ST. HELENS, Ore. - The Oregon Humane Society said Wednesday it was rescuing more than 100 dogs from a Columbia County puppy mill that is under investigation for animal neglect.
The dogs were being taken to an emergency animal shelter set up by the Oregon Humane Society, where they will be sheltered and receive medical care from the OHS medical team.
According to the humane society, The dogs include 35 Akitas, as well as many dachshunds and other small dog mixes including terriers and poodles, all ranging in age from puppies to adults.
Fearing for the health and safety of the animals, OHS officers and the Columbia County sheriff's deice served a search warrant on a rural property. The breeding facility is under investigation for failure to provide minimum care for animals, including adequate shelter and potable water, the agency said.
A recent inspection by Columbia County Animal Control documented unsanitary conditions, including pervasive amounts of fecal matter and urine throughout the kennels.
In one outbuilding used to house dogs, an inspector found no open windows or ventilation, numerous piles of fecal waste and flooring saturated with urine stains.
"We undertook today's rescue operation to stop the suffering of these animals," said OHS Executive Director Sharon Harmon. "The dogs at this breeding facility were living in shocking conditions."
In anticipation of the rescue, OHS constructed an Emergency Animal Shelter where these dogs will be cared for until the case is resolved.
The dogs seized from the puppy mill are not available for adoption at the present time, as they must be held as evidence in a potential legal case against the owner of the breeding operation, the humane society said.
The owner could face multiple counts of animal neglect, each punishable by up to one year in jail and a $6,250 fine. The operator of the facility could also be in violation of the Oregon Puppy Mill Act, which prohibits breeders from having more than 50 breeding dogs at one facility and which also mandates minimal care standards.
The Columbia Humane Society was taking 16 to 20 of the Akitas to their facility in St. Helens.
For more photos and how to donate to help, visit this page on the OHS Website.