ASPCA Confirms 96 Charges Filed in Mississippi Puppy Mill Case

May 28, 2010

NEW YORK—The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has confirmed, through the Marshall Co. Prosecutor's Office in Marshall County, Miss., that 96 charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty were filed against the owners of a Mississippi puppy mill where the ASPCA managed the investigation and seizure of more than 100 dogs.

Working under the authority and request of the Marshall Co. Prosecutor's Office, and in conjunction with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, the ASPCA dispatched its Field Investigations and Response team last February 4 to assist in the emergency removal of the dogs from a Holly Springs, Miss. puppy mill. The dogs were signed over to the ASPCA and transferred to several animal welfare agencies, including the ASPCA’s Adoption Center in New York, for adoption.

"We appreciate the diligence of the Marshall County Prosecutor's Office in pursuing this case and bringing appropriate charges against these puppy mill operators,” said Tim Rickey, the ASPCA's Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response. “It’s a crucial step in our ongoing fight against animal cruelty.”

"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,” said 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.”

Groups assisting the ASPCA included the American Humane Association, Marshall County Humane Society, Mississippi State University and Collierville (Tenn.) Humane Society. Veterinarians, including Dr. Rebecca Coleman of Memphis, Tenn., Dr. Phil Bushby, a faculty member at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Kimberly Woodruff, also with Mississippi State, helped provide medical care.

The dogs, which included small breeds such as Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Pugs, Yorkshire Terriers, Corgis, and Chihuahuas, were discovered living in feces-encrusted pens and filth after local authorities contacted the ASPCA. Many of the dogs were underweight and had skin problems, among other medical conditions and several dead adult dogs and puppies were also discovered.

"Puppy mills are substandard commercial breeding operations that house dogs in overcrowded and often unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization," said Rickey. "We want to see this cruelty come to an end.”

For more information about puppy mills and how to fight animal cruelty, visit