The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) against a New Mexico puppy mill for several violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In response to a series of complaints, like this one, from visitors or adoptees of McIntoch’s Southern Roc Airedales, ALDF sent an undercover investigator to the site, capturing video to confirm the maltreatment of the dogs.
The video shows that Southern Roc, which is operated by Southern Sollars, does not meet the minimum standards of care. It is also operating without a license from the USDA, required under the Animal Welfare Act. The video is hard to watch, but we must not look away. Water, if not frozen over, was green and dirty with algae. No adequate shelter is available for the dogs, who are shown visibly shivering in the frigid temperatures that routinely dip below freezing during New Mexico winters. The dogs are shown living in areas littered with filth, debris and feces.
No surprise that the dogs were dirty with matted fur. As is typical with most abuse and neglect, the emotional and psychological scars from the maltreatment are not yet visible, but will reveal when innocent, naive dog lovers try to incorporate these maltreated and neglected dogs into their family. Puppy mill dogs need special care, compassion, and socialization. When dogs land in a family with no idea of torment and anguish they have experienced, their behavior can be overwhelming, and the dogs end up in shelters. By some counts, more than 25% of purebred dogs, likely from puppy mills, end up in shelters. Many experience more than one home during their puppyhood. When rescues know the origin of the dogs, they can take special care to rehabilitate them and find appropriate homes. Often no one really knows, but certain behaviors signal a puppy mill history.
Puppy mills are irredeemable abominations, and puppy mill owners deserve the full weight of the justice system that ALDF can bring to bear. There is no excuse for this kind of commercial farming of any animal, and the practice is particularly heinous when it involves the dog because the highly social and trusting dog has been transformed into an animal with no way to survive without human intervention. Stephen Wells, Animal Legal Defense Fund executive director said
We are asking the USDA to shut down Southern Roc and bring charges against Sollars for her flagrant disregard of the law—and the abuse the dogs have endured.”
Animal Legal Defense Fund is asking anyone who has visited or purchased a dog from Southern Roc to contact them firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, and to see the undercover video, click here.