Animals rescued from puppy mill

Dogs await removal from what officials described as a puppy mill in Johnston, S.C.

More than 200 dogs, 9 horses and 40 birds were removed from a Johnston, S.C., home on Tuesday after multiple complaints from neighbors.


The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society of Charlotte, as well as the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office, took the animals to temporary shelters. The owner of the Holmes Pond Road property, Callie Abel, was arrested on seven charges of ill treatment of animals. She was out on bond by Tuesday afternoon. 

“The smell was something we noticed right away,” said Kim Kelly, South Carolina state director for the Humane Society. “The ammonia from the urine and the smell of feces was overwhelming. The conditions were deplorable.”

Kelly said some of the puppies were being held in rabbit hutches lined with mesh. Still, some of the puppies' feet were falling through, making them immobile and causing sores.

The nursing mothers and their puppies were also being held in rabbit hutches, while some of the larger breeds were in pens or running loose on the property.

A large animal vet and a small animal vet were called to the property for an initial evaluation and found multiple health issues, including eye infections, skin infections and a large flea infestation.

Kelly said it was an obvious puppy mill, and that Abel was selling the animals online for hundreds of dollars.

“She was breeding them to sell them,” Kelly said. “She has been operating for quite a while.”

SLIDESHOW: Animal rescue in Johnston, S.C.