Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Arkansas: Madison county deputies raid Joyce Johnson's puppy mill, remove nearly 300 dogs

ARKANSAS -- Update: Following the rescue, all of the dogs were moved to the Humane Society of Saline County, which acted as the temporary emergency shelter.

After being checked by local veterinarians and receiving any immediate care needed, the dogs will be sent to shelters and other rescue partners throughout the country.

Joyce Johnson lived in this nice house while the poor
animals were in a separate building in squalor


According to the Humane Society, up to 12 went to the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue on Sunday and 51 are being transported to Great Plains ASPCA today in Missouri.

Madison County deputies are investigating a puppy mill near Wesley.


According to the Humane Society, nearly 300 dogs were found at the property where Madison County deputies served a search and seizure warrant on Thursday morning.

The Humane Society says they got a tip on their hotline in December, and flew out last week to meet with Madison County officials, before serving the warrant a week later.


They say they found puppies and dogs of at least a dozen different breeds, including German Shepherds, Boxers, Poodles, and Chihuahuas. They also say the dogs vary drastically in size.

"We have some newborn puppies that don't even have their eyes open yet," said Jessica Lauginiger the Puppy Mill Response Manager from the Humane Society. "And we have some pretty geriatric dogs."

Regardless of the age, the Humane Society says the dogs are all living in deplorable conditions.


"They're living in their own feces," said Amanda Gossom, the Humane Society's Research Coordinator for Puppy Mills Campaign. "Most of them don't have really solid flooring so most of them have very long nails and when they're living on wire crates you can imagine the types of things their feet are going through."

They also removed the bodies of five dead dogs from the property.

Neighbors say they knew something had been going on for years, one speculating it had been nearly 20 years that the woman had been running the puppy mill. He says he moved twice because the barking was so loud on her property.

Joyce Johnson didn't want these dogs getting her house
dirty so she locked them in a separate building


The Humane Society says Arkansas is one of the top 10 puppy producing states in the country. They say that number includes puppies produced legally with certified breeders, as well as illegally, like with this puppy mill in Madison County. The Society says of those ten states, Arkansas is the only one without regulations for breeders.


"We're going to be working next year to pass a law so that regulations of veterinary care and sanitary conditions, stuff like that, so they have the best care possible," said Gossom.

The woman running the puppy mill, Joyce Johnson, has been charged with at least two counts of animal cruelty.

(4029TV - March 7, 2016)