Petsmart Charities' Emergency Relief Waggin' vehicle dispatched - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Petsmart Charities' Emergency Relief Waggin' vehicle dispatched to assist puppy mill situation

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PetSmart Charities dispatched its Emergency Relief Waggin'® vehicle, stocked with $90,000 worth of crucial supplies, to the scene of an alleged puppy mill situation in Johnston, S.C. The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society of Charlotte were called in by the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office to assist in the rescue of approximately 250 animals.

The sheriff's office found more than 200 dogs of various breeds and ages living in deplorable conditions. The dogs ranged in breeds from chihuahuas and maltese to boxers and golden retrievers, and suffered from eye infections, skin irritations, dental problems and lack of socialization. The nursing mothers and their puppies were kept in filthy rabbit hutches, while some of the larger breeds were in pens or running loose on the property. The responders also found nine horses and nearly 40 fowl on the property.

The 53-foot PetSmart Charities' Emergency Relief Waggin' trailer and its 16-tons of cargo departed the PetSmart® Distribution Center in Newnan, GA bound for the scene, where animal-rescue teams will operate an emergency shelter. The vehicles are stocked with crucial supplies, including pet food, wire crates, plastic carriers, bowls, fans, a generator, a battery charger and lights to aid the animal rescuers on scene.

"PetSmart Charities also dispatches a team of specially trained volunteers to the scene," said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. "The volunteers are able to unload supplies and set up the temporary shelter very quickly, enabling on-the-ground rescuers to immediately attend to the animal victims. We are happy to be able to assist in this way to help give these pets a second chance at finding a lifelong, loving home."

"It's simply unacceptable for dogs to be housed in such cruel conditions," said Kim Kelly, South Carolina state director for The HSUS. "We're thankful that the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office acted on this case and called us for help."

The PetSmart Charities' Emergency Relief program is funded by donations. Members of the public can support the program by making a donation online, by email at or via phone at 623-587-2826, to help more pets like these find the loving homes they deserve.

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