According to printed reports, more than 60 dogs (including puppies) were removed Wednesday, May 4, from a home in Center Township after the Lake County, Indiana, sheriff’s department executed a search warrant for a suspected breeding operation (in plain English: a puppy mill…allegedly), according to sheriff’s department officials.
As described in another recent puppy mill bust in Indiana, where animals were hidden in an underground bunker, deputies wore face masks to protect themselves from intense ammonia associated with urine and feces not cleaned up, both of which commonly permeate puppy mills.
Sheriff John Buncich said his department received complaints about the condition of the dogs from neighbors before obtaining the search warrant. And, as is common in these sorts of cases, the alleged offender had prior complaints, but little was done until now.
The sheriff’s department served the warrant in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Veterinary Medical Examiners, who were on the scene with the deputies to investigate.
Animal control departments from Dyer, Lake County, Schererville, and the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana were at the scene to transport animals to the Lake County Animal Shelter in Crown Point. The dogs will be be veterinary checked, and their behaviors observed before the next steps toward foster families are taken, with the goal of ultimately adopting the dogs to permanent homes.
Donations to the shelter to help defray veterinary costs (and, no surprise, medical attention is required for many of the dogs) are being accepted. The dogs will remain in the care of the shelter as an investigation and any legal action proceeds. Any charges filed have not yet been reported.
For images, check out this story.
Puppy mill busts continue to happen, yet some “officials” in the pet industry will say these places don’t exist. Or others, including a select few veterinary associations, say there is no definition of a puppy mill, so they won’t support easy enough legislation to get behind, like not allowing dogs or cats to be sold at pet stores (since that is where pet stores get their animals).
Similarly, the presumed pet-loving American Kennel Club, which historically has done much for dogs—and continues to—also won’t support bans on sales of dogs and cats to pet stores, and, worse yet, fights against them. Read the AKC rationalization; it’s interesting.
Making things all the more challenging: During the Trump administration’s first few weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (responsible for breeding facility inspections) shut down the public’s ability to check results of inspections online.
The good news is that many animal welfare organizations are doing what they can, and law enforcement is generally happy to make these busts. But obviously someone—some groups—want to see the mills exists, otherwise they wouldn’t. And, right now, greatly due to online sales, they thrive, which I discuss in a conversation with Victoria Stilwell on WGN radio.
We can’t allow this to continue in America.