Texas SPCA seizes 140 dogs and puppies from suspected puppy mill

On Saturday, the Texas SPCA removed 138 dogs including 21 puppies and two cats from a suspected puppy mill in Fannin County. According to the organization’s press release, the dogs were removed on Friday after they were discovered living in filthy conditions.

“More than 30 dogs were housed inside the residence on the property. Most of the animals were housed in a structure behind the residence, and were all found living in filthy cages, crates and kennels, up to three dogs in each. This structure was infested with roaches, which were found crawling all over the dogs and cats housed there. In one area, the dogs were being housed in feces- and urine-filled wire crates stacked on top of each other. In another area, a makeshift run of feces- and urine-filled pens held the majority of the dogs. The entire structure was coated in feces and drenched in urine, and the stench of feces and urine was so strong that it caused investigators to gag and could be smelled from well outside the structure.”

An investigation had been launched after the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint concerning dogs living in horrible conditions from representatives from Child Protective Services that had been on the property on a separate complaint. The SPCA, along with the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office and the Honey Grove Police Department participated in the raid and removed all of the animals.

Maura Davies from the Texas  SPCA stated the owners were running a puppy mill and mistreating the dogs. Cockroaches were found crawling all over the areas as well as over the animals as they were being removed from the premises.

“The animals appear to be suffering from various health issues, including matted fur, fur loss, fleas, dental issues, long nails, ear issues, tumors and more…”

Many of the dogs have health problems and have been transferred to the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center for treatment and care until a scheduled custody hearing on January 15.

Texas law requires all large-scale breeders to be licensed and inspected on a regular basis. It is unclear if the owner is properly licensed according to the Large Scale Commercial Dog and Cat Breeder Bill which took effect on September 1, 2012. The legislation provides guidelines for the treatment of animals in large-scale breeding facilities which is defined as anyone who keeps 11 or more breeding females or sells 20 or more puppies or kittens a year. The law specifies specific conditions including feeding, space, shelter, ventilation and medical care.

(Photos via  Texas SPCA Facebook)

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A broken heart: Dog refuses to leave grave where her owner is buried


27 dogs found abandoned in vacant lot

Dog and her 3 puppies die in horrific fire

In Cantonment, Florida, a dog and three puppies died in a horrific fire behind a home. According to a neighbor who posted the disturbing video on social media, the fire broke out at a home on the 600 block of County Road 97 burning the dogs kept in a flimsy wooden structure.

The fire was started by an electric space heater that was being used to keep the animals warm. Laura Gunn Catterton described the heartbreaking scene on her Facebook page:

“1/01/18 6 PM – Worse thing ever!!! Dog burned to death right behind our yard. omg! HORRIFIC Puppies burned to death too. Fire Dept here. I heard the dog screaming. I climbed over fence but couldn’t save them. Mama dog in outside cage on stilts. OMG! Waiting for Animal Control.”

And she waited:

“UPDATE 7 PM – I talked to ACO on call. He wouldn’t even go in the backyard to document the dead dog/puppies. They’re calling it an accident. Apparently, an electric heater chord (sic) caught on fire that was inside the rickety cage on stilts, igniting something. NO CHARGES AGAINST OWNER. Never leave heaters unattended. The owner doesn’t even live there but comes over to feed his dogs. He has 3 litters of puppies in the 4 chain link kennels next to the burned out cage on stilts. He’s a BACKYARD BREEDER. Those pups have barrels for shelter but my GOD, it’s going to be so cold tonight. I told ACO the pups have no food, SEIZE THE DOGS TONIGHT. Nope, can’t do that. No laws broken. OMG- I’m furious.”

Laura has been filing affidavits on this neighbor for 13 years and contends the neglect continues.

“The ACO on call told me to go into AC tomorrow to file an affidavit, but I know it will go no where. I’ve been filing affidavits on this neighbor for 13 years and the neglect continues. All his dogs used to be on chains 24/7 but he *loves his dogs*I took lots of pics and got video of the cage burning (you can’t see the dog in the video.”

According to Animal Control, puppies living outside in 20 degree temperatures did not constitute animal neglect.

“This has been one of the worst nights of my life and the owner will not be held accountable for the agony and suffering mama dog and pups endured. Pray for the remaining 3 litters outside in the kennels tonight – wind chills about 10 degrees.”

On Tuesday morning, citations were issued to the dogs’ owner by Animal Control. The man was ordered to bring the surviving dogs indoors and has a mandatory court appearance. The surviving puppies were not removed from the home.

Rest in peace sweet dogs. We are so sorry you have suffered.

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Did you know that if you want to get updates from a Facebook page, you need to do more than “like” it? To get recent postings in your Facebook feed, you must also hover your mouse over the word “following” and then click “see first” from the drop-down menu. You may want to check back with your favorite pages on occasion because Facebook often changes your settings, no longer having your having your favorites among those to “see first.

(Photo of dogs died in horrific fire via Laura Catterton)

Firefighter crawls to rescue dog who fell through the ice

Dozens of domesticated rats were left to die in the cold


More than 160 Pomeranian dogs rescued from truck in Nevada

In Las Vegas, authorities discovered more than 160 Pomeranian dogs abandoned in a U-Haul truck on Wednesday evening. Investigators believe the 164 dogs were abandoned in the 3000 block of Tonto Street in Sandy Valley by a California “backyard” breeder.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the Clark County Animal Control transported all of the dogs to the Animal Foundation Las Vegas where they will be held for the required 72-hour hold period pending the arrival of the owner. All of the dogs will be medically evaluated and groomed and are expected to be made available for adoption in the next several weeks. The dogs appear to be in generally good health although they were dirty. They range in ages from three months to 12-years.

The dogs had no food, water or ventilation when they were found left in crates – three to five dogs in each crate. The driver of the vehicle was a woman from San Bernardino, California and has been described as a “backyard breeder” although her identity has not been made public. Supposedly the woman loaded all of the dogs into a truck and left California after hearing her property was to be inspected.


As of Thursday, no arrests or charges have been filed, however the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police are continuing their investigation in conjunction with Clark County Animal Control and San Bernardino authorities.

(Photos of 160 Pomeranian dogs via screenshots by Fox News)

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Did you know that if you want to get updates from a Facebook page, you need to do more than “like” it? To get recent postings in your Facebook feed, you must also hover your mouse over the word “following” and then click “see first” from the drop-down menu. You may want to check back with your favorite pages on occasion because Facebook often changes your settings, no longer having your having your favorites among those to “see first.”

Check out the video:

Meghan Markle’s difficult decision to leave her adopted dog behind as she moves to UK to wed Prince Harry

California is first state to ban sale of puppy mill animals

In what will become a significant blow to commercial pet breeders, generally referred to as the puppy mill industry, California pet stores will be required to get their puppies, kittens and rabbits from rescue organizations and shelters. Beginning in January 2019, only individuals will be able to purchase pets from private breeders. For pet stores, violators could face fines of $500 per offense.

On Friday, Governor Jerry Brown signed the law covering the entire state; 36 cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco, already have similar bans against large commercial breeding operations. The bill, A.B.485 has had strong support from animal welfare organizations and was written by Patrick O’Donnell and Matt Dababneh, two Democratic California Assembly members.

Arguments for the ban included how pet stores rarely know nor do they reveal the circumstances relative to the breeding of the dogs, cats and rabbits brought into their stores for retail sale. Puppy and kitten mills have long lists of inhumane conditions as to overcrowding, lack of care, lack of socialization and the very basics of humane care.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council has opposed the legislation, claiming the new law would jeopardize hundreds of jobs. Pet stores, however have been dwindling in numbers for the past few years as public awareness of puppy mills draws the ire of animal advocates across the country. Still some pet store owners argue the ban prevents consumers from having their choice of purchasing a specific breed or simply not purchasing “someone else’s unwanted pet.”

“By cutting off the puppy mill pipeline that moves cruelly bred animals from across the country into California pet stores, A.B.485 will also help prevent California consumers from being duped into purchases that contribute to unconscionable animal ‘production’ and suffering,” the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said in a statement.

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(Photo of puppy mill operation via HSUS)

Check out how dogs live in puppy mills:


Crackdown on sales from puppy mills in California pet stores if governor signs

It could be a “win, win” for dogs, cats and rabbits in California Governor Jerry Brown signs a measure sent to his office on Thursday requiring pet stores to sell animals from shelters or rescue organizations.  California would become the first state to finally ban the sale of animals from “puppy mills” or large breeding operations.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the bill  by Democratic Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell would require pet stores to work with shelters if they want to sell pets. Thirty-six cities in California have already enacted similar bans, however a statewide ban does not exist. Spokesperson Brian Ferguson, for the governor, has declined to comment on whether the bill will be signed.

“Californians spend more than $250 million a year to house and euthanize animals in our shelters,” O’Donnell said. “Protecting the pets that make our house a home is an effort that makes us all proud.”

Although breeders would still be allowed to sell dogs, cats and rabbits directly to individuals wanting to purchase pets, the legislation is hoped to encourage families to adopt pets from shelters, work directly with breeders and to help ensure the pets are healthy and humanely bred – as opposed to the reckless breeding operations of mass puppy mills where dogs are treated as commodities and too often kept in atrocious conditions.

Specifically the bill would require pet stores to keep records showing where each pet originated and to display that information publicly. A violation of the law would carry a $500 civil fine.

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Shelter hopes to increase adoptions by removing controversial label – read more here.

Good Samaritan helps free this poor animal from wire fencing – watch the video here.


84 Great Danes rescued from New Hampshire puppy mill

On Friday morning, the Humane Society of the United States assisted the Wolfeboro Police Department with the rescue of 84 Great Danes caged inside of a New Hampshire mansion which appeared “stately and opulent from the outside,” however the inside of the home would tell a horrible story of neglect and abuse.

According to the organization’s press release, a search warrant was obtained by the Wolfeboro Police Department following an investigation beginning on May 8 concerning animal neglect allegations and barking dog complaints. When authorities arrived, they found the dogs living in horrendous conditions with limited food and water. Dogs lived amid piles of feces and urine, several had red, swollen eyelids and the smell of ammonia and raw chicken permeated the premises. Chief Dean Rondeau of the Wolfeboro Police Department had never seen such pitiful conditions:

 “I’ve never seen conditions this bad in more than 21 years of law enforcement. Words cannot describe the absolute abhorrent conditions these animals were living in. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to The Humane Society of the United States, Conway Area Humane Society and Pope Memorial SPCA, whose expert opinion and counsel was well-received, as well as the other local organizations who assisted at the scene.”

In Wayne Pacelle’s blog, he described in detail what responders first encountered when they walked into the home; that from the outside just looked so elegant:

“They told me that the first thing that hit them was an overpowering rancid and putrid smell, with ammonia levels so high in some rooms that the rescuers’ eyes teared up. There were feces and debris smeared across all the walls to the point where the windows were opaque. There were big dogs who had spent countless hours in cages…”

Some of the dogs were underweight and looked sad or broken. Their large paws were badly infected; some of the dogs were as large as ponies. All of the dogs have since been transferred to temporary shelters where they will all be vetted and then the mending of their souls and bodies will begin.

The Wolfeboro Police Department served search and seizure and arrest warrants on the property. The names of the owners have not been released at this time. To help with the dogs, please click here.

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(Video and photos by Meredith Lee via the HSUS)

Video of 84 Great Danes rescued:



Wisconsin woman allowed her dogs to eat puppies

In a disturbing case of animal cruelty in Crandon, Wisconsin, a woman has been arrested for allegedly allowing her dogs to eat puppies and the dead body of a horse. According to authorities, Patty Kirker, 52, was charged on Wednesday with 156 counts of animal mistreatment for failing to provide the animals with food and water; six of the counts are felonies.

An investigation of Kirker’s “puppy mill situation” had been launched earlier in the year after more than 80 complaints were filed. In a report from WsauNews, Kirker’s home had two feet of dog feces on the floor. On March 17, authorities seized 40 wolf-hybrid dogs and horses from the woman’s property. In the criminal complaint, the Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono cited two unnamed witnesses who told police they had seen adult dogs eating young puppies on the properties as the animals had to resort to any means to stave off their starvation while Kirker did not feed them.

Also, in the complaint were details of the “deplorable conditions” with a description of three puppies being killed by other dogs, and of one puppy having been eaten. Then there were two horses kept in a trailer for more than three weeks with no food while dogs ate a horse’s carcass. Another dog terrorized an older neighbor and attacked the woman’s cat. Four horses and one pony died on the property.

And then there were more horrific details of two dogs walking around with embedded collars, Kirker kicking dogs and some of the animals biting her back, chained dogs that were never fed and a blind horse running into “trees and things.”


Kirker also faces charges in a conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the county jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 3. Kirker’s attorney denies the allegations are not true and will fight the charges. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are caring for the rescued animals.

(Photo of suspect alleged to have allowed her dogs to eat puppies via Forest County Sheriff’s Office booking photo)

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Terrified 4-month-old puppy tries to sleep his fears of the shelter away

For anyone who claims they can’t find a puppy to adopt from a shelter and purchases their new best friend from a pet store, a breeder or a puppy mill supplier, check this little guy out. This terrified 4-month-old puppy desperately tries to sleep his fears away. Why would such a cute puppy wind up at Carson Animal Care? Was he an Easter present to a child? Did the family figure out puppies need attention and care? Did the family get bored and impatient with having to train and care for this little one?

Click here for this pup’s Pet Harbor listing. “I am described as a male, white Poodle – Miniature. The shelter thinks I am about 4 months old. I have been at the shelter since Apr 20, 2017.” For more information about this animal, call Los Angeles County Animal Control – Carson at (310) 523-9566. Ask for information about animal ID number A505214. A Facebook page for this dog can be followed here.

Share this puppy’s plight with approved rescue organizations, friends, family and social media contacts. Sharing saves lives. Before deciding to bring a dog into your home, look at this photo carefully – an adorable puppy who was tossed aside after just a month or so in his first home. Either make the commitment to them or buy a stuffed animal. Their lives matter.

Carson Shelter, Gardena, California
216 Victoria Street, Gardena, California

Photos and video of 4-month-old puppy courtesy of Saving Carson Shelter Dogs.

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Video here:

Hundreds of animals found in deplorable conditions at North Georgia puppy mill

It began on Wednesday evening with an anonymous call from an area resident in the north Georgia county of Habersham complaining about excessive dog barking. What officers discovered, when they arrived at the property was both shocking and deplorable. They encountered a puppy mill; hundreds of animals had been lined up in rows – barely existing in plastic tubs filled with their own feces and urine. Some were so matted, they could barely walk, eat or  relieve themselves. Many of the puppies suffered from eye, ear and skin conditions.  According to the Humane Society of the United States,  the Habersham County Department of Animal Care and Control immediately secured a warrant for the property and called the Animal Crimes unit with the HSUS for assistance.

By early Thursday morning, HSUS staff members, law enforcement officials, and local humane groups raided the property. They seized more than 350 dogs, cats, and other animals from squalid, deficient conditions. Donkeys, a horse, bunnies, chickens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep, and an alpaca were found on the property searching for food and clean water.

Working side by side with Habersham County and with support from Cashier’s Highland Humane Society, RescueBank, Greater Good, Save the Horses, Cornerstone Animal Hospital, Humane Society of North East Georgia, Northeast Veterinary hospital, PAWS Bryson City, Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement and other neighboring welfare organizations, the dogs have been removed as well as the other animals.

In the Humane Society of the United States press release, 

“We never expected to discover something of this magnitude in our own backyard,” said Madi Hawkins, director of HCACC. “I’m grateful to our dedicated and compassionate staff who have been on scene over 24 hours and will continue to be here until the last animal is rescued. This is a heartbreaking situation, and it’s not an easy task to be present to witness this kind of cruelty.”

The HSUS and Cashiers Highland Humane are safely transporting the dogs, cats, bunnies and birds to a temporary emergency animal shelter, where they will be thoroughly examined by teams of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical care. Rescue Bank is providing the necessary food for the dogs. The horse and farm animals  are being transported to Horse Inc.

The case remains under investigation. There are still estimated to be more than 10,000 puppy mills operating in the United States. The challenge is to close them all down – how these animals are forced to live is beyond reprehensible.

(Photos and video of puppy mill in North Georgia courtesy of HSUS, Frank Loftus) To donate to this organization, please click here.

Check out the video. No animal should have to live like this:


Puppy mill tragedy: Polo unrecognizable as a dog dumped to die

When Polo was brought into a North Carolina veterinarian’s office on Thursday by his owners to be euthanized, a rescue partner called Jackie O’Sullivan, co-founder of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC and asked if they would help. Barely recognizable as a  dog, the purebred, five-year-old Shih Tzu weighs barely 10-pounds and had to have lived his short life in one of misery and neglect.Polo RDR

“Still think it’s okay to buy a dog from a puppy mill breeder?” asked Jackie on the organization’s Facebook page as veterinarians assessed the young dog’s horrible physical condition.

Although the details of Polo’s past life are vague and may never be known, it is disturbing to think the dog’s owner watched this pup’s health deteriorate and never sought help. His condition didn’t just happen after days, weeks, or even months. According to his treating veterinarian, these conditions occurred over years. What small amount of fur Polo even had left on his body was completely matted. He suffers from severe bacterial and yeast skin infections. His ears are infected, he has acute dental disease, and his nails are grotesquely overgrown.Polo RDR2

And when his family looked at him in disgust – only because they neglected him, Polo was thrown away as if he was yesterday’s trash. Now the little dog will truly get a second chance at life. He will be treated, both physically and emotionally, and when he is well enough, will be transferred to a foster home. To help with Polo’s new life, please click here to donate, or donate@rescuedogsrocknyc.org or RDR NYC PO BOX 101 NY NY 10028.

Photos courtesy of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC.

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