Tax Code Crackdown Leads to Rescue of 120 Puppy Mill Dogs

Last week I told you about Boomer, a poodle mix found in desperate condition in a Mississippi puppy mill earlier this year who now looks and feels a lot different in his new home, after his rescue by The Humane Society of the United States. Boomer is, for us, a symbol of the abuse that so many dogs endure on squalid, overcrowded puppy mills, and we are committed to turning around this industry. Just last week, we came to the aid of more than 120 puppy mill dogs in Indiana, thanks to the collaborative work of state and local authorities, area humane organizations, Maddie's Fund, and our incredible HSUS staff, led by our Indiana state director, Anne Sterling.

When responders arrived on the scene of the Indiana puppy mill they found Maltese, Shih Tzus, pugs, poodles and other breeds being housed in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Some of the dogs had been denied proper veterinary care and were suffering from tooth decay, intestinal parasites, and other illnesses. All of the adult breeding pugs had luxating patellas, a congenital deformity likely to be passed along to their puppies where the kneecap dislocates or moves out of its normal location, which can be very painful and is expensive to treat. (Be sure to watch our video narrated by several members of our rescue team, showing the conditions of the animals upon our arrival.)


This pug mother and her puppies were

among the more than 120 dogs rescued.

This latest rescue mission began when the Indiana Attorney General's office received a complaint that the property owners bred dogs and sold the puppies for hundreds of dollars each, but failed to collect or remit sales taxes to the state of Indiana as required by law. It's estimated this puppy miller owes more than $300,000 in unpaid sales taxes. There had also been complaints about seriously ill puppies being sold from the property.

Our thanks goes to the Indiana Attorney General's office for continuing to enforce sales tax evasion laws and crack down on puppy mills. This is now the third case we have coordinated with Andrew Swain, chief tax attorney for the Office. In these three cases in Indiana, we've now rescued more than 400 dogs.

We're also especially grateful to Pets Alive Spay Neuter Clinic, which allowed us to set up a temporary emergency shelter in their clinic; the generous anonymous donor who provided funding to The HSUS to help make this operation possible; and Maddie's Fund, which funds The HSUS's Maddie's Fund Puppy Mill Task Force to rescue animals from abusive puppy mills.

This post originally appeared on Pacelle's blog, A Humane Nation.