Next time you see that cute little dog in the pet store or check out the ads online for puppies, THINK! Ask yourself, where do these puppies come from?? Well, I’ll tell you where, from puppy mills!!

Here’s a story about some dogs who were rescued from a puppy mill auction, from InsideBayArea.com.

Rescued dogs get a new leash on life

Offers to adopt flood in, but area vets still treating animals ills

By Douglas Fischer, STAFF WRITER

Article Last Updated: 04/20/2007 07:47:01 AM PDT


First steps to freedom:

Rescued dogs from an Arkansas puppy mill operation arrive in the Bay Area, ready to be cared for after living years in cages.

View an audio slideshow of the dogs and rescue efforts

(warning – graphic images!)

FREMONT — The need for dental work was a given, even among the 1-year-old pups. Ditto for the bath, the matted hair, the fearful quivering. The vacant stares were harder to take, but understandable.It was the intestines sticking through a bulging herniation, the Labrador retriever puppy unable to stand on his hind legs, the frequency of displaced kneecaps and other congenital defects that left the veterinarians shaken and silent as they treated into the wee hours Tuesday morning 39 dogs freshly arrived from a shuttered Arkansasbreeding kennel.

They were among 71 dogs and puppies purchased at auction Saturday by Fremont veterinarian Helen Hamilton and three veterinary technicians. They raised more than $10,000 and traveled across the country to generate publicity about puppy mills and save as many dogs as they could from a lifetime of breeding and whelping litters.

People dont realize where their dog comes from, said veterinary technician Lisa Stine. You see a picture of a dog on the Internet with a buy now button under it. Were tired of seeing that. … They dont realize it comes from a bitch that was whelping a litter every six months.

People need to pay attention when they get a dog. Thats why were doing this.

Hoping to stay incognito within the insular puppy mill world, the four teamed with a sympathetic local woman familiar with dog auctions. Their cover was blown by the time the 20th of the kennels 300 or so dogs hit the auction block: None but a dog rescuer would consistently bid for the dogs they sought.

But the local helped. She noticed the auctioneer placing phantom bids against the Californians — inflating the dogs prices — and called him on it, Hamilton said.

The four sought the worst of the lot at the kennel liquidation auction, stopping at 71 dogs when their money ran out. They had room in the cargo van for 39; the remainder went with fellow rescuers attending the auction from Florida.

Just what shape the dogs were in became apparent only after the van pulled into the clinic late Monday and the animals were triaged.

-Ultrasound revealed the source of a major tumor-like growth on a Schnauzer. Her intestines had pushed through her abdominal wall, which had likely herniated while she delivered a litter some time ago, Hamilton surmised.

-A bad overbite and a dislocated kneecap in a toy poodle — both congenital defects associated with the breed — prompting one veterinarian to rhetorically ask the pooch: What are they doing breeding you?

-Infected, discolored, broken, dead teeth in many of the dogs, particularly the Yorkshire terriers. They just feedem and breedem, muttered another veterinarian as he checked a 1-year-old Yorkies teeth.

But many dogs showed signs of resiliency and spunk:

-A Labrador puppy unable to remain standing on its hind legs who nevertheless tossed and tussled with the Italian greyhound.

-A pug with a less severe herniation than the Schnauzers who clearly delighted in licking the face of all who held her.

Calls, donations and adoption offers have flooded the clinic since word of the rescue mission hit the papers last week. But the dogs are nowhere near ready for adoption, Hamilton said Monday night.

Several need surgery and weeks of medical care. Even those in good physical shape bear emotional scars. All need to be socialized. Few of the 39 dogs wagged a tail Monday night. None but a young pug barked.

It was just strange to see them treated as a commodity, a crop, said Amy Mayfield, a technician with Fremonts Ohlone Veterinary Emergency Clinic who drove the van out and back. Theres no concern for them whatsoever.

Its not how good they look or what their temperaments like or how healthy they are. Its just how many puppies can they produce. Thats it.

The four have no illusions that they can stop the puppy trade or that their Arkansas rescue mission left so much as a pinprick on the industry. As the last dogs were being checked at 1 a.m. Tuesday, Glock and Stine expressed uneasiness at handing nearly $11,000 to a breeder — even one going out of business, as was the case — for raising dogs in conditions they despise.

They’re not sure they’d do this again, they agreed. They just hope the dogs they brought back serve as ambassadors, prompting future dog owners to buy more responsibly: Question the breeder, expect to be interviewed and visited by the breeder, and above all, not buy over the Internet.

The only way to really get these guys out of business, Stine said, is to not buy from them.

Those interested in following the progress of the rescued dogs or helping with donations or homes can find more information at http://www.endpuppymills.com or by calling the Fremont Animal Hospital at (510) 656-1852.

Contact Douglas Fischer at

dfischer@angnewspapers.com

Puppy MillsThese are the lucky ones! Puppy milling is a multi-million dollar business in many states. These dogs live in conditions so poor that you can’t even imagine!! I’ve seen pictures and they make me nauseous and angry. Don’t support puppy mills!! Adopt a dog from a rescue or shelter, save a life!!

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