Rutherford County deputies are investigating a puppy mill after dogs were found dumped at several locations this week, Fox Carolina reported June 12.
Deputies in the Rutherford County, North Carolina area, along with The Humane Society of the United States, as well as the Humane Society of Charlotte are working to care for dozens of dogs found dumped this week.
A warrant was obtained to search a Ferry Road property in Mooresboro on June 11, but most of the dogs had been moved to other locations around the county.
Rutherford County Sheriff's Office Lt. Leon Godlock said the department received a tip about the dogs and went to investigate.
More than 50 dogs have been recovered, and were being brought to the county shelter today. An updated stated many of the dogs will be headed to Charlotte for further care.
Among the dogs were English bulldogs, yorkies cocker spaniels, French bulldogs and shih-tzu breeds. Many are in need of medical care.
A spokesman for HSUS said the dogs were provided food and water, but no grooming or medical care. It's unclear whether many of the dogs are male or female until they can be groomed.
The man accused of running the puppy mill hasn't been charged, pending an investigation. Charges are expected after the condition of the dogs are confirmed by medical examination.
The HSUS is offering up to $5,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a puppy mill operator for animal cruelty. This goes for any puppy mill, and not only the one in Rutherford County.
The Humane Society says there are no specific North Carolina laws to protect dogs sold directly to the public or online by commercial breeding facilities. Law enforcement officers, therefore, are unable to prevent neglect until it reaches crisis proportions.
According to a statement by HSUS on WSPA News, North Carolina has become home to some of the worst puppy mill operators in the country.
Since there are no specific laws in North Carolina to protect dogs sold directly to the public or online by commercial breeding facilities, the legal system is defenseless until an operator is reported for neglect or abuse. By this time the dogs are in horrible condition and the situation at crisis level.