Group helps with puppy mill bust

Staff Reports • Updated Jul 16, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Animal Rescue Corps announced Monday all of the animals rescued from a Virginia puppy mill July 3 are on their way to New Leash on Life and ARC’s other shelter and foster-based rescue partners in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and Canada. 

ARC had been caring for the 132 rescued dogs, parrots and cockatiel at an emergency shelter they set up at the Page County Animal Shelter in Stanley, Va. since their rescue during Operation Liberty Dogs on July 3.

“Without compassionate partners like these, we couldn’t do what we do,” said Animal Rescue Corps President Scotlund Haisley. “These partners are as critical to these operations as the boots on the ground getting the animals out of harm’s way.”

ARC’s network of placement partners will be tasked with physically and emotional rehabilitating the animals and finding them permanent homes. The list of U.S. placement partners includes Mutts Matter Rescue,Dogs XL Rescue, the Humane Society of Calvert County, On the Rebound Bulldog Rescue, Doxie Rescue of Bucks County, the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Agape Animal Rescue, New Leash on Life, and Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee. In Canada, ARC’s placement partners include Marley’s Hope All Breed Rescue, Atlantic Small Dog Rescue, and Buddy’s Bully Rescue. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue in North Carolina took three ducks rescued in a separate, unrelated operation in which Animal Rescue Corps helped Page County, Va. officials address another cruelty situation in their community.

“Anyone wishing to foster or adopt one of these animals should contact ARC’s partner organizations directly and follow the foster and adoption screening process,” said ARC outreach director Karla Goodson, who is tasked with placing all of the animals ARC rescues. “Many of these recently rescued animals will not be available for adoption immediately but there are many other dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and other animals available through these rescue groups too, so anyone looking to add a member to their family will be able to find their perfect match.”

Operation Liberty Dogs began when ARC received a tip concerning the alleged neglect of the dogs. Documentation brought by ARC to the Page County Sheriff’s Office revealed several violations of county and state cruelty codes.

On July 3, 132 small-breed dogs, including newborn litters, were found crowded into small, dilapidated, indoor and outdoor wire and plastic crates and pens encrusted with urine and excessive piles of feces. The dogs, the majority of whom were underweight, were suffering from severe eye and ear infections, significant fur loss and matting, urine-soaked fur, skin issues, and extreme internal and external parasites, such as fleas. 

Additionally, three parrots and a cockatiel were found living in similar conditions, their cages and food bowls also covered in feces. All animals lacked adequate living conditions, socialization, and veterinary care.

Animal Rescue Corps performed Operation Liberty Dogs in conjunction with Page County Animal Control and the Page County Sheriff’s Office. American Dog Rescue and The Mosby Foundation provided financial resources. Also contributing equipment, supplies and other support for this rescue included PetSmart Charities; Caring Hands Animal Support and Education; Herndon Animal Medical Center, Page County Animal Shelter, SPCA of Northern Virginia, Mutts Matter Rescue of Rockville, Md.; Harrisonburg Animal Control of Harrisonburg, Va.; Middleburg Humane Foundation of Middleburg, Va.; Humane Society of Calvert County in Sunderland, Md.; Dogs XL Rescue of Baltimore; and Page Paws.

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