The Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office and the Humane Society of the United States rescued nearly 130 animals from a suspected puppy mill Monday, according to Cabarrus County officials.
Some of the animals were in urgent need of medical care, authorities said.
Officials said an anonymous tip to law enforcement led deputies to investigate the property. Armed with warrants, deputies and Humane Society staff members entered the property Monday morning and found about 105 dogs, 20 cats and three goats housed in what county officials described as “unsafe and unsanitary conditions.”
The animals were removed from the property and received immediate care from Cabarrus Animal Hospital.
Cabarrus officials did not disclose the location of the property or the name of the owners.
The Humane Society said the animals later were taken to a temporary emergency animal shelter for care. Representatives of Red Rover, a California-based animal care agency, are overseeing the dogs and cats, and Banfield is providing supplies, according to the Humane Society.
The sheriff’s office transported the goats to a large-animal facility for care, officials said.
“Animal cruelty comes with serious consequences,” sheriff’s Lt. David Taylor said. “Our No. 1 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.”
There was no word Monday evening of any charges being filed in the case.
Erica Geppi, state director for the Humane Society, said North Carolina is “one of a handful of states” without regulations for commercial dog breeders. She said the Humane Society is urging the General Assembly to pass regulations.
Humane Society officials said they offer rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of puppy mill operators. Phone tips can be left at 1-877-MILL-TIP.