Good news or bad? I never know quite to think when I stumble across yet another puppy mill bust in America. It’s good news, of course, that that particular corner of hell has been shut down. But bad news, too, because for every substandard kennel that get caught, you know there have to be many. many more still operating off the radar.
By my count, the number of puppy mill raids so far this year now numbers 44 — not including the instances where dogs had to be removed from deplorably run pet stores.
Here’s the skinny from the last two months:
– In Newaygo County, Michigan, rescuers seized 16 mixed breed puppies found malnourished and infestated with worms.
– In Alexander, Ark., 58 dogs, 50 of them puppies, were removed from a metal building that was hotter than 100 degrees inside. The dogs were confined to small cages without food or water.
– Animal rescue groups removed 16 puppies from The Perfect Puppy pet store in Stony Brook, Long Island. Two of the dogs had upper respiratory infections, kennel cough and diarrhea.
– The Elmbrook Wisconsin Humane Society took in six of 44 dogs rescued from puppy mills in the Midwest.
– Rescuers seized 276 dogs, some of whom had serious infections and almost all of whom were crammed into filthy cages — from Mason Creek Kennels near Hickory, N.C. (see previous blog entry)
– In Zebulon, N.C., 25 dogs were removed from a home where nearly 200 animals were suffering from neglect.
– The North Shore Animal League on Long Island took in more than 70 labs, Chihuahuas and Pomeranians who’d been removed from puppy mills in Oklahoma and Missouri.
– In Monett, Mo., authorities seized 70 poodles, labs, beagles and other breeds from a kennel where they were founding standing in water, surrounded by trash.
– In Snohomish County, Wash., officials rescued 40 Italian greyhounds, papillons and miniature pinschers, six cats and six birds from an illegal kennel. The owner was found dead in his home and the animals likely had gone with out food or water for three days.
–In Hertford, N.C., rescuers removed approximately 80 poodles, Pekingese, Yorkies and other breeds suffering from tumors, hernias, ear and eye infections and rotting teeth. Maggots were feasting on some of the dogs’ wounds and newborn puppies were covered in fleas.
– In Collier County, Fla., a breeder relinquished 49 labs and golden retrievers who were overheated and covered with ant bites and fleas. The breeder, Arthur Perkins, kept four dogs and was not charged with any crime.
– Already this month, 50 Bichon frises were removed from a breeder near Kearney, Nebraska. The dogs’ hair was so matted it was tugging at their skin, leaving bald spots.
Meanwhile, Hawaiian animal welfare groups now suspect there may be twenty puppy mills operating on the island of Oahu. Rescuers raised public awareness about the problem when they seized 153 dogs from a bad breeder in February. A recent story in the Honolulu Star Advertiser said a new state law spelling out the rules for confining and caring for dogs has changed the way breeders deal with Humane Society investigators — they’re no longer allowing the investigators onto their property, apparently for fear they’ll be found in violation.