These dogs were rescued from a puppy mill in Young County just outside of Graham along with several others Friday afternoon by the Humane Society of Young County. 72 dogs were relinquished to HSYC. (Photo courtesy of the Humane Society of Young County)
72 dogs relinquished from puppy mill
by By Cherry Rushin
(Posted Tue 03:36 pm)
A puppy mill just outside of Graham with an estimated 20 or more years of churning out dogs has been shut down for good.
“That’s part of the conditions. They’re under agreement with the Humane Society and Young County Sheriff’s Office, they’re subject to random unannounced visits to make sure they aren’t engaging in any activity like that again,” Chief Deputy Carl Magee said.
Magee and Kim Baxter, executive director of the Humane Society of Young County, confiscated 72 dogs Friday afternoon after receiving a call concerning the welfare of the animals.
“The animals seemed to be in poor health and crowded conditions. We found some matted, and kennels weren’t as clean as they should be ... The water dishes in the kennels were all frozen,” said Magee.
Baxter said the owners had numerous violations and in light of that decided it would be best to surrender the animals to the Humane Society. She added that not all of their animals were surrendered. The family kept eight house dogs but with stipulations.
“They have to come into compliance with all state laws regarding rabies vaccinations, and they have to coordinate through the Humane Society to get the remaining animals spayed and neutered,” said Magee.
Baxter said this is not the first time she was asked to investigate these breeders.
“We’ve had previous dealings with (them). We had another complaint on them and went out. They’ve been doing this probably 20 plus years to the best of my knowledge,” she said.
All of the animals were examined by Dr. Nick Burnham on Saturday. Baxter said several will need surgeries and further medical care.
“They lived in feces and a rodent infested environment,” Baxter said. “A rat jumped out at us when we were taking them. The smell of urine in the whelping trailer was overwhelming. There was no heat, only one space heater and three or four heat lamps in the whelping trailer, but as cold as it was, it was not enough.”
Baxter said several groomers volunteered to help with the rescued dogs and all of the animals that could be groomed were completed Saturday.
“The more we groomed, the more pregnant ones we found. There are probably eight to 10 pregnant dogs. They did nothing but produce babies ... they’re breeding for money with little concern for the animals. They breed them back to back and never give them a break,” she said.
Baxter said the response to the rescue has been overwhelming thanks to the story airing on Wichita Falls television, but the shelter can still use help caring for the animals.
“Right now, we really need monetary donations. We’ve got vet bills, and we’re going to continue to have expenses we’re going to have to pay out-of-pocket,” she said.
The shelter was closed Monday and Tuesday to process the animals. All are getting vaccinated, wormed and any other vet care they may need. Baxter said she hopes to start adopting them out this week.
“I think they’ll all be adoptable. There are some that weren’t very social because they hadn’t been touched much, but with love and patience, they’re coming around,” she said.
For those interested in adopting a dog, the adoption application is available on the HSYC Web site at www.humanesociety-yc.org. The breeds include Chihuahua, Yorkshire terriers, rat terriers, shih tzus, Lhasa apsos, Pomeranians and more.
Baxter said the shelter could also use bleach, paper towels, dog food, puppy pads, Fabulosa, laundry detergent and volunteers for bathing, brushing and loving the animals.
She said other shelters have offered to help. Representatives from the Wichita Falls shelter came Saturday and brought towels, blankets and food and offered to take some of the animals, but for now they are going to remain at HSYC.
Although the animals are now safe and will possibly find new homes, the breeders may not have heard the end of it.
“Kim and I are still working on the case and investigating, and once we finish our investigation, we’ll sit down with (County Attorney) Dane (Miller) and determine if we need to file any criminal charges,” said Magee.
This kind of thing just plain makes me mad. How on earth can a person live with himself? I am so glad that someone finally stepped up and took control to give those dogs a better life. How could they leave 8 of them in the care of these people? As long as people will buy from these types of breeders, this "business activity" will continue. When will we learn? These are living, breathing, feeling beings and deserve to be treated with respect. I know everyone is not an animal person, but surely people realize that we were given the job of caring for the animals of the earth and this is not how to do it.