Huntsville Shelter Takes In Puppy Mill Rescues

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HUNTSVILLE (KFSM) --Around 25 dogs from the 295 rescued at a puppy mill in Madison County earlier this month will go to a shelter in Huntsville.

The dogs will arrive at the shelter on Monday morning (March 14), according to Paws and Claws shelter director Shonna Harvey. Harvey said her shelter is taking in several dogs that were rejected by other rescues.

"Several of the other shelters and rescues pull specific breeds, and I said we want the ones that nobody else wants," Harvey said. " We will find those animals forever homes."

Spay Arkansas is assisting the shelter with the fostering process. President Romaine Kobilsek said they already have 50 applications in.

"People have tremendous love for animals in general," Kobilsek said, "And then when they see the suffering of these dogs, the support has been tremendous."

The dogs will include two pugs, an adult female miniature pinscher, four 10-week-old miniature pinscher puppies, several Australian shepherds, two briards, several beagles, a merle chihuahua, and two shih-tzus, according to Kobilsek.

Harvey said several dogs tested positive for heartworm. She said they're raising money for the medication with a GoFundMe page. Kobilsek said they're looking for quiet homes and people who are ready to take on the responsibility.

"Truly these dogs are almost PTSD dogs," Kobilsek said, "And we really do want to make sure that their transition into a normal home goes as smoothly as possible."

Fosters will need to be able to bring the dogs to Spay Arkansas on Saturday, March 19 for an adoption event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To fill out a foster application, click here. Then download the application, fill it out and send it to

The Humane Society of the United States rescued the dogs from a property near Elkins on March 3. The animals were being housed in deplorable living conditions and were living in feces and filth without access to clean water and food, according to the Humane Society. Five of the dogs were found dead.

The dogs' owner, Joyce Johnson, 67, was arrested and is facing two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, according to the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

Harvey said she called the national puppy mill hotline on Johnson in December of 2015. She said she was awarded $5,000 for the tip, which she said will go right back to the Paws and Claws shelter.

Some of the dogs will also go to the Humane Society of Saline County and the rest will be moved to shelters in Florida, Washington D.C., Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.

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