Specially trained volunteers will feed, water, comfort and care for once-neglected dogs

PARKER, SD (SEPTEMBER 2, 2009) – United Animal Nations (UAN) has deployed a team of volunteers specially trained in emergency animal sheltering to help care for 172 dogs rescued from unsanitary conditions at a massive breeding operation, or “puppy mill,” in Turner County today.

Volunteers with UAN’s Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) are traveling from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other parts of South Dakota this week to help take care of the dogs 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.

“United Animal Nations volunteers are expert at running temporary shelters and supporting communities that become overwhelmed by a large influx of animals,” said UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies. In the last year alone, EARS volunteers have sheltered and cared for animals rescued from 11 puppy mills in the U.S. and Canada.

UAN is assisting The Humane Society of the United States, Second Chance Rescue and the Turner County Sheriff’s Department; the three organizations investigated the puppy mill and rescued the dogs this morning. 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.

The investigation in Turner County began after a consumer who bought a sick puppy from the operator’s Web site lodged a complaint. The rescued dogs, which include German shorthair pointers and Weimaraners, were housed in unclean dog runs with little protection from the elements. Many appear to have skin and eye infections, untreated medical conditions and parasite infestation. PetSmart Charities® sent its Emergency Relief Waggin’® full of donated goods to supply the temporary shelter.

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

Read more about this situation 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.

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