UPDATE:Woman in suspected puppy mill bust surrenders custody of - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

UPDATE:Woman in suspected puppy mill bust surrenders custody of animals

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Officials with the Humane Society of the United States tell FOX54 Callie Abel, the woman arrested in a suspected puppy mill bust in Edgefield County, has released custody of the nearly 300 animals.

Plans are now in place and in motion to move those animals to shelters across our region for adoption. No word yet on which shelters will be getting the animals. FOX54 is working to get that information. As soon as we receive it we will pass it along to you.



A puppy's cry, uncontrollable shaking and dogs that don't move their heads out of the corner of their cage – that is the condition of hundreds of dogs rescued from a suspected puppy mill in Edgefield County.

"Living conditions were pretty deplorable. When we got on the scene we found about 200 dogs, 9 horses and several dozen fowl," said the South Carolina State Director for the Humane Society of the United States, Kimberly Kelly.

Callie Abel was arrested Tuesday on seven counts of ill treatment of animals. She's accused of breeding the animals and selling them. She is out of jail after posting bond Tuesday afternoon.  

Many of the animals rescued from her property are in poor shape and desperately need care.

"Many of the animals have eye infections, dental disease, skin problems, severe matting," said Kelly.

A team of veterinarians meticulously examined the dogs Wednesday which they say have never been to a vet.

They're keeping a record of their health issues and plan to present the evidence in court against Abel as she is likely to face more charges.

It could be months and maybe even years before the animals can be adopted. In order for that to happen, the Humane Society says Abel would need to surrender the animals to them or a judge would need to grant custody to the Humane Society.

One law maker is so upset about the condition of the animals; he's working to toughen state law. Jake Knotts, the South Carolina Senator for District 23 says he's working on puppy mill legislation with the Humane Society.

"We're working together by January to introduce a bill and pre-file a bill to strengthen our laws in South Carolina to make these animals have a better chance in life," said Knotts.

For now the animals are being kept in a secret location safe from the cruel conditions many were born and raised into.

If you're interested in giving some of your time to help the animals recover, click the link for volunteer information: http://www.humanesociety.org/community/volunteers/

Footage courtesy of the Humane Society of The United States.

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