Around a year ago, The Puppy Mill Project started to receive calls about a puppy mill in Kankakee County where dozens of dogs were breeding and living in squalor. Today, 80 dogs are free and have a new life ahead after a collaborative effort - dubbed Operation Spring Break - from The Puppy Mill Project, Animal Rescue Corps, Bissell Pet Foundation, Paws Chicago, Veterinary Professionals Against Puppy Mills and the Kankakee County States Attorney's office.
The conditions were typical of a puppy mill, where animals live in inhumane conditions and are treated as nothing more than breeding machines.” said ARC President Scotlund Haisley in a news release Tuesday. “Dogs have been suffering here for a long time but they are finally breaking out and reclaiming their lives.”
Since the call nearly a year ago, The Puppy Mill Project had been putting the wheels in motion to shut down the operation and rescue the dogs. They had been talking to the States Attorney and worked closely with ARC as the rescue loomed closer.
"It really is a great day and it just shows that when a group of people work together, we can make a difference," says Cari Meyers, founder and president of The Puppy Mill Project. "So many people and organizations worked hard to make this happen."
The rescue was underwritten by the Bissell Pet Foundation and PAWS Chicago provided the transport vans. Two Chicago veterinarians - Jane Lohmar of Family Pet Animal Hospital and Derrick Lendini of Animal Ark - were on hand to help provide much needed veterinary care for the animals rescued from the puppy mill. Dr. Lohmar is one of the driving forces behind veterinary professionals against puppy mills. PetSmart Charities provided some of the equipment needed for the rescue.
The dogs, which include Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers and Poodles of all ages, have been taken to an emergency shelter where they will each receive treatment and vaccinations. ARC will continue to vet and care for the dogs until they are placed in rescue.
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