National Mill Dog Rescue Saves 10,000th Dog
The National Mill Dog Rescue has officially brought 10,000 dogs into safety, away from dangerous puppy mills.
Many puppy mills are harmful, dirty commercial-breeding businesses that make their money by selling thousands of dogs to pet shops across the country. However, the owners of these mills may not care for the dogs emotionally, merely using them for breeding capability and use and for financial profit. These dogs often end up with health conditions and various diseases as they get older, as breeders will not prevent sick dogs from breeding with others. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, puppy mill breeders do not care how the dogs turn out or what genetic deficiencies they may develop, so many of the dogs end up with hereditary defects. Puppy millers also generally do not follow the proper dog breeding or vaccine practices, putting dogs' health and lives at risk. Dogs are usually neglected for long periods of time and placed in unsanitary conditions, promoting sickness. The dogs are usually stored in small, stacked cages with metal floors that can hurt a puppy's feet. Female dogs are continuously impregnated until they can no longer have puppies, at which point they are generally euthanized or given up as they are no longer needed. Many male dogs do not make it out of the mill either. In essence, puppy mills are incredibly inhumane.
Taking on the puppy mills
Luckily, the National Mill Dog Rescue is fighting this practice. The organization has been on a mission to rescue as many dogs from these puppy mills, since 2007.. National Mill Dog Rescue Founder and Executive Director Theresa Strader noted that puppy mill dogs get very little interaction with one another and with humans, which prevents their normal behavior and socialization stages from occurring. The dogs do not exercise or play, and they have very few toys to play with. The only job they have is to breed puppies.
"In a puppy mill setting all of these dogs are kept in small cages," Strader said. "There's usually one male and three females in every cage and their job is to produce puppies for their entire life.They don't typically come out of those cages and for socialization, exercise. They typically have minimal vet care and that's what their life is measured by: the work of how many puppies they can produce," she told Fox21 News.
Dogs who are not chosen to breed in puppy mills are usually released when they are six or seven years old. Luckily for small dogs, they still have a lot of life left. Sadly for larger breeds, about half of their life has been in a cage. However, once the dogs are placed in the care of volunteers from the National Mill Dog Rescue, their entire demeanor changes. Volunteer David Smith noted that dogs tend to be much happier once they are released from the mill and are less skittish around people after a few short months of care.
A beneficial experience
The volunteers and Strader take serious pride in what they do, and are delighted that they are able to provide a better life for these dogs. Strader noted that when she saw the 10,000th puppy arrive at her facility in June 2015, she began to cry.
"Man, I mean I opened that truck and I had that 10,000th dog in my arms and oh my gosh I mean I really couldn't do anything but cry. It was so weird," She stated. "It's just so emotional. I'm just so proud of so many people."
Puppy mills became popular after World War II when dogs were viewed as a "cash crop." According to Madonna of the Mills, today, 500,000 dogs are born in puppy mills and sold in pet stores every year in the nation. About 99 percent of the dogs you see in a pet store come from a puppy mill.