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Friday, March 7th, 2008 -- 12:09 PM

The Clark County Humane Society has been working closely with the South Wood County Humane Society in dealing with the 84 dogs surrendered by a Pittsville-area "puppy mill".

"They wanted someone who knew how to go into a puppy mill situation and do the rescue properly," explains Chuck Wegner of the Clark County Humane Society, who is also a licensed humane officer.

"The sanitation is the thing that hits you right off the bat," Wegner says of the conditions he found at the Town of Dexter property, "The smell is just overwhelming. You have to put on masks and gloves to protect yourself."

As bad as it was, these conditions are typical of puppy mills. "There was feces, waste materials all over the floor. The ventilation was absolutely atrocious. Just absolutely filthy," Wegner says.

Wegner says the condition of the animals ran the gamut from good to at least one animal that will have to be euthanized.

The others will be dispersed between five humane societies, putting added strain on the shelters.

"We scramble, that's for sure. Materially, space-wise, you have to deal with it," Wegner notes, but adds people usually step up to help, "It's kind of like if a disaster hits in your area: people come out of the woodwork to help."

It will be awhile before the dogs are processed and made ready for adoption. In the meantime, this would be a great time for families to adopt the other animals at the shelter to relieve some of the stress, Wegner encourages.

On the Web:
[url=http://www.cchs-petshelter.org/]Clark County Humane Society[/url]

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