Friday, 4 July 2008

ASPCA assists Tennessee's largest ever puppy farm raid

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has lent its expertise and resources to Tennessee's largest-ever puppy farm raid, showing that the problem is just as widespread as suspected.

The cruelty investigation team, including two forensic vets, discovered 747 animals in enclosures dotted around the 92 acre Pine Bluff Kennels estate. The vast majority were dogs, but horses, burros, miniature horses, chickens, goats, parrots and pedigree cats were also found on the site.

Seven hundred dogs - over 200 of which are pups - were found lacking basic care in faeces-encrusted pens lacking ventilation and sufficient food and water. Most require treatment for matting, sores, broken limbs, hernias or abscesses. Various different breeds were discovered, including Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, GSDs and Great Danes.

Dr Melinda Merck, working on behalf of the ASPCA, commented:

“This is one of the worst situations I have ever seen. Animals are in extreme states of neglect and illness. Some are dead. The overcrowding, the unsanitary conditions, the flea and parasite infestation, as well as the stress of competing for food and coping with untreated illnesses, are all severe.”

Puppy farms, also known as "puppy mills" in the USA, are an international problem, and despite laws that prohibit some of the practices of puppy farms in the UK, they are still prevalent over here. The industry is often driven by innocent-looking Internet ads, and inexperienced future dog owners are duped into buying a puppy raised in conditions they would have been horrified by.

For more information on helping to destroy this cruel trade and tips on identifying a genuine breeder, please read the Dogs Trust information leaflet.
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