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Many animal lovers will be familiar with the “aaw … I need that puppy” feeling that sweeps over us, when we walk past a pet shop window and witness an adorable pooch staring back at us. However, anyone who is tempted to buy a puppy from a pet store or other commercial location should be aware that the dog most likely emerged from an industry that is anything but adorable.

Puppy mills are large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities, typically run on a “factory farm” model. In these places, the welfare and happiness of the dogs tends to be a far lower priority for the owner than the aim of simply turning a profit. Dogs are usually held in small, crowded wire cages and provided with the bare minimum of care required to keep them alive. Lack of space, inadequate nutrition, poor hygiene, and rampant overbreeding are commonplace in puppy mills, leaving the dogs with a host of health issues ranging from dental problems, severely matted fur, eye, ear, and throat infections, and severe genetic deformities. Only the most good-looking puppies to emerge from the breeding process will be put on sale, while those who don’t make the grade are condemned to remain in cages, being used as breeding dogs until their “productivity” declines … at which point they are killed.

A number of former puppy mill dogs have gone on to become canine “ambassadors” for their kind, raising awareness about the abuse, neglect, and rampant inbreeding inherent in these facilities. These “ambassadors” include Lily – an Italian greyhound whose tragic story inspired Theresa Strader, the founder of National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR), to launch her movement – and Harley, a sweet one-eyed Chihuahua who was also cared for by NMDR, and sadly passed away recently.

The kind folks behind NMDR, whose mission is to “rescue, rehabilitate and re-home discarded breeding dogs”, have now posted a heartrending image of one puppy mill dog who has clearly gone through hell and back … reminding us that we should always aim to adopt, never shop.

This sweet dog was one of eighteen puppy mill residents who were rescued by NMDR last weekend.



“On Friday, each of the dogs went through our intake process where, in the loving arms of volunteers, they received a veterinary exam, had their photos taken, many were bathed and groomed, and best of all, they were named,” said their loving rescuers. We hope that the sad eyes of the dog in the above picture will eventually come to be filled with joy, as they learn that there are kind and compassionate humans out there. You can find out more about the organization’s incredible work on their website or Facebook page, or click here to make a donation.

To learn more about the shocking truth behind puppy mills, and why you should always adopt rather than shop, read these posts:

If you are thinking of welcoming a new furry companion into your life but don’t want to Support the puppy mill industry, there is no better option than to adopt a dog from a shelter! See the posts below for information and advice.

Image Source: National Mill Dog Rescue/Facebook