53 “lap” dogs were rescued this morning from a trailer park near St. Anne in rural Kankakee County.
The dogs, including maltipoos, Yorkshire terriers, and pugs ranging from 7 weeks to 10 years old, were found by the Cook County Sheriff’s Department enduring below-freezing conditions, according to a Sun-Times Media Wire story.
A news release from the county stated that “Puppies had broken bones, internal organ problems and were infected with fleas and mites. One dog had injuries that will likely require amputations of a limb,” as reported by Chicago’s Breaking News Center.
Despite their various health issues, the dogs were being sold in newspapers and online for $300-$600.
Authorities received a tip about the alleged puppy mill from the South Suburban Humane Society in Chicago Heights and investigators with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department’s animal crimes unit and the Illinois State Police executed a search warrant following a week-long undercover investigation.
All dogs were taken to the South Suburban Humane Society, where they are receiving medical attention.
Felony cruelty charges will likely be brought against a 59-year-old Joliet woman, the target of the investigation. This is not her first offense.
The Midwest is home to the largest concentration of commercial kennels in the country. These puppy mills are distinguished by their inhumane conditions, as in this Kankakee County case. Dogs are treated as commodities, mass produced to be sold online, in newspaper ads, or to pet stores.
If you must purchase a puppy from one of these sources, make sure you are not inadvertently supporting the practice. Find out where the puppy came from: ask to see official paperwork and don’t take no for an answer. Puppy mill dogs are not bred for good health or temperament, and you may find yourself with a pet who is ill or has genetic or emotional problems. Mills also contribute to overpopulation – millions of dogs are euthanized every year. Always buy from a reputable, federally licensed breeder.
Better yet, adopt.
The nearby Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin and The Almost Home Foundation, based in Elk Grove Village, are both great organizations and have plenty of dogs and cats who need homes up for adoption.
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