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Rescue of more than 350 animals from a Habersham County, Georgia property in progress


The Humane Society of the United States and several Georgia-based organizations were called in by the Habersham County Department of Animal Care and Control to assist in the rescue of more than 350 animals from a Habersham County, Georgia, property.

HCACC personnel served a search and seizure warrant on the property on April 12 at approximately 5 p.m. after receiving a barking complaint and conducting a welfare check. During the execution of the search warrant, the officers found the animals in deplorable living conditions, with many of them living in filth and inches of feces and without access to clean water. HCACC is removing the animals from the property pending the final disposition of the case.

When responders from The HSUS’ Animal Rescue Team arrived on the scene on April 13, they found more than 350 animals, including dogs and puppies, cats, donkeys, pigs, chickens, ducks, doves, bunnies, a horse and an alpaca The animals were living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions and in need of urgent veterinary care.

“No animal should be forced to live in conditions like we’ve seen today,” said Jessica Lauginiger, manager of animal crimes for The Humane Society of the United States. “We’re thankful to the Habersham County Department of Animal Care and Control and the local organizations that have answered the call to help these animals.”

“We never expected to discover something of this magnitude in our own backyard,” said Madi Hawkins, director of HCACC. “I’m grateful to our dedicated and compassionate staff who have been on scene over 24 hours and will continue to be here until the last animal is rescued. This is a heartbreaking situation, and it’s not an easy task to be present to witness this kind of cruelty.”

The HSUS and Cashiers Highland Humane are safely transporting the dogs, cats, bunnies and birds to a temporary emergency animal shelter, where they will be thoroughly examined by teams of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical care. Rescue Bank is providing the necessary food for the dogs. The horse and farm animals  are being transported to Horse Inc.

The Humane Society of the United States, Cornerstone Animal Hospital, Humane Society of North East Georgia, Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement, Northeast Veterinary Hospital, Cashiers Highland Humane Society and PAWS Bryson City are assisting the County Department of Animal Care and Control with the rescue and removal of all of the animals. Victoria Stilwell, a dog behavior expert from Positively, is also assisting in this case.


Media Contact: Samantha Miller: 240-672-2361; smiller@humanesociety.org   

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