In the middle of the night in late January, 2016, two women snuck into a puppy mill in a remote area of New South Wales, Australia.
Debra Tranter and her co-investigator had visited this same puppy farm in 2015 to find dogs living in squalor. Mother dogs at the site were in poor health as they were forced to pump out endless litters. Tranter, founder of the Australian anti-puppy mill group Oscar's Law, documented these horrible conditions and handed the evidence to the RSPCA. The footage prompted authorities to seize 16 dogs in urgent need of veterinary care, and to issue the puppy mill operators a notice to comply with animal welfare standards. But when Tranter and her colleague arrived at the puppy mill for the second time, they found that things had actually gotten worse.
Inside a dilapidated shed, dogs were crammed into rat-infested pens with dirt floors and no bedding, Tranter said. She could see that the dogs had been chewing on the wood and wires of their cages out of boredom and frustration. The only water available was filthy and covered in green slime, and the entire place stank of urine and feces. When one dog barked, the others joined in, creating a deafening cacophony of sound.