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Dozens of dogs seized in sting at alleged puppy mill

Animal rescue groups and the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office seized more than 100 dogs from a suspected puppy mill Friday afternoon in Leland.

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LELAND, N.C. — Animal rescue groups and the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office seized more than 100 dogs from a suspected puppy mill Friday afternoon in Leland.

Kim Alboum, North Carolina director for the Humane Society of the United States, said the animals, which include poodles, Yorkshire terriers and shih tzus, have been living in tight, uncomfortable living conditions in a doublewide trailer without electricity.

Cages were stacked on top of one another, and in some instances, rescuers found cockroaches crawling on puppies.

Alboum described the living conditions as "atrocious."

"This is the worst puppy mill I have seen in North Carolina," she said. "Those animals inside that house were suffering immensely. It is filthy, disgusting."

Brunswick County sheriff's deputies arrested the dogs' owners, Andrew and Amelia Millis, of Wilmington, on charges of animal neglect and animal cruelty charges, but authorities did not have the exact charges Friday evening.

A final count on the number of dogs rescued also wasn't available.

They were being evaluated Friday evening and were to be taken in by animal rescue groups, including the SPCA of Wake County, where their health would be further evaluated before any dogs could be put up for adoption.

The SPCA said it will be a minimum of a week before any of the animals they receive will be put up for adoption.

Anyone interested in doing so should contact the SPCA.

According to the Humane Society, rescuers pulled 1,000 dogs out of puppy mills in North Carolina last year.

Friday's marked the ninth bust in the last 18 months.

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 Credits

Cullen Browder, Reporter
Pete James, Photographer
Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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