Puppy mill cleanup - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Puppy mill cleanup

Dozens of volunteers spent Memorial Day weekend cleaning up the nearly 200 dogs discovered at a home near New Albany, Mississippi.

Investigators recently discovered a puppy mill there during an investigation into the death of a child. Ramon and Janet Baretto are in jail charged with seven counts of child endangerment because of the deplorable conditions inside their home. No one has been charged in the child's death.

In the meantime, animal control is planning to file charges of animal abuse against the couple.

On Sunday, a team of 40 volunteers transformed the front yard of what used to be the puppy mill into a makeshift veterinary clinic.

Dr. Gretchen Ganas from the Animal Care Center in Tupelo examined each of the dogs and treated them for ailments that included ear infections and eye ulcerations.

"Worst conditions I've seen," said Ganas. "This situation used only for breeding puppies, making money."
After dogs were examined, volunteers began the difficult process of freeing them from filth. Most of the dogs suffer from skin conditions.

"It's okay, baby," said one volunteer lovingly.

Volunteers shaved the dogs' coats, which had become matted with feces. One dog's ear canal had closed, overgrown with fur. The volunteers cleaned canine ears and clipped overgrown and ingrown nails. They scrubbed the neglected animals with much-needed soap and warm water.

After their examinations, baths and groomings, the dogs were transported to a warehouse donated by a Tupelo business owner. There, the dogs will continue to be treated until they're ready for a permanent family. But, as Debbie Hood of the Tupleo-Lee Humane Society explains, it can't be just any family.
"Take a lot of loving and patience, some special adoptions. Not average adoption, going to have to deal with some issues," said Hood.  

Click here to learn how to adopt one of the puppy mill dogs or make a donation to help pay for their care.

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