PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- More than 80 animals were rescued from a home in Pender County today. Investigators said they were tipped off to a suspected puppy mill after a consumer complained of a sick dog.
"There is a lot of animals on a very small piece of property here, and any time you have something like that it is a recipe for disaster," Humane Society of the United States state director Kim Alboum said.
That disaster for more than 80 animals came to an end after deputies, animal control and rescue groups took them from a home on NC 11 in Willard.
The Humane Society says animals are bred for profit all over North Carolina because the state does not have any laws to regulate people who sell animals directly to the public.
"If you want to start a puppy mill, North Carolina is the place you want to be, because we don't have any rules," Alboum said.
The Humane Society says law enforcement cannot do anything to save the animals until it reaches crisis proportions.
"It took so long to get them to get them into the state they are in now, and we have failed them," Alboum said.
Among the animals were dogs, chickens, cows and a goat. The Humane Society says these animals have a variety of not only physical problems but mental issues, too.
Animal control says the agency knew about this particular location for years and has tried to prevent what came to a head Wednesday.
"We've tried to help her downsize in the number of animals she had in the past," Pender County Animal Control Lt. Keith Ramsey said.
The animals will be moved out of the area to begin their recovery
"They'll be rehabilitated with the Guilford County Animal Shelter and the SPCA of Wake County," Alboum said. "A lot of them will likely go in foster homes for an extended period of time due to the state they are in."
Investigators hope to have most of the animals in loving homes in about a month.
The owner agreed to surrender the animals. No one has been arrested yet, but each animal could represent a separate charge.
(Photo by Kim Alboum/The HSUS)