Animal Writes
From 24 August 2003 Issue

Open Letter To A Puppy Mill
By [email protected]

To Whom It May Concern,

I received one of your dogs into my rescue today. Thank you for allowing him to come to me, even though I'm not the one who picked him up at your facility. I have no idea why you "culled" him, but I am so very grateful to have him. Thank you. We are keeping the name you gave him, although he doesn't seem to know it.

He shrinks from my attempts to pet him, and he skitters away at my approach. Of course he's not leash trained or housebroken, and he auto-cringes at loud noises and sudden movement. (do you bang on the cages to attempt to quiet the din of dogs barking at your facility, or just use an air horn?)

He is wearing a diaper so I can keep him indoors while he is "rehabbing" in a normal home environment. He will not take a treat from my hand. He seems bewildered by good quality dog food, and refuses to eat it yet. (I wonder what he ate before?)

His new toys and chewies are ignored. He runs in circles, "chasing his tail", which I suspect is the only exercise this young dog got. Even with that, his muscles are atrophied, simply from the lack of opportunity to use them.

His feet are splayed, and he has calluses between his toes from clinging to the wire he was housed on. He's wary of the grass here....has he ever seen grass?

You may be pleased to know my vet gave him a clean bill of health.

Too bad he can't see the emotional devastation of a dog raised as a "cash crop" farm animal. The deprivation he has suffered is heinous.

The good news is he will recover, and someday be the dog and companion he was almost deprived of becoming. What I am sorry to be unable to tell you is exactly when that will occur.

I hope his puppies all got better homes than he had, and it is my most fervent wish that awareness affects you someday, like it does me.

A Rescue

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