United Animal Nations deploys specially trained volunteers to help neglected puppy mill dogs

LAMAR, ARK.  (OCTOBER 6, 2009) – United Animal Nations (UAN) has deployed a team of volunteers specially trained in emergency animal sheltering to care for 100 dogs, 5 cats and 2 guinea pigs rescued from horrific conditions at a Lamar puppy mill today.

Fourteen volunteers with UAN’s Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) have traveled from Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and other parts of Arkansas to care for the rescued animals at a temporary shelter. Distinguished by their red shirts, UAN’s EARS volunteers will feed, water and comfort the dogs; clean cages and assist veterinarians who are providing any necessary medical care.

“The UAN volunteers have been working non-stop to help the dogs acclimate to their new surroundings and give them clean kennels, food, water and attention like they never experienced before,” said UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies. “They are quickly improving with the extraordinary care they are receiving.”

UAN is assisting The Humane Society of the United States  and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, two organizations that rescued the animals and investigated the case against the puppy mill in conjunction with Needy Paws Animal Shelter. PetSmart Charities® provided much-needed sheltering supplies.

A puppy mill is a large-scale breeding operation where animals are housed in substandard conditions without proper food, water, socialization and veterinary care. Dogs bred in puppy mills are typically sold at pet stores, through classified advertisements and over the Internet. In 2009 alone, UAN’s EARS volunteers have sheltered and cared for more than 2,500 animals rescued from eight puppy mills in the U.S. and Canada.

The dogs in Johnson  County, mainly small breeds such as shih tzus and Chihuahuas, were being housed in cramped, filthy cages in trailers throughout the property. Some larger dogs were also being kept chained on the property with no protection from the elements. The cats and guinea pigs were also being kept in small cages. Many of the dogs were emaciated and suffering from skin and eye infections as well as other medical ailments. It is likely that many of these animals had never known life outside their cramped enclosures. This case originated when concerned citizens complained of inhumane conditions at the facility. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department plans to pursue criminal charges against the property owners.

To learn more about puppy mills visit www.uan.org/puppymills.

Read more about this response and see photos on our Emergency Response Blog.

Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations (UAN) focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. Learn more at www.uan.org.

CONTACT: Alexis Raymond, (916) 429-2457.


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