Dennis Bradley (left) with WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter Eric Flack.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Dozens of animals rescued from a puppy mill after a WAVE 3 News investigation are continuing their recovery. After days analyzing the behavior of those dogs, vets say many are suffering lingering effects from the horrid conditions they were living in.
The Kentucky Humane Society had to add extra staff to make sure the 43 dogs taken from the puppy mill get around the clock care. The ASPCA removed the dogs as part of a plea deal the owner agreed to on animal cruelty charges.
Vets and behavior research specialists have been examining the dogs since Saturday looking for medical issues and socialization problems. Andrea Blair, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Humane Society, says many of the puppies are afraid of human contact right now because they were being treated like breeding stock.
"Which means they have lived their entire lives in wire cages," Blair said. "They've had very little interaction with humans, and so just getting them accustomed to know what love is, and what going for a walk means, and what a toy is, these are all new experiences for these dogs."
Dr. Kat Miller, director of anti cruelty and behavior research with the ASPCA, is doing many of the exams.
"They've never had a chance to bond with a person before," Dr. Miller said. "So this will be their first time to find out a person can provide love and good things to them."
The dogs were taken from a place called Dream Catcher Kennels in Nancy, Kentucky, a puppy mill exposed in our Troubleshooter investigation.
The dogs were living in filthy conditions, many with untreated medical issues and little or no shelter. The kennel owner, Dennis Bradley, 61, had been charged with animal cruelty. However, Bradley was allowed to continue to keep the dogs on his property and keep operating because local law enforcement couldn't afford to house or care for the dogs if they removed them.
After the ASPCA saw our investigation they called the Pulaski County Sheriffs Department and offered to pay for to removal and shelter of the animals, which were transported to the Kentucky Humane Society on January 21.
Despite the behavioral challenges, Blair does expect all the dogs to be able to be adopted out, some as soon as early February.
The new owners will get individual behavior plans for each animal and need a little extra patience, but the ASPCA says adopting a puppy mill dog can be extremely rewarding.
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725 S. Floyd Street
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