Almost 130 animals saved from suspected Cabarrus Co. puppy mill

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — The Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office and the Humane Society of the United States rescued almost 130 animals from a suspected puppy mill.

The humane society released a video of the 105 dogs, 20 cats and three goats found in unsanitary conditions.

Officials charged Patricia Yates, of Kannapolis, with one count animal cruelty. The investigation is ongoing and more charges may follow.

An anonymous tip alerted the sheriff's office to the situation.

Officials said many of the animals were pregnant and needed urgent medical care. They said since Yates surrendered the animals, veterinarians can move forward with their treatment plans for the animals.

"Today is more of an in-depth, about documenting all the problems and coming up with a treatment plan," Blake Peurifoy with the Cabarrus Animal Hospital said.

Animal rescue volunteers and Red Rover responders are taking care of the dogs and cats at a temporary animal shelter. The sheriff's office took the goats to a facility for large animals.

“North Carolina is one of a handful of states that has failed to enact any regulations for commercial dog breeders,” said Erica Geppi, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. “The HSUS is urging the North Carolina legislature to enact meaningful reform that can prevent puppy mill cruelty in the state.”

Peurifoy said the recovery for the animals will be long. He expects all to survive and eventually find a new home.

The humane society is offering $5,000 for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-MILL-TIP.

“Animal cruelty comes with serious consequence,” Lt. David Taylor said. “Our number one priority is the protection and safety of the animals, including their environment. In Cabarrus County we’re investigating claims and prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law. However, the investigation is just the beginning of the story. We are fortunate to have the support of The HSUS as we move forward with the response.”

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