ANDERSON COUNTY – Over 150 dogs rescued from a puppy mill near Starr in Anderson County have been moved to a new facility or placed into foster care.
“We removed all of the adult dogs on Monday and moved them to our new facility on 1320 Highway 29 S,” said Manager of P.A.W.S., Michelle Powell. “We left the mother dogs with their puppies, and they have been taken and put into foster care until they are eight weeks of age.”
Powell said after eight weeks the puppies would be returned to the shelter for adoption if they were large enough for surgery.
“The 28 puppies have been put into foster care,” she said. “If the puppies are large enough and weigh enough for surgery after eight weeks, they will be ready for adoption. If not, they will go back into foster care for a couple more weeks.”
Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns said the dogs were removed from their 14-day quarantine on Saturday.
“The 14-day quarantine ended on Saturday,” he said. “We are now beginning the spay and neuter portion of the operation but these animals still have serious medical issues because they were living in horrific conditions, so we are still in the process of nursing them back to health.”
According to Burns, adoptions for the adult dogs will not be available until next week.
“There will be no adoptions this week,” Burns said. “There will be a limited adoption event next Wednesday for those animals that are able to be adopted.”
The 153 dogs taken from the puppy mill have now expanded to include 157 following the birth of four puppies.
“We now have 157 animals because one of the dogs had puppies,” Burns said.
The man arrested for operating the puppy mill, 72-year-old Donald F. Black, was released from jail and subsequently relinquished the control of the animals over to Anderson County, Burns said.
Black was served with four warrants for the ill treatment of animals in connection with the puppy mill.
“The charges have been filed,” Burns said. “They are still pending but they have not been heard by a magistrate.”
Burns said the county is working on an ordinance to ensure the banning of puppy mills.
“Anderson County Council is currently working on an ordinance to ban puppy mills,” he said. “Up until now, the laws regarding the operation of puppy mills were not sufficient.”