SOURCE: PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities

June 17, 2011 15:52 ET

PetSmart Charities'® Emergency Relief Waggin'® Vehicle Assists 300 Dogs in North Carolina Puppy Mill Case

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - Jun 17, 2011) - PetSmart Charities has dispatched its Emergency Relief Waggin'® vehicle, stocked with $80,000 worth of crucial supplies to aid pets and rescuers, to the scene of a puppy mill in Hudson, North Carolina. First responders reported that approximately 300 dogs were being housed in unsanitary conditions and lacked proper socialization and medical care. All of the animals have been seized by Caldwell County Animal Control. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is the lead agency in this rescue.

The case began when animal control received an anonymous tip concerning the welfare of the dogs. This prompted an inspection, which uncovered unsanitary conditions and unhealthy dogs. When HSUS officials arrived on scene, they found approximately 300 dogs, mostly Pomeranians and other small breeds, living crowded amongst their own feces in small wire enclosures. They noted that many of the dogs were severely matted and suffering from a variety of medical issues. According to reports, the property owner was selling puppies over the Internet to unsuspecting consumers.

"Many of these dogs were living in filthy cages so small that they could barely stand up and turn around," said Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for The Humane Society of the United States.

The 53-foot PetSmart Charities' Emergency Relief Waggin' trailer and its 16-tons of cargo departed the PetSmart® Distribution Center in Newnan, Ga., bound for the scene, where animal-rescue teams will operate an emergency animal shelter. The vehicle is stocked with crucial supplies, including pet food, wire crates, plastic carriers, fenced kennels, clippers, bowls, leashes, fans, a generator, a battery charger and lights to aid the animal rescuers on scene.

"PetSmart Charities also dispatches a team of specially trained volunteers to the scene," said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. "The volunteers are able to unload supplies and set up the temporary shelter very quickly, enabling on-the-ground rescuers to immediately attend to the animal victims. We are happy to be able to assist in this way to help give these dogs a second chance at finding a lifelong, loving home."

PetSmart Charities is a nonprofit organization and the largest funder of companion animal-welfare efforts in North America. It established the Emergency Relief Waggin' program in 2007 to help animals who are displaced and/or suffering as a result of natural or man-made disasters. To learn more about the Emergency Relief Waggin' program, go online to www.PetSmartCharities.org/emergency-relief. Members of the public who would like to support PetSmart Charities' Emergency Relief Waggin' program can make a tax-deductible donation online. Funds raised will be used to aid pets affected by this and future Emergency Relief Waggin' program efforts .

About PetSmart Charities®
Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities has provided $134 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations and, through its in-store adoption program, helped save the lives of more than 4.5 million pets. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working toward its vision of a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit petsmartcharities.org or call 1-800-423-PETS.

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