GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Many of the dogs that were rounded up and brought from north Mississippi to the Humane Society of South Mississippi will be adopted today.
Officials tell us the pups available for adoption are mostly breeding adults, ranging in age from eight months to eight-years-old. The dogs are relatively healthy and have been vaccinated and treated for any existing medical issues.
The adoption begins at 10:00 a.m. at the HSSM office on Highway 49 in Gulfport.
Two weeks ago, animal activists went onto two properties in North Mississippi and took 123 dogs from their handlers. Officials with the Alcorn-Corinth Animal Shelter said they became concerned after receiving several complaints about animals being sold at a flea market in Tupelo.
The Alcorn County Sheriff's Department served warrants on two properties and found nearly 123 dogs and puppies in wire cages. Officials said many of the animals were underweight and suffering from untreated medical conditions, including dental, eye, ear and skin problems. Two dogs were found dead.
Humane Society of the United States Public Information Officer Kaitlin Sanderson said a second site held 71 dogs, along with cats, goats, a donkey and a pig. HSSM's Krystyna Schmitt described the trailer where the animals were found as, “the worst case of hoarding, plus some.”
The two sites were unrelated, but only about 10 minutes apart. The owners agreed to surrender most of the animals.
"These animals were living unimaginable lives for far too long – no animal should ever have to suffer like they did," said Lydia Sattler, Mississippi state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "We're thankful to Alcorn-Corinth Animal Shelter and the Alcorn County Sheriff's Department for stepping up to help these animals."
Workers with the Humane Society of South Mississippi were in Alcorn County helping with the rescue. Schmitt said 53 dogs were removed from the first site and taken to the shelter in Gulfport. Of those, Schmitt said 15 were puppies.
Schmitt said the dogs were held on a large piece of property in unsanitary and inhumane conditions. She said the barn where the animals were held had no ventilation, and there were maggots swarming under the kennels.
This was the second largest rescue in HSSM history. Schmitt said the total cost of the rescue is $65,000.