TN Owner Surrenders 97 Dogs and 1 Cat to Authorities

In Lewisburg, TN this week, someone who was apparently breeding several types of small breed dogs surrendered all his animals to the county sheriff’s department.  The local ABC affiliate describes it as follows:

The Humane Society of the United States assisted the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department in the rescue of the 97 dogs and one cat.

Of course HSUS words it a wee bit differently:

The Humane Society of the United States was called in by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department to lead the rescue of 97 dogs and one cat from a Lewisburg, Tenn. property.

Not that size matters.  In any case, the reasons for taking the pets from the owner, per HSUS, were:

The dogs were being housed in unsanitary conditions and lacked proper socialization and medical care.

No details on whether the cat was also lacking in socialization and vet care.  In addition:

“Many of these dogs were so filthy and uncared for it was difficult for us to even tell what breed they were,” Leighann McCollum, Tennessee state director of The HSUS, said in a release Wednesday.

I’m not an expert, but the dogs in these photos look like Cavaliers to me.  And cute ones.  (Santa, if you are reading, yes – I do still want a Cavalier.)

A blog post from a group who worked with HSUS on this case has some more photos – including a Cavalier with one eye.  (What is it with the one eyed pet thing?  As far as I can tell, every one eyed pet in America has been photographed for use in fundraising ads by HSUS and ASPCA.  Weird.)

The local NBC affiliate adds:

The Humane Society told Channel 4 News the owner will not face any criminal charges.

A bit of good news on the adoption front, from yet another local news station:

Many of you have called or emailed WHNT NEWS 19 to ask how you can adopt one of the animals rescued from a puppy mill earlier this week in Lewisburg, TN.  The Humane Society has now released that information.


The animals are in the care of the Nashville Humane Association, Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue, New Leash on Life, PAWS Atlanta and the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society.

Readers who have been following the case of the Alabama 44 will recognize a couple of those names as rescues who took some of the AL dogs from HSUS.  Interesting how HSUS refused to say at the time of the AL case, and refuses to say to this day, exactly where all of those dogs went.  Yet this case is apparently different.  For some reason.  Maybe it’s that HSUS doesn’t anticipate any of these dogs being stuffed into the gas chamber, I don’t know.

80 thoughts on “TN Owner Surrenders 97 Dogs and 1 Cat to Authorities

  1. We’d better get use to this scenario. As the animal welfare community presses harder and harder for the elimination of commercial and backyard breeders, this is going to become an everyday occurrence.

    In the short term it will be overwhelming, but will eventually lead to a huge reduction in the supply of unwanted animals pouring into shelters.

    1. I may be wrong, but I can’t remember the last time I heard of a shelter being “overwhelmed” with Cavelier King Spaniel puppies.

      1. That’s a good point: considering what a person would pay for a CKCS puppy, it does make you wonder. BTW: What do CKCS rescues charge as their adoption fee for puppies? “

      2. Emily – I don’t know what the average is, but I just checked Lucky Star’s website:
        “The general fee is usually $500 for an adult dog….$600 for a puppy.”


        I think I’m beginning to understand why Santa hasn’t been bringing me any Cavaliers.

      3. I too have not seen very many shelters over run with purebred dogs – granted I know that there are rescues that pull dogs – but even knowing that I can walk into any shelter in my area on any given day and the majority of animals I see are basically mutts. Most of the rescues that I know only pull once a week – not daily – so given that there should be more purebreds if your theory is correct. And I don’t see the animal welfare community pushing for these seizures but the animal rights groups sure as heck are up to their necks in it.

      4. The American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club charges $350 per adoption from their Rescue Trust, or less if the dog is older or has health or behavioral issues. The overriding concern is doing what is best for that dog that comes into the care of the Rescue Trust.
        Please consider donating to the Trust, and yes, it is a 501C3 organization.

      5. I neglected to say that ALL of the money that is donated to the ACKCSC Rescue Trust goes to the care of the dogs. It is a totally volunteer organization…no one is paid a salary at all.

    2. HSUS is not an animal welfare organization, though it wants you to think it is. Yes, I know they talk about animal welfare, but they are an animal RIGHTS organization. Their true goal is to eliminate all animal products and animals from human lives. All … food, clothing, companionship, exhibition, working animals. All.

      1. You are most right! The HSUS has a lot of lobbyists pulling for the right to eliminate ALL reputable breeders and any dog related activities as shows, trials, tracking events, lure courses etc. they are NOT the organization they portray to be. Don’t be fooled by them.

  2. You’d be surprised what kinds of dogs are in shelters. I’ve seen several pure bred dogs. And they are at risk to be euthanized too. Especially since they aren’t socialized and come with a lot of health problems from improper breeding and/or neglect.

    1. It’s estimated by every reputable shelter demographics source that 75% of shelter dogs are mixed breed.

      Are there purebreds in shelters? Yes. But they are in the minority, and generally are the easiest to place if they are one of the smaller breeds.

      1. Sorry, I don’t buy the figure that 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebreds. I’ve seen too many of the dogs described as “purebreds” to believe it. Maybe they have good intentions, but many shelter employees seem willing to describe dogs as purebreds just to give them a better chance of finding a home. I once went to rescue a “Gordon Setter” only to find that he was a shepherd mix. The only thing he had in common with a Gordon Setter was that he was black and tan. People would have a better chance of getting the right dog for their lifestyle if shelter employees would be honest about what kind of dog they were looking at and NOT tell them it was a purebred anything.

    2. I worked at a full service, open admission shelter that took in 5000+ animals annually. We decided killing dogs for space was no longer an option. So we just stopped. Believe me, we had all the challenges of space and intake that other shelters have AND, we had what many might describe as a “pit bull” issue (being just north of Baltimore and possessing a pb friendly reputation).

      By just saying NO to killing dogs, we achieved a 96% save rate for dogs. Not a BS “adoption” rate, mind you. 96% of the dogs that stepped foot in our shelter went out alive. Including big black dogs, including neonate pups and nursing mothers, including 3 legged, one eyed, diabetic, shy, and elderly dogs.

      Programs and marketing, marketing and programs. Shelters are in the used pet business. It’s bad business to destroy your product. Lots of shelter have lousy business practices.

      Nationwide, shelter intake has never been lower. According to H$U$’ own website, 90% fewer animals enter US shelter in this decade than 40 years ago.

      So I can’t abide by whiny shelters. They suffer from a crisis of leadership, not an overpopulation problem. When is the animal welfare/pet owning public going to stop making excuses for them and start holding them accountable for their shortcoming??? For every day we don’t, the animals suffer.

      1. Hooray! Adrianne, thank you for a succinct and right-on-the-target estimation of the shelter situation today. Your comment deserves ten thumbs up!

  3. Am I the only person concerned about the seemingly increasing # of these busts that include all of someone’s animals being taken away and yet no charges being levied? If the cruelty is such that they need to confiscate 98 animals, the absolutely need to be pressing charges. If they don’t feel like they can get them on animal cruelty, and they’re just taking the animals with cohersion, that seems, eh, problematic.

    1. Unless I missed something, it didn’t say that the animals were “seized”…it said that the owner surrendered them. Maybe he/she chose to get out of breeding? Maybe they just didn’t want to have animals any more, which may be why the cat was surrendered, too.

      1. ‘Surrendered’ is a slippery term. People are often intimidated into surrendering their animals, particularly when they think they are dealing with legitimate authorities. However, HSUS, nor the ASPCA are any sort of authority; they are merely non-profits with delusions of grandeur and no ethics.

  4. Am I the only one concerned about the seemingly increasing number of these cases where animals are confiscated from someone and there are no charges levied against the owner? If the animals need to be removed because of severe cruelty, then they should file charges. If they are not so cruelly treated that they can get them on cruelty, but are getting the animals through cohersion, that seems, eh, problematic.

    1. You’re not the only one concerned. I too marvel at the need to remove every single animal from this owner – even the cat, about whom they say NOTHING – and not a single charge. We have seen this exact type of thing in so many alleged dogfighting cases – enough “cause” to seize (and destroy) the dogs but not enough to bring charges or if brought, prove them in court. The press release has some chest beating blurb from the local authorities about how they’re going to continue to aggressively enforce the state’s animal welfare laws. Which is ironic, since that’s NOT what they did here.

      1. I also read that and wondered why no charges have been pressed as yet. If the situation was that grave and these animals were in such deplorable conditions that they had to be removed – and there was mention of a warrant – then there should have been charges. Period. If their idea of enforcing the state’s animal welfare laws then charges should be filed. Unless, of course they changed the law to state that if you sign papers to relinquish your animals that no charges will be filed – which I VERY seriously doubt is the case.

      2. Could you please clarify in which article you saw mention of a warrant? There are so many articles on this subject. I only recall reading that the sheriff received consent to search – from the owner I assumed.

      3. Sorry – went through everything again – warrant was mentioned in comments section on one of the papers….could’ve sworn it was in an article that I read. My bad.

  5. The difference between the AL 44 and this rescue — and the reason none of these dogs are likely to end up euthanized, regardless of health or socialization factors?

    These dogs are cute, little purebreeds, while the AL 44 were medium-to-large mutts.

    Additionally, Cavs are one of the “IT” dogs of the moment — everyone, it seems, wants them.

    Sad (I personally love mixed breeds), but true.

  6. “Many of these dogs were so filthy and uncared for it was difficult for us to even tell what breed they were,” Leighann McCollum, Tennessee state director of The HSUS, said in a release Wednesday.””

    Gosh … I wonder why they didn’t photograph any of those? And they don’t look unsocialized, either – surely that rd and white one in the first picture is doing his best to give kisses?

    They were taken because the guy was breeding, pure and simple. He wasn’t charged because there was no legitimate way to bring charges.

    And I wonder why law enforcement and the legal system just rolls over for this stuff?

  7. Funny, even though I raise sporting dogs and hounds (on a very small scale) I could recognize EVERY breed photographed. This was a dollars-and-cents “rescue” and it is very disturbing. I understand that the owner signed over the dogs but under what kind of duress? (When I read that the volunteer slots for this raid “filled up quickly” I swear bile rose in my throat.)

    1. Interesting that you also noted that each and every dog (in the pictures that can be found about this) are recognizable….as they are at and being removed from the property. None of the shots are AFTER removal. While I’m no *expert* these dogs really didn’t look that bad off – and yes the majority of them can go for hundreds per dog. Did I just hear cha-ching?

  8. I’m not for anyone having their animal seized by any organization if they are caring for them in a humane manner. The pictures I saw from the WHNT website,0,3007688.photogallery show dogs in cages in what appears to be some kind of barn. The house is the background of the pictures appears to be unkept and rundown. Do I think the owner was giving the best care that could be provided to these animals, I doubt it. Look past the cuteness of these puppies and look at the backgrounds. Is this how you would keep animals you loved and cared for?

    1. No Roger, it’s not how I would care for my pets. But that is not the issue here. The law does not state “anyone whose pets are not cared for just like Shirley takes care of her pets shall have all their pets taken away”.

      You are confusing two separate issues:

      1. We don’t like the way so-and-so is taking care of his dogs and think it’s inhumane.
      2. The way so-and-so is taking care of his dogs is against the law.

      The first issue may involve things like owner education to bring up the standard of care, assistance with placing some of the animals so that the standard of care can be improved and maintained by the owner (as monitored in future by local authorities), sheltering in place if the owner decides to voluntarily surrender all the pets, etc. The owner may be mentally or physically ill, financially overwhelmed, ignorant that his standard of care falls below societal norms, etc. He may be willing to improve care for all the dogs or able to improve if the number of total dogs were lower. Or he may be grateful for the assistance since he’s become overwhelmed and did not know where to turn for help. Or he could just be a hateful ass who is not bothered by inhumane treatment of pets in his care. We don’t know. But the possibilities are many, as are the available options to help improve the situation.

      The second scenario involves the sheriff showing up with a valid search warrant, seizing the dogs to rescue them from inhumane treatment in violation of animal welfare laws and the owner getting a ride in the back of the police car while wearing silver bracelets.

      I am all for making things better for dogs who are being ill cared for, regardless of the situation. But I am troubled by the idea that we may be bouncing around between scenario 1 and scenario 2 without due consideration of alternative assistance and without respect for the law.

      1. My question regarding if this is how you would care for your animals was rhetorical. By no means did I mean to imply this is how you keep your animals.

        I do agree with the 2 scenarios that you listed. However, I think there is a time when the welfare of an animal comes first over it’s owners inability to care for it. I read in the story that the person in this incident has been selling animals for 10 years. I would think after that amount of time, a person should know how to care for animals. Could there be some sort of mental illness going on with the owner, quite possibly. But I think the animals in this situation are better off for having been seized from this life of filth and caged existence.

        And I do hope they all find loving caring homes.

      2. Roger–the cat too? About whom we are told nothing?

        And aren’t you the least concerned about the contrast between the claim that the dogs were so filthy as to make breed unrecognizable and completely unsocialized, vs. the pictures of perfectly recognizable Cavaliers giving love and kisses to the people carrying them?

        I’m sorry, but absent more evidence, I have to think that making some effort to work with the guy first, rather than going directly to complete seizure of all animals, might have been the way to go here.

  9. Confused.
    I read a completely different account yesterday ( that says,

    The sheriff anticipated charges being filed Thursday or maybe today.

    “Yes,” Dalton said Thursday morning, “there will be [charges] eventually. They’re still collecting evidence. I don’t know what the charges will be. It’s just a matter of time.

    “I would expect later this afternoon, but I can’t be for sure,” he said.

    1. Going to be interesting ‘collecting evidence’, since the dogs have been removed.

      People here are aware, are they not, that after the fact, owners have been charged for issues such as ‘some tartar on teeth’, and ‘healed scars’?

      They have. Once the dogs are gone, the owners are fair game.

      1. Even worse is when they are removed and placed in an environment where they can contract disease from other animals and in the corrupt system that is in place – by the time this would even make it to trial there can be a list a mile long of charges that had NOTHING to do with what was initially wrong (if anything) with said animals.

  10. Once again, it’s H$U$ charging to the rescue, getting plenty of publicity shots so they can bilk the public out of money that looks like it’s being used for animal care; and then dumping the animals with shelters or rescue groups – but not contributing toward the very expensive rehabilitation and care.

    Tax records show that only 1/2 of 1% of the millions of dollars of contributions goes toward animal care. That leaves 99.5% of H$U$’s billions goes toward their real estate holdings, plush office buildings, fancy cars, huge salaries and pensions, and lobbying.

    See for more info about how H$U$ really operates.

    1. While I dislike the HSUS – if you read through the articles that are linked throughout the blog & respones that have posted you will note that the it was said “Financial contributions may be made to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office Animal Rescue Fund to assist with medical care and other expenses resulting from the rescue. Any funds not used on this rescue will remain in the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office Animal Rescue Fund for future animal cruelty cases that may arise.”

      Granted I am sure HSUS will use this to try and raise more funding…but it looks like the sheriff in this town jumped into the finances BEFORE HSUS could go it themselves.

      And, Evelyn, you will find that ‘most’ of those who follow Shirley’s blog already dislike the HSUS – so you’re kinda singing to the choir here. Just an FYI.

      1. Not like HSUS?

        I think it goes deeper than that.

        For years they have misled the public as to their true agenda. For years they have taken money from the public under false pretenses. Glad to hear the sheriff has apparently trumped them on this one, but he’s very much an exception.

        For years they have depended on animal lovers’ commitment to animal WELFARE to dupe them into supporting legislation which is in no way protective of animals, but serves to limit animal ownership and provide tools for this kind of confiscation.

        And if you or I pretended to be a government agent, they’d have us locked up before we could blink.

        Not like HSUS? What, exactly, is there to like??

    2. Evelyn, well said! Thank you for bringing H$U$ and their motives into this. People don’t realize that they are not the organization they used to be. Ever since Wayne Pacelle took over (he of PETA fame), they have turned into the money pit they have become. People, if you truly want to help homeless animals, give LOCALLY, not to H$U$. Your money will not go to helping animals if you continue to donate to them.

  11. Regarding charges and punishment — Having been involved recently as a local rescuer with a couple of large and well publicized hoarding/seizure cases in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, I’m frustrated at what the legalities are in order to file charges and make them stick against these hoarding cases.

    Sometimes there’s not been appropriate or enough documentation of contribution cause, sometimes the people involved have severe emotional/mental issues (more often than not, it seems). Sometimes this is the first time they’re being caught and prosecuted; so punishment is light or non-existant. And sometimes they make plea deals.

    It seems like there’s lots going on in the background and with the courts that we don’t know or hear about, and it always takes sooo looong.

    Whacking the offenders with a big stick would certainly FEEL so much more satisfying!!!

  12. My concern is the overuse of the word “hoarder”. But that concern is secondary to the ultimate disposition of these dogs. Though i agree with whoever said above that Cav’s are the “it” dogs these days, and I doubt any shelter will be euthanizing any of these sweeties. Can anyone find out anythin about the cat? I hope she does not get the needle or gas just out of hand.

    1. If it’s not a cute kitten, it’s quite possible it’s already had the needle or the gas. No point spending money to feed and support a not terribly desireble pet – however desirable (s)he might actually be.

      Animals confiscated in these raids are often dispersed across the country, s/n or killed well before their owners ever see a courtroom.

      No justice for animal owners/breeders; they’ve already been tried and convicted by the AR activists and the media.

      1. I contacted tha Nashville Humane Association and they have the cat. At the time of my call the cat had not been seen by the vet yet. I was told to call back in a week – but as of the moment of the phone call they were planning on placing the cat on the adoption floor pending the vet check. I will be calling back later this week to check on the cat and will update everyone on what I find out.

  13. This whole thing stinks (of $) to me. I read the blog – went through every link provided, did a little more digging around on the Internet – just to make sure I had all the info & pictures available. Every picture I saw you could clearly identify each dog’s breed – no problem AND each dog brings in hundreds when sold.

    While the picture of the house does look as if it might be a bit uncared for – we don’t know what the interior of the house looks like. Could be immaculate and no problems. The inside of the “barn” or whatever structure they were kept in didn’t appear that horrid either…granted the floor could use a good sweeping – but the cages didn’t look horrid and full of feces. Yes, some of the dogs appeared as if they could use a good brushing – especially the poodles & cockers that I saw…and a few of them did need their faces wiped as they had those ‘tear’ marks on them that is not uncommon with the breed. But I noted no distorted bellies to indicate worms, no skin probelms, nothing. They appeared to be happy and like they are use to being handled by humans – not like they are stuck in cages all day with no care. The only questionable picture is the dog missing an eye – but as we don’t know the situation surrounding that (could be the owner rescued the dog and it came to them that way) we are only left to speculate on that one.

    Most ‘puppy mills’ (oh, how I HATE that term) the dogs are literally covered in waste and you can see it clearly. Also the dogs shown are sitting in the back of their cages shaking & scared to death of human contact – or should I say contact of a large group of people that they aren’t use to. These dogs didn’t appear to be concerned about the handling they received from their ‘liberators’. I saw lots of happy, wiggly dogs.

    This entire thing is something that is happening a lot more lately. I have a friend who lives in a small town and breeds himalayans that are show quality (had approximately 50 at the time of being removed from her home) – they bring in about $2k a piece. She had some of them under treatment for worms, and some for URIs. As a result of the treatment that some of them were receiving she made the decision to not let any of them go to their buyers until each one had a 100% complete bill of health. This ticked off a person who decided to ‘turn her in’ for cruelty & neglect. The local humane society where she lives got a warrant and confiscated the cats. My friend refused to sign the papers to relinquish the cats and chose instead to fight them on the charges. Think of what this local HS had to gain by this ‘bust’ — 50 cats @ $2k each = approximately $100,000. They obviously thought they were going to cash in on this one – and since it is a small town that is basically a bunch of low income people – I seriously doubt they expected her to fight the charges.

    I see cases like this happening more and more lately. Basically, from what I’ve seen, they get the owner to sign relinquishment papers and drop any charges in return for the signature – especially when the rescuers seek to profit greatly from the raid. In this case we’re talking about upwards of $50,000, maybe more…especially with the local sheriff asking for donations to pay for their care & vetting. That means that by the time they get to the rescues that there will be little more to do than put them up for adoption (and possibly have them spayed/neutered if it hasn’t been done before they are placed at the rescue). So these rescues will quite possibly have no out of pocket expenses, other than food, and seek to make quite a bit profit on each dog.

    This most definitely looks like a case where own retention and counseling should have been done with follow up taking place on a regular basis to make sure the owner is in compliance. Do we know if this town had any pet limit laws? Do we know if this breeder was licensed? I found nothing in regards to either in anything I found about this case.

    Plus, with so much focus on the dogs – where is the cat? I fear more for the cat than I do the dogs at this point. We all know that cats get killed at a greater rate than dogs and there is no mention of the condition of the cat or where it will be placed for adoption. THAT bothers me A LOT. The majority of the dogs are the ‘purse’ variety that are all the rage now…I am sure the cat is just a plain jane variety – like a tabby and probably doesn’t have much of a chance at being adopted out – unless it goes somewhere that is going to use the media attention of the bust to help promote it so that it also get rehomed instead of killed. Keeping my fingers crossed about this one. Does anyone know how we can find out about the cat?

    1. Ok – made a few phone calls about the cat. The cat is at the Nashville Humane Association (615) 352-1010. While they have not had a chance to give the cat a complete vet check they will be doing so and it will be placed for adoption and asked that any interested parties check back in about a week. Hope that helps!

  14. yeah, definitions suck. we have a bill going through our legislature that defines “hoarder” as
    “(B) Displays an inability to recognize or understand the nature of or has a reckless disregard for the conditions under which the companion animal is living and the harmful impact the person has on the animals’ health, well-being and safety. ”

    thought crime anyone??

    There’s no attempt in the bill to actually define what would be substandard conditions.. because that, you know, would be HARD

    So much easier to leave it up to nosy neighbors, dog-stealing do-gooders and of course, money and headline grubbing “humane” groups.

    Not to say we don’t need better/stronger laws. But what say we make them apply to everyone? And define what’s a crime?

    1. Actually, in almost all jurisdictions we have more than ample laws, if they were reliably enforced. They don’t work terribly well for railroading people, though, or confiscating their animals even before they are charged. And these days, mostly they are enforced pretty well.

      The real point is that in the final analysis, there are no conditions good enough to satisfy the animal rights activists.

      Look what they’ve done to poultry farmers in CA. No sooner had they complied (at great expense) with the AR legislation for larger cages than they were presented with a requirement to go cage free. Not only is this worse for the chickens, but many of the farmers were put out of business.

      How soon will it be impossible to buy eggs at any price?

  15. Oh my goodness, talk about half truths and going off the picture provided to you. Go on HSUS site, they have a video, and you’ll see that indeed this was a horrid place, stacks of dogs in wire cages, dogs so matted and filthy you wanted to cry, darkness , cold. Then make your assessments…..yes, there were cute puppies, and the parents were left to rot. Also, think about the vetting required to get these dogs adoptable, and you’ll see that the price of adopting the puppies goes to caring for the adults. I’m not pro HSUS , but isn’t this about the dogs?

    1. Sadly Nancy, it’s not about the dogs when HSUS is involved. At least I’ve never found that to be the case so far.

      As far as rescues go, I understand they spend money to vet and care for the dogs. My question is – don’t any of the HSUS “partner” groups have a giant freaking problem with the fact that HSUS – with its $100 million bank account – dumps these “rescued” dogs in need of care off on other groups after HSUS gets their name in the papers and photos for their fundraising ads? Why doesn’t HSUS hand over a wad of cash with each dog so the rescue can get them ready for adoption and the adopter can have the adoption fee waived? Is that a totally insane idea – that the group with the cash reserves to do it actually pay for the care of the dogs it fundraises off? Is it outrageous to think of offering “high value” breeds like Cavaliers to adopters for no fee? It’s about the dogs, right?

      btw, I’ll take one of those free Cavs, once people start giving them away.

      1. Double ditto! IF these dogs truly were at the center of why this rescue was taken place and the ‘goal’ is to find homes for them all then groups like HSUS should pony up the money to pay for all the vetting and the animals SHOULD be place for free. But since we all know that the almighty dollar is what is the focus…that’ll never happen.

    2. I kept thinking about your post and something that is REALLY bothering me is your mention of the HSUS wensite and the video that they show. SO I went and checked it out and it FINALLY hit me. The reason I was so bothered that is….

      The HSUS is going to post a video that shows every bad thing they can to try and promote what they do in order to get more people to open their wallets and send more money. I am sure the video was editted (as they do to every video they release) and we are only seeing the bad things – why show ANY good when it will only bring questions as to why this “rescue” had to take place. Surely you don’t expect the HSUS to show the entire truth – that’s not going to make $$$ and they know that.

  16. So, the photo of the dreadlocked little dogs (whose breed I cannot identify) in the rabbit hutch.

    There are people here who are okay with that?

    Just the bad old authorities trumping up a reason to seize perfectly fine little goggies from an owner who maybe isn’t A-list on animal husbandry, but the dogs are, you know, fine?

    I’m so happy that people are now questioning what happens during and after humane seizures. Those who claim to be rescuers must be held to the standard of actually rescuing the animals.

    It does not follow, however, that deficiencies in accountability and animal care post-seizure mean that there was no reason to seize the animals in the first place, that everything was hunky-dory or even “reformable.”

    I am not okay with the conditions that I could see, and without being an expert on local laws, I am pretty confident that the condition of the animals was well within the legal definition of cruelty.

    1. Dreadlocks?

      I believe you are seeing what you expect to see.

      Why aren’t you seeing the photos above? Aren”t they pictures too?

      1. So you are telling us that you are just fine with the the little dogs living in the rabbit hutch, that this is perfectly acceptable animal husbandry, and that there is no problem that you can see with the condition of their hair?

      2. I found this picture

        Thia was from another posting on the blog referenced by yesbiscuit.

        Is this animal identifable? I know many of the pictures show cute puppies. Puppies that to the owner were merchandise to be sold. I would expect them to be in good health. Of the pictures I have seen, I only counted appx 20 to 25 animals. There’s 70+ animals that are not shown and that is the unknown.

      3. Roger, I know this isn’t the main gist of your comment but just wanted to toss in: HSUS, ASPCA and the like typically photograph and film the worst cases from these types of “rescues”. (I think they photograph any pet with one eye at least twice.) From experience following these cases, I would guess that the “unknown” – that is, the majority of the dogs, were not pathetic looking. (Therefore not likely to be used in fundraising ad campaigns so not photographed.)

      4. In cases like this, every animal is photographed.

        I see on one hand, some people saying “Look, see, the cute little Cavalier puppies are just fine, see the pictures, they aren’t bleeding out or anything.”

        And out the other side of the mouth, “Oh, they just deliberately take blurry pictures of the one or two worst-looking dogs for fundraising.”

        It can’t be both. Either the photos of “clean” puppy inventory “proves” — I’m not sure what it’s supposed to prove — or the photos of the miserable neglected animals in their hutches are just “fundraising” hyperbole.

        Maybe different news sites and websites/blogs publish different kinds of pictures depending on what each one’s angle is on the news story? Naw, couldn’t be that simple.

        And while photos of matted, shit-caked dogs are a familiar icon in animal-cruelty visual media, the absence of the signs of long-term neglect that is obvious from a brief perusal of a small photograph on a news website is NOT evidence that everything is fine.

        In short:

        Puppies will not be visibly matted. Puppies have not been alive long enough to develop flamboyant hair mats.

        Dogs with the kinds of coats that don’t mat won’t be visibly matted. Neglected Weimaraners and German shepherds won’t look matted in the picture. Neither will some dogs that mat very badly, such as many collies, which can be a solid carpet of festering felt underneath a coat that appears normal at first look.

        Ground-in shit doesn’t necessarily show up in the photographs. Neither do life-threatening parasite loads. The nose knows.

        One human being (there is no indication that the owner of these animals employed help) working a nonstop twelve hour day every day, seven days a week, with no breaks for lunch or cigarettes or a piss, could spend seven minutes per dog per day. That’s not seven minutes cuddling each goggie. It includes feeding, cleaning, grooming, exercising, playing, training, socializing, medicating, breeding, whelping, buying new breeding stock, advertising, selling, cage maintenance and repair, building new cages, fixing the roof, changing light bulbs, burying corpses.

        Who wants to lay odds that these little dogs received even those putative seven minutes?

      5. I didn’t say, nor do I think, the photos are hyperbole. I think I’ve been clear in my previous comments as to what my concerns are. Among them, as I’ve mentioned already: If this owner was in violation of the law in neglecting her dogs, I’d like to see charges brought. If we fail to prosecute those who violate our animal welfare laws, it sends a bad message to those who would consider violating those laws.

      6. Shirley, I know that, I’m addressing some of the commenters here who seem to equate “large-scale seizures are sometimes unacceptably lacking in accounting for the disposition of the animals and we need to force a change in that” with “they’re coming to take our dogs, look, these goggies are just fine and they took them.”

      7. Well it’s all good food for thought and merits more discussion I think. Whenever we’re talking in terms of subtleties, things can get confusing. I’ll be devoting a new post to this general topic this morning.

    2. I see maybe 1-2 out of a zillion photos that are questionable. BUT I also see fuzzy photos, bad lighting, etc. Many times when I see photos that are not taken with a flash or fuzzy it leaves a heck of a lot to the imagination.

      IF these dogs were in deplorable conditions and that badly looking – it appears to be less of them that are in the condition rather than many.

      I am not one to say it’s ok to leave dogs in cages, over breed, etc. BUT we’re hearing ONE side of the story. AND normally that is all we have to go on. Sadly – I know of MANY cases where if we heard from ALL parties involved we would probably see a clearer ‘picture’ of the whole thing!

      And I am still for edcuation and follow up BEFORE removing animals. I believe the breeder in question has been doing this for a while – but we don’t know what breed(s) she started with – if she added other breed recently – we don’t know ANYTHING other than what we are hearing from the media – from those who “rescued” the dogs. We don’t know any of the background behind this story – nothing to go by other than what they CHOSE to share with us. It leaves a lot to speculation.

  17. This doesn’t really strike me as a “hoarded” issue but more as an illegal (or not?) PUPPY MILL in a backyard barn. Just my 2cents.

  18. All of you who are “questioning” the photos and their quality, please look at the video of the raid on their website
    Does it REALLY matter if only 5 , or 10 , of the dogs were in horrid condition? They all lived in a dark barn with no heating, wire crates stacked, no fresh air, no sunlight, never leaving their prison. I am not pro hsus , but at least they got it done. So what if they take credit, we know the truth, and I say let the horrors of puppy mills, even “nice” ones, take on the more importance, even if quality breeders have to jump through some hoops. Can you really say that someone can take adequate care, physically and emotionally, of 98 dogs? If something has to give, think of your favorite dog, and what you would do to prevent them living like this.

    1. ALL videos produced or released by the HSUS need to be taken with considerable salt, as the group is famous for their editing skills. I don’t think you can believe anything HSUS says as they are happy to lie to support their position.

      Furthermore though it’s not the way you or I might keep animals, I think an imperfect owner is better than death, a position which is most definitely NOT supported by the animal rights movement. I have not forgotten about the Alabama 44 chow mixes that the HSUS “rescued” last month, several of whom met their deaths a few weeks later in a GAS chamber. Weren’t they better off before they were “rescued”? Of course they were. RIP Murray, Henry and all the other “lost” dogs of the Alabama 44.

  19. This was on HSUS site. “from Melanie Kahn, the new director of our Stop Puppy Mills campaign, sent this dispatch from the scene:

    When we arrived at the Zippity Do Da Tiny Pet Kennel in middle Tennessee early this morning, we were greeted by the sound of dozens of dogs barking. It was cold and windy after heavy rain last night, but several dogs were being kept in outdoor pens in the mud and near-freezing weather.”

    Is that true? Why were the lights off and flash lights used in the video? Looked like there were heat lamps and lights everywhere.

  20. (quote) “I see on one hand, some people saying “Look, see, the cute little Cavalier puppies are just fine, see the pictures, they aren’t bleeding out or anything.”

    And out the other side of the mouth, “Oh, they just deliberately take blurry pictures of the one or two worst-looking dogs for fundraising.”

    It can’t be both. Either the photos of “clean” puppy inventory “proves” — I’m not sure what it’s supposed to prove — or the photos of the miserable neglected animals in their hutches are just “fundraising” hyperbole.” (endquote)

    It absolutely CAN be both. Some animals can be well kept, others not.. in the same facility. This was certainly true of, for example, the Vick dogs. In fact the photos you are sneering at PROVE that it can be both.

    Yes, some animals in a situation are abused AND some “rescue to kill” organizations use photos for fundraising hyperbole.

    Shocking how people don’t follow the “rules”

    1. The owner is listed as Carol Cory Harris, 62, of 2819 Yell Road. Another older woman “busted” by the HSUS. My favorite quote from the article is:

      “Harris’ property was described by The Humane Society of the United States as a ‘puppy mill’ where dogs are bred to be sold.”

      One more example of HSUS getting caught branding all breeders as puppy millers.

    2. “The groups that have the dogs are Nashville Humane Association, Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue, Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga, New Leash on Life, PAWS Atlanta, and Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society. ”

      Is this the same Nashville Humane that disappeared 10 dogs from the Alabama 44?

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