SOURCE: PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities

February 03, 2011 11:22 ET

PetSmart Charities® Sends Emergency Relief Waggin'® Vehicle to Tennessee Puppy Mill

Officials Report Nearly 100 Animals in Need of Immediate Medical Care

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - February 3, 2011) - PetSmart Charities has dispatched its Emergency Relief Waggin'® vehicle to the scene of a puppy mill in Lewisburg, Tenn., where nearly 100 dogs and one cat are reportedly in need of assistance. The Humane Society of the United States is the lead agency in this rescue. All of the animals have been surrendered by the owner to the custody of the Marshall County (Tenn.) Sheriff's Department.

"Many of these dogs were so filthy and matted it was difficult for us to even tell what breed they were," said Leighann McCollum, Tennessee state director of The HSUS. "This is the perfect example of the squalid conditions dogs in puppy mills are forced to endure."

The Marshall County Sheriff's Department was alerted to a situation where dogs, mostly poodles and small breeds, were reportedly being housed in extremely poor conditions and bred in sub-standard breeding facilities. These animal victims were found living amongst their own feces in small wire enclosures, and all lacked proper socialization and medical care.

PetSmart Charities' Emergency Relief Waggin' vehicle is stocked with $60,000 worth of crucial supplies, including pet food, wire crates, plastic carriers, bowls and leashes. The vehicle is also stocked with items such as fans, a generator, tents, a battery charger and lights to aid the animal rescuers on scene. The 53-foot trailer and its 16-ton cargo load departed the PetSmart® Distribution Center in Ottawa, IL., bound for the scene, where animal-rescue teams will operate an emergency animal shelter.

"In addition to the critical supplies for the animal victims, PetSmart Charities also dispatches a specially trained team of volunteers to meet the Emergency Relief Waggin' vehicle on the scene, unload the supplies and set up the temporary shelter," said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. "This enables rescuers to focus on the animals and immediately tend to their medical needs. This well-executed, cooperative effort means that the helpless animal victims will get the assistance they need as quickly and efficiently as possible."

PetSmart Charities is a nonprofit organization and the largest funder of companion animal-welfare efforts in North America. It established its Emergency Relief Waggin' program in 2007 to help animals who are displaced and/or suffering as a result of natural or man-made disasters.

Members of the public who would like to support PetSmart Charities' Emergency Relief Waggin' Program can make a tax-deductible donation in one of two ways:

1. Make a credit card donation via the PetSmart Charities' web site at:;
2. Mail a check directly to: PetSmart Charities, Attn: Emergency Relief; 19601 N. 27th Avenue, Phoenix, Ariz., 85027.

Funds raised will be used to aid pets affected by this and future Emergency Relief Waggin' program efforts when pets are victimized by natural and man-made disasters.

Learn more about the Emergency Relief Waggin' program at

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 more than $110 million in grants and programs benefiting animal-welfare organizations and, through its in-store adoption program, helped save the lives of more than 4.4 million pets. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working toward its vision of a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit or call 1-800-423-PETS.

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