In July 2009, nearly 500 dogs were seized from Maggic Pets/Heddins Kennel, a puppy mill operating in the North Texas town of Bowie, in Montague County. Authorities took the dogs after complaints that the animals weren’t receiving proper veterinary care.

That’s an understatement. A report from the Humane Society of North Texas paints a devastating picture of rampant abuses at Maggic Pets/Heddins Kennel. Rescuers found pens with 12 to 15 dogs inside with no water. There were dogs with missing legs. Many dogs were suffering from skin and eye infections as well as advanced debilitating health conditions. A veterinarian who examined all the rescued dogs reported finding something wrong with every one of them.

Among the most heartbreaking was an elderly Chihuahua suffering from a broken lower jaw, who could only eat bits of kibble “by carefully manipulating the angle of his head to soften it with saliva before swallowing.” There was also a small elderly male poodle, “his fur so matted and eyes so encrusted he had become virtually blind.”

The Humane Society of North Texas said there had been complaints lodged against the puppy mill for as long as a decade, but none of the previous reports could be verified.

The community came together to help the puppy mill survivors, with Chesapeake Energy donating a warehouse to be used as a temporary shelter, PetSmart Charities donating hundreds of dog crates and United Animal Nations sending volunteers to help care for the dogs. A judge quickly turned the dogs over to the humane society, and within a few weeks, hundreds of them were already starting their lives in new homes.

So what happened to Cloyce and Carol Heddins, the owners and operators of this horrific puppy mill? Nothing. It has been over a year, and no charges have been filed. Montague County Attorney Ronald Walker has not pursued the matter, and at this point there’s no reason to assume he plans to. The Heddins could very well go back to doing just what they were doing before, causing the suffering of even more dogs.

Don’t let this happen. Tell Ronald Walker to file cruelty-to-animals charges against Cloyce and Carol Heddins. Puppy mill operators should not be allowed to mistreat dogs and get away with it.

Photo Credit: PETA