Potential Puppy Mill Owner Jailed

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UPDATE Below: Worth County Animal Control officials were joined by Georgia Department of Ag Animal Services Division’s Bill McCranie and the Worth County Sheriff’s Department this morning at a Dykes Drive property near Isabella in response to dogs and puppies suffering utterly deplorable conditions. See story below:

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Dozens of puppies and adult dogs were removed from the homeowners property upon him surrendering the animals to Animal Control. At least three litters of pure breed puppies (15 in one litter) were removed having flea infestation and anemia. All of the inside kennels were in severely unsanitary condition.  Food was visibly available to the animals but water bowls appeared green and unclean. Rats were seen inside of the kennel located right next to a very young litter of puppies. Photos do not genuinely depict the conditions these animals were trying to survive in.

A source said the owner previously expressed he sold his puppies to an Albany pet dealer. Many breeds were on site including Golden Retrievers and various small breed dogs including Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, Dachshunds,  Rat Terriers and  Pekingeses. Many had visible poor health conditions.

McCranie explained to the dog owner that his animals are needing nourishment and treatment immediately or they will die. Animal Control Officer Sherri Hendley reached agreement with the owner to surrender his animals. Officials were still on scene at 11:30 A.M. loading animals to take to the shelter. Twenty-four dogs and 29 puppies were taken to the animal shelter in Sylvester. Charges may be pending.

The Best Friends Humane Society will need the public’s support immediately as all of these animals will need care.

If you can offer time to help with bathing these animals, some volunteer time at the shelter, food or contributions for needed  medicines, please contact the Shelter at 229-777-7774.  See photos and on scene video below:

UPDATE 3:45 P.M. Thursday- Animal Control confirms 15 of the 29 puppies unfortunately have the deadly puppy disease Parvo. The fourteen unaffected by the disease will likely be adoptable however if they are receptive to current treatment to restore health.

lewisUPDATE Friday: Items currently needed at BFHS include towels, bleach, flea shampoos & puppy & pet foods and of course monetary donations. BFHS Director Shelly McPhaul said today, “The support from the community has been overwhelming and we appreciate everything everybody has donated and continues to donate. At the present time the animals that were taken in are still being assessed, treated, bathed, de-flead, wormed and fed. BFHS will try to take pictures over the next few days and update our Facebook page and website, www.bfhsworth.com .” 

McPhaul thanks all the volunteers, supporters and to A Bag to Go who supplied hot lunches Friday to everyone at the shelter. “Without you,” she said, “we could not be doing what we are doing.”

12:30 P.M. Friday – Sheriff Jeff Hobby just confirmed Lewis W. Hillard is charged with a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals and misdemeanor cruelty to animals 1st degree. He is currently in the Worth County jail. PHOTO: WCSO

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Litter of puppies were located next to rats
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15 puppies in this litter found with flea infestation and anemia according to Animal Control Officer Sherri Hendley
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Rats found near young litter of puppies
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Outside kennels provided ventilation but unsanitary conditions as well
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Officials discuss with owner surrendering his animals to help save them

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Other Local News Coverage on this story:

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