On May 28, the ASPCA confirmed through the Marshall County Prosecutor's Office that 96 charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty were filed against the owners of a Holly Springs, Mississippi puppy mill where the ASPCA managed the investigation and seizure of more than 100 animals. The dogs, including small breeds such as Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Pugs, Corgis and Chihuahuas, were found housed in feces-encrusted pens and suffering from severe neglect—skin disease, rotted teeth, malnutrition and various other infections were rampant. Several dead adult dogs and puppies were also discovered on the property.
"We appreciate the diligence of the Marshall County Prosecutor's Office in pursuing this case and bringing appropriate charges against these puppy mill operators," says Tim Rickey, the ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response. "It's a crucial step in our ongoing fight against animal cruelty."
Our team of investigators worked closely with local authorities to collect evidence for the prosecution of the criminal case and provide for the animals' immediate needs. Also on scene were the American Humane Association, Marshall County Humane Society, Mississippi State University and Collierville (TN) Humane Society, who assisted in transporting the animals to a nearby emergency shelter. The animals were triaged by a team of veterinarians including Dr. Rebecca Coleman, Dr. Phil Bushby, a faculty member at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Kimberly Woodruff, also with Mississippi State.
"The officials and citizens of Marshall County appreciate the expertise and work of the ASPCA, as well as the other agencies, veterinarians and volunteers that helped save the animals from this deplorable puppy mill," says Shirley Byers, Marshall County Prosecuting Attorney. "Without their expertise and resources we would not have been able to handle the recovery, treatment and placement of so many animals."
The animals have since been transported to various animal welfare organizations, including the ASPCA Adoption Center, where a lucky 34 were ultimately made available for adoption.
For more information on the Holly Springs case, visit our Raids and Investigations section.