RALEIGH - The Humane Society of the United States, SPCA of Wake County and Guilford County Animal Shelter were called in by Sampson County Sheriff's Office to assist in the rescue of more than 60 dogs from a Sampson County, N.C., property. The sheriff's office served a search warrant on the property and found a variety of small-breed dogs suffering from a multitude of untreated medical conditions. The owner agreed to surrender the dogs.
There are no specific laws in North Carolina 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 13th rescue that The HSUS has handled in North Carolina since June 2010.
Local law enforcement became concerned about this facility when puppy purchasers filed complaints regarding conditions at the facility.
"In massive breeding operations, dogs are often subjected to deplorable conditions and lack proper medical care. It is heartbreaking to see these dogs in such poor condition," said Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton. "I am grateful to The Humane Society of the United States and the other organizations that stepping forward to assist with the care and temporary housing of these poor animals."
The HSUS, SPCA of Wake County and Guilford County Animal Shelter 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.
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.