More than 250 dogs were seized Wednesday morning in a raid at a puppy mill in Sparta, Tennessee.
The dogs are small breeds under 20 pounds and include Boston and Jack Russell terriers, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, poodles, miniature Pinschers and Schnauzers, reports the ASPCA.
The dogs were housed in a residence and multiple buildings on the property.
Animals in critical condition were examined immediately on the scene. Animals needing emergency care are being transferred to local veterinarians who lent their services.
Many of the dogs are suffering from a general lack of care, such as little to no food or water, lack of proper ventilation in enclosed areas, and feces encrusted pens. Conditions such as matting, sores, mange, poor teeth, abscesses, and a host of other medical conditions are prevalent.
The investigation was set into motion last September, when a consumer who had visited the property to purchase a dog alerted the White County Humane Society reporting horrible conditions. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which had also received complaints, alerted the sheriff’s department, and a formal investigation began. The sheriff’s department then enlisted the ASPCA’s support for the operational phase of the case.