Humane society removes dogs from puppy mill

A woman who allegedly ran a puppy mill in Columbia County faces the possibility of felony charges, according to the Oregon Humane Society.

"This would be the first time felony charges were brought by us under a new law passed over the summer," Sharon Harmon, the society's executive director told KATU.

The society rescued more than 100 dogs on Wednesday from a puppy mill in Columbia County that is being investigated for animal neglect.

The dogs were taken to an emergency shelter. They included akitas, dachshunds and other small dog mixes, ranging from puppies to adults.

"These animals were in deplorable conditions," Harmon said. "Sometimes you have a situation where someone ends up with five cats, ten cats, 60 cats. This was a case of a commercial enterprise. Dogs being bred in bad conditions."

An inspection of the property recently found fecal matter and urine throughout the dogs' kennels and a lack of open windows and ventilation.

The dogs will not immediately be available for adoption because they're being held as evidence for a potential legal case.

They were taken to a temporary shelter and many of them appeared to be in relatively good spirits. The dogs ranged in age from puppies that were just days old to a few older animals.

The temporary shelter was necessary because OHS was out of room to house them all at their main facility.

OHS operations manager Brenda King said they knew about the rescue operation more than a week ago but had to scramble to find a place to bring the dogs.

"We had to spend a whole day really just getting the warehouse ready and then the second day all the supplies came," King said. "We had teams of volunteers and staff. Gosh, we probably had 60 people here at one point just assembling like crazy."

An OHS vet examined each dog. They were then sent to kennels with fresh water and soft bedding.

"I think this is the most comfortable and happy they've been in a while," King said.

OHS has a record of complaints against this particular facility. A Columbia County Animal Control inspector documented the current conditions during a recent visit. That led to a search warrant and the seizure on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday evening the operation was still underway and more dogs were coming in. KATU is not publishing the exact location in Columbia County since investigators are still carrying out their mission.

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