In the month of July, Hearts United for Animals rescued 37 puppy mill dogs from mills in Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. The 17 from South Dakota were surprisingly young. Many of them are just puppies! When we asked the puppy miller why she was giving them up she said that even the most adorable highly sought after breeds were not selling. This is fabulous news, as it means that public education efforts are paying off. People know not to buy puppies from pet stores or online, because they are becoming educated on the conditions that the parents of those cute little puppies live in. They know that if they give that pet store or online retailer their money it will mean continued misery for the parents who are trapped in filthy cages year after year with no human interaction, poor veterinary care – if any, and many times even a lack of clean food and water. The public is starting to understand that they are the number one vehicle to effect change – they have the power to stop puppy mills. The HUA veterinarian still found the typical conditions in many of the dogs, including mammary tumors, infections and terrible teeth, but at least because the dogs were younger their conditions were not as advanced. The puppies are having a wonderful time at HUA, just so happy to be able to run and play in grass for the first time, and learn about toys and hugs and kisses and tummy rubs.
The 15 dogs who came from Minnesota were not as lucky. It was clear that the long confinement in exceptionally rotten conditions had taken a toll. We knew the minute we saw them that their medical needs would be extensive and their emotional scars would be vast. One sweet little maltese could not even be identified as a particular breed until she had the years of caked on filth and mats shaved off. It took the staff and volunteers hours to find her hiding under all of the crud. Her back legs were fused together with matted waste from living in inches of feces and urine. She had trouble even going to the bathroom. It was very painful. She was so happy to be clean and free for the first time in years. Two of the dogs were so completely wild with fear of humans that they could not be handled when they arrived. They had to be coaxed from their travel crate into their large open wire crate in the intake/quarantine area. They hung their heads and would not make eye contact once they were in their new accommodations. They wouldn’t eat or drink with humans near them. They are going in for their veterinary work now. Many had rotten teeth dangling by a thread, causing them to be virtually unable to eat. They will receive soft food until their mouths heal from the extensive work and extractions that will need to take place.
The 5 dogs from Nebraska, all Pomeranians, had also led a very rough life. Their medical needs have been ongoing since they arrived in early July. But they are happy and grateful to have all the comforts provided to them at HUA. Just the smallest things make a difference – the opportunity to go outside several times a day, clean nutritious food, fresh water, a blanket to call their own, a clean place to sleep. It means the world to them.
While it is so sad to see dogs in this condition, it is also happy that they now have a chance at normal, healthy lives. They have a chance to be adopted and be the loving family members they always should have been. The South Dakota mill is going out of business by choice, because the pups are not selling. The Minnesota mill is going out by force from government officials. The Nebraska one says they are going out of business, but we aren’t so sure and will monitor the situation. July was a very good month for these 37 dogs, and the war on puppy mills. Please continue to spread the word – Don’t Shop. Adopt! It makes all the difference for dogs who continue to suffer, held prisoner, all in the name of greed. YOU can stop puppy mills!
Group of 17 -
Group of 5 -
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Please consider a donation for these dogs’ care by going to our donation page at www.hua.org or mailing a check to Hearts United for Animals PO Box 286, Auburn, NE 68305. If you are interested in adopting one please write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.