginia Beach SPCA, the Norfolk SPCA, and the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina

Sixty Australian Shepherds, including 13 puppies, were rescued from a suspected Hertford County, N.C., puppy mill. After being visited by law enforcement officials regarding concerns about the welfare of the dogs on the property, the breeder agreed to surrender all of his dogs and cease operations. 

The Hertford County Sheriff’s Office called in The Humane Society of the United States to rescue and remove all of the dogs. The Guilford County Animal Shelter, the Virginia Beach SPCA, the Norfolk SPCA, and the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina were also on the scene to assist. 

Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS, said: “We are grateful that the breeder made the humane choice to surrender these dogs so that they may have a chance at a happy life. Sadly, these situations are not uncommon in our state. That is why we sincerely hope our lawmakers will pass a law this session to crack down 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 19th rescue that The HSUS has assisted with in North Carolina since June 2011.

The dogs have been safely transported from the property and will be thoroughly examined by teams 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 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.

This rescue was made possible through The Puppy Mills Campaign’s Breeder Surrender Fund and through the generosity of Paige Noland—a long-time advocate and HSUS supporter.

Media Contact: Cheylin Parker: 240-599-6848; cparker@humanesociety.org

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