Southern Pines Animal Shelter overwhelmed by puppy mill adoption - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Southern Pines Animal Shelter overwhelmed by puppy mill adoptions

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

More than 20 people gathered outside the Southern Pines Animal Shelter Thursday to adopt puppies rescued from a puppy mill discovered in Stone County Tuesday morning.

The puppies recovered from the mill had a contagious skin disease, and adopters must wait an additional week before picking up their animals, said employees of the shelter. 

People arrived at 10:45 a.m., 15 minutes before the shelter opened.

The 22 dogs with illnesses were separated from other dogs at the shelter to prevent spread of disease.

The shelter workers were overwhelmed at the response of the public.

"Oh my God!" said Katherine Sammons upon seeing the arrival of the people. 

The Humane Society of South Mississippi, Southern Pines Animal Shelter, Humane Society of the United States, and the Stone County Sheriff's Department recovered more than 70-dogs from an alleged large-scale breeding operation in which animals were kept in deplorable conditions and bred repeatedly without regard for their health earlier in the week.

The dogs ranged in age from two-weeks-old to fully grown, and ranged in conditions from having broken bones to being somewhat healthy.

The owner of the property allegedly sold the dogs at a flea market along Hwy 49.Rowena Priest, 63, is charged with animal neglect and cruelty. Officials said the charges are misdemeanors, and based on a medical condition she has already been released on her own recognizance.

Fifty-two of the neglected animals were taken to the Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport. Those who are dedicated to the humane treatment of animals say this disturbing trend has to end.

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