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Pulaski County puppy mill bust adds dogs to Louisville shelters

Large breed dogs were kept outside with little to no shelter from the extreme cold.
Large breed dogs were kept outside with little to no shelter from the extreme cold.
ASPCA

On Jan. 21 Dennis Bradley, the owner of Dream Catcher Kennels, had forty two dogs and two cats removed from his property. He has been running an alleged puppy mill under the guise of a Kennel called Dream Catcher Kennel, which bred dogs ranging from Chihuahuas to much larger breeds like hounds.

The dogs were kept in deplorable conditions. The smaller breeds were kept inside in small cages or boxes with days’ worth of their own excrement surrounding them. They had no light and no interaction or freedom of any kind. The larger breeds were kept outside with little to no shelter, and what little shelter they had was inadequate. One dog was chained outside with only van nearby to shelter under

.Katherine Destreza, Director of Investigations for ASPCA, said that this was run like any other puppy mill; the animals were merely tools to make money, they are victims of the mill operator. This particular puppy mill came to her attention because of a google news alert. The battle to shut this puppy mill down has been raging since January 2013 when cruelty charges were brought against Bradley for the condition in which he kept his animals. In November 2013 undercover footage was taken and he was raided. At the time Pulaski County did not have to space or resources to remove all the dogs from his property. They did however remove the dogs in need of the most care. During the January 2013 raid the dogs were in such terrible conditions some were found dead, and in November some were so ill that they had to be humanely euthanized.

The ASPCA stepped in on Jan. 21 and saw to the removal and sheltering of the dogs and cats. The animals are sheltered now in the Louisville Metro area. Katherine points out that this is an unusual case for the ASPCA because the Puaski county officials had already laid the groundwork with the raids in January 2013 and November 2013. While saving the animals is always the priority, there were additional benefits to this operation. This type of cooperation allows the ASPCA to gain the trust of local officials and show them just how seriously the ASPCA takes these operations. The hope is that the ASPCA will be more likely to be called upon to assist in these types of cruelty cases if the county is unable to handle it alone.

These dogs face a new set of issues now. They must learn how to be dogs and exist in a world outside a tiny box or rusted metal crate. They must be socialized and in some cases medically treated before they can be adopted.

The abuse that these animals suffered is not unique. It happens every day in puppy mills just like this one all across the country, because people still buy dogs form pet stores or in some cases blindly online. There are countless animals in rescues, shelters and foster homes that need forever homes. This alone should render pet stores unnecessary. If people stop buying dogs from pet stores it will help to put these puppy mills out of business. Rescue a furry friend and don't support a puppy mill.