Home / Newsroom / American Humane Rescue Team Called in to Assist in Dramatic Animal Cruelty Seizure Involving 255 Dogs Saved from Two Puppy Mills

American Humane Rescue Team Called in to Assist in Dramatic Animal Cruelty Seizure Involving 255 Dogs Saved from Two Puppy Mills

Rescue Experts and Giant 50-foot Emergency Vehicle Deploy to Help Save, Rehabilitate, and Care for Animals in Local Investigation

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, September 14, 2018 — The national American Humane Rescue team, accompanied by one of their giant 50-foot emergency vehicles, deployed this week to two locations in Washington state at the request of local authorities to participate in a dramatic rescue aimed at saving, rehabilitating, and caring for 255 small-breed dogs seized in deplorable conditions from two local puppy mills.

At one location, 89 dogs were found living in filth in a 10 by 60 mobile home and investigators had to wear hazmat suits while processing the scenes. One puppy was near death and a carcass that was improperly disposed of was located. At the second location, investigators found 166 dogs in filthy conditions and various stages of health. Investigators had to wear hazmat suits at that location, as well.

American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, which has been conducting animal rescues for more than 100 years, partnered with local authorities and animal aid groups including SCRAPS and HEART to transport the dogs from the puppy mill to a temporary shelter and provide them with food, medical treatment, and intensive 24-hour care as needed. American Humane is working with a local veterinarian, local responders, and local contacts, performing intake assessments, and setting up a daily care routine. The animals will eventually be taken in by permanent shelters and rescues for adoption.

The giant American Humane Rescue vehicle traveled more than 1,200 miles from its strategic station in Los Angeles to help the animals. The lifesaving vehicle was made possible thanks to a generous donation by internationally renowned philanthropist Lois Pope. Banfield Foundation also made a generous contribution to cover the operational and deployment costs, and Zoetis Petcare is the medical sponsor for American Humane Rescue and provides medicines and veterinary supplies for its deployments.

“It is very disheartening to see animals living under these conditions, but we are fortunate to have the support of so many humane heroes to fight these injustices,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “With the help of our rescue team and dedicated local volunteers, these animals will be rehabilitated and put on the path to a better life.”

“The condition in which the animals were found in was deplorable,” said the local sheriff’s department deputy. “Years of urine and feces buildup, dangerous ammonia levels, caged litters and severely ill dogs, even a carcass. I cannot imagine the suffering and neglect these animals were subjected to. This was the worst case, with the largest number of dogs I have ever handled.”

The American Humane Rescue program was created in 1916 at the request of the U.S. Secretary of War to rescue war horses on the battlefields of World War I Europe.  Now celebrating more than a century of saving animals in need, the American Humane Rescue program has been aiding animals of every kind and has been involved in virtually every major disaster relief effort from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, the Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes, the Japanese and Haitian earthquakes, and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  In just the past year American Humane Rescue teams have saved, sheltered, and fed more than 600,000 animals.

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About American Humane

American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit

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