CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Some of the puppies rescued from what a sheriff called “monstrous" conditions at a puppy mill in Laurens County South Carolina, are now available for adoption at the Humane Society of Charlotte.
The 23 chihuahuas were brought to Humane Society of Charlotte on January 17. Some of the animals, raging from puppies to older dogs, were in dire need of medical care.
I met one of the older dogs today.
“This is Jayce," Calli Rutzinski from Humane Society of Charlotte said as she handed me a tiny bundle. I could just see furry ears, and her big chihuahua eyes.
“She’s sweet, but she’s a little scared,” Calli said.
There is good reason these animals are scared. Calli says it’s likely, they have spent most of their lives inside a cage with little, to no, human contact.
“Most puppy mills, especially with these small breed puppy mills, they’re going to be living in kennels probably stacked on top of each other,” Calli describing the life Jayce knew before she was rescued.
“She was definitely bred multiple times. So she probably lived her entire life in the kennel,” Calli said as little Jayce peered up at me swaddled in a baby blanket.
These animals, Rutzinski said, had little, to no socialization, other than getting water and food once a day. That’s if they were lucky.
Right now, five of the chihuahuas are available for adoption at the Humane Society. Some others have already been adopted out. The remaining chihuahuas, like Jayce, still need to overcome some medical and emotional hurdles.
Tonight a mother and son are facing felony animal cruelty charges. Barbara Timms and her son, Barry Davis, lived on the property in Ware Shoals where Sheriff Don Reynolds said they sold chihuahuas under deplorable conditions.
“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," Reynolds told reporters, clearly angry at the discovery in his county.
When I asked what those of us who love animals can do to help stop this kind of treatment of animals, Rutzinski was clear.
“Adopt. Don’t shop!”
Humane Society of Charlotte is a non-profit. They’re dependent on financial donations, volunteers, and those willing to foster animals.
She puppy mills wouldn’t be in business if people would first check local shelters. If you do want a specific breed, check shelters, then check out the breeder! Make sure they’re working with a veterinarian. Ask to visit the location where the dog you’re purchasing was born. Ask to meet the mother and father of the pup. All would be considered legitimate requests to a legitimate breeder.
In all, 145 dogs were taking in by his deputies during the January 15 raid. Laurens County Animal control then reached out to shelters across the Carolinas once a court granted the county custody of the animals. Anderson County P.A.W.S. came to the rescue and helped coordinate a massive effort to find shelters with room for all the animals and fosters willing to help out.
Thanks to Humane Society of Charlotte they’re in safe homes tonight and one could be in your home soon!