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Review written by Jon Patch with 2.5 paws out of 4

Boy Erased

Focus Features, Anonymous Content, Blue-Tongue Films and Perfect World Pictures present an R rated, 114 minute, Biography, Drama, directed and written by Joel Edgerton, based on the memoir Boy Erased by Garrard Conley with a theatre release date of November 2, 2018.

Responders provide daily care of animals in Garland County Sheriff’s Office’s animal cruelty investigation

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of the Garland County Sheriff’s Office, has spent the past three days managing the medical triage and sheltering of 175 dogs removed from a puppy mill facility on November 7 in Hot Springs, Ark. The animals are currently housed at an emergency shelter where veterinary and sheltering teams, led by ASPCA medical director Dr. Rhonda Windham, are assessing, diagnosing, treating and providing enrichment for the dogs.

Many of the dogs exhibited various signs of neglect and suffered from skin problems and flea infestation, among other medical conditions. Several deceased dogs were discovered on the property, and were sent for forensic necropsies to determine the causes of death.

“One of our concerns was the spread of deadly diseases, and we were able to complete forensic examinations and provide vaccinations to all dogs seized from the property,” said Dr. Windham, medical director of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “The forensic examinations are being processed and will be submitted to the Garland County Sheriff’s Office to support their investigation. We will continue to monitor the conditions of these animals and provide supportive medical treatments and environmental enrichment while they are being housed at our emergency shelter.”

A search warrant was executed on November 7 for the removal of the dogs, and Pam Thomas, the owner of the facility, was subsequently arrested and charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty. This came after a two-year investigation led by Garland County Sheriff’s Investigator, Corporal Angela Graybeal. The Garland County Sheriff’s Office, through undercover visits and purchases, and with support from investigators with the Humane Society of Garland County, in cooperation with Stop Animal Cruelty, determined that Ms. Thomas was operating a puppy mill.

“Any additional charges against Ms. Thomas will be determined based on the medical conditions reported by the ASPCA,” said Lieutenant James Martin of the Garland County Sheriff’s Office. “The Garland County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the outpour of support from the community, and hopes these animals can move on to a better place soon.”

The ASPCA’s anti-cruelty behavior team will be conducting evaluations of the animals in order to assess each animal’s personality and temperament. The ASPCA will work on placement of the animals once the final disposition has been determined by the prosecutor.

More than 30 responders are assisting with the daily care of the animals, including staff and volunteers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Humane Society of Garland County. The operation is also being supported by PetSmart Charities, Inc., which provided much-needed sheltering supplies for the ASPCA’s emergency shelter.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One 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©(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.

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with Assistance from IFAW & PetSmart Charities

ASPCA manages forensic evidence collection & removal of animals
to support Garland County Sheriff’s Office animal cruelty investigation in Hot Springs, Ark.

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), at the request of the Garland County Sheriff’s Office, is managing the evidence collection and sheltering of more than 100 dogs living in a substandard commercial breeding facility—commonly known as a puppy mill—in Hot Springs, Ark., approximately 55 miles southwest of Little Rock. The operation is being supported by responders from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), PetSmart Charities, Inc. and Garland County Humane Society.

A search warrant was executed Monday morning for the removal of the dogs, and the animals are being transported to a nearby emergency shelter where they will receive medical care and treatment. The ASPCA is also collecting evidence for the investigation as well as lending the services of its veterinary forensics teams, led by Dr. Rhonda Windham, medical director of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. The owner of the puppy mill facility, Pam Thomas, has been arrested and charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty.

“The ASPCA has been invaluable in the coordination, investigation, processing and forensic evidence collection of the endangered and mistreated animals,” said Lieutenant James Martin of the Garland County Sheriff’s Office. “The successful completion of this operation would not have taken place without their experience, resources and expertise, as the magnitude of this operation is beyond the capabilities of Garland County resources.”

“The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position to lend our assistance and help the Garland County Sheriff’s Office put an end to abusive puppy mills in their community,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of Investigations for the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “Puppy mill dogs suffer from living in extremely unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization, and we appreciate the efforts of the local authorities in pursuing this investigation. Our goal is to help the local authorities by providing experts and resources to support the case, and see that these animals move on to a better place.”

Garland County Sheriff’s Investigator, Cpl. Angela Graybeal, began a criminal investigation in 2009 after allegations of health issues and charges had been brought against Ms. Thomas, owner of the Happy Times Kennel at 210 Barbershop Drive, also known as Rainbow Kennel and Spa City Pets, for violation of the Rabies Control Act.

During the two year investigation, Investigator Graybeal received numerous complaints regarding the living conditions, medical issues and mistreatment of more than 100 animals housed on the property. The Garland County Sheriff’s Office was able to determine that Thomas was operating a puppy mill through undercover visits and purchases, with support from the Garland County Humane Society, which connected investigators with the ASPCA for assistance.

The dogs—mainly small breeds such as Chihuahuas, West Highland white terriers, Boston terriers and dachshunds—were discovered living in feces-encrusted pens and deplorable conditions on the property. Many of the dogs exhibited various signs of neglect and appear to have severe skin problems and flea infestation, among other medical conditions.

The ASPCA is assessing and treating each animal by utilizing its fully equipped Northeast “Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit,” a specially-designed vehicle outfitted with state-of-the-art forensics tools and medical equipment tailored for animal patients. Additionally, the ASPCA’s custom-built animal transport trailer is also being utilized to help transfer animals to the emergency shelter.

More than 30 responders are on the scene, including staff and volunteers from IFAW, which is providing sheltering services and assisting with evidence collection; PetSmart Charities, which is providing much-needed supplies and helping set up the emergency shelter; and volunteers from the Garland County Humane Society, who will be assisting with the daily care of the animals housed at the temporary shelter.

“Upon learning of the deplorable conditions these animals were subjected to, IFAW took immediate action to help protect them from further suffering,” said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW Emergency Relief officer. “IFAW works around the world to ensure that dogs live in healthy conditions and we are dismayed to encounter, yet again, such appalling conditions here in the U.S.”

“Our Emergency Relief Waggin’ program offers assistance to animal victims, like these dogs, who need immediate care and attention,” added Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities. “Some of these dogs will experience, for the first time, what it’s like to be well fed, clean and comfortable. Our hope is that the pets rescued from cruelty cases, low-quality breeders and hoarders can be rehabilitated and placed into the caring homes they deserve.”

Tim Rickey, senior director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response added, “With the support and collaboration of these agencies, the ASPCA is able to continue its life-saving work in the field. We truly appreciate our partnership with these national animal welfare groups to rescue animals like these from inhumane conditions.”

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team has rescued countless dogs from puppy mills across the nation and aided in the prosecution of their owners. Furthermore, the ASPCA’s Government Relations department has been active in drafting and promoting legislation that would strengthen regulations and raise minimum standards of care for dogs in puppy mills, most recently in Texas and Pennsylvania. Additionally, the ASPCA launched a national “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about the connection between puppy mills and pet stores.

For more information about puppy mills and how to fight animal cruelty, visit www.nopetstorepuppies.com.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One 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. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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