Dogs Rescued From Puppy Mill

Sunday, November 2nd 2008, 6:36 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, News On 6

DELAWARE COUNTY, OK -- Nearly 100 dogs were rescued from a puppy mill that authorities are calling 'appalling.' The dogs were found on Friday near the Arkansas border in Delaware County.

The dogs that survived are being taken to an agency in Denver, Colorado. Meanwhile, authorities are trying to figure out how the conditions at the puppy mill got so out of control.

Acting on a tip, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office found the dogs on Friday. They say the nearly 100 cocker spaniels and poodles were packed into cages without any food or water.

Police say at least 10 dogs had also died, and were not removed from the cages.           

"Probably the worst scene we've ever dealt with as far as animal abuse," said Deputy Mark Berry.

"It was brutal.  Dogs eating dead dogs, dogs starving, pregnant, injured, blind, you name it," said Jennifer Thumser of the Humane Society.

Authorities aren't sure how long the puppy mill had been operating. Its owner, Sue Davis, was arrested and police say she will likely face felony animal cruelty charges.

Animal lovers say there is no reason so many dogs should have been subjected to such awful conditions.

"It made me sick. It was just horrendous; I've never seen such cruelty in the years I've been with the Humane Society," said Linda Miller of the Delaware County Humane Society.

"It makes you mad, it just makes you mad.  That people take something like this and have it get so out of hand, that someone has to come in and do something, it's just wrong," said Veterinarian Darlene Wehr.

Fortunately, Delaware County found an organization that is willing to take care of all 97 dogs. On Sunday morning, officials met a group out of Denver, the Denver Dumb Friends League, who helped get the dogs to Denver. They will be cared for, rehabilitated, and hopefully adopted there.

Humane Society members believe Oklahoma's lack of puppy mill legislation helps create these situations, and they worry that it's only a matter of time before they discover another one.

"I'll never forget it, and hope to God I never see it again, but I have a feeling we're going to," said Miller.

The Humane Society says because the dogs were seized, by law, they all have to go to the same location. Denver's facility is the closest one willing and able to handle so many animals.

Related Story:

10/31/2008 - Puppy Mill Raided In Delaware County