Nearly 30 Yorkies removed from Gulfport home

GULFPORT -- Thirty animals, including 28 Yorkshire terriers, one Labrador retriever mix and one cockatoo, were rescued from a Gulfport residence Tuesday morning, and a Gulfport man was arrested.

Gulfport police arrested James G. Wright, 59, of Gulfport on 30 counts of condition of premises where dogs are kept, 21 counts of failure to provide rabies vaccinations and 1 count of conditional animal permit, according to a press release.

Police enlisted Humane Society of South Mississippi staff Tuesday morning to help remove the animals, which were housed in "a non-conducive environment and bred for profit," according to an HSSM press release.

The arrest was the result of follow-up investigations into a complaint that began March 6, when an animal control officer was notified of poor conditions at a house in the 2500 block of Fifth Avenue in Gulfport. The officer advised Wright to resolve the problem of the number of animals on his property, police said.

Despite several follow-up contacts, police said, Wright failed to resolve the problem, and a search warrant was executed Tuesday.

Officers found 20 adult Yorkshire terriers dogs, eight Yorkshire terrier puppies, an adult Labrador mix and a cockatoo living in Wright's house. The animals were taken and Wright was arrested.

Wright was released on a summons to appear in court on the misdemeanor charges through Gulfport Municipal Court, officials said.

HSSM has set up a temporary emergency shelter for the dogs, as they await care including veterinary exams, flea treatment, vaccinations, grooming, dental work and individualized attention.

Because these dogs came from special circumstances, HSSM plans to spend extra time assessing their health status, temperaments and the qualities of each before placing them for adoption.

If you would like to help, HSSM welcomes monetary donations and donations of paper towels, bath towels and bleach or Clorox wipes. To make a donation toward the animals' care, call 863-3354 ext. 3802.

HSSM intends to find homes for these pets in the coming weeks.

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