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LELAND, NC (WWAY) — On Friday, we took you inside a puppy mill in Brunswick County. But why are facilities like this popping up around the state? Some say lax regulations in North Carolina are to blame for the operations.

“Here we go,” said Kim Alboum, North Carolina director for the Humane Society of the United States. “This is a North Carolina puppy mill.”

The cries are deafening. Animals in need of help but nothing can be done until conditions are extreme. Alboum gave us a tour of the breeding facility in Brunswick County that housed 159 dogs.

This is the filth behind Fido. The true story of puppies bred for profit.

“This is what the general public buys,” said Alboum. “The general public that bought from this breeder bought a puppy that was born in this room.”

The living conditions of the dogs at the Leland home were so bad the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and the Humane Society were able to move forward with the bust. That’s not usually the case though. North Carolina does not have any legislation on puppy mills so productions like this are only illegal when conditions are at their worst.

“There is absolutely no rules or regulations for breeders that sell to the general public,” said Alboum. “You only have rules if you sell to research labs and pet stores.”

That means no licenses. No inspections. No regulations, just profit for breeders. Alboum says practices like this give responsible breeders a bad name.

“Breeders like this put a stigma on dog breeders,” said Alboum. “We have wonderful, responsible dog breeders in North Carolina but look at this. Look at this. How do you know? How do you know if you’re looking online that you’re not getting this?”

These dogs were lucky. They were removed and take to facilities across North Carolina. Most will be adopted in to loving homes. Other pups won’t be as fortunate.

Right now, Senate Bill 460 is the only proposed legislation placing some regulations on breeders but that bill stalled out in the House during the 2009-2010 session.

Representative Carolyn Justice says with puppy mills like this popping up across the state, she thinks the bill may receive new life in the next session. She hopes this time it will pass and put pressure on breeders like this.

Another location that distributed the puppies was found in New Hanover County with about 30 dogs. All of the animals have been removed and most are up for adoption in Charlotte and Wake County. So far, 12 dogs have been adopted.

Breeders Ameila and Andrew Millis are in Brunswick County Jail with six charges each of cruelty to animals. Both are being held on $1.5 million dollar secured bonds.

Comment on this Story

  • SurfCityTom

    and have strict enforcement with penalties which will send a strong message. Look up I-40, was there not a rather large dog fighting and breeding operation going on in Duplin County?

    There are all types of gun control regulations. Does not stop gangsters, thugs and thieves from packing.

  • Guest18

    That bond is absurd I know an accused murderer running the streets right now that bond was not that high look up the murder of Sherman Daniels in longwood!the person being accused of that crime is out on bond trial probaly wont start till next year.

  • Debbie Perryman

    I live in Brunswick County and the laws in this County are behind the times in every aspect of animal care. We still allow conditions like this to continue. We still euthanize by gas chamber and still adopt an animal without being spayed or neutered due to cost. We have no spay or neuter clinics to help those less fortunate and the only immunization clinics are for rabies only twice per year. These people will get a slap on the wrist due to them surrendering the animals and will then move on to do it again. We need to make changes so we can stop the suffering of these animals who count on us to have a voice for them.

  • Guest2020

    Any resident of Brunswick County with a low income can obtain a voucher from the county to get their pets spayed and neutered.

  • Kat Herder

    These people are NOT dog breeders! Hello! Why does it always take a hammer over the head of legislators to wake up? Puppy mills should be illegal at all times in any situations. If a breeder wants to produce litters for sale they should have buyers lined up for the entire litter before they produce it! R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y! Use it! I think these people should be given life sentences or hung, by the way. Ignorant pigs!

  • Kat Herder

    They are no more dog breeders than I am an astronaut! They are greedy, filthy pigs and I hope they spend the rest of their miserable lives in prison so they’ll get an inkling of what they did to innocent animals for greed.

    Puppy mill should be illegal. Why do our legislators always need a sledge hammer over the head to open their eyes? Idiots! A breeder should only be allowed to produce a litter that has every puppy or kitten already sold to a resposible owner. These rotten non-humans probably sold their pups to the wrong kind of people anyway. I hope they all go to hell.

  • Kat Herder

    I’ve posted two of them and neither one is showing up? What, did I give the wrong opinion?

  • SurfCityTom

    this week, a couple, of similar entrepenurial persuasion, were tried on very similar charges and convicted.

    Jail time — None — all probation; I do not believe there was even a requirement for community service.

    Fines — none — they were declared indigent.

    Required to cover $10,000 in ASPCA expenses over this incident — No — the judge said they were indigent.

    So not even community service @ the county animal shelter. No requirement to clean roadsides. Not even a requirement they wear signs confirming what they were convicted of.

    If the follow up to being charged is this lax, why would anyone think doubling down with new legislation will be the cure?


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