FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Puppy Mill operators plead guilty

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Submitted: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 8:38pm
Updated: Sun, 08/19/2012 - 1:40am

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A couple accused of running a puppy mill has pleaded guilty to two dozen counts of animal cruelty in Brunswick County. Amelia and Andrew Millis entered their pleas today.

Prosecutors say the Millises will be placed on 36 months of probation. They are also under an order for a lifetime ban on possession of animals for either personal or commercial purposes. The are also subject to frequent, warrantless searches for compliance.

The Millises were also ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution or surrender all of the animals in their possession. They turned over all of their animals to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, including 158 dogs and 29 birds. The animals have been placed in the care of various rescue groups throughout North Carolina.

If you want to help, some of the dogs from the Millis’ puppy mill will be up for adoption starting Saturday, at Aunt Kerry’s Pet Shop, 3600 S. College Rd in Wilmington from 10 AM until 2 PM.


  • Deminthered says:

    Where’d they spend the money they got from selling these poor pups? It surely wasn’t on teeth.

  • kloveless2010 says:

    No offense because this a lesson for all people who buy puppies – you did not save this puppy from anything, you bought him. By buying him you put money in the breeders’ pocket and left the puppy’s parents to suffer. They spend year after year in a cage breeding more puppies for people with good hearts, just like you, to ‘save’.

  • Rhonda Talley says:

    This is why people who want/need a puppy should adopt from an established rescue organization or the shelter. If people would stop spending money with the breeders, alot of this would stop. Aren’t there enough homeless animals to go around? Do you really need that designer dog?

  • Guest2319 says:

    Recent puppy mill raid was a shock. Although the website showing the puppies was a very clean looking site. I visited the home before purchasing the puppy I got from the Mills. I looked for a miniature schnauzer because they do not shed and I have a daughter with allergies. My schnauzer did not have matted hair nor did he have a smell. His name is Chase and he is a lovable little guy. He loves to be cuddled and is very smart. We love him and are very glad we purchased him. We feel sorry for the puppies and what they have went through living under those circumstances, but he is in a nice warm loving home now and is in perfect health condition. Had we known it was a mill, we would have attempted to save more than just one puppy.

  • Blanche Fedor says:

    What would have happened if they payed the restitution-would they have been able to keep the animals??????

  • cbelow says:

    Most likely payment of restitution was part of a plea deal they made with the DA. I’m sure their options were to plead guilty, pay restitution and avoid jail OR take your chances with a jury trial while the animals wait it out in protective custody. Given all the puppy mill raids over the last year and the outcomes for the puppy millers, they followed the sound advice of their lawyer to take the deal.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    do they really appear able to pay that amount of restitution?

    That is what is sad with the laws.

    The ASPCA and animal control as well as other agencies will spend thousands to care for the animals or perhaps euthanize those in poor shape.

    These weasels will pay nothing to cover those expenses.

    And no public service required as part of the sentence.

    The same type of case was handled in Jones county within the past 7 days; the same type of sentence.

    Why the DA & Judge let these types of cases off so lightly is a question which should be asked.

  • Karalyn says:

    I was wondering the same thing! In my opinion, they should be forced to live under the same conditions they kept the animals in!

  • guesty says:

    From the story: “They are also under an order for a lifetime ban on possession of animals for either personal or commercial purposes.”

  • kloveless2010 says:

    In NC, when an animal or animals are seized in a cruelty case, the owner can either surrender the animal(s) or pay for their care pending the outcome of the trial. The court determines if they get the animals back – it has nothing to do with the amount they pay (or don’t pay)for their care. It is called a bonding law and is very helpful in situations like this. In Wilson County, a couple chose to pay for their dogs’ care while it is being fought out in court, but they may lose their dogs regardless.

  • Stephanie says:

    I bought a puppy from them two months ago…..I had no clue. I went to thier New Hanover county home and there were only 7 puppies. I looked on the internet and felt I had done my research. I was trying to find a hypoallergenic dog for my little boy who has allergies and this was the only place I found one. I talked with these people and they seemed to be the nicest christian couple and talked about how much they loved animals, I was duped by these people. They told me how they won’t let the puppies go till 12 weeks not 8 weeks because they loved the dogs and wanted to make sure they were healthy. The home they had in New Hanover was not dirty it was clean. The only thing me and my daughter can see in hindsight was there was a smell there. I guess the only good part is I saved a puppy and she is happy and my kids love her. I just wonder if she is even the type of dog they said she was or had the medical care they said she did:( Made me lose faith in humanity.

  • Worried says:

    I did the same two years ago.. You know I have found out when supposely Christian people start spouting it when you walk in the door, something is not right. We paid a lot money for our morkie. She was 11 weeks old when we purchased her. She does have some behavorial problems, but we love her and can’t throw her away. I found everything you say to be true. I think with our love we can train her to be a good pet. I am afraid that she was inbred. You just never know about people.

  • Guest2319 says:

    Hi, I did the same thing The house wasn’t dirty and I visited the home a few weeks before purchasing my schnauzer. They did seem to be a very warm loving couple that we talked to often. She has spoken to me since being released and has assured me the puppy is a what I purchased and that I should be receiving papers soon. I was just glad I save my little guy from there. He is a lovable puppy that loves being held and cuddled. My family and I love him, but we now have second thoughts about buying again from a breeder although we have purchased from breeders in the past and have had healthy puppies. If you purchase from a pet store, you do not know the where abouts of puppy. Breeders sell to pet stores as well.

  • Guest111 says:

    Probation? Give me 5 minutes alone with these cretins and I’ll show you what the court systems SHOULD have done with them. God, our legal system is sick, sick, sick, sick and BROKEN AND CROOKED!

  • guest 201 says:

    these PEOPLE also OWN HOUSES IN LELAND, Whiteville Ave, are all those houses checked also. They were busted about 4 years ago for the same thing a puppy mill, Thats when they moved some dogs to Leland, cause cops were checking thier house on Wooddale.

  • susan s says:

    They have been running a puppy mill for years!!!!!!!!!! They ran one when they was living on Wooddale Ave. in Wilmington N.C. They was reported years ago but no one did anything to them,they also used to sell their puppies at Pauls Place in Rocky Point, i’m glad they finally got caught!

  • HR says:

    These lowlifes should have to reimburse all the shelters for the added expense of taking care of these animals now. Their complete irresponibilty will now cost others (who are responsible people) a lot of money, time and effort – not to mention the suffering the animals had to endure – it is sickening. And they should also have to do community service with some jail time. This penalty – probation is just a slap on the wrist. This is why people like this continue to operate puppy mills – because there is no real consequence if they get caught. The penalties need to be stronger to help prevent this type of cruel behavior in the future.

  • Guest2020 says:

    I know this is a terrible thing they did, but they don’t have a criminal record. There are first time offenders who commit crimes worse than this who get off easier than these two did.

  • kloveless2010 says:

    Yes they do have a prior record for the same thing. They were run out of New Hanover County in 2001.

  • GuestReality says:

    What I want to know is WHY North Carolina hasn’t passed a law against these inhumane puppy mills. Is someone padding their pockets not to do it?

    All the politicians in NC should be required to visit at least one puppy mill to see what their lack of action is causing. It’s a disgrace!

  • kloveless2010 says:

    First of all, Schnauzers may shed less than others dogs, but they do shed. Second, where the Millis’ sold their puppies was not where they were bred. Your puppy was probably washed before being sold. I was one of the people that got the dogs out of the house where they were bred and trust me – it smelled horrendous. I was also the one who carried out the puppies that had roaches crawling all over them. Buying a puppy from a puppy mill only perpetuates the business. You are not helping the breeding stock by buying puppies so buying two puppies would have only put more money in their pocket. I am glad your puppy is ok, but in the future if you want to help, please ADOPT from the local shelter or a rescue group.

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