Several dozen animals were rescued from appalling conditions in Randolph County, Arkansas yesterday – and some of them even had icicles hanging off of their fur.
Ozarks First reported today that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) helped rescue 46 dogs and 11 other animals from a suspected puppy mill in Arkansas after the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant on the property.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced yesterday that responding officers found animals living in squalid conditions. Most of the animals lacked adequate access to food or clean water, and many of the animals were underweight, extremely matted, and in need of urgent medical care. Rescuers found numerous dogs outside in the freezing weather – and some of them literally had icicles hanging off of their fur.
A total of 46 dogs, 3 cats and 8 chickens were taken from the home. Those animals who were living outside were either chained to poles and trees or roaming across the property.
“They were skinny emaciated living outside in conditions so cold there were literally icicles hanging on them,” stated Dale Bartlett with the HSUS. “When you take them of the chain and you hold them and they’re shivering and trembling. It’s heartbreaking.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time that this property owner has had a run-in with the law. The property owner was previously convicted of animal cruelty in 2013 and was selling animals online through various websites.
The dogs’ owner, who was breeding Great Pyrenees dogs to sell in person and online, has not yet been charged or arrested, according to the sheriff’s office. Many of the rescued animals have significant health issues. According to Bartlett:
They’ve got heartworms, ehrlichia and the matting was unbelievable. Some of the dogs looked like they had four tails.”
Bartlett added: “They’re responding really well and they’re very friendly and loving.”
The HSUS removed the animals from the property for the duration of the investigation. During that time, the animals will be thoroughly examined by veterinarians and will receive all necessary veterinary care at The Humane Society of Saline County.
According to the HSUS, Arkansas is one of the most problematic puppy mill states in the country and it has no laws on the books protecting dogs who are sold directly to the public or online. Legislation slated to be introduced by Rep. Sorvillo would require any breeder with 10 or more dogs to be licensed with their county. The legislation also calls for regular inspections.
Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.
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