Pulaski County puppy mill closed

Published: Jan. 22, 2014 at 1:12 AM EST|Updated: May. 14, 2014 at 12:12 AM EDT
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A dog rescued from the puppy mill.
A dog rescued from the puppy mill.
Lori Redmon
Lori Redmon
Some of the dogs we found during our undercover investigation.
Some of the dogs we found during our undercover investigation.
Another of the rescued dogs.
Another of the rescued dogs.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter investigation has led to the rescue of more than 40 dogs from a Kentucky puppy mill. Our undercover investigation in the fall of 2013 exposed the horrible conditions. Today we were there as the animals were brought to safety.

Two large ASPCA trailers full of dogs were driven by investigators to a temporary shelter at the Kentucky Humane Society in Louisville. One by one, 43 dogs were given a second chance after a life of deplorable conditions. Some were puppies, others full grown. Each of them has a long road to recovery.

[SLIDESHOW: Dogs rescued from puppy mill]

"Some of these dogs don't know how to be dogs," said Lori Redmon, president and CEO of the Kentucky Humane Society. "They've never been out in the grass before or the snow in this case."

Redmon said some of the animals have behavioral challenges. Others suffer from medical problems, including skin and respiratory conditions.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Puppy mill stays in business despite animal cruelty charge]

Investigators found the dogs living in filthy conditions, many with untreated medical issues, and little or no shelter in below freezing temperatures at a place called Dream Catcher Kennels in Nancy, Kentucky, a puppy mill that was exposed in our WAVE 3 Troubleshooter investigation.

I discovered the kennel owner, Dennis Bradley, 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.

"Your story got our attention," said Kathryn Destreza, director of investigations for the ASPCA.

After the ASPCA saw the story they called the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department and offered to pay for to removal and shelter of the animals. The offer came about the same time Bradley agreed to give the dogs up in a plea deal on his animal cruelty charges.

"I think the importance here is that Kentucky needs to start strengthening some cruelty statutes," Destreza said.

Bradley is expected to plead guilty to second degree animal cruelty charges in Pulaski County and get six months probation and lose his right to operate a dog kennel for two years.

The Humane Society said it will be at least a couple weeks before the dogs are ready to be adopted. All 43 are expected to eventually need good homes.

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