Dogs now receiving urgent medical care

Elmwood, Wis.—The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Animal Humane Society (AHS) are assisting the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office with the seizure of 48 dogs from a substandard, unlicensed breeding facility in Elmwood, Wis. The dogs were seized from the property Friday morning after warrants were served, and the owner of the facility was booked into the Pierce County Jail for mistreatment of animals, not providing proper food to confined animals and improper animal sheltering.

The 35 adults and 13 puppies, all yellow Labradors, were discovered living indoors in small, filthy travel crates, with no access to food or water. Numerous deceased animals were also found on the property. The ASPCA believes the facility to be a puppy mill--a large-scale breeding operation designed to generate profits at the cost of the animals’ health and well-being.

“What we saw here is no way for a dog to live,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The puppies at breeding facilities are sold for profit, but many people don’t realize that their parents are often kept there for years, subjected to incessant breeding and usually lacking basic care and socialization, resulting in a very poor quality of life.”

“Large scale animal cruelty cases are not something that we encounter often here in Pierce County,” said Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove. “When we are made aware of any animal cruelty issues we do the best we can to investigate and hold accountable those responsible. This case started with a complaint from a concerned citizen who was appalled by the conditions these animals were exposed to. Deputies responded to the complaint and determined the allegations had merit. Citizens are encouraged to contact law enforcement when they are made aware of these situations so they can be addressed accordingly.”   

The dogs have been transported to AHS (Golden Valley, Minn.), where they are receiving urgent medical treatment from ASPCA and AHS veterinarians. At this time, the dogs are considered evidence and will be cared for by AHS responders until their custody is determined by the court. The ASPCA is also collecting forensic evidence and providing legal support to strengthen the case and ensure the best legal outcome for these dogs.

"We’re proud to be known as the go-to resource for investigations in this region," said Janelle Dixon, President & CEO of Animal Humane Society. "Our humane agents investigate hundreds of reports of animal cruelty and neglect each year. As a result, we have the experience and ability to care for large numbers of animals, and the medical and behavioral expertise to provide the specialized care these vulnerable animals need."

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has rescued thousands of dogs from puppy mills across the nation. Furthermore, the ASPCA’s Government Relations department has been active in promoting legislation at both the state and federal levels to strengthen regulations and raise minimum standards of care for dogs in puppy mills. For more information about puppy mills and how to fight animal cruelty, join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade at

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Mounds Pet Warehouse in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin wins national contest

Washington D.C., November 4, 2011 – The winner of the first Born Free USA Compassionate Pet Supply Store Contest is Mounds Pet Warehouse in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The contest asked consumers to vote online at Born Free USA, and nominate their choice for the most compassionate pet supply store.

Mounds Pet Warehouse is locally owned and operated and has five locations (Sun Prairie, Madison, Middleton, Fitchburg, and Janesville).  The Sun Prairie store was chosen as the winner.  Mounds does not sell live animals and the store works in its community with local shelters to place homeless animals, as well as provide support to their new guardians through education.

Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA said, “Increasingly discerning consumers are taking a stand with their dollars to support good business practices. We applaud Mounds Pet Warehouse for its conscientious decision not to sell live animals in their stores and therefore not contributing to the millions of animals suffering in pet stores and bred in mills.”

Born Free USA, a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, maintains a database of U.S. pet supply stores to promote compassionate retailers. helps consumers find quality supplies for their companion animals from places that do not sell any live animals including birds, reptiles and fish. However, this does not preclude in-store adoptions or other promotions in coordination with animal rescue groups and shelters.

Heather Sullivan, Marketing Manager for Mounds said, "Mounds does not sell live animals. We prefer to partner with humane societies and animal rescue groups to help homeless companion animals because we believe the measure of humanity is the extent to which you raise the standard of taking responsibility for those who can’t help themselves. It just makes good business sense. This is who we are."

Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” – the vision of the U.K. – based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.  More at:; twitter; Facebook