Saturday, June 17, 2017

More than 80 Great Danes rescued from suspected puppy mill in New Hampshire

The Humane Society of the United States assisted the Wolfeboro Police Department in the rescue of 84 Great Danes from a suspected puppy mill in New Hampshire.

The Wolfeboro Police Department served search and seizure and arrest warrants on the property on Friday, June 16 and found that the dogs were being housed in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Eighty-four dogs have been rescued from this property as part of this effort.

The Wolfeboro Police Department has previously dealt with the owner of the residence/business regarding barking dog complaints. The department initiated an investigation on May 8 surrounding animal neglect allegations.

When responders arrived, they found 84 Great Danes living in squalid conditions with limited access to food or water. The dogs were sliding on their own feces while walking, and several had eyelids so swollen their eyes were red. The smell of ammonia, feces, and raw chicken overwhelmed rescuers.

Lindsay Hamrick, New Hampshire state director for the HSUS who was on the scene, said: “It’s astonishing that such cruelty can occur and I’m so relieved that these animals are now safe and in the hands of people who will provide proper care for them. We anticipate caring for them for several months.”

Chief Dean Rondeau of the Wolfeboro Police Department said: “I’ve never seen conditions this bad in more than 21 years of law enforcement. Words cannot describe the absolute abhorrent conditions these animals were living in. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Humane Society of the United States, Conway Area Humane Society and Pope Memorial SPCA, whose expert opinion and counsel was well-received, as well as the other local organizations who assisted at the scene.”

The HSUS has safely transported the animals to a temporary emergency animal shelter at an undisclosed location. Responders from the Barnstead Police Department, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Conway Area Humane Society, Pope Memorial SPCA of Concord-Merrimack County, Stewart’s Ambulance, Wolfeboro Fire Department, Wolfeboro Health Officer/Code Enforcement also assisted in the rescue.

Hamrick said that the HSUS rarely needs to intervene in animal neglect cases in New Hampshire because the state’s animal shelters have the capacity and resources to handle most cruelty cases, but the financial burden associated with the long-term care of these animals required additional assistance.

“We urge lawmakers to pass a comprehensive cost of animal care law to require those charged with animal cruelty to pay for the costs associated with the care of their animals while the case is prosecuted, so animal welfare groups and taxpayers do not bear these financial burdens,” she said.

Once at the shelter, the dogs will be thoroughly examined by a team of veterinarians and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment. Nylabone is providing chew toys for all the rescued dogs to help calm them at the shelter. Jewett-Cameron is providing its Lucky Dog custom kennels and exercise runs for the dogs to increase their activity level.

Image credit: Meredith Lee/The HSUS

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