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Puppy mill bust calls in veterinary forensic experts
Lyles, Tenn. - More than 700 animals were confiscated following a puppy mill raid that is believed to be the largest in Tennessee history.
- More than 700 animals were confiscated following a puppy mill raid that is believed to be the largest in Tennessee history.
Coordinated by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the raid brought in two forensic veterinarians, Drs. Melinda Merck and Ellen Hirschberg, and five disaster response-team experts from the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The raid was set into motion following a preliminary investigation with the District Attorney's Office for the 21st Judicial District. Law enforcement personnel were called in from the County Sheriff's Department, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the 21st Judicial District Drug Task Force and the Tennessee Highway Patrol. ASPCA assisted lawmakers and HSUS personnel along with a number of local humane groups.
The raid netted some 200 puppies, reports Merck, all suffering from a general lack of husbandry, proper ventilation and sanitation.
"This is by far one of the worst situations I have ever seen. Animals are in extreme cases of neglect and illness, and some are dead. The overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, flea and parasite infestation as well as the stress of competing for food and coping with untreated illnesses, is severe," Merck adds.
The 747 animals discovered in the raid were housed in various enclosures among the property's 92 acres, ASPCA reports. The farm's owner could face criminal charges.