GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - More than 30 animals, including 28 Yorkshire terriers, one Labrador retriever mix and one cockatoo, were rescued from horrific conditions Tuesday in Gulfport.
The Humane Society of South Mississippi worked with Gulfport police to seize the animals that were being held in "deplorable conditions" and bred for profit, according to officials.
According to Gulfport police, officers were first called to the 5th Ave. home for an animal complaint on March 6.
GPD spokesman Sgt. Damon McDaniel said animal control officers told James Wright, 59, he had to get rid of some of the animals in his home.
After several follow up visits, McDaniel said Wright was arrested and charged with 30 counts of conditions of premises where dogs are kept, 21 counts of failure to provide rabies vaccinations and one count of conditional animal permit.
HSSM will temporarily house the animals while they are checked out by veterinarians and treated. The dogs and cockatoo will remain at HSSM until they are ready for adoption. This process could take longer than usual because of the conditions they were found living in.
HSSM wants to remind pet owners that small dog breeds, like Yorkies, are often the victims of puppy mills and backyard breeders.
"This serves as a reminder that you never really know where your precious puppy came from," said HSSM Executive Director Lori West. "The only way to end the suffering of dogs who have been forced to breed over and over is to take a stand against puppy mills and unlicensed breeders. One of the best ways to do that is to adopt from a shelter or ensure the breeder is reputable by visiting the location and seeing your puppy's parents and their living situation."
Wright was released from the Gulfport Police Department and was given a summons to appear in Gulfport Municipal Court for the misdemeanor charges.