Another year, another batch of puppy mill busts. Even in the coldest months of the year bad breeders have a way of surfacing. And as usual, they crop up all across the United States. I’m struck by how many of these victimized dogs are small breeds. I guess the smaller the dog, the more you can cram into your ammonia-fumed house. Many rescues never make the news. But here are the ones that did:
– Authorities in Palmer, Alaska, rescued 160 huskies that were starving to death at the home of breeder Frank Rich. Seventy-five dogs had reportedly already died. Rich said he couldn’t afford to feed the dogs and was giving what food he had to the puppies, which he sells.
– A breeder in Medford, Oregon, surrendered 20 French bulldogs, Pomeranians, Maltese, West Highland terriers and Shih Tzus to comply with a new state law imposing restrictions on breeders. The breeder had given up 84 other dogs in the past year.
– In Niagara Falls, N.Y., a small fire at a home revealed 50 dogs running around in filth. Rescuers had to don breathing apparatuses before removing the beagles and pugs, among them several nursing litters.
– Ninety Golden Retrievers were removed from a substandard kennel in North Dakota.
– A breeder in Bottineau, N.D., voluntarily relinquished 82 dogs, including Pomeranians, bichons, miniatures poodles, German Shepherds and chocolate labs.
– In Lewisburg, Tenn., nearly 100 dogs and one cat living in squalid cages were rescued. Among the breeds were Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas, poodles and Maltese. The breeder surrendered the dogs after the sheriff’s department investigated.
– In Las Animas, Colo., rescuers removed more than 40 dachshunds, terriers, Chihuahuas, Papillons and Pekingese mixes from a poorly run kennel.
– In Canby, Oregon, 35 Golden Retrievers, Coton de Tulears (an unfamilar breed to me) and a Samoyed, most of them malnourished, several pregnant and/or suffering from a virus, were taken from a puppy mill.
– More than 74 collies and Bichon Frises, a number of them described as ill and lethargic, were rescued from a breeder in Crane, Mo. The dogs were living in half of a double-wide trailer on urine-soaked carpet.
– Outside Cleveland, Ohio, more than 100 West Highland terriers, cairn terriers, schnauzers, poodles, Maltese, Yorkies and Wheaten terriers were found living in a house amid feces that was more than two feet deep.
– In Muskako, Oklahoma, a breeders surrendered 28 Chihuahuas, Yorkies and Maltese.
– In Roseau County, Minn., 19 dogs in bad condition taken from a breeder, including dachshunds, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, miniature poodles and Chihuahuas.
– And in Mystic, Conn., a woman who had left Massachusetts in violation of the probation she’d been given following an animal-cruelty violation there was found with five neglected puppies. Linda Snow had been selling the dogs at connecticutcockapoos.com.