Chesterfield County Animal Services stepped in on Wednesday, Jan. 16, to rescue 44 dogs and puppies from a property located in Cheraw.
Animal Services said the property owner was completely cooperative, willing to sign over all the animals. The dogs were taken to the shelter in Chesterfield, where other animals had to be adopted or rescued to make room for the new animals coming in.
Animal Services received a complaint the Friday before that there were animals that needed to be rescued from the property, a suspected puppy mill. The dogs that were saved were in poor condition and needed immediate help, lawmen said. In no time a seizure order was put into place, stating that no animals could be removed from the property without the approval of Animal Services or the magistrate’s office.
On Monday they were given orders from Judge Davis with the go ahead to remove all the animals from the property giving way to Operation New Hope. Danielle Bowe, Director of Chesterfield County Animal Services, sent out an email with a very big request, for help from vet technicians, groomers, transportation drivers, vehicles and volunteers. “No hands will be put to waste,” said Bowe.
In order for the shelter to help these dogs, the shelter needed for the dogs already there to be adopted. Every dog that had been at the shelter 5 or more days was at risk of being euthanized. Not only did volunteers help with the rescue but many of them helped by adopting and rescuing the shelter animals.
All animals were photographed, categorized and inventoried before they were removed from the property, according to authorities. Once the first steps were taken, all the animals included in the seizure were removed in a systematic approach, utilizing county vehicles only. “The animals rescued have to be held in our facility until the judge releases them from our care,” stated a representative of the shelter.
Operation New Hope had a positive end with a total of 132 dogs adopted, including the 44 taken from the property. Debbie Farhi and Nancy Bartow with Where Hope Lives and Last Chance Animal Rescue, helped the shelter with the incoming animals from the mill, by moving most of the dogs out of the shelter. The rescue group saved 11 of the mill dogs.
Animals advocates say the important lesson that can be learned from this situation is that spaying and neutering of all animals is vital to keep the population down.