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March 21, 2014

Nearly 50 Dogs Rescued from Suspected Faison, N.C. Puppy Mill

Close to 20 puppy mill rescues since 2011 demonstrate need for stronger state laws

Duplin County Animal Shelter, Pet Friends of Duplin County, SPCA of Wake County

Nearly 50 dogs were rescued from a suspected Duplin County, N.C., puppy mill. Duplin County Animal Control became concerned about the welfare of the dogs after they responded to a complaint and found the animals living in filth and suffering from a lack of basic care. The Humane Society of the United States, Duplin County Animal Shelter, Pet Friends of Duplin County and the SPCA of Wake County assisted with the rescue and removal of the dogs.

Duplin County Animal Control served a search warrant on the property and found a variety of large and small breed dogs and puppies, including German shepherds, dachshunds and yorkies, living in deplorable conditions and suffering from a multitude of untreated medical conditions. Many of the animals were living in feces and filth and did not have access to clean water or food. The owner agreed to surrender the animals.

Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS, said: “These dogs were forced to live in filth, with no adequate shelter, for who knows how long. I’m hopeful this rescue, along with the other 17 The HSUS has been a part of since 2011, will move legislators to implement stronger state laws. We’re thankful to Duplin County Animal Control for their leadership and support to help these animals in need.”

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. 

Joe Newburn, director of Duplin County Animal Services, said: “The scene is absolutely devastating for these animals. They have endured this for so long. Puppy mills will not be tolerated in Duplin County. We are grateful for the agencies that stepped in to assist us today.”

The groups have safely transported the dogs to the Duplin County Animal Shelter and the SPCA of Wake County where they 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.

**Photos available for media upon request.

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

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