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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Rescue

600 dogs rescued in puppy mill busts

Nearly 600 dogs - many infested with fleas, lacking food and water, and living in squalid conditions - have been rescued in a major bust involving two alleged puppy mills.

The dogs - mostly Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Poodles, and Shih Tzus - were rescued by law enforcement officials in Skagit and Snohomish counties in the Seattle area, the Seattle Humane Society reports on its web site.

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Seattle Humane Society CEO Brenda Barnette told MySetterSam that the existence of the puppy mills in the state shocked many people. "We were surprised to find this activity in Washington," she said. "Puppy mills were thought of as something that goes on in the Midwest."

The Seattle Humane Society has taken custody of 57 dogs, Barnette said.
Most of the dogs are being cared for by rescue organizations and some are in foster homes.
The Everett Animal Shelter is caring for many of the dogs seized in Snohomish County bust.

The Humane Society of Skagit Valley in Burlington - with the help of Saving Pets One at a Time of Burlington (the lead rescue organization), Northwest Organization for Animal Help of Stanwood and Old Dog Haven of Lake Stevens - is caring for 433 dogs seized in the Skagit County, according to the organization's web site.

The dogs are still under court jurisdiction so rescue workers can only provide minimal care such as vaccines, de-wormer, ear and eye treatment, skin treatment until legal proceedings take place against the kennel owners.

A mother and her two daughters ran two suspected puppy mills in two separate counties - Mountain View Kennel in Mount Vernon and Gold Bar Kennel near Snohomish- according to court documents.

Most of the dogs received no basic medical health care, such as routine shots, and suffer from worms and other intestinal problems, the Seattle Humane Society reports. Many are pregnant, compounding the health-care problems.

"With 4 million companion animals still being put to death in U.S. shelters each year, it seems unconscionable to commercially breed man’s best friend in situations where they cannot thrive and to keep them as breeding animals in small enclosures, where their entire life is dedicated to producing puppies," Barnette said.

In the meantime, Barnette said people can help by making monetary donations or sending or items such as dog food, towels, beds and small dog jackets to the shelters participating in the rescue.

To make a donation to help the dogs seized in the busts, visit:
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The dogs will be available for adoption after the court releases them and they are spayed or neutered, Barnette said.

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