CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - On Friday afternoon, nearly two dozen chihuahuas mixes were brought to the Humane Society of Charlotte shelter on Toomey Avenue. The dogs, of varying ages, were among 145 dogs rescued from a reported puppy mill in Laurens County, South Carolina.
“This all started when an individual contacted animal control and made a Facebook post. They had obtained this pet from this location and was concerned about the health of it," Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds, said. “The vet had told this person the puppy was in really bad shape.”
Along with the dogs, several agencies worked to take in chickens, ducks and a few other farm animals.
On Friday afternoon, volunteers and employees of the Humane Society of Charlotte greeted a van filled with crated dogs. They whispered loving words to the scared pups.
The dogs, some shaking in their crates, others curious about their new surroundings, all have a much brighter future ahead, thanks to the Humane Society of Charlotte.
“The next step here is we’re going to evaluate them behaviorally, then we’re going to place them with one of our foster families,” Libby Jones, Vice President of Operations, said of the pups now in their care.
“A lot of these guys are super shy. They’ve had little to no human interaction except that single caregiver during that puppy mill situation. They need to learn how to be companion animals and pets. They’ll go into our foster system when they’re healthy both physically and mentally. Then they’ll be made available for adoption,” Jones told WBTV.
During a very emotional media conference Wednesday, Sheriff Reynolds described horrendous conditions the animals were living in.
“These pets are in buildings stacked on top of each other, mostly in crates, and just sitting there. Without any personal care. Just because you may have a little bit of food and water, that’s not taking care of these pets. I can’t understand the outrageous actions of these. To me, I can’t think of another word besides “monstrous” because this was compounded day in and day out with these poor pets.”
Barbara Timms and Barry Davis are both charged with animal cruelty according to the Laurens Co. Sheriff’s Office
The sheriff thanked the Anderson County PAWS for stepping in when Animal Control realized they couldn’t take care of all the animals.
"These people charged under the felony section of animal cruelty and hopefully there will be justice served,” Reynolds said.
Because there were so many animals to care for, several agencies, including the Humane Society of Charlotte, have been asked to help care for the animals.
The national Humane Society commended local shelters, including Humane Society of Charlotte, for being quick to answer the call.
Jones asks that you please consider looking at your local shelters before you purchase a dog. If you do choose to buy from a breeder, she says make sure you can visit the breeding location, get veterinary papers and talk to other customers.
In this case, it was a customer who reached out to police when they realized the dog they purchased was not well.