Police rescued 103 puppies from an overturned transport van that was driven into a ditch off of interstate 86 in Avoca, a town located in Steuben County, New York. The puppies were being delivered by a woman traveling from Missouri to local pet stores. The New York State Police immediately contacted the Finger Lakes SPCA to help house the pups and attend to medical issues and relocation.
Thirty-year-old Emily Woodrum, of Webb City, Missouri, was transporting the dogs when the crash occurred, according to police. Woodrum was driving at an unsafe speed while in the passing lane when she lost control of the vehicle and went off the southbound shoulder, striking the ditch before overturning, according to a news release.
“Young puppies of varying breed types (including many toy and smaller breeds) were removed from a transport van one at a time by law enforcement,” the FLSPCA said on Facebook. T&R Towing set up a temporary corral for them. There were no fatalities, but two puppies had serious injuries (one had a fractured jaw and one had a fractured leg).
“Eighty-six pups were sheltered in an isolation area at the Finger Lakes SPCA with the remainder being housed and cared for at the Bath Veterinary Hospital,” shelter officials said.
Concerned animal advocates questioned why so many puppies were being transported? Early reports indicated the driver was delivering the puppies to local pet stores in Steuben County.
“While we too abhor puppy mills, we know of no means to legally confiscate animals only because there is a strong likelihood that a puppy came from one,” shelter officials added. However the puppies did appear to be healthy and showed no signs of animal abuse.
“No health issues that would indicate an animal cruelty concern could be ascertained by veterinary medical professionals who examined the puppies,” officials said.
All but the injured canines were released back to the transport company two days later. The remaining four were still receiving medical care.
“We would like to express our extreme appreciation to the New York State Troopers, T & R Towing, Bath Veterinary Hospital, FLSPCA staff and volunteers for all of their efforts to mobilize and quickly assist these animals. We would also like to thank our community for their concern for these puppies,” shelter officials noted.
State troopers did not immediately respond to questions about the driver's condition, and whether she will face charges.