Nearly 70 dogs found in alleged puppy mill

March 25, 2009 9:01:51 AM PDT
The owner of a home where 67 dogs were rescued from a suspected puppy mill is charged with animal cruelty. RAW VIDEO: Police raid alleged puppy mill

Police call the operation a drive by puppy salon. There was a sign in the window indicating puppies for sale. People could drive up and swipe their credit cards.

When police arrived they found the animals all over the home including a mother nursing her puppies.

Law enforcement officials raided the home in the 6400-block of South Bell on Tuesday. One by one the dogs were rescued and brought out to safety.

Investigators describe the animals as tiny designer boutique lap dogs that could fit in the palm of your hand.

Cook Coutry Sherrif Tom Dart personally carried out some of the puppies.

"I couldn't believe it, all the chaos, the noise, the smell. Honestly, so many of the dogs are small. I was afraid, I was going to step on them," said Dart.

Dart says the dogs were crammed into bird cages and stacked on top of one another.

Many were standing in their own feces and their was no food or water.

Demetria Newell, 38, was charged with 70 counts of animal cruelty. Police says he sold the dogs for $475.

Investigators were called to the home after being alerted about dead puppies that were tossed in the garbage.

Investigators believe Newell used these syringes and vials of medicine to treat the animals himself.

"They were using antibiotics and I don't think they ever took the animals to the vet," said Dart.

Police also found a large bag of marijuana, a gun, $3,000 in cash and what appeared to be a pet snake.

David Hayes, 37, was charged with drug possession.

The puppies are in fair condition on Tuesday night. They will be treated and later inspected so they can be put up for adoption.

Animal control officials say some of the puppies had micro chips inside so they will be returned to their owners.

The puppies will be transferred to the Animal Cruelty Society and Paw for Adoption.