A Pennsylvania dog breeding facility was raided by humane officers in the beginning of the month after discovering inhumane conditions.

The Luzerne County SPCA in Pennsylvania now has 19 dogs removed from a cruel breeding operation.

On New Year’s Eve – one of the coldest days in the region this winter – the dogs were rescued just 3 minutes before midnight.

A nearby concerned neighbor reported that she could hear the dogs barking all day and night. She knew many were outside, and worried about their safety.

When humane officers arrived, they said it was unbearable to be inside the house. The smell of urine was so strong that it actually stung their eyes.

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It was just 5 degrees outside. If the dogs had remained outside any longer, they would have suffered serious harm.

State police reported that the dogs had no food, and their water was completely frozen. There was urine in the water bowls that hadn’t yet been turned upside down, and the dogs were living in their own urine and feces.

19 Dogs Removed From Breeding Facility With Deplorable Conditions
Just one of the 19 dogs taken from the house.
Photo: WNEP News

The “breeding facility” was actually just a house, operating what is known as a “backyard breeding” practice. The home is owned by John Dancho. His two daughters, Ashley and Amanda, reportedly owned the dogs but do not reside at the house.

According to humane officers, the Shih Tzu and German Shorthair puppies were being sold for $850 each.

In total, there were 17 dogs outside and 19 dogs inside. All 19 dogs were taken to the SPCA. As for the 17 dogs outside, police ordered the owners to immediately take them inside and to feed them.

The 19 confiscated dogs are not yet available for adoption. Humane officers report that charges are pending against the homeowner.

The investigation into these acts of neglect is still ongoing.

The phrase “adopt, don’t shop” exists because of these sorts of breeding practices. People prioritizing money over animal welfare can quickly get out of control, and those who prioritize profits over animal welfare quickly wind up neglecting the many dogs they own.

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With each puppy selling for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, these backyard breeders begin to view the mother dogs as nothing but objects, and force them to have far too many litters.

19 Dogs Removed From Breeding Facility With Deplorable Conditions
Dogs found inside the home.
Photo: WNEP News

The amount of pain and suffering these dogs must endure is shocking. Oftentimes, inbreeding occurs, which leads to many medical problems for these dogs later in life.

These breeders almost never spay, neuter or vaccinate the dogs they sell, so the new owners must take on that expense. In addition, they never get the dogs properly vetted, and the new owners often wind up spending tons of money on a dog with costly and chronic medical issues.

When you adopt a dog from a shelter, oftentimes it has come from an abusive situation like this. So, you’re saving their life.

In addition, they come to you already spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped. Thttps://topdogtips.com/dogs-bad-breeders-bad-personalities/hey are also vetted and there is transparency about any medical issues they may have – all for an average cost of about $100 (less at many facilities!).

Beyond that, your money goes on to help rescue more neglected and abused animals – instead of just going into the bank account of a profit-hungry backyard breeder.

Dogs from puppy stores tend to come from these facilities.

So please help prevent this practice from occurring by adopting your next dog from your local shelter or rescue.

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Cody has worked and volunteered with rescue animals her entire life. She worked as a veterinary assistant and technician in shelters, rescues, boarding facilities, doggy daycares and animal hospitals in New York and Chicago throughout her teens and twenties, and now resides as a pet foster mom in Upstate New York.