Nearly 100 Dogs Rescued from ‘Deplorable’ Florida Puppy Mill

DEC. 22, 2015 UPDATE: Many of these rescued dogs are now ready for forever homes, the ASPCA reports.

“We’ve seen these dogs come a long way over the last month,” said Jessica Rushin of the ASPCA. “Now we’re bringing them to communities across Florida and hoping local citizens will come out and adopt them. These dogs have never known what it means to be a pet, so we’re thrilled that many of them may be spending this holiday season in a warm, safe home for the first time.”

For a list of the Florida shelters where the dogs are available, visit the ASPCA website.

Nearly 100 dogs rescued from Florida puppy mill

Dozens of dogs living in filthy conditions, without clean food or water and exposed to the elements, were rescued yesterday from a suspected unlicensed puppy mill in Clewiston, Fla.

The rescued dogs ranged in size from Chihuahuas to Siberian Huskies. Some were only two days old.

“It’s obvious that some are ill, and there are some newborn puppies, too,” Capt. Susan Harrelle of the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, which worked with the ASPCA to save the dogs, told NBC-2.

ASPCA spokeswoman Kelly Krause told Naple News the conditions were “deplorable.”

The owners of the operation, Beatriz Perez and Alexei Fernandez, had been selling the dogs to pet stores in the Miami-Dade area. They were arrested yesterday and charged with several counts of animal cruelty.

Each of the rescued dogs was examined by a veterinarian.

“We’re seeing a number of medical issues, eye issues, teeth issues, skin problems,” Tim Rickey, vice president of ASPCA Field Investigation and Response, told NBC-2. “These animals are living in this environment every day and not receiving adequate care.”

The dogs were transferred to an ASPCA shelter, where they will receive veterinary care until custody of the dogs is determined by the court.

After the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office received numerous complaints from the community, the ASPCA launched an investigation of the operation six months ago.

Clewiston Animal Control, Texas Humane Heroes and the Humane Society of Broward County also helped with the rescue and will assist with the care of the dogs.

Puppy mills — commercial breeding operations in which dogs are typically neglected and kept in small cages — are actually legal in Florida and 21 other states. Campaigns like the ASPCA’s No Pet Store Puppies are trying to raise people’s awareness about the horrible environments these dogs come from.

“This is a tragic situation we see all too often,” Rickey said in a press release. “Puppy mills are a widespread issue across Florida and around the country. Many people are unaware that most puppies sold at pet stores come from puppy mills, and that buying pet store puppies indirectly supports these facilities.”

This rescue provides nearly 100 reasons why it’s so important to adopt, not shop, for a dog.

Photo via Twitter

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!