The Oregon Humane Society rescued more than 100 dogs Nov. 13 from a Columbia County puppy mill under investigation for animal neglect. The dogs were taken to an emergency animal shelter set up by OHS, where they were sheltered and given medical care from the OHS staff and medical team. The dogs include 35 Akitas, and many Dachshunds and other small mixes including Terriers and Poodles, ranging in age from puppies to adults.
The breeding facility is under investigation for failure to provide minimum care for animals, including adequate shelter and potable water. An inspection by Columbia County Animal Control documented unsanitary conditions, including pervasive amounts of fecal matter and urine throughout the kennels. In one outbuilding used to house dogs, an inspector found no open windows or ventilation, numerous piles of fecal waste, and urine-stained flooring.
“We undertook today's rescue operation to stop the suffering of these animals,” said OHS Executive Director Sharon Harmon. “The dogs at this breeding facility were living in shocking conditions.” In anticipation of the rescue, OHS constructed an Emergency Animal Shelter (EAS) where the dogs will be cared for until the case is resolved.
The dogs seized from the puppy mill are not available for adoption at the present time, as they must be held as evidence in a potential legal case against the owner of the breeding operation. The owner could face multiple counts of animal neglect, each punishable by up to one year in jail and a $6,250 fine. The operator of the facility could also be in violation of the Oregon Puppy Mill Act, which prohibits breeders from having more than 50 breeding dogs at one facility and also mandates minimal care standards. Columbia Humane Society took 16 to 20 of the Akitas to its facility in St. Helens.