Hundreds of Animals Saved From Deplorable Conditions in Georgia Puppy Mill Bust
Thanks to a seriously massive rescue effort, hundreds of animals have been removed from a property in Georgia where they had been suffering in deplorable conditions.
After receiving an anonymous complaint about barking, officers visited the property to conduct a welfare check. They found hundreds of animals in horrifying conditions in what’s believed to be one of the largest puppy mills in the state.
Shortly after, law enforcement officers and rescuers from multiple organizations stepped in to begin removing animals. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which sent in members of its Animal Rescue Team to assist, there were more than 350 animals including dogs and puppies, cats, donkeys, pigs, chickens, ducks, doves, bunnies, a horse and an alpaca on the property who had been living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
“We never expected to discover something of this magnitude in our own backyard,” said Madi Hawkins, director of Habersham County Department of Animal Care and Control (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 dogs came in all ages, sizes and breeds and were suffering from numerous health problems ranging from dental and eye issues to injuries and severely matted fur. They had been living in filth, without access to food or fresh water. Some were outside, while others had been left indoors in areas without any ventilation.
“No animal should be forced to live in conditions like we’ve seen today,” said Jessica Lauginiger, manager of animal crimes for the HSUS. “We’re thankful to the Habersham County Department of Animal Care and Control and the local organizations that have answered the call to help these animals.”
After three days, the animals had all been removed and taken to an emergency shelter, where they’ll each be individually checked by a veterinarian and processed before any charges can be filed.
The dogs won’t be available for fostering, or adoption for a while, while the case plays out. But in a video update, Hawkins was quick to point out that while they’re going to be needing a lot of volunteers and other resources to help with this case, there are still many dogs at the county’s shelter who also really need help and are there now waiting for forever homes for anyone who is interested in welcoming a new member into their families.
While these animals are all now safe, the case is another heartbreaking reminder that our pets are still coming from places like this, and why we need to continue to raise awareness about mill dogs and support legislation that will crack down on bad breeders and shut down markets for them.
Photo credit: HSUS/YouTube