UPDATE: Georgia puppy mill operator arrested after 700 dogs are rescued
UPDATE: A Georgia man has been arrested after more than 700 dogs were found at a puppy mill in conditions that police described as “out of control and inhumane.”
Reason Craig Gray, 58, of Nashville, Georgia, was facing charges of animal cruelty and obstruction, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement late Thursday.
Gray ran a licensed pet-breeding business known as Georgia Puppies. It sold miniature breeds including teacup Yorkies and toy poodles for up to $600 per dog.
Releash Atlanta, an organization caring for eight of the rescued animals, said they "flinch at the feeling of grass under their feet" and were used to sleeping standing up.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the Atlanta Humane Society said the animals had been "living in crates their whole lives — one tiny crate stacked on top of another. They’re matted, covered in feces and have never been held or walked."
The Humane Society previously named Gray on its “Horrible Hundred 2018” list of “problem puppy mills and puppy sellers in the United States.”
The Georgia Department of Agriculture inspected his facility last week. Gray initially voluntarily surrendered 630 of the dogs, but police say he admitted to subsequently bringing puppies back onto the property. An additional 85 dogs were rescued Thursday after a search warrant was obtained.
“There are many questions yet to be answered,” Berrien County Sheriff Ray Paulk added. “One huge one is how this licensed pet dealer was allowed to have an operation with this many beautiful creatures to be able to populate to the point of being out of control and inhumane.”
PREVIOUS STORY: More than 700 dogs were found "in horrific conditions" on a south Georgia property, according to the Atlanta Humane Society.
Releash Atlanta said the dogs were part of "an extreme hoarding puppy mill case."
A Monday Facebook post by the agency showed the dogs in crates as they were prepped for their vet examinations. They'll then cleaned up, with matted fur shaved away, before they are placed in foster homes.
"These dogs have been living in crates their whole lives- one tiny crate stacked on top of another. They’re matted, covered in feces and have never been held or walked," the organization said in a Facebook post.
Tim Hill of the Humane Society of Valdosta Lowndes County said that the dogs were in kennels that were stacked on each other. The dogs appeared to have been fed, and had water.
"The homeowner, I believe loved the animals, but the situation got so out of control that the sheer numbers, he couldn't handle any longer," Hill said.
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