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Dogs seized from suspected Jones County puppy mill

Posted March 14, 2012
Updated March 15, 2012

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— Authorities rescued 88 dogs and one cat on Wednesday from a suspected puppy mill at a rural Jones County property.

A person who went to the property at at 1780 N.C. Highway 41 West in Trento to buy a puppy notified law enforcement that the animals were being kept in poor conditions.

The Jones County Sheriff's Office searched the property on Wednesday morning and found the dogs living in unsanitary conditions and lacking veterinary care and socialization. 

The Humane Society of the U.S., which assisted with the rescue, said chihuahuas, French bulldogs, dachshunds and pomeranians were living crowded in small wire enclosures amid their own feces. Many of the dogs were severely matted, appeared malnourished and were suffering from a variety of medical issues.

The property owner was selling puppies to unsuspecting consumers through local newspaper advertisements, the Humane Society said. 

"When people see the pictures of these dogs, they're going to understand what the inherent problem is with having puppy mills in North Carolina or any state," said Molly Stone with the Wake County SPCA. "It's a really good visual illustration of why we need regulation." 

Suspected Jones County puppy mill raided Suspected Jones County puppy mill raided

The owner, whose name was not released, surrendered the dogs to authorities. It is unclear if anyone has been charged.

The Jones County Sheriff's Office has not returned calls for comment. 

The animals were transported to the Wake County SPCA holding center in Garner on Wednesday afternoon, where they will be examined and treated by veterinarians before being eligible for adoption or foster care.

"The worst of the dogs were transported to an urgent care facility so they could get medical care," said Mondy Lamb with the Wake County SPCA.


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  • chasintailsgrooming Mar 16, 2012

    Does anyone know if this is the same puppymill that moved out of Onslow (Hubert area) a while back? I know that one was in Jones county and bragged about selling bloodhounds to the police department.

  • formetooknow Mar 15, 2012

    i am a owner of three dogs and four cats and i am a very real animal lover.things like this really upsets me.what gets me the most is that there arent enough laws for people that do like these have done.im a tax payer people that do dogs like these people have done need to be behind bars with no way of getting out.people that sale animals should have very strict guidelines to have to go by and they should be watched very close to prevent things like this from going on again.god created animals just like humans and they need to be protected too.cant the people work to get laws passed to prevent this from going on.

  • silkesmom Mar 15, 2012

    WRAL could help stymie the puppy millers and backyard breeders by not allowing free sale ads of dogs and cats on their web site. Craigs List does not allow this and when someone posts the ads are quickly flagged for deletion.

    WRAL should step up to the plate and discourage puppy milling.

  • barbstillkickin Mar 15, 2012


  • sjb2k1 Mar 15, 2012

    WRAL, can you follow up on this story when any of these pups are ready to be adopted? I'd gladly take one into my home.

  • Pepe Silvia Mar 15, 2012

    @Con Amor - The thing with puppy mills is that the people don't care about the health or happiness of the animals in the first place, they are just in it for the money. Puppy mills are basically 'dog factories' and the reason no one should buy a dog from a pet store or the newspaper. Sure, there may be one or two responsible pet breeders in the paper but most of them are just churning out puppies for the money.

    Rescue, rescue, rescue!

  • bubbasu12 Mar 15, 2012

    There are those of you that feel people that care about animals and their welfare and are less caring of humans.It is not that we are less caring about humans it is that these animals have no voice and we try to give one!Humans have many kinds of programs ,assistance and advocates available.This is what I have seen in the past few days at work, a dog that was castrated by it's owner, think of it no anethesia, no pain meds, no antibiotics no way to get away from it.Do we do this to humans NO! How about the dog that was unable to give birth to her puppies and after many hours of agonizing pain she died, do we do this to humans NO! A puppy that fell off the bed a moving truck which resulted in a severely broken leg.A leg that will need orthopedic surgery but the owners have no $$ This puppy is going to suffer greatly. How about the dog whose owner sewed up it's wound and now has an infection that will most likly result in loss of the leg.Animals are helpless thanks to humans!

  • freedomrings Mar 15, 2012

    I don't want to make this political but as someone who's no stranger to the animal rescue world ( and a Conservative, so don't call be a liberal ) here is a simple fact : An animal rescue group with a no-kill adoption center must register with the Department if Agriculture and meet stringent guidelines and be subject to surprise visits. It's expensive and time consuming. A Puppy Mill does not. They don't have to do anything. The only way the authorities know about these places is when the public reports it. Good job to the individual that reported this!

  • Pepe Silvia Mar 15, 2012

    knucklehead - The Wake County SPCA is a NO-KILL shelter.

    Please do not confuse it with the county run animal shelter, which is NOT a no-kill shelter. The SPCA does amazing things and will work very hard to treat these animals for any medical issues and adopt them out. They have a large foster network which I'm sure they will utilize since their shelter will not have room for them all. Foster homes will be a great transition for all these dogs to learn how to live in a home before they are adopted.

  • NoSoupForYou Mar 15, 2012


    You're complaining about the symptom instead of the cause. Had the dogs stayed where they were without getting adopted they would have died of disease, malnourishment, or a blow to the head and burial out behind the shed. A number of the already adopted puppies will have medical issues that will result in their owners putting them down or giving them to the SPCA anyway. Stop puppy mills!!!!!!!!!!