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Featured Foster Pets: Raven and Viola

Dogs Rescued From Puppy Mills Need Loving Homes

Though they are very different sizes and ages, these two beautiful dogs have something in common.

Raven, an eight- or nine-year-old Pekingese, and Viola, a White Shepherd whom we estimate to be about 10 or 11 months old, were both rescued by North Shore Animal League America from puppy mills—inhumane commercial breeding facilities where dogs receive little if any medical care, socialization or affection.

As with many of our puppy mill rescues, both Raven and Viola were very fearful when they first arrived at Animal League America. It’s not at all hard to imagine why, given the severe neglect they experienced in the mill.

Each dog has been living with her own foster parent for the last several months, learning how to put the past behind and developing the trust and practical skills to live the kind of life every dog deserves. Both have come a long way, and it’s time they found their homes.

Following is some information on each dog’s temperament, with our suggestions on the type of individual or family that would be their perfect match. (Note: The dogs are up for adoption separately, not as a pair. If you are looking to adopt two dogs, we do have some that need to be adopted together, so contact us for information.)

Raven’s Story:

Raven had been used as a breeding dog for the bulk of her life, forced to have litter after litter to put profits into the mill owners’ pockets. Unaccustomed to positive human contact, Raven took some time to learn to trust her foster mother, Krissy, but she has come very far and is now ready to go home, sweet home at last.

“She is an absolutely beautiful dog with a beautiful personality,” says Krissy.  “She smiles now, plays with me with a tennis ball, allows others to pet her, loves other dogs, and is just calmer overall.”

Raven would do best in a home without small children, since loud noises and sudden movements frighten her. She can climb stairs, but has a bit of a hard time with them, so it’s best if she isn’t required to do so. She also prefers short walks, so if you’re looking for a running partner or a dog that wants tons of exercise, Raven isn’t for you. Still, she loves playing in grass, and therefore it would be great if her adopter had a nice fenced-in yard.

As with most mill dogs, Raven is very comfortable with other dogs, so it’s a plus (but not essential) if you have another canine.

Despite her years of neglect, Raven loves to be around people, and also warmly accepts pets and cuddles once she gets to know you. Krissy calls her “a very low-maintenance dog who really just wants to be loved and be around people.”

Viola’s Story:

At her young age, Viola has spent far less time in a puppy mill than Raven, but it’s very clear that her experience was a traumatic one. She is one of the more fearful dogs we have rescued and, although she has gotten better, she still has a lot of anxiety issues and needs a very special adopter.

For the past nearly four months, Viola has been living with one of our staff members, Laura, who regularly volunteers to foster dogs who need socialization. In that time, Viola has made significant progress, and she has discovered the joys of bonding with a loving human.

“At first, I couldn’t even pet her. I took it very slowly. Now, she follows me wherever I go, and she really wants to be close,” says Laura. “She loves playing with my other dog, and is very happy when they are out together in the yard.”

Despite how far she’s come, Viola still is afraid of new people and new situations. She is particularly uneasy around sudden movements, so we recommend that she join a family whose children are 12-plus and very mature. Also, as with Raven, it would be ideal for Viola to have a brother or sister dog as a companion, though it’s not mandatory.

“I really do love Viola, and I think she’s a very sweet dog,” says Laura. “Whoever adopts her is going to eventually have a wonderful, loving companion, but she needs to be with an individual or family who is extremely patient and is committed to giving her the extra attention she needs to feel reassured and continue to grow more comfortable and trusting.”

After suffering such neglect, Raven and Viola deserve to find adopters who will give them the tender, loving care they were denied as puppy mill dogs. Please contact our Foster Care Coordinator, Alex Bab, at AlexanderB@AnimalLeague.org, or call him at (516) 883-7900, ext. 352, to find out how you can meet Raven or Viola.