News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012
AIKEN, S.C. -- It's been a long journey, but several pets rescued from a puppy mill in Edgefield County are now on their way to finding new homes.
Gary Willoughby, director of the Aiken SPCA, picked up 40 dogs from the temporary shelter on Tuesday.
"It's sad at first because you know where they came from, but it's reassuring to know that the moms who have had puppies will never have another litter of puppies," he said.
Callie Abel surrendered nearly 300 of her pets after the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office raided her property a few weeks ago. Many of those pets were found with health problems, living in horrible conditions.
"We had some that had some skin allergies from poor nutrition, some that were very timid and shy that didn't have any human interaction, some don't know how to walk on a leash and had to be carried -- even a couple of large labs," he said.
But now, the pets have made their way to the Aiken SPCA, and it's time to start finding them new homes.
"We have to spay or neuter, do all the shots, many of them that's all we need, and they'll be ready to go up for adoption. Some maybe as soon as Friday will be ready," he said.
Three dogs and a parrot will not be up for adoption, though.
"They have to be boarded here for about a month. The previous owner has an opportunity -- if she makes a lot of changes in her home, she may be awarded them back," Willoughby said.
The lengthy list of changes includes spaying the three pets and having her home inspected.
"If she doesn't comply, then they'll stay with us and go up for adoption," Willoughby said.
Willoughby says even though the puppies are usually the first to find homes, the moms are the ones who need a loving new family the most.
"The little cute puppies have only been there a very very short period of time, and they won't remember the situation much later, but some of the mothers spend seven to eight to 10 years of their lives just having litter after litter after litter," he said.
The constant breeding and poor living conditions really take a toll on their health.
"It's no way to live. They live in wire cages, never get to touch the grass -- it's just a horrible environment, and they're just strictly there for the owner to make some money," Willoughby said.
The SPCA will be posting pictures and information as the pets become available for adoption.
For the Aiken SPCA website, click here.
Address: 401 Wire Road, Aiken, SC 29801
Phone number: (803) 648-6863
The Aiken Equine Rescue took in nine of the horses rescued from the puppy mill.
For the Aiken Rescue website, click here.
Address: 532 Glenwood Drive Aiken, SC 29803
Phone number: (803) 643-1850
News 12 will keep you updated as more information is released.