150 pets from huge SC puppy mill go up for adoption - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

150 pets from huge SC puppy mill go up for adoption

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A dog that was found at the puppy mill. A dog that was found at the puppy mill.
Donald F. Black was charged with Ill Treatment of Animals in the Puppy Mill bust Donald F. Black was charged with Ill Treatment of Animals in the Puppy Mill bust

Officials at the Anderson County shelter working to find homes for the more than 150 pets seized from a puppy mill last month say more than a dozen dogs have been approved for adoption.

Many others are pending approval.

Previous story: 153 dogs found in SC puppy mill, 72-year-old man charged

Adoptions started Wednesday and 15 of the 60 dogs cleared for adoption have been approved.

But with all of the focus on the seized animals, shelter officials say there are many other dogs and cats at the shelter that are getting overlooked.

If you're interested in adopting a pet, click here to find out more.

Anderson Co. Leaders Table Proposed Puppy Mill Ordinance - September 3, 2013

Anderson County leaders say a proposed puppy mill ordinance isn't strong enough.

The proposed ordinance was tabled Tuesday night.

It comes after more than 150 dogs were seized from a location in Starr.

Council wants the ordinance to define puppy mills, and the county's powers to stop them.

Quarantine Lifted For Anderson Puppy Mill Dogs, Adoptions Available Soon - August 26, 2013

The animals rescued following the bust of an Anderson County puppy mill are being transported to the PAWS shelter Monday. This comes after a quarantine on the dogs ended over the weekend.

153 dogs were seized from the location in Starr on August 10. One animal was diagnosed with canine parvovirus, prompting the 14-day quarantine.

Shelter officials say there have been no signs of parvo in any of the other dogs.

The dogs and puppies will now need to be spayed and neutered. Dozens of dogs will also need dental work before being eligible for adoption.

Tri County Tech is helping with the dental procedures.

There will be no adoptions this week. Limited adoptions will begin next week.

Keep checking back for the latest updates.

Dogs Rescued From Anderson Co. Show No Signs of Parvo - August 24, 2013

The Anderson Independent Mail reports officials at an Anderson County animal shelter say the 153 dogs seized from a suspected puppy mill in Starr back on August 10th show no signs of the parvovirus.

Animal shelter officials with Anderson County PAWS estimate 30 dogs will be healthy enough to be put up for adoption in about a week.

That's after a 14-day quarantine for the dogs ended Saturday.

Shelter officials tell the Independent Mail the number of dogs eligible for adoption could go up or down depending on evaluations veterinarians will perform on the dogs on Monday and Tuesday.

During those days, PAWS says their main shelter will close to the public to perform those tests.

Anderson County Council Discusses Puppy Mill Legislation - August 21, 2013

Just a week after a puppy mill was discovered, Anderson County leaders decided to appoint a special committee designed to shut down similar operations.

According to our news coverage partners with the Anderson Independent-Mail, County Council Chairman Francis Crowder announced at Tuesday night's meeting that he plans to appoint the panel and ask it to "look at the total issue" of how to regulate puppy mills, how to impose dog-selling restrictions and how to inspect the areas where dogs are bred and kept. Council member Eddie Moore added that requirements should be placed on sellers of dogs and cats in the county and that they should furnish health certificates for any animal they sell.

The Independent-Mail reports that Moore's proposal would include proof that the dogs or cats have been vaccinated properly against disease and be dewormed. While his proposal was not voted on at the meeting, Moore said Anderson County Attorney Mike Pitts would help him draft a formal proposal that would be voted on at council's next meeting in September. Crowder added that council has researched similar regulations in other states and he hopes a ordinance will be in place for consideration next month as well.

Anderson County resident Leo Ortiz agreed.

"We need something in place that will go after unscrupulous breeders and fly-by-night sellers in Anderson County," he said. "This doesn't just happen at the Jockey Lot. It happens on Craigslist, it happens out of the back of trucks, it happens when dogs are sold out of homes."

The discussion came after 153 dogs were seized on August 9 at a home on Martin Road in Starr. The owner of the dogs, Donald Black, voluntarily relinquished them to authorities and was subsequently charged with four counts of mistreating animals. A dog that was sold at the Anderson Jockey Lot and found to have Parvo helped lead to the puppy mill.

To read the entire article from the Anderson Independent-Mail, click here.

Anderson Co. Leaders Looking Into Stricter Puppy Mill Laws - August 14, 2013

Leaders and volunteers in Anderson County held a news conference Wednesday morning to update the community following the bust of a puppy mill that resulted in 153 animals being rescued.

County Administrator Rusty Burns thanked all of the volunteers who helped clean and quarantine the dogs that were seized, helping give a silver lining to a bad situation. He also said that the county is concerned about the lack of laws dealing with puppy mill situations.

"I have been instructed by several members of council to check into laws enacted in by other counties and to gather all pertinent information so Anderson County Council can put together and pass an effective ordinance that will address these situations," Burns said at the news conference.

Several groups were recognized for their efforts in response to the situation. They include:

  • SC State Guard
  • SC National Guard
  • Williamston EMS
  • Starr Fire Dept
  • Williford Fire Department
  • Iva Rescue
  • Red Cross
  • Salvation Army
  • Anderson County Sherriff's Office
  • Emergency Operations Center staff
  • PAWS volunteers
  • Anderson County Public Works
  • Anderson County Administration
  • Anderson County Central Services

The discovery of the puppy mill last Friday came after a dog that was purchased at the Anderson Jockey Lot had to be euthanized when it became sick with canine parvovirus.

During an investigation, animal control officers were led to an 18-acre property where they found dozens of animals.

Donald F. Black, 72, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. He is charged with Ill Treatment of Animals.

Arrest Made In Anderson Co. Puppy Mill Case - August 13, 2013

Officials in Anderson County say they've made an arrest after 153 animals were taken from a puppy mill in Starr last week.

Donald F. Black, 72, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. He is charged with Ill Treatment of Animals.

Volunteers are still working to clean and quarantine the rescued dogs.

The crews are working in the old animal shelter in Anderson County and have been joined by two national groups who are lending a hand for the next two weeks.

The discovery of the puppy mill came after a dog that was purchased at the Anderson Jockey Lot had to be euthanized when it became sick with canine parvovirus.

During an investigation, animal control officers were led to an 18-acre property where they found dozens of animals.

So far, there are no other reports of the parvo virus in the rescued animals, however officials say that it does take awhile to appear so the shelter is being careful.

A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. Keep checking back for the latest developments in this story.

National Groups Join Effort Following Puppy Mill Discovery In Anderson Co. - August 12, 2013

Anderson County PAWS is welcoming two national animal-crisis organizations to help its efforts to clean, quarantine and rescue neglected animals from a puppy mill. RedRover Responders and the Humane Society United States will work with county officials, volunteers, and first responder agencies in Anderson County.

The groups will help assess the animals that were taken from the puppy mill on Friday.

"I want to personally thank these two organizations for their assistance," said Anderson County Interim Administrator Rusty Burns. "Representatives from these two nationally-recognized organizations will arrive in Anderson tonight and immediately get to work on Tuesday morning. This past weekend has been an amazing demonstration of the generous spirit of our residents. Their kind response towards these animals has turned a terrible situation into a true testament to the kind of County we are."

Anderson Co. Animal Rescue Continues After Puppy Mill Discovered - August 10, 2013

Efforts to clean, quarantine and rescue neglected animals from a puppy mill in Anderson County continues.

Anderson County Sheriff Deputies, Anderson County Animal Control personnel, National Guardsmen and women as well as Anderson County P.A.W.S. volunteers are all combing through a Anderson County property Saturday where dozens of animals were held in deplorable conditions.

A neighbor speaking under anonymity said that the condition of the property where the mistreated animals were being held, has been that way for the past 18 years. The neighbor went on the say that the property often reeked, an odor that the neighbor described as one that could be noticed throughout the neighborhood.

Officials describe how the dogs water was green with algae, the animals were in make-shift pens, some were laying in feces and some dogs were running loose.

"The only thing I can say is how can any human being treat animals the way these are treated. Sweet, harmless animals that just wanting to be held and loved and taken care of," said Lt. Col Marion Collins of the SC National Guard.

The Guard was called out to assist officials in opening a building off of Highway 28. It served as the old animal control building until the guard and other volunteers and officials cleaned it out, brought in running water and the power company turned on the electricity.

Inside volunteers and animal control vaccinated the animals and continued to bathe them.

When asked about charged the owner may face, Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper said they may come in the near future.

"Once we get a true evaluation of the conditions and the health of each animal we will evaluate what charges will come," he said.

County Administrator Rusty Burns said he had county workers who volunteered their time and never expected to get paid for coming out to help. He said the owner put humans and animals at risk because there could be diseases at the property that would affect people. He thanked the workers and volunteers for their time and efforts.

"I've got county employees who weren't asked to come out here, who came out on their own they don't want to get paid," he said.

Burns said if the animals are able to be saved and brought back to being healthy, the county may hold an adoption event.

"If we can do what we pray we can do we will have a special adoption event where you can take these animals home for in not free close to free as you can get," said Burns.

Burns said that all workers and volunteers will be offered counseling and a debriefing for county workers will happen Sunday. They will talk about what they can improve upon and do differently next time something like this happens.

Burns said to help with the financial burden, local foundations have offered to donate. The humane society also dropped off a truck full of cages and dog bowls.

The county said they filled out grant applications on Friday evening and if they're accepted and the money is given, the county could break even.

7 On Your Side will continue to keep you updated as details continue to develop.

Dozens Of Dogs Found At Suspected Puppy Mill In Anderson Co. - August 9, 2013

More than 100 dogs were found Friday at, what officials are calling, a puppy mill in Anderson County after an animal was diagnosed with canine parvovirus.

That dog, which was sold at the Anderson Jockey Lot last week, had to be euthanized after becoming sick.

Animal control officers investigating the case ended up at an 18-acre property in Starr where they found between 150 and 175 dogs.

"Our officers went out to the location and saw some deplorable conditions, and we have now begun a full investigation of the area," explains Gary Bryant of the Anderson County Animal Control.

Officials say the owner of the animals is being cooperative in the investigation, and has surrendered the dogs to the county.

Animal control tells us the case is still under investigation but the owner could be cited for things ranging from running a puppy mill, to not vaccinating the dogs.

Since the dogs are at risk for having Parvo virus the dogs are being quarantined. They will be held at an undisclosed location where they will be checked out by a Veterinarian.

Anderson County P.A.W.S is helping take care of the dogs and puppies. The shelter is asking for donations including Purina Puppy Chow, Purina Dog Food, Detergent, Towels and newspapers.

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