Puppy mills are large-scale breeding operations where animals often live in filthy conditions that foster disease and frequently suffer from the absence of even basic veterinary care. That certainly describes the conditions in which more than 250 dogs were found this morning, when the White County, Tenn., sheriff's department initiated a raid on a puppy mill.
American Humane Society responders are in Tennessee, providing emergency sheltering for the seized animals. Several of the responders were on-site during the raid, while others prepared and staffed the emergency shelter to accommodate the dogs being transported to safety. The overall effort is being led by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which is managing operations in the puppy mill investigation by the sheriff’s department. ASPCA disclosed that the dogs suffered from “...little to no food or water, lack of proper ventilation in enclosed areas, and feces encrusted pens. Conditions such as matting, sores, mange, poor teeth, abscesses, and a host of other medical conditions are prevalent.”
Because this operation is a legal case, additional details are pending. However, a local newspaper, The Expositor, reported this afternoon: “The animals being rescued were housed in the residence and multiple buildings on the property. The dogs are small breed under 20 pounds, including Boston and Jack Russell terriers, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, poodles, miniature Pinschers, and Schnauzers. The animals were examined immediately on the scene, with those needing emergency care transferred to White County veterinarians, who lent their services. The rest of the animals were transported to a temporary emergency shelter staffed by the American Humane Association.”
You can read the article in the Sparta Expositor. Which also has pictures and a video of the raid.
According to Isom, the investigation will continue with the possibility of charges of aggravated cruelty to animals once the extent of the operation is uncovered.
"We are going after anybody that commits a crime – no matter what the crime," said Sheriff Oddie Shoupe. "We have enlisted help from the Humane Society and the ASPCA during this investigation. White County has a sheriff’s office that does care about all animals. And this type of operation won’t be tolerated."
It is good to hear that these people will be prosecuted! After looking at the pictures, the conditions these poor woofies were housed in are just atrocious!