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Tennessee dog hoarder suspected to be a puppy mill breeder

Van Meter
Van Meter
Booking photo

According to Friday's WRCB TV News, the 200-plus dogs who were rescued last week from squalid conditions on a farm in Bradley County, Tenn., were actually part of a puppy mill operation, rather than a hoarding situation, as was initially thought.

Authorities arrested and charged 56-year-old Rebecca Van Meter with one count of animal cruelty shortly after the dogs were seized from the property on Candies Creek Road last week.

Bradley County's SPCA Communications Director Beth Foster issued a statement to help clarify the situation:

A hoarding situation is a different situation altogether, this was a business enterprise,"

This is a puppy mill, an enterprise set up for profit to breed dogs and sell them,"

The dogs and puppies who were rescued from the farm were living in deplorable conditions; dogs were discovered crammed five and six bodies deep in small cages which were filled with urine and feces.

The Humane Society of the United States stepped up to help the Bradley County SPCA establish temporary shelter for the dozens of dogs and puppies who were taken from the property.

Prior story about this situation here.

Continue reading: After dog's guardian dies, family tells shelter 'you can keep him'

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