More than 150 dogs seized from alleged puppy mill in ‘poor conditions’ in South Carolina

Authorities have seized more than 150 dogs from an alleged “puppy mill” in Pickens County, South Carolina.

The seizure comes following an investigation opened Feb. 7 after the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Animal Enforcement Unit received a complaint of animal neglect, according to a statement.

Animal Enforcement deputies attended the scene – a home in the town of Pickens – and attempted to make contact with the owner. While at the residence, deputies spotted several well-fed dogs living in “poor conditions”, as well as a few additional dogs living in kennels.

On February 8, deputies returned to the property and conducted a warrant search to document the living conditions of the animals.

Two days later, animal enforcement deputies, alongside officials from the Pickens County Animal Shelter, Pickens County Building Maintenance, Anderson County Paws and the Charleston Animal Society, removed 166 dogs from the property.

The dogs were taken to the Pickens County Animal Shelter and other area shelters where they will be held temporarily, pending the outcome of the criminal case against the property owner.

Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said in a statement, “This is a testament to what teamwork and cohesion can accomplish when agencies work together.

“The time, effort and resources that are devoted to these types of cases cannot be underestimated, but I am grateful for the dedication of our Animal Law Enforcement Assistants and other entities who have come to our help to ensure the well-being of these animals.”

Puppy mills are mass breeding operations that produce dogs for profit, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Dogs in puppy mills are often sick, haven’t been socialized properly, and their basic needs often go unmet. Mothers can spend their entire lives in cramped cages with little or no personal attention. When they are no longer able to reproduce, they are often abandoned or killed.

Puppies produced by these facilities frequently suffer from various health issues due to issues such as poor hygiene, over-breeding, and lack of preventative veterinary care.

The Humane Society estimates that there are approximately 10,000 currently active in the United States, while approximately 2.6 million puppies from these facilities are sold each year.

The owner of the Pickens property, Judith Lynn Brown, 68, cooperated with authorities throughout the investigation and surrendered to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center on February 9.

Brown was charged with two counts of animal abuse and one count of rabies control violation.

Pickens County Administrator Ken Roper said in the statement, “How a society treats its most vulnerable creatures speaks volumes, and we are so encouraged by the help from other counties such as Anderson. and Charleston as we deal with the influx of these precious animals that are now in our care.”

Newsweek contacted the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office for comment.

Image showing a corgi puppy in a cage. Authorities have seized more than 150 dogs from an alleged puppy mill in Pickens County, South Carolina.