A sting operation in Brunswick and New Hanover counties in North Carolina uncovered an alleged puppy-mill operation spread over both counties.
WWAY quoted Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram as saying, “I’m shocked to say the least. Personally I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The inside of the residences and behind the residence are some of the worst conditions I’ve ever experienced on anything I’ve ever been on.”
Over 160 animals, living in inhumane conditions were found in the Brunswick County residence. It is believed the couple involved was selling puppies out of a home in the other county.
WECT reported deputies worked with members of the SPCA and the Humane Society of the U.S. on the raids. The pair running the operation could be charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty.
WECT also quoted Kim Alboum, the director of the NC state chapter of the HSUS as saying, “these are the worst conditions I have ever seen.” Four rescue groups are helping by taking in the rescued dogs.
MyFox8.com out of the Triad area of the state reports many of the rescued dogs had gastrointestinal infections, fleas and worms. A number of the older dogs were reported to have genetic defects, including one blind dog that was still being used for breeding.
Stories such as this highlight the need for improved breeding regulations and much harsher punishment. All commercial breeders should be required to be licensed and should be inspected on a regular basis. Breeders found to be operating without a license should face serious – very serious – punishment.
WBTV reports 57 of the rescued dogs quotes Shelly Moore, president of the Humane Society of Charlotte: “We see a lot of puppy mills in NC and the number one reason is because NC is one of few states that does not have any regulation on commercial dog breeding.”
Some might suggest this latest bust and others like it show existing laws are working, but they would be wrong on that count. By the time the mills are raided, the dogs have suffered for extended periods of time. And the raids are usually a result of random tips.
We need programs in every state where breeders are registered and subject to unannounced inspections. It works for restaurants and it should happen with commercial breeders.