This week, The HSUS and local animal welfare agencies and groups were called in by Stokes County Animal Control to help rescue more than 150 dogs from a North Carolina puppy mill. Stokes County Animal Control served a warrant Tuesday and found French bulldogs, Chihuahuas, and other small dogs being housed in filthy conditions without proper veterinary care, some suffering from eye and skin conditions or other problems.
All photos credit Diane Lewis
The owner surrendered all the animals, now receiving care and affection at area shelters―including the Guilford County Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of Charlotte (see a slideshow of some of the dogs in Charlotte). It’s a great example of our relationships with our Emergency Placement Partners―shelters that take in rescued pets to find them new homes and for their part, often benefit from increased adoption interest and support following high-profile cases. A local newspaper reported that by Wednesday, the Charlotte shelter had already received 50 adoption applications and more than 100 phone calls about the puppy mill dogs.
Our Animal Rescue Team has traveled all over the country to take puppy mill dogs out of their small, dirty cages and put them on the path to better lives. But North Carolina has especially weak laws regulating large-scale commercial dog breeders, and we’ve assisted with five puppy mill rescues there in just the last year. We are, of course, at work on the issue nationwide―in other states and in Congress. The federal bills to bring large-scale Internet sellers of puppies under regulatory authority of USDA, H.R. 835 and S. 707, have 230 cosponsors between them. We need good policies, and we are spreading the word about not buying a dog online or from a pet store―and when needed, we are coming to the aid of animals in crisis.