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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Political pressure? USDA reposting animal welfare data

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today has been reposting some of the tens of thousands of animal welfare documents previously removed from its website.  In an official announcement from APHIS they were,

“posting the first batch of annual reports of research institutions and inspection reports for certain Federal research facilities that the Agency regulates under the Animal Welfare Act.  The reports posted are part of a comprehensive review of the documents the Agency removed from its website in early February and are in the same redacted form as before.”

The agency claimed the entire search tool database had been removed on February 3, 2017 as part of a review to decide which information would be appropriate for reposting. At that time, thousands of publicly searchable records for zoos, research laboratories, commercial breeders including puppy mill facilities and circuses with the agency were deleted citing “privacy concerns.”

In the past, the data base had been a resource for journalists and animal advocates groups including animal rescue organizations in uncovering animal cruelty. Animal advocacy groups including the Humane Society of the United States accompanied by 101 United States representatives, 18 senators and animal advocates across the nation have publicly condemned the agency’s decision.

As to the “first batch” of records restored on Friday, annual reports and inspection records have been restored. Wayne Pacelle, the CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States calls the reposting of the records a “step in the right direction,” but has no intention of backing down until all the data is restored. Records still missing include information about research laboratories that use animals, puppy mills, zoos, horse soring and those activities relevant to the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sued the agency and states it will not drop the suit until the USDA complies. In a statement Brittany Peet, director of captive animal law enforcement at the PETA Foundation in Washington, D.C. released the following statement:

“Under duress, the USDA is now attempting to get away with reposting only a tiny fraction of the animal welfare records it suddenly and indefensibly deleted … and that does not satisfy PETA [People for the Ethical Treatmeant of Animals] or the other plaintiffs in the pending lawsuit against it.

And then there are bipartisan politicians speaking out in defense of the animals:

“While I’m glad the USDA is starting the process of restoring some information online, there is no excuse for the agency’s abrupt actions to reduce transparency and prevent Americans from knowing about animal abuse,” stated Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).

In addition, Representative Vern Buchanan (R. Fla) states this still isn’t enough and posted in a statement:

“…This website protects animals and the database should be fully restored. At the end of the day, putting a few document back online is not good enough.”

It would appear this barrage of criticism isn’t going to stop until all records are restored. What do you think? Please weigh in. The previous articles are this very important issue can be found below.

Read prior stories here:

USDA removes inspection reports and information from website

Trump USDA pick has animal-rights activists worried

Humane Society challenges USDA for hiding animal welfare data

Heartless puppy mill owners dumped dead dogs in wheelbarrow

The heartless owners of a puppy mill operation dumped dead dogs in a wheelbarrow after advertising their puppies as having been raised in a family home  on Tyersal Lane in Bradford, United Kingdom. According to The Sun, Bernadethette Nunney, 25, and John Wilcock, 36, left the dogs to starve and never treated them for illnesses.bradford-puppy-mill

On Friday, Nunney and Wilcock appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court and were given a 20-week suspended prison sentence for 18 months and banned from keeping dogs for the rest of their lives. Nunney was also handed a 12-week curfew order, a 15-day rehabilitation activity and £500 in costs. Wilcock was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitation activity. He was also ordered to pay £100 in costs. Both were found guilty of multiple animal cruelty charges in a court trial that lasted four days.

bradford-puppy-mill2And when the six neglected collie puppies died, after having suffered in their own filth last September, the couple left their ravaged bodies in a wheelbarrow. One of the dogs in the pile was still alive, but died shortly from complications of Parvovirus.

RSPCA Inspector Emma Ellis said she would never be able to forget the horrible sight.

 “The sight of the live puppy buried within the pile of dead puppies was heartbreaking. There was nothing we could do to save her. The way those puppies were left to die highlights how these people simply see them as commodities which I find totally unacceptable.”

Dogs from the puppy mill were found living in concrete block kennels and stables; many with no food, water or bedding. All had to lie in their own feces and urine. All together, inspectors found 43 dogs – including collies, spaniels, Bichon Frises, Labradors, Beagles, Chihuahuas, and some terrier-cross types – in the raid. All are being cared for the RSPCA – some have already found loving homes.

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(Photos of puppy mill via the RSPCA)

Florida rescue saves 73 Great Danes abandoned by owner

In Freeport, Florida, the Alaqua Animal Refuge took custody of 73 Great Danes from an alleged puppy mill operation after the owners could no longer care for the dogs.alaqua-animal-refuge-2

According to the organization’s Facebook page, during the week of October 10th, the owner had fallen ill and abandoned the dogs. Family members reached out to the private sanctuary in northwest Florida for help. Naming the rescue operation ‘Hurricane Dane,’ Alaqua founder, Laurie Hood stated:

“This has been a whirlwind experience, so we had to name it! ‘Hurricane Dane’ made landfall and we are dealing with aftermath! Stay tuned to this link for up to date information and some of our experiences so far.”

For the most part, the pure bred Great Danes were all reported to have arrived healthy and had been cared for and loved. According to WzepNews, Alaqua initially removed a litter of 13 puppies, dogs who needed specialized care and those that were pregnant. Within two days of the news  of the dogs arriving at the rescue, there were more than 500 adoption applications. At this time, no more applications for the Great Danes are being accepted, although there are many other dogs at the rescue who are just as deserving of a new home.

The refuge continues to need help with veterinary costs and day to day expenses. The Great Danes are eating over 150 pounds of food a day and will all need to be spayed, neutered, microchipped and vetted for heartworms, rabies, and other necessary vaccinations. Donations can be made by clicking here.

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Photos via Alaqua Animal Refuge Facebook)

130 dogs and cats rescued from suspected puppy mill

In Cabarrus County, North Carolina, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office removed 130 dogs, cats  and three goats from an alleged puppy mill on Monday, according to the HSUS press release.cabarrus-county-pets-2

In response to an anonymous tip, deputies instituted an investigation of the property which led to a search warrant on Monday morning where rescue workers found 105 dogs, 20 cats and the goats kept in what has been described by officials as “unsafe and unsanitary conditions.” Many of the animals had untreated medical issues, were pregnant and in need of urgent veterinary care. Representatives from Cabarrus Animal Hospital have been providing veterinary care.

“North Carolina is one of a handful of states that has failed to enact any regulations for commercial dog breeders,” said Erica Geppi, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. “The HSUS is urging the North Carolina legislature to enact meaningful reform that can prevent puppy mill cruelty in the state.”

The animals have all been transported to a temporary emergency animal shelter.

“Animal cruelty comes with serious consequences,” stated sheriff’s Lt. David Taylor. “Our No.1 priority is the protection and safety of the animals, including their environment. In Cabarrus County, we’re investigating claims and prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law.”

The Humane  Society offers up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of puppy mill operators. Call 1.877.MILL-TIP.

(Photos via HSUS and Charlotte Observer)


3 starving dogs stuffed into tiny carrier left on woman’s doorstep

Three tiny dogs suffering from serious skin conditions were  stuffed into a small carrier in east London and dumped on a woman’s doorstep in Walthamstow over the weekend, reports the Evening Standard.RSPCA 3 dogs

The  Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has launched an appeal to the public for information about where the dogs came from or who may have owned them. Authorities have speculated they may have been part of a puppy mill or breeding operation. The dogs were found stuffed into a small pink carrier and could not even turn around or barely move. The homeowner immediately contacted the RSPCA and when Inspector Mitchell Smith arrived, he said he had expected to find three fluffy little dogs. Tragically the circumstances were completely different:

“I discovered these dogs stuffed into the carrier – which was far too small for them… It was difficult to identify what breeds they were due to their poor skin condition. In fact, at first impression, I thought they might even be foxes,” stated Smith.RSPCA 3dogs 3

The dogs were taken to the the RSPCA’s Harmsworth Hospital where they were examined and determined to be two-year-old terriers while one looks like a French bulldog; they have been dubbed Mary, Mel and Sue after the Great British Bake Off stars. The dogs will need long term care to regain their strength, their coats and their health. They all suffer from demodex mange and are being treated for diarrhea, starvation, overgrown nails on their feet and baldness.RSPCA 3 dogs 3

“They have obviously been suffering for a long time as the skin is so thickened and they only have a few tufts of hair…”

Anyone with any information about these dogs is asked to call 0300 123 8018. Donations for the dogs’ treatment and care can be found here. Their stories can be followed on the RSPCA’s website by clicking here.

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(Photos: RSPCA)


4-week-old puppy purchased off of Craigslist and then dumped because he was too much work

When an adorable four-week-old puppy, since dubbed Little Bear, was sold to a family via Craigslist and had to be bottle fed because he still belonged in the care of his mother, his new owner decided he no longer wanted the responsibility.Little Bear cover

Little Bear had been purchased for $600; a father bought the pup as a gift for his six-month-old son, but soon realized having to provide the care the puppy needed to survive was just too much work. He had planned to dump the puppy on a New York City street sometime late into the night when no one could witness his heartless deed. Fortunately, the owner notified Social Tees Animal Rescue, and at 12:45 a.m., a volunteer ran out to find the puppy; Little Bear was rescued.

As is, Little Bear should never have been separated from his mother at this age and required 24/7 care. Not much information had been shared as to where Little Bear came from, except that his “mother had died.” The puppy had been part of a litter bred in the basement of a home; female dogs commonly turned into breeders and then their puppies sold via Craigslist with no responsible care or knowledge. Little Bear

The organization is asking for help now-hoping to change the laws. To their Facebook followers, the rescue posted:

“This puppy should still be with his mom for another few weeks, but many backyard breeders who sell puppies via Craigslist and word of mouth etc. often claim the mom dog died during childbirth so it doesn’t look as heinous when they sell the puppies as soon as their eyes open — and then get mom ready to breed again faster. We are trying to figure out how to break this cycle, but there are virtually no laws (at least in NY) that prevent the breeding and selling of animals like this. Any ideas, experts, lawyers, movers and shakers out there? We have already been contacted by a private investigator and a major media outlet; both want to help raise awareness and make major change. The more voices and suggestions we have, the stronger we can all be together. Email contact@socialteesnyc.org if you have a solid lead! Little Bear is our official spokes puppy for this cause, he needs you behind him!”Little Bear 3

For now Little Bear is living with his foster mom – growing bigger and stronger, learning how to play with other dogs and getting ready to be adopted. Make your voices heard against backyard breeding. To donate to Social Tees Animal Rescue, please click here.

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(Photos and video courtesy of Social Tees Animal Rescue

Puppy mill dogs in Mississippi seized in deplorable condition

In Senatobia, Mississippi, more than 202 animals were rescued this week from an alleged puppy mill. According to the rescue organization, Animal Rescue Corps, (ARC) who assisted in “Operation Dog Days of Summer,” 153 dogs, litters of puppies and pregnant dogs, a donkey, 13 cats and kittens, 50 chickens,  two turkeys, three parrots and seven rabbits, were found living in deplorable conditions. Miss puppy mill bust

“They were found without adequate food, water, or shelter. Some of the animals were emaciated and in critical condition and had to be rushed to a near-by clinic. The remains of several animals were also found around the property,” stated the organization on their Facebook page. “These animals aren’t living on this property. These animals are dying on this property.”Miss puppy mill bust 2

ARC President,Scotlund Haisley stated the owner of the animals had been selling them for profit and could not imagine anyone coming to the location and accepting the conditions as fine. The animals were all covered in filth and suffered from infestations of fleas, ticks and worms. Many suffered from alopecia, anemia and malnutrition. The most serious cases were rushed to emergency veterinarian services. All of the cats suffered from eye and upper respiratory infections. Some were found dead on the property. A description of the property described the floor where the animals had been kept “had six inches of dog feces, were crawling with maggots and littered with broken glass.”

These animals have endured extreme suffering for a very, very long time,” said Haisley. “These animals didn’t have a minute to spare. They were not surviving here, they were dying here. But all of that ends today and we won’t leave this place without taking every animal with us to our emergency shelter.” Miss puppy mill bust 3

According to NewsWreg, the Tate County Sheriff’s Office received a tip of a suspected puppy mill at the location;  an undercover operation then provided enough proof for a search warrant to inspect the premises. When authorities arrived at the overgrown property on Thursday, they found the neglected animals in dilapidated pens, and in filthy conditions inside a barn, in the owner’s house and in an abandoned store located on an adjacent property.
Although the owner of the property has not been identified by name, Tate Sheriff Brad Lance stated she was “a single adult female” who was known to “raise and sell dogs” and other animals. The DeSoto Times reported the sheriff will review reports and assessments early next week, and  “charges will follow.” Especially tragic about the situation for the animals, are reports that neighbors could “hear and smell” something was wrong with the woman and her pets, however no one ever spoke up. Lance stated:
“There should have been some sort of intervention by her friends or family, but unfortunately this didn’t happen.”
Be the voice for those who cannot speak. Report suspicions of animal neglect or cruelty. Miss puppy mill bust 4 To help support Animal Rescue Corps, please click here. Your donations continue to make a difference in the lives of so many defenseless animals. Follow this organization on Facebook as the animals are made available through different organizations for adoption.
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(Photos courtesy of Animal Rescue Corp by Aimee Stubbs and Tate County Sheriff’s Office.)



Charges filed against Lancaster puppy mill breeding in abuse of puppy Libre

It’s been a long time coming for animal advocates who never lost faith in the judicial system when it came to filing animal cruelty charges for a tiny Boston terrier puppy named Libre” who suffered from severe physical distress due to that lack of care,” in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Libre on Thursday

Thursday afternoon, District Attorney Craig Stedman announced cruelty charges have been filed against Benjamin Stoltzfus, 33, of Quarryville, reported WgalNews. Stoltzfus faces charges of failing to provide adequate veterinary care as well as leaving the puppy in a kennel cage where he would have died. According to investigators, Stoltfus has allegedly admitted to failing to care for Libre.

As to changing policies regarding animal cruelty investigations, Stedman also announced police and detectives will be in charge of animal cruelty enforcement and prosecution.  A petition to suspend Lancaster County SPCA Director Susan Martin as the police humane society officer for the Lancaster County has been filed; alleging Martin enforced cruelty laws in a “substandard” fashion. Martin refused to charge Stedman stating there was insufficient proof he had knowingly neglected Libre.

After the puppy was found near death on July 4, Libre was transferred to the Dillsburg Veterinary Clinic where he required 24/7 constant care to regain his health. Now at five-months-old and well on his way to a complete recovery, the over the top adorable puppy, who has captured the hearts of animal lovers everywhere, resides with the founder of Speranza Animal Rescue who has adopted him.

At the press conference, Stedman also advocated for stronger laws and punishments for those convicted of animal cruelty.

Read more about Libre here.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook. No part of this article can be copied or rewritten in part or full without the express permission of Pet Rescue Report. (Photo courtesy of Speranza Animal Rescue.)




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

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.

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(Photo from HSUS)