On Monday morning, James and Tara Best appeared in a Jefferson County court and were each charged with 100 counts of animal cruelty after last week's raid on their White Hall farm resulted in the seizure of nearly 200 animals reported ArkansasMatters.com.
The charges may eventually be upgraded to aggravated animal cruelty.
In a joint effort, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office removed 121 "puppy mill" dogs from the 40 acre farm - many of them living in egregious conditions in cages filled with feces and urine, lacking food and water, and in desperate need of veterinarian care.
Spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Major Lafayette Woods, stated the stench of ammonia from the living conditions of the animals assaulted his senses as he entered the home.
Also confiscated were 20 horses, 19 chickens, 11 exotic birds, cats, rabbits, and turtles. Many of the animals were underweight.
According to the HSUS, Arkansas is one of the worst states for animal protection. The organization estimates at least 500 puppy mills are in existence, since there are no requirements for annual inspections.
The state does not require dog breeders to register as a business. The HSUS will be working with lawmakers this year to pursue legislation to end such cruelty.
Most of the animals have been relocated to the Saline County Humane Society. Other rescues helping out are the Central Arkansas Rescue Efforts for Animals, Out of the Woods, Red Rover, and the Sallis Ranch Large Animal Rescue.
The animals will not be available for adoption until a judge makes that decision.
If you would like to donate to the HSUS and help this organization, please click here.
"PetSmart Charities is providing the necessary food, supplies, and enrichment items for the dogs. This raid was made possible in part because of the generosity of Louis Dorfman, a dedicated constituent, advocate, and supporter of The HSUS."
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