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RESCUE ALERT: 80 Puppy Mill Dogs Safe at North Shore Animal League America

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Port Washington, NY, July 23, 2014.

Three short days after they arrived at our no-kill campus, 80 small and medium sized puppy mill rescues were beginning to get a taste of what it means to be cared for.

It began on Friday, July 18. The carefully planned 1,500-mile trip from the Midwest that had come off without a hitch, thanks in large measure to our partner in this rescue, Miranda Lambert and her outstanding group, MuttNation Foundation.

Before they began their journey, each dog was seen by a veterinarian and then carried on to our climate controlled Mobile Rescue Unit, where they received fresh food, clean water, and more gentle attention than they’d ever known in their entire lives. For a few of the dogs, the excitement got to be too much. Let’s just say…there were accidents. No big deal. From the viewpoint of our experienced rescue team, this was par for the course…just another part of the right of passage.

All of the dogs are young adults or puppies, and breeds include Maltese, Pomeranians, Beagles, Bulldogs, Yorkies, Spaniels, Dachshunds, Poodles, Chihuahuas, and Shar-Pei/Chow mixes. Some are too thin. Others have nails that are much too long. But for all the wear and tear on their little bodies and spirits, they were, as one of our hands-on rescuers put it, “a friendly, affectionate group of dogs.”

During the weekend, they had their first physical exams from our world-class veterinary team to determine what they’ll need to start fresh. Many will require dental work, due to the puppy mills’ notoriously poor diet. Meanwhile, our pet behavior team interacted with them to ascertain what sort of home will suit them best.

For all of them, it was the simple pleasures that most pets take for granted that made the biggest impression. “They all loved their blankets,” says Sylvia Ottaka, the League’s senior director of operations. “They most likely never had something as simple as a bed.”

Christina Travalja, the League’s shelter director, observed something similar. “I swear one little Chihuahua actually smiled when he laid down on his blanket,” she says.
Life just turned a whole lot sweeter for this sweet pack of 80. According to Sylvia, they will begin to go up for adoption on Thursday, July 24 — just one week after they boarded our Mobile Rescue Unit and left the sadness of the mills behind them forever.




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