by Victor Lopez
WEST ODESSA - The worst case of animal abuse they've ever scene. That's what Animal Control is saying after busting a suspected puppy mill. More than 70 animals, most of them Chihuahuas, were found in deplorable conditions.
It's a sad fact, but unfortunately, people who run this kind of operation don't do it for the love of the dog. To them, it's all about the almighty dollar.
"It is just to produce as many puppies as they possibly can in order to make money."
Dale Nesmith has been the Director of the Odessa SPCA for 12 years and has been around dogs all his life. He's seen and heard a lot about puppy mills.
"Most of those dogs, that's in those puppy mills, they never have a person/dog relation with each other. They are just there as an animal. They are bred in order to produce as many offspring as they possibly can," Nesmith said.
Nesmith says the breeds and sizes may vary, but some seem more popular than others.
"I see more Chihuahuas and Pomeranians and Boxers. The type dogs that sell better," Nesmith said.
Animal Control is keeping a close eye on all the animals they picked up, but more so on the Chihuahuas.
"They all are starting to get calmer. They were real wild when we got here, hugging the corner. We put little beds and little blankets in there for them," Animal Control Officer, Cheryl Brom, said.
Nesmith says the holidays are the time most puppy mills get the most business, since dogs make such good pets.
So if you're in the market buyer beware.
"Look at the facility and see what they're doing, if they're being taken care of, that's what I would do," Nesmith said.
"You can tell from the environment, what you're going to get. You can walk on someone's property and tell they aren't taking care of the animals," Brom said.
If Animal Control wins their custody hearing on November 24th, the dogs will go up for adoption to carefully selected people.
"We're not going to turn them over to people who are going to re-breed them. They're going to be neutered," Brom said.
The Odessa SPCA wants to help.
"We would take some of those dogs and get them neutered and spayed, give them their shots and put them up for adoption. Find good homes for them," Nesmith said.
Things to look out for if you think you know of a possible puppy mill, a lot of kennels or dog runs being built or put in.
Also listen for an increase in noise especially barking.