LEBANON, Tenn. (WTVF) — More than 80 dogs are recovering in Middle Tennessee after being rescued from a puppy mill in Iowa.
At the request of the U.S. Department of Justice, Animal Rescue Corps (ARC), the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, and the ASPCA teamed up to remove and transport more than 500 dogs and puppies in the care of a commercial breeder in Seymour, Iowa. The owner agreed to surrender all of the animals after the USDA documented more than 190 violations of the Animal Welfare Act. This marked the first time the ARC participated in a rescue in Iowa.
The dogs were kept on a number of properties, and some were living in horrific conditions. A total of 88 of the dogs were moved to the Animal Rescue Corps' emergency shelter in Lebanon where they are receiving medical care, grooming and behavior assessments.
"They weren’t treated as pets on the property, they were just breeding stock," said Michael Cunningham, with the ARC. "Some of these puppies have never been outside before."
Cunningham said volunteers are working with the puppies to help them feel more comfortable around humans. The volunteers will spend time with the dogs in 10 to 15-minute blocks several times a day to help boost their social skills. The rescued puppies include labradoodles, pomskys, and miniature Australian shepherds.
"These are beautiful dogs," said Cunningham. "Everybody wants these dogs. I‘m getting a lot of inquiries about adoptions."
Usually, the rescued dogs are in ARC’s care for around 10 to 21 days. Once they’re healthy and ready, they will be released to partner agencies for adoption.
To help care for the dogs, Cunningham is hopeful for more people will volunteer at the shelter in Lebanon. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can find more information by clicking here.