On August 31st, more than 50 dogs and cats were rescued from a suspected puppy mill in Dickson County, Tennessee. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Dickson County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office raided the property after a complaint from a local resident who had purchased a puppy from them. Pomeranians, Pugs and Cocker Spaniels were among the dog breeds being bred at the facility and many were suffering from eye and skin conditions and malnourishment, according to the HSUS. The Nashville Humane Association staff will be caring for the animals at a temporary shelter and Pedigree has donated much-appreciated dog food supplies.
Less than 2 days later, more than 80 animals were seized from a facility in New Albany, Mississippi. Conditions were so bad at this property that law enforcement obtained an emergency search and seizure warrant. According to the Union County Sheriff’s Department, the primary owner, Mike Killough, faces 60 counts of animal cruelty and 60 counts of neglect. The other owner, Ricky Binet, faces 21 counts of animal cruelty and 21 counts of neglect. Dachshunds, Boston terriers, Chihuahuas and Beagles were among the dogs kept at the facility, and some were housed in chicken-wire cages containing maggots and cockroaches.
Yesterday the largest animal seizure took place, with over 170 dogs being removed from a property in Parker, South Dakota. Along with Second Chance Rescue and the Turner County Sheriff’s Department, the HSUS took action after complaints from customers who had bought puppies. Among the dogs were German Shorthair Pointers and Weimaraners, many of which were suffering from parasite infestation. The rescue team removed all of the dogs from the property and transported them to a temporary shelter set up by United Animal Nations, The HSUS and Second Chance Rescue.
"These animals were clearly lacking proper medical care and socialization, and were kept in constant confinement their entire lives," said Scotlund Haisley, senior director of Emergency Services at The HSUS. "This rescue proves once again why people must know where their puppies come from in order to avoid supporting the cruel puppy mill industry."
Given the number of animals seized in the last week alone, and the geographical distribution of the raids, it would appear that puppy mills are still thriving across the United States, and that the public are either unaware of the suffering of the animals involved, or they prefer to benefit from low prices.