COLDWATER, Miss. (AP) — A Humane Society director said 176 dogs were removed Monday from a breeding operation in north Mississippi after investigators received a tip that the animals were being kept in terrible conditions.
Sandy Williams, director of the Humane Society in Tunica County, told The Associated Press that more than 100 of the dogs were found in kennels stacked ceiling-high in a building the size of a one-car garage. She said many of the animals had filthy, matted fur.
The stench of urine and feces was so bad that “you just couldn’t even breathe” before the building was aired out, Williams said. “It was horrible.”
The Tate County Sheriff’s Department carried out a search warrant Monday at a home where the dogs were kept in Coldwater, a town of about 1,700 residents that is 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Memphis, Tennessee.
Coldwater is in Tate County, which is near Tunica County.
Williams said she received information that the dogs were neglected at the operation she described as a “puppy mill.” Workers removed the dogs from the small building and from a different part of the property.
Williams said the Tunica County Humane Society will work with an animal shelter in Memphis to care for the dogs until they can be sent other places in the U.S. to be matched with foster families.
The dogs were small breeds, including chihuahuas, Yorkies and miniature Doberman pinschers.
Williams said no arrests were made Monday but the owner of the breeding operation was given several days to hire an attorney.