LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. -- On Tuesday, a woman in Lincoln County voluntarily surrendered approximately 135 dogs in what the North Carolina Humane Society is calling a puppy mill.
A neighbor of the woman tipped off Lincoln County Animal Control this week and officials told the dog owner she must either get the dogs vaccinated or surrender the animals to authorities.
The dogs were transported to a Lincoln County boarding facility where a team of volunteers cleaned the dogs and treated them for fleas, ticks and other major skin issues.
A special unit from Guilford County went to Lincoln County Tuesday to assist with the operation. The Guilford County Animal Shelter has more resources than many local shelters because of the non-profit organizations it's associated with. They've taken more than 100 of the dogs.
"We have a heart for animals, especially animals that have been neglected and suffering," said Guilford County Animal Shelter director, Marsha Williams.
Williams said people are paying more attention to animal neglect cases.
"It's more out in the public eye with the media, and people now know what to look for."
Volunteers helping to clean the dogs Tuesday demanded more action by state lawmakers.
"I can't understand why our legislators don't understand why we can't have a puppy mill ban," asked Roberta Wall, animal rights advocate with the group Susie's Law.
There's been numerous suspected puppy mill operations uncovered in North Carolina this year.
The woman in Tuesday's cases has not been charged criminally but was given minor citations.
The puppy mill was filled with mostly smaller dogs, including poodles, terriers, maltese, and dachshunds.
In about three weeks more than 100 dogs will be available for adoption from the Guilford Animal Shelter (336-297-5020).