16 Comments for this article

Tags: , , , , ,


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

  • Jean

    When will laws be passed throughout the United States that will put a stop to puppy mills. Heavy fines, jail time and loss of rights to own animals in the future should be imposed

  • Guest-o-matic

    Jean, while your head is in the right place, new laws will make no difference. Our current drug laws, rape laws, burglary laws and laws against murder do nothing to stifle crime as it is. Puppy Mill laws will be no different. We can’t even stop people from doing stupid and dangerous things like texting while driving. Laws mean nothing and the criminals know it!

    Until our judicial system and process begins APPLYING and ENFORCING serious sentences, the puppy mill magnates will fill the streets no differently than the violent Felons that walk among us every single day…free as a bird to do whatever they wish to whomever they wish!

    THAT my friend is where the problem lies!

  • Guest Timekeeper

    Now, the owners of the puppy mill should have to live in those coops for about a year as a condition of their punishment, just like they are with no cleaning done.

  • Pugman1961

    The laws against puppy mills are no good without the absolute strongest form of enforcement!! These people need to be charged with crimes and imprisoned / jailed and fined thousands of dollars to make it less attractive for them to enter or return to the business as they do. Without that , strong enforcement , all the laws enacted are like having a gun with no bullets!! In the name of God, NC politicians , step up, grow some balls and be heard !! Put a stop to this NOW!!!!

  • Tom Grady

    Thankfully, these animals are safe now. But in so many other puppy mills, the suffering continues – for every minute of every passing day.

    And until we see the passage of stronger regulations on breeding, we will only see the occasional raid of a mill that happens to be uncovered.
    Regular, unannounced inspections could save thousands and thousands of dogs from this kind of suffering.

  • Carol luber

    Please update this story in the coming months for those that would like to help. Thank You. Carol

  • nancy janovetz

    NC state law requires every animal to have shelter, food &water. The police saw that these conditions were not met . Why did it take years to correct this when we have specific laws (animal welfare act) to notify owner, give them certain number of hours to remedy or animals are to be removed. Why were they left for years! Someone needs to be fired & these people need to be in jail! Puppy mill dogs are interbred & will have genetic problems. We need to ask Senator Bill Rabon why, as a vet he refuses to sponsor a bill to stop puppy mills. This is a disgrace & needs to be addressed at election time! Let’s start giving maximum penalties & time in jail & publicize these raids!

  • dog owner

    I am so glad someone else thinks that having
    Bill Rabon not supporting puppy mill laws is SAD! He knows first hand how horrible these poor animals are treated. The state may not be able to stop all puppy mill owners, but with strong laws that will address this problem would help. One that charges people with high fines and even jail time. This would make potential puppy mill owners think twice before having a puppy mill in NC. Come election time, I also will remember how some our elected officials are not serving the people who elect them!

  • hwylo

    Thats crazy. Criminal behavior and the legal system are two different things. One reason for a legal system is to establish a code of acceptable behavior; while the reasons for committing a crime are various-stupidity, ignorance, greed, etc., The criminal justice system is charged with implementing the legal system and rewarding abhorrent behavior, when required. That system may need stricter application as you suggest, but that is another argument. Blaming the legal system for the failures of the justice system is like blaming the farmer that sells you corn for the bad recipe you use to cook it.

    Most people know that just because something isn’t explicitly illegal, that does not always mean it is ok to do it. This is not the case with puppy mill operators and other animal abusers. That is why North Carolina urgently needs our legislators to explicitly ban puppy mills, and strengthen our existing Animal Welfare legislation.

  • Janie WIthers

    Puppy mills cost the county taxpayers so much money. Money that could be better used than cleaning up the breeder’s mess.
    The fact that our own Senator Bill Rabon, a veterinarian, works hard in Raleigh to be sure we NEVER get a puppy mill bill.
    Dogs that are sold on the internet, craigs list, newspaper ads COME FROM PUPPY MILLS. Legitimate breeders have left NC. Legitimate breeders hate this as much as most civilized people. Puppy mill are inhumane but what our elected officials in Raleigh did again this year to stop passage of a bill to regulate the mills is worse!

  • Wilmington Observer

    If I’m not mistaken, Pender County Animal Control is part of the Pender County Sheriffs Department. I would be interested in knowing what steps they have taken “to help her downsize the number of animals she had in the past”. Has anyone been arrested? Has the Sheriffs Department taken any of the animals? If not, then that would mean that the Sheriffs Department has known about the number and conditions of these animals “for years” and has, basically” looked the other way.

    Wilmington Observer

  • guest254

    I know the person who this article is about and I just want to let everyone know that they are not a bad person. The owner loves and takes good care of their animals. I will admit that yes they probably had too many animals on that particular piece of property…but they did not abuse those animals in the slightest. The news only wants you to see the bad side of people and don’t say “yes they took good care of their animals but they just had too many so we had to come in and take them.” Most of the dogs have their own separate pen…and the bulldogs(who don’t do well in heat) have their own air conditioned room and a run out the back so they can go to an outside kennel if they wish. I just want people to know that this person isn’t a terrible person who was cruel and abused and neglected her animals…because they didn’t.


Related News