Over 100 dogs, puppies and other animals were removed from filthy, inhumane conditions at a Pender County, North Carolina, puppy mill on Wednesday, October 10, reports WTVD.
About 10 a.m., the sheriff's office executed a search warrant at 8440 Highway 11 in Willard. Inside, officials found 104 dogs including Chihuahuas, English bulldogs, Huskies and Poodles, said Keith Ramsey There also were 62 chickens, three calves and a goat, according to Star News.
Several of the animals at the location were ill and were cared for by three veterinarians who were on site for the investigation.
"Some of the dogs are going to need additional veterinary care, so once they get to the shelters that will be provided for them," Ramsey said.
The dogs were living in wire chicken coops and in a breezeway that was filled with filth. Ramsey said the breezeway was muddy because of the recent rain.
Authorities discovered the puppy mill as the result of a complaint by a person who said they bought a sick puppy from a rescue group. The sheriff's office approached a member of the rescue group who said she had just put the puppy online for another woman, said Keith Ramsey, a lieutenant with the sheriff's office.
It is heartbreaking to see these dogs in such poor condition – no animal should suffer the way they did," said Kim Alboum, N.C. director for the Humane Society of the United States, in a release.
Charges are pending against the property's owner, who agreed to surrender the animals.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), SPCA of Wake County, Guilford County Animal Shelter and North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association all assisted in the rescue operation. The dogs were taken to shelters in Guilford and Wake Counties.
This is 14th rescue that The HSUS has handled in North Carolina since June 2010. That is more raids on puppy mills in the past two years than any other state in the country.
There is no specific law in North Carolina to protect dogs from being sold directly to the public or online by commercial breeding facilities. Anyone who decides to get a puppy is warned not to buy it at a pet store or order one online.
The best way to stop puppy mills is to adopt from your local animal shelter.