Volunteers say lax legislation to blame for puppy mills in North Carolina

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.

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