An anonymous tip to the Best Friends Humane Society led to a puppy mill in Georgia being busted, and the owner is now facing charges.
Along with Best Friends, the Worth County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Department of Agriculture conducted the raid, which saved 24 dogs and 29 puppies from a dilapidated trailer. Dachshunds, bulldogs, Yorkshire terriers, Pekingeses, golden retrievers and Pomeranians were among the breeds found.
Officials were aghast at what they saw. Dog kennels, covered in feces, were stacked on top of one another. Though food was visible, water bowls were blanketed in algae. Rats and roaches scurried about the malnourished dogs, and most of the puppies were anemic and covered in fleas. Sadly, 14 of the 29 puppies have the deadly disease Parvo.
Owner Lewis Hillard had been running an unlicensed breeding facility. He at first claimed to be selling the puppies to an Albany pet dealer, but then said he had been giving them to families. He surrendered all of the dogs to the authorities.
Sheriff Jeff Hobby confirmed that Hillard has been charged with a felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals and misdemeanor cruelty to animals in the first degree, and is currently in the Worth County Jail.
Items currently needed at Best Friends include puppy and dog food, flea shampoo, towels and bleach. Monetary donations and volunteers are always welcomed. Best Friends’ website can be reached here: http://bfhsworth.com/pets/