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Firefighters rescue dogs from Selma breeding facility

Posted December 29, 2010

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— Firefighters rescued more than 35 dogs from a blaze at a Selma breeding facility Wednesday morning.

Suzanne Griffin, a former employee of Puppy Paradise, at 1188 W. Blanche St. (extended), said eight of about 45 animals inside at the time did not survive.

Firefighters initially estimated that there were 150 dogs at the facility but changed their estimate based on the owner's statement.

"She is devastated right now. She loved every single dog in that place," Griffin said of owner Jean Crocker.

A neighbor reported the fire just after 8:30 a.m.

Firefighters said the dogs were trapped in their cages, but someone at the scene freed as many of them as possible. Not all were able to escape the old building, part of which collapsed in the fire.

"I'm a dog owner myself, so of course it affects me. I hate to see any animal perish like that," said Gary Wood of the Pine Level Volunteer Fire Department.

Investigators were trying to determine how the blaze started. They said there was no evidence the fire had been set.

Fire reported at dog-breeding facility in Johnston County Johnston County dog-breeding facility catches fire

Crocker's family said she had bred and raised lap dogs at Puppy Paradise for more than 30 years. They said the business used to be bigger but had been scaled back over the years.

The dogs who survived the fire were moved to another location on the property. 


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  • sunny13 Dec 31, 2010

    I agree, this was a puppy mill. A good breeder will not have more than 10 dogs. The only reason I mention 10, because some of them may be seniors. I breed my female dogs only 3 times in their life time. The seventh year for female dogs is the last year to breed. I bought a dog from a puppy mill in past and returned it within 2 weeks for Health issues. Yes, puppy mill is wrong and unhuman.

  • hs0516 Dec 31, 2010

    You know what I believe? My own eyes. I saw with my own eyes the filth these animals live in. My mom was a real breeder so I do have some basis for comparison. This place was disgusting, with animals sitting in their own pooop.

    I also believe the two very reputable area VETERINARIANS who have told me they have seen a lot of animals from this place that were sickly and diseased. I believe the experts.

  • RM24 Dec 30, 2010

    I do NOT believe the N&O. Thats for sure. I am sure there was a lot going on and the firemen had no clue. How do we even know for sure a fireman quoted that? I do not trust anything I read on from clearly liberal and biased media sites. Nor clearly conservative biased sites. However I do believe the 20 or more people I have known my entire life who have lived in this community this entire life when they say this was a clean operation. That is who I personally am going to go with. Example one person on here stated that if you sell two puppies is a mill. You think that person would stretch things here? Or some call a cage a 20'x20' inside pen that has outdoor access. You think they would stretch things? I admire those who rescue and adopt shelter animals. I have taken in two stray puppies myself. They are two of my best pets. However they live outside. They Have houses to get out of the weather in and a pen that is 30'x30'. Some would say that is abuse right?

  • rescuefan Dec 30, 2010

    "none of you know. Not only do they breed dog but she also would board dogs for people out of town for the holidays. So 45 dogs over the holidays is not a puppy mill.

    45 if you believe the owners, yet the N&O said 75 and the firefighters estimated 150. Sorry, no way they were boarding that many dogs. That sure isn't a place I would take my dogs to be cared for, either. It's a puppymill, plain and simple.

  • gagal Dec 30, 2010

    So has anyone heard about the other dog's.. Where they in good shape??

  • dlentz2 Dec 30, 2010

    none of you know. Not only do they breed dog but she also would board dogs for people out of town for the holidays. So 45 dogs over the holidays is not a puppy mill.

  • peaceout Dec 30, 2010

    what is sad about this whole mess is the lack of education or concern on what a "puppy mill" really is...responsible breeders do not, 1. breed multiply times a year. 2.expose their dogs to the elements 3. breed muliply types of dogs. 4. have on the property numerous dogs. I could go on...but you either get it or you don't...but make no mistake...45 dogs in an out building is a puppy mill people...

  • kroberts131 Dec 30, 2010

    this story is just very sad! prayers for all involved

  • kroberts131 Dec 30, 2010

    this is just so ssad..

  • tobywilliamson58 Dec 30, 2010

    Can't beleive an article such as this is still making headlines.