Response overwhelming to rescued puppy mill dogs

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A local animal shelter is joining the effort to find hundred of dogs new homes. More than 1,000 dogs were seized this week for an alleged puppy mill in southwest Virginia. The dogs were not in good shape, but volunteers at the Durham County animal shelter are getting ready for adoption.

Although quarter are cramped, volunteers were able to make just enough room for 30 more puppies. It's just a fraction of the animals rescued from Hillsville.

The animals are not in the best of condition -- many of them quite dirty.

But Friday each puppy got a bath.

"We think a lot of them this may be their first bath," volunteer Geralyn Husketh exclaimed.

And for many, it's the first time they've been held.

The puppies have not had a whole lot of human interaction, so they're still timid and shy. But volunteers say even in the past few hours, they've really opened up to people.

Over the next few days, the dogs will be vaccinated and observed then placed in foster homes until they're adopted.

Shelter organizers said they don't think there will be a problem getting the puppies adopted.

Durham shelter officials want the rescue to bring attention to a much bigger problem -- a crisis in the animal world that is changing through the enforcement of laws.

Orange County Animal Services said they are also taking in 20 of the rescued dogs. The rescued breeds include Jack Russell terriers, shih tzus, malteses and poodles.

The rescued puppies will be available for adoption beginning Thursday, November 15. The Orange County Animal Shelter is conducting the adoptions in several small groups, only offering four or five dogs at a time until all 14 of the dogs are adopted.

Those intersted in adopting a puppy must fill out an application with the Orange County animal Shelter and may be provided the opportunity to adopt upon approval by shelter staff.

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