Apparent puppy mill burns to the ground in Tunica County

Aerial video of the smoldering property from Chopper 5.
Aerial video of the smoldering property from Chopper 5.

Reported by Janice Broach - bio | email

DUNDEE, MS (WMC-TV) – A fire at an apparent puppy mill in north Mississippi resulted in a crisis Monday for a local humane society.

Authorities said a suspected puppy mill was inside a house trailer that caught fire Monday morning along France Road in Dundee, Mississippi.

Neighbor Charles Logwood said the fire started in the trailer's laundry room, where many of the dogs had been brought in because of the cold.

"When I got there he didn't know it was on fire," Logwood said.

Jeffrey Hobbs was in the trailer caring for the dogs.

"They got out just in time," Hobbs said. "He let them all out."

Officials said two dogs died in the fire.  The bodies of eight additional dogs, which did not die in the fire, were found in a wooded area surrounding the property.

Sandy Williams, who heads the Tunica County Humane Society, helped rescue the dogs. She said the property appeared to be a puppy mill, and the dogs were not being cared for properly.

"Every one I picked up was malnourished," she said. "They're covered in fleas over here where the houses are. I saw no signs of food or water."

The owner of the dogs and the trailer, Stacey Valentine, arrived in tears when she saw what had happened.

"I tried my best to take care of these dogs," she said. "They eat good and they have medical care."

Valentine said she sells some of her dogs and the rest are pets. She says the dead dogs in the woods froze to death.

Williams said workers were seeking aid from nearby agencies, including the DeSoto County Animal Shelter, to help care for the animals.

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