Anim Anim



6 OCTOBER 2012

Marti Houge writes:

Sweet Lilly spent all of her adult life alone
in a dark Missouri barn,
in a small wire cage,
having litters of puppies, year after year.

For as long as she could remember
(seven years, by our guesstimate),
Lilly hadn't seen the light of day,
nor had she known what it felt like to
roll in the grass or to run &
play with other dogs.
Her entire adult life was spent raising
a litter of puppies every six months;
puppies that were taken away from her
as soon as they were old enough
to be sold by pet stores
(and through classified ads)
as "homebred" puppies.


Once Lilly stopped having puppies, though,
the breeder had no further use for her.
Many puppy mill breeder dogs are unceremoniously
killed once they were of no use.
But fortunately for Lilly, our rescue was given the opportunity to help her.

Like most puppy mills, the facility where Lilly lived did not vet their dogs.
(As long as breeder dogs continue making babies,
medical problems are ignored, as vetting cuts into profits.)
So, like many of the "retired" breeder dogs we have rescued,
Lilly came to us with a variety of medical problems.
She was filthy, matted and blind in one eye;
she had several mammary tumors;
she was badly in need of dental work;
she had intestinal parasites; and, of course,
she needed to be spayed, immunized, heartworm-tested, etc.
Our rescue group doesn't get much of a discount for veterinary services,
but we managed to scrape up close to $1000 to have all these things done,
in hopes of then being able to find a loving adopter for her.


A majority of puppy mill dogs
(the lucky ones who are rescued
rather than killed by the breeder)
are released with emotional baggage.
As a result of living for years
in a puppy mill, many of them
essentially have a nervous break down.
They shut down emotionally;
they develop a fear of people;
they don't enjoy being petted
or picked up or comforted;
and they are essentially unadoptable.

Lilly & Jim Houge

But Lilly settled right in at her foster mom's house.
(It made us wonder if she had originally been a "free to a good home" dog,
snatched up by an unscrupulous breeder who lied about
the "good home" she would be going to.)

Over the next month, Lilly blossomed,
and it warmed our hearts
to see her fall asleep,
not on the cold hard floor of a filthy cage,
but in our arms, wrapped in her own soft,
cozy blanket. And what joy it was to see her
taste the great outdoors for the first time -
smelling the fresh grass, running &
playing with the other dogs!
She even quickly learned how to
stand up and beg for treats!

Happy and healthy at last,
Lilly was all ready to find her forever home.

And then something dreadful happened . . .



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