Rescued puppies to be put up for adoption

GOLDSBORO The 283 dogs were taken from Thornton Kennels in southern Wayne County last week after investigators found them living in filthy conditions.

The case was supposed to be the subject of a court hearing Tuesday, but instead the matter was settled out of court.

A Wayne County judge ruled Tuesday that the county does not have to return the animals to the shelter and the county has now signed them all over to the Humane Society which has been cleaning them up and rehabilitating them.

The Humane Society says it plans to put instructions on how people can adopt the dog on its website later this week.

"They get a new home so they can get some medical care and grow up big and strong," said Diane Webber with the Humane Society.

The dogs -- mostly shih-tzus, chihuahuas and lhasa apsos -- have been treated for infections. Officials say two young puppies died the day of the raid. The rest are responding well to treatment.

The Human Society has said the case is an example of why North Carolina needs an anti-puppy mill law. The state currently doesn't have one.

"Just because they're four-legged and they've got fur on them doesn't mean you can kick them around," offered animal activist George Wolfe.

The owner of Thornton Kennels has not been charged criminally. If any charges are filed, it will be the decision of the District Attorney.

Meanwhile, the Humane Society is asking for volunteer veterinarians to help out with the dogs. Volunteers can call Kelly Coladarci at (386) 624-3546.

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