Over 170 Dogs Were Rescued From a Puppy Mill in North Carolina · The Wildest

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Over 170 Dogs Were Rescued From a Suspected Puppy Mill in North Carolina

The pups are being rehabilitated after a massive, life-saving mission.

by Sio Hornbuckle
February 9, 2024
Cruelty seizure at a suspected puppy mill in NC leaves scores of schnauzers and other dogs in desperate need.
Courtesy of Animal Rescue Corps

This week, over 170 dogs were rescued from a suspected puppy mill in Bear Creek, North Carolina. The dogs — some of them newborn puppies — were in terrible health and are receiving urgent veterinary care thanks to the help of the BISSELL Pet Foundation and Animal Rescue Corps

Puppy mills, as defined by The Humane Society of the United States, are “Inhumane high-volume dog breeding facilities that churn out puppies for profit, ignoring the needs of the pups and their mothers.” In these facilities, “mother dogs spend their entire lives in cramped cages with little to no personal attention. When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are abandoned or killed.” There is often poor sanitation, overcrowding, and a lack of veterinary care. It’s estimated that there are currently 10,000 puppy mills operating in the United States, with 2.6 million puppies a year originating from puppy mills — and an additional 500,000 dogs kept in mills for breeding purposes. 

The rescue 

After being tipped off by locals back in January, the Chatham County police found 44 dogs in poor living conditions on a Bear Creek property, reported WRAL. The owner of the property was arrested and charged with ten counts of animal cruelty.

Due to ongoing concerns, the Chatham County Sheriff’s office acquired an additional search warrant and reached out to the BISSELL Pet Foundation (BPF), an organization that provides resources to underserved communities by providing vaccines, spay/neuter surgeries, microchipping services, and disaster response. BPF contacted Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) for additional help. The ARC was founded to assist local law enforcement when their operations do not have the resources to protect animals or bring animal cruelty cases to justice.

Upon arrival, the organizations found over 170 more pups — and they were in devastating conditions. The pups “lived in their own waste in high ammonia levels, matted, and now suffer from untreated medical, physical, and social conditions requiring urgent care,” according to a release by Animal Rescue Corps. Several of the dogs had died.

“We recognize that not all victims of abuse are people, and we take animal cruelty very seriously,” Sheriff Mike Roberson told Chatham Journal Newspaper. “We’re committed to fully enforcing state laws, holding those responsible for such acts accountable. We’re also grateful for the assistance of BISSELL Pet Foundation and Animal Rescue Corps in helping address this situation. Together, as a community, we will work to ensure a safe and compassionate environment for all, human and animal alike.” 

The dogs were relocated to Animal Rescue Corps’ Rescue Center, where they will receive medical care. The ARC is also working to assist law enforcement with legal and evidence documentation.

These dogs have a lot of healing to do before they are ready for adoption, but there are still ways to help. The ARC is in urgent need of volunteers and donations, and the BISSELL Pet Foundation is also accepting donations for their continued rescue work.

You can also help end puppy mills by adopting from shelters rather than buying from breeders. If you do choose to buy from a breeder, be careful about who you buy from. “If you are considering purchasing a pet, we really ask that people go and visit the property, because situations like this are out there and if it feels wrong when you’re visiting a property, when you’re purchasing a pet, it is wrong, and you should report it to your local law enforcement and walk away,” Kim Alboum, director of field operations for the Bissell Pet Foundation, told The News & Observer.

Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.

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