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News Story
Updated: 05/01/2014 08:00:04AM

County raids alleged puppy mill; two people arrested

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SUN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

DeSoto County Animal Control Supervisor Debbie Merkin, left, and Animal Control Director Jorge Hernandez describe the conditions under which 56 dogs - including mothers with puppies - were being kept at a suspected puppy mill in Nocatee.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

A "Pomsky," a cross between a Husky and a Pomeranian, looks out from its temporary kennel at the Animal Control office. A total of 56 dogs were confiscated by DeSoto County after an alleged puppy mill was raided last week.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

A Husky/Pomeranian puppy, known as a Pomsky, is a "designer dog" that could sell for up to $3,000. Several puppies and adult dogs were confiscated from an alleged puppy mill in Nocatee last week.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

One of the 56 dogs and puppies confiscated during the riad of an alleged puppy mill looks out the gate of its pen with curiosity. Most of the dogs, said Animal Conrol Supervisor Debbie Merkin, had not been socialized and were wary of humans.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY SUSAN E. HOFFMAN, shoffman@sun-herald.com

A mother husky with seven nursing pups was reportedly being kept in a small kennel the size of a pet carrier. Some of the puppies were dehydrated and required antibiotics.

By SUSAN E. HOFFMAN

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NOCATEE — More than 50 dogs, including two mothers with nursing puppies, were confiscated from a suspected puppy mill in rural Nocatee Thursday by DeSoto County authorities.

The dogs were being kept in shocking conditions, according to Debbie Merkin, DeSoto County Animal Control supervisor. Most of the kennels had no food or water, or only dirty, black water. Feces were piled up inches deep, and some of the dogs were being kept in kennels no larger than a pet carrier.

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