On August 23rd, 2008, with the assistance of HSUS and Best Friends Animal Society and others, we rescued 973 dogs and puppies from the Whispering Oaks Kennel, a puppy mill that had been operating in our community for 50 years. The press release below from the HSUS represents well the efforts and results. Also our presentation, A Rescue Story provides you glimpse of the conditions that these poor dogs were living in until they day of their rescue.
Humane Organizations Help West Virginia
Authorities Raid Puppy Mill
PARKERSBURG, W. Va. (Aug. 24, 2008) - One thousand dogs saved from a Parkersburg, W. Va. puppy mill are now on their way to better lives thanks to the diligent efforts of local authorities and local and national humane organizations.
"It is extremely gratifying to know that our efforts will bring comfort and hope to 1,000 animals that spent their whole lives in darkness and despair," said Maryann Hollis, executive director of the Humane Society of Parkersburg. "But we would not have been able to save all of these dogs without the help of United Animal Nations, Best Friends Animal Society, the Humane Society of Missouri and The Humane Society of the United States."
Members of the Wood County Sheriff's department and County Prosecuting Attorney Ginny Conley had received complaints that the property owner was discharging pollution without a permit. When they arrived on the scene to investigate these claims they found a grossly overrun breeding facility wrought with obvious animal neglect.
"While these were not the worst conditions I have ever witnessed, it is impossible for anyone to properly care for 1,000 dogs," said Ginny Conley, Wood County prosecuting attorney.
Once on the scene local authorities were able to convince the property owner to surrender ownership of all 1,000 dogs. The Humane Society of Parkersburg immediately called in United Animal Nations, Best Friends Animal Society, the Humane Society of Missouri and The Humane Society of the United States for assistance. All organizations involved have banded together to assist with the removal of the approximately 1,000 dogs and oversee the emergency shelter where all of the animals will be housed while they await their next destination.
The dogs were predominately dachshunds, but many Yorkies, King Charles Cavaliers and Poodles were also bred at the facility. All of the dogs were housed in dilapidated sheds spread throughout the rural property - some without access to fresh water. These dogs, like all animals bred in puppy mills, lacked proper veterinary care or even basic socialization. But these resilient little animals are already beginning to perk up under the care of their temporary guardians at the emergency shelter. Thankfully they will soon be taken in by humane organizations around the region, evaluated and put up for adoption.