Update: Puppy mill raided; 80 dogs rescued

Margie Davis (Source: Sumter County Sheriff's Office)
Margie Davis (Source: Sumter County Sheriff's Office)

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

AMERICUS, GA (WTVM) - Sumter County Sheriff's Deputies and officials with the Department of Agriculture rescue 81 dogs from a puppy mill on Wednesday, October 13, 2010.

Vans went into the woods of Margie Davis' land empty and came back filled with dogs.

The Department of Agriculture, with the help of the Sumter Sheriff's Office, executed a search warrant on Margie Davis' land and found dogs living in poor conditions.

Davis' breeding license was expired, but the Sumter County Sheriff says she was still breeding and selling them in her pet shop in Americus - the Jungle Pet Store.

Sheriff Pete Smith said, "It is kind of like hoarding. They get so many of them and they cannot take care of them and it is a problem."

The Sheriff tells News Leader Nine that Davis is cooperating and that he does expect formal charges to be filed against her.

Her attorney, Patrick Calcutt, says if the District Attorney chooses to go ahead with the charge of animal cruelty, he will have to prove intent to harm. "The evidence may end up showing that she might have had more then she could handle, but this was not a case of animal cruelty."

Calcutt says his client is an animal lover.  "She was very emotionally attached to them and knew them by name. That does not sound like animal cruelty to me."

The Department of Agriculture has revoked her pet and bird dealer license and she has decided to close her pet shop in Americus.

For everyone involved, the number one concern is the welfare of the animals caught in the middle.  The dogs were taken to the Sumter Humane Society.  It is a situation these animal workers say they never want to see, but they have a plan for emergencies like this one. "Of course we are addressing their physical needs.  Most have been breed a lot.  Some are pregnant. So we will have to evaluate each one."

"Some times the wounds that you cannot see are the deepest and hardest to heal."

Sheriff Smith also said that Davis has relinquished the rights to 60 of the dogs.  If the dogs are found healthy, they will soon begin the adoption process.

Click here for The Sumter Humane Society's website.  They are in need of canned dog food, flee shampoo and other supplies.

A letter from the Humane Society about a special need they are facing:

One of the "Andersonville 81" dogs that we call "AJ Junior." has a bilateral inguinal hernia (weak spot in her tissue where her intestines actually protrude into the abdomen, causing a bulge in her stomach). She also has a collapsing trach...ea, which has gone untreated, causing it to become very inflamed. Dr. Crawford is very generously giving us a large discount on her surgery/treatment. She is having to have x-rays, a barium series, surgical hernia repair, blood-work, and steroid and antibiotic therapy. Our shelter set up a fund several years ago for hardship cases like this one. I urge everyone that can to donate to our "Dusty Fund". She is receiving the medical care that she needs, but we are in dire need of donations for her case, and many others that we have recently acquired. There is no such thing as a donation that is too small. If every one that reads this article donates FIVE dollars to help this sweet little girl, all of her needs can be met plus some. Thanks again for everyone's support!

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