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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)

Comment on this Story

  • John

    I would back you up on this comment with the exception of one thing: all the puppies. It is one issue if you are trying to rescue dogs or take in the unwanted and then get overwhelmed or take on more than you can handle. This lady was breeding and selling. She was adding to the animal population problem already in existence in this country. Ask the Pender County Animal Control how many animals they have for adoption that they will probably end up killing because they cannot place and if they feel this woman was making their job easier.

  • John

    Right down the road from this home is another “kennel” who breeds numerous animals and sells them online. The owner’s mother also lives in the area and has a breeding operation and also breeds and sells many animals. Not only are there ethical considerations in the fact that all three of these women are contributing to the general over population of animals in this country and crimial concerns as to the treatment of the animals but what about other laws that could come into consideration? If this was not profitable, would they be doing it? The answer to that is no. The breeding operation down the road from this one advertises pups for sale for up to $650.00 each on her website. How much in state sales tax and income tax are these people paying on a highly profitable operation? The Willard-Watha area is full of dog breeders who need a much closer look, most definitely from the local, state and federal tax authorities.

  • Guestconnie

    Judging from the video, looks like she is breeding pure breads, not rescuing mutts from the highway.

  • jerry e harrington

    Just to everyone that’s putting the owner of this property down. Its ashame to place judgement on or towards a person not knowing the whole situation the press is only going to tell u what they want you to know most of these animals was drop offs. if not for this person trying to feed and shelter these animals they would have been in the roads yeah in the roads and ran over by whom. Some of you

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