(ANIMAL RESCUE) SOUTH CAROLINA — The Humane Society of the United States’ anti-cruelty team paired with the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office to rescue over 200 dogs, horses, and birds from a mass breeding facility in South Carolina. After concerned neighbors contacted the HSUS, a warranted investigation proved that online seller Calabel’s Designer Dogs was a guise for an abusive puppy mill. Dogs were found living in awful conditions and without basic necessities. Since Edgefield County does not have the resources to care for the large number of inhumanely treated animals, the local humane society sent helpers to the scene and the HSUS has set up an emergency shelter. Laws against puppy mills are too weak to prevent the long term existence of these mass breeding facilities and the HSUS is urging the Obama administration to regulate online sellers.  Read on to learn about the atrocities committed by puppy mills. — Global Animal 
Over 200 animals were rescued from a South Carolina puppy mill by The Humane Society of the United States and Edgefield County Sheriff Office. Photo Credit: Friends for the Love of Animals via flickr

Wayne Pacelle, Wayne Pacelle’s: A Humane Nation (Humane Society of the U.S.)

I’ve written before about many websites that sell puppies over the Internet with cute photos and resolute assurances about healthy, happy dogs. But all too often, these claims hide the back story: the dogs are sourced from cruel puppy mills where breeding dogs live out their entire lives without basic care or attention. That’s why we’re urging the Obama administration to finalize a rule to regulate these online puppy sellers.

Today in South Carolina, The HSUS’s Animal Rescue Team came to the aid of more than 200 dogs and puppies, along with dozens of birds and nine horses, living in awful conditions at a facility that sold puppies online using the name Calabel’s Designer Dogs.

The dogs range from tiny breeds such as Chihuahuas and Yorkies to larger golden retrievers and Doberman pinschers. The mill “has almost every breed under the sun,” says HSUS responder Ashley Mauceri. Nearly all the dogs, including pregnant females and mothers with nursing puppies, were living outdoors in overgrown pens and rabbit hutches encrusted with feces. Many had only filthy water to drink, little or no food, and inadequate living spaces.

Some dogs had open wounds covered in flies, and one poodle was especially emaciated and matted from head to toe—but Ashley says that like many of the animals, he seemed happy to get out of his pen and be carried to safety.

This rescue was set into motion when residents concerned about the animals’ welfare contacted The HSUS. Our anti-cruelty team coordinated with law enforcement, and today the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office served a warrant to seize the animals. Weak laws against puppy mills make it possible for cruel conditions like these to go on for far too long.

Local agencies in Edgefield County simply don’t have the resources to care for hundreds of additional animals, so our Animal Rescue Team deployed to help. Our Shelter Services program also recently visited shelters in South Carolina to help support their work with additional resources and training. We’re grateful to the sheriff’s office for taking action, as well as to the Humane Society of Charlotte for assisting in the rescue and sending veterinarians to the scene. The HSUS is funding care for the horses, and we’ve set up an emergency shelter where we’ll care for the dogs and birds. There, they’ll receive clean food and water, veterinary checkups, and affection from our staff and volunteers to help put them on the path to better lives.