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Puppy mill victims seized from Ala. breeder; police, rescuers respond

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On April 26th, approximately 50 dogs and puppies were discoverd living in substandard conditions at the Elberta, Ala., home of puppy-mill operator, Beverly Baker. Baker may face charges of animal cruelty and neglect, according to Elberta Police Chief Stan DeVane.

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Baldwin County Humane Society (BARC!), Furrever Homes Animal Rescue, volunteers and veterinarians were on the scene yesterday offering emergency on-site care, assisting in transferring the numerous sick, emaciated and parasite infested puppies and breeder dogs to local veterinary clinics. At least one dog required immediate blood transfusion in order to save his life, while others were on the brink of death. Maggots were found in food bowls, fresh water was unavailable, bedding and doghouses were deemed unfit, and fleas jumped and crawled on the surfaces inside the home.

This disturbing discovery comes on the heels of a similar case in January at Purple Hearted Puppies Kennels, Summerdale, AL, where more than 100 neglected dogs and cats were rescued after weeks of abandonment and starvation. Many were found dead or dying, as well as a good number buried on property owned by Purple Hearted Puppies' owners, Roberta Downing Dueitt and Sharon Nicole Dueitt. The women face first-degree cruelty to a cat or dog, a felony, and cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor, according to Baldwin County Corrections Center records.

The Elberta dogs and puppies are in joint custody of Baldwin County Humane Society (BARC!) and Furrever Homes Animal Rescue. Applications for adoption or foster, as well as options for contributions can be found for BARC! at http://www.BaldwinHumane.org and Furrever Homes Animal Rescue can be contacted at www.furreverh@hotmail.com or https://www.facebook.com/sandra.nathan/posts/346029128789598#!/pages/Furrever-Homes-Animal-Rescue/220292354702301 Telephone numbers and addresses for mail-in donations are listed om on both sites.

Furrever Homes Animal Rescue President Steve Williams, along with Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation (AVRAL) members in Baldwin County, are in discussions with Baldwin County Commissioners in an attempt to urge the commission to enact animal ordiances and laws that would offer protection to victims of puppy mills and profit-driven breeders in the county.

Williams commented, "There's no requirement for even a business license for unscrupulous breeders and kennels in our county. In addition, Baldwin County has no county animal cruelty investigator or an effective method for investigation of suspected animal neglect and cruelty cases. In most cases, it is uncovered until too late. We want county officials to address these issues, and work with us for solid solutions."

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