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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Help Save Victims of Puppy Mills

I just watched a dog die on video.

The dog, named Iris, was a nine-year-old Chihuahua rescued just the day before by the wonderful folks at National Mill Dog Rescue. Iris, who was named following her rescue, spent nine years making puppies to feed the greed of the operators of the puppy mill in which she spent her life. She was nothing more than a puppy-making machine.

Those cute puppies you see in mall pet stores? They come from commercial breeding operations. Many puppy mills are in the Midwest (Iowa, Kansas and Missouri), as well as in Nebraska, Arkansa, Oklahoma and South Dakota. The Amish are big puppy mill operators in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio. The Amish treat these animals the way they treat livestock, or worse.

Puppy mill dogs typically receive no veterinary care, their feet never touch the ground, and they never know the kindness of humans. They may have a number, but never a name. They spend their sad lives packed into wire cages until they get sick or are unable to produce any more puppies. Then their worn out bodies are tossed into the trash.

Here are a few facts from the NMDR web site (
Dog Facts

More than 11,800 dogs rescued to date

Rescue average/year: 1,067 (Past three years)

Average number of dogs at kennel: 110

Average age of a puppy mill survivor: 7 years

Typical number of dogs in foster care: 60

Average number of adoptions per month: 51

Average rehabilitation time: 6 to 8 weeks
Rescue Facts

Trips: 2x per month, average 44 dogs per trip

Rescue mileage: Approximately 28,500 miles per year

Expense Facts

Kennel expenses (mortgage and utilities): $6,400/month
Food for entire kennel: $100/day
One rescue mission: $16,000 (includes dog care expenses)
Basic veterinary care: $300/dog (includes spay/neuter, extensive dentals, heartworm testing and treatment, vaccinations, microchipping
Specialty veterinary care: $13,000/month average. Roughly 1/3 of our dogs require specialized treatment.

Our community embraces thousands of donors, supporters and volunteers from around the world. To follow us online, go to:

My golden retriever Tia was from a southern California puppy mill. She and a dozen other goldens were rescued by a California rescue group and adopted to new, loving homes. When Tia was rescued, she took with her a small log, her only possession and source of comfort. She was seven years old when my daughter and I adopted her. She was thin but otherwise healthy. It appears her growth had been stunted, most likely from being forced to produce puppies when she herself was still just months old. We had Tia for five years, until we lost her to brain cancer.

Please, NEVER BUY A PUPPY FROM A PET STORE OR ONLINE!! We must stop this institutionalized abuse. Animal rescue groups and humane societies often have purebred dogs, if that's important to you. I have adopted five golden retrievers -- each one a wonderful dog -- from humane societies and rescue groups. 
Puppy mills are chambers of horrors. A little Chihuahua named Harley (check out his Facebook page) lost an eye when his cage was pressure-washed with him inside. His broken body was found in a pail. Iris died the day after she was rescued, being cradled and loved for the first time in her life. These are just two of the dogs of all breeds and sizes that spend their lives producing puppies to make money for greedy, heartless people. 

If you can't volunteer (NMDR is in Colorado), consider sponsoring a kennel or signing up as a monthly donor. And please, educate yourselves about the evils of puppy mills, then spread the word. And check out the wonderful dogs available for adoption. NMDR's teams of veterinarians, groomers and rehabbers prepare each dog for its new life of freedom as a beloved family member.

YOU can help NMDR save more dogs and YOU can help bring an end to puppy mills. For more information about NMDR, please visit its web site or e-mail