Humane Society removes more than 120 animals in suspected puppy mill operation

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In Libby, Montana, more than 120 animals including dogs, donkeys and birds were removed from a suspected puppy mill operation announced the Humane Society of the United States on Tuesday in a press release. Libby dog

After a tip from a concerned citizen, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Lincoln County Animal Care and Control, with assistance from The Humane Society of the United States arrived at the property located at Crossway Avenue where the owner had been selling puppies through a personal website and Facebook.

According to the Western News, no charges have been filed against the property and owner at this time. Removed from the property were 49 poodles, three other dogs of various breeds, six donkeys, 60 parakeets and three canaries.  Some of the dogs were underweight, severely matted and suffering from untreated eye, ear and dental infections. The dogs ranged in age from several months to adults. Wendy Hergenraeder, Montana state director for The HSUS, stated:

“Sadly, the conditions we witnessed today are typical for commercial dog breeding facilities in Montana, since the state does not have any laws to regulate puppy mills. We’re thankful to the Lincoln County authorities for making sure these dogs and puppies will never go hungry again.”

The agencies identified the animal owner as Cathie Warren, the owner of Adonai Rare Poodles; the woman had been selling puppies through Facebook  and on her website. Warren denies she has been operating a puppy mill and contends she has been a licensed dog owner in Lincoln County for three years where she has passed previous inspections.

In addition, of the 53 dogs seized, Warren claims only six of the dogs were in need of haircuts; a task she had planned on doing in the coming weeks. As for the six donkeys that were seized because they were thin, Warren claims they only needed a “foot trim.” She plans to fight the complaint in order to get her animals back.

For now the animals are being kept with Animal Control and Care. Kootenai Pets for Life will be working with the department in caring for the dogs.

Contradictory to what Warren contends, Roby Bowe, Lincoln County Sheriff, stated:

“I am relieved that we were able to come to the aid of these dogs. We have tried to work with the owner to ensure the proper care of the animals, but we reached the point that the animals had to be removed for their well-being.”

The HSUS has provided financial assistance for the care of the animals, and PetSmart Charities™ also provided food, supplies and financial support. To help the HSUS, donations can be made here.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

(Photo from HSUS)

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  1. I’d love to foster or adopt one of them. I will continue to seek information on their current status. Sincerely, Cynde

  2. So happy a, ( concerned citizen), put a stop to this madness!!!!! Stop buying dogs from puppy mills!!!! The people who own these places are filthy, nasty greedy inbred barbarians!!! Wtf ?

    • have you been there .. were you there did you see the animals.. you are no better than an troll and a misathrope ( look it up you stupid twit)

  3. a “concerned citizen” LOl that’s rich this was a set up from the get go hsus is pushing for harsh new lawas and this is how they get them by punishing people rasing dogs.. look at the videos of this womans dogs.. and other animals they are weell fed and well groomed a few mats on dogs is common so are some dirty teeth..this idea tht dogs should live thier whole lives wiht no tartar on thier teeth is crazy I would be YOU have tartar on yout teeth right now.. can you saySET UP to push an agenda ?? I can

  4. Typical operation by H$U$. They set up a Breeder, swoop in with plenty of publicity, steal the animals, (in this case valuable and SELLABLE Poodles), dump them on local “Rescues” and leave town, collecting millions from gullible donors to feed and care for these “poor animals”. The Locals, and their out of state associates, then get to SELL the dogs, for prices approaching or surpassing those the Breeder would have asked, while collecting MORE donations.
    And a writer in Florida chronicles the whole caper, based totally on info provided by H$U$, becoming yet another tool in their crusade to rid the world of purebred animals. These capers generally happen when some anti-animal ownership legislation, AUTHORED by H$U$, is pending. #RetailRescue

  5. Ridiculous remarks alluding that this was a puppy mill. Puppy mills operate with poor quality dogs and spend as little as possible in the animals care. This was a theft of top quality dogs so HSUS could tout its involvement in eradicating a breeder and their bloodlines. The locals just want the money! Follow the money trail, and you’ll find the truth. When will people wake up and see that quality dogs are already a scarce item, and HSUS and greedy locals will end pet ownership in America!

  6. HSUS is looking for more gullible people to send them more and more money. Ask them how much money they gave the shelter in Libby, to take care of the animals that they stole from their owner ??
    People need to wake up and see what is really going on.

  7. Why didnt the article mention the HSUS has been investigated by several state Attorneys General? Allegedly they run a scam. They go into these small towns and set up the Animal Control Officials and the Law Enforcement to raid a kennel. Then they capitalize on the publicity to continue their scam. According to one investigation, they have millions in the bank and only spend one percent of their revenues, ‘to protect animals’. I think it was Minnesota’s Attorney General who stated, “They have enough money to have a rescue kennel in every state yet they have none!” That elderly lady they put in jail for thirty days has no clue where her animals are and Lincoln authorities continue to prosecute here although now they know the truth. She has been a breeder of service dogs for handicapped people, kids, the elderly for over thirty five years with no violations. Oh, in this search for a puppy mill, authorities found one puppy on the property and it wasnt for sale. None of us likes to see animals improperly treated but the flyer the scammers used to hype local officials, pretending the photos were of the local kennel, were actually taken in North Carolina. Nobody even believes she would neglect one of these highly trained service dogs which could be helping handicapped people today except for the gross mistake by the Sheriff and Animal Control. Each of these dogs are valuable, unlike a puppy mill and oh by the way, Montana does not have a law against puppy mills so how could you prosecute anyone?

    • I’m confused, I’ve read several articles on the raid at Adonai and some say animal control and law enforcement are making money selling the dogs, but then I also read that all the dogs taken were destroyed. Which is it, and if the dogs were put down, why?


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