The HSUS spends many of our resources on preventing cruelty―because we have an obligation to save animals before they are in distress. But it’s also critical that we come to the aid of animals who are suffering. Yesterday, HSUS's Animal Rescue Team was in Mississippi to help the Stone County Sheriff’s Office save 74 dogs living in miserable conditions at a puppy mill―most without proper food, water, or veterinary care (see video). The animals were kept outside in ramshackle shelters or inside the house in small crates, covered in feces and roaches.
Local law enforcement became concerned about this facility after our state director saw the owner selling lethargic, filthy puppies at a flea market. When we arrived at the property yesterday, we found many dogs suffering from broken bones, severe skin and eye infections, and other medical problems.
The animals are now with two of our Emergency Placement Partners, the Humane Society of Southern Mississippi in Gulfport and Southern Pines Animal Shelter in Hattiesburg, where they're receiving necessary treatment from a team of veterinarians. Fortunately, the owner surrendered these animals so they can start on their way to better lives.
Ultimately, we need strong policies at the state and federal level to crack down on puppy mills. But until that time comes, we need to be there to rescue animals from circumstances of misery and privation.
Photos by Chuck Cook