The large-scale animal welfare rescue was made possible by Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, BISSELL Pet Foundation and Animal Rescue Corps
Animal rescue workers banded together to help save dozens of dogs from an alleged puppy mill.
According to a release from the BISSELL Pet Foundation, the Chatham County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina recently contacted the animal welfare organization with an "urgent request."
The sheriff's office needed help rescuing over 150 dogs, many of which were schnauzers and mini-schnauzers, from a property in Bear Creek. Rescuers found the dogs inside living in cages surrounded by "several inches of urine and feces." Authorities suspect the property operated as a puppy mill, per the release.
After receiving the call from the Chatham County Sheriff's Office, the BISSELL Pet Foundation and Animal Rescue Corps, an animal protection organization, mobilized and went to North Carolina to start saving dogs.
Animal Rescue Corps helped the sheriff's office shelter the dogs and assisted with medical needs, transport, and legal documentation. BISSELL Pet Foundation contributed funding and volunteers to ensure the rescue operation ran smoothly.
BISSELL Pet Foundation stated that in addition to removing over 150 dogs from the "inadequate" North Carolina property, authorities also arrested and charged the owner of the property with animal cruelty.
"We recognize that not all victims of abuse are people, and we take animal cruelty very seriously," Sheriff Mike Roberson shared in a statement. "We're committed to fully enforcing state laws, holding those responsible for such acts accountable. We're also grateful for the assistance of BISSELL Pet Foundation and Animal Rescue Corps in helping address this situation."
Unfortunately, several dead dogs were found among the living canines saved from the property. The living pets pulled from the premises included newborn puppies and dogs suffering from dehydration, malnutrition, parasites, skin conditions, untreated injuries, and other life-threatening medical issues.
The more than 150 canines have been moved to an undisclosed rescue facility for care and treatment.
"A seizure of this size and magnitude is a crisis for any animal shelter. We applaud the Chatham County Sheriff's Office and Animal Resources for addressing this egregious case of neglect and cruelty," said Cathy Bissell, the founder of BISSELL Pet Foundation. "These animals have been bred for greed with no regard for their health or welfare."
The BISSELL Pet Foundation and Animal Rescue Corps hope this large-scale rescue raises awareness about the dangers dogs face with unlicensed breeders.
"Every rescued dog from a puppy mill represents a triumph against cruelty," said Tim Woodward, Animal Rescue Corps' executive director. "We work to shed light on the dark reality of puppy mills and emphasize the transformative power of adoption in providing these animals with the love and care they deserve."
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The North Carolina rescue dogs are not available for adoption since the animals are focused on recovering from their neglect, including injuries sustained from prolonged exposure to ammonia, which is found in urine.
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