NORTHWOOD — At the request of the Worth County Sheriff’s Office, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) announces that it has begun placing a select group of dogs seized last week from an inhumane commercial breeding facility often referred to as a “puppy mill” in Worth County with shelters and rescue groups in the Midwest region. The remaining dogs will remain at an undisclosed temporary shelter where veterinary forensic and behavior experts continue to complete their assessments in support of the investigation led by the Worth County Sheriff’s Office.
Over the past few days, the ASPCA worked with its network of rescue groups and shelters to find suitable placement options following careful evaluation of the animals’ medical and behavior disposition for a select group of dogs. Agencies that received dogs from the ASPCA include: Cedar Bend Humane Society (Waterloo, IA); Humane Society of North Iowa (Mason City, IA); Nebraska Humane Society (Omaha, NE); and Wichita Animal Action League (Wichita, KS).
“We are incredibly grateful for our response partners who are supporting our rescue operation by sending volunteers to care for these animals, as well as taking in animals to give them a second chance,” said Jessica Rushin, senior manager of ASPCA Partnerships. “Our responders have been working around the clock to care for these dogs, and we look forward to seeing them move on to the next stage where they will have an opportunity to be adopted into safe and loving homes.”
On November 12, the ASPCA assisted the Worth County Sheriff’s Office with evidence collection, removal and sheltering of 160 dogs – mainly Samoyeds — found living in overcrowded conditions in below freezing temperatures. The ASPCA subsequently transported the animals to an emergency shelter and has been providing daily care and behavioral enrichment with support from many of the agencies listed above.
The investigation was set into motion by the Worth County Sheriff’s Office several months ago when local animal welfare groups alerted them to investigate the matter. Animal neglect charges are pending based on evidence collected by ASPCA in support of the case.
The ASPCA has rescued countless dogs from puppy mills across the nation and has been active in promoting legislation at both the state and federal levels to strengthen regulations and improve oversight of the standards of care of dogs in commercial breeding facilities. Dogs at these facilities are often kept in crowded, unsanitary conditions without adequate access to veterinary care, food, water, or socialization. The ASPCA’s Barred From Love campaign urges the public to speak out against cruel breeding and also encourages dog lovers to adopt from a local shelter or rescue group or learn how to identify a responsible breeder.