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Arkansas and N. Carolina Puppy Mills

Story ID:10336
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various usa
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Today it was –7 in the Greater Cleveland area. Sadly, we were not the only ones
suffering this polar blast. The only good thing for me this morning while walking to my
neighborhood church for the scheduled liturgy for my parents was the lack of a biting
wind. I was also surprised to see at least 20 other hardy people making it to church on
this sub zero first Friday of Lent, and the men were surprisingly in the majority. So
unlike the years when I was growing up. The women always outnumbered the men.

I worry a lot about who is suffering in this freezing weather, and of course, I am
not only concerned about the homeless, but I worry about how this cold weather impacts
the animal and bird world as well. I can’t believe that there are cruel people who think
it’s all right to leave their dog out in below zero weather in minimal shelter. How many
of them will freeze to death? The only cure for these heartless people is to have them
camp out one night in sub zero weather with little shelter. I think they would soon get
the message re their cruelty and indifference to the needs of their dog.


Yesterday, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) related a short account of a
puppy mill rescue from a frozen hell. This one took place in Randolph County, Arkansas where
they rescued 57 animals –46 of them dogs. The first line of their account grabbed me –“ Dripping
with icicles. I’m not just talking about the buildings or cars around me; I’m talking about dogs.”

Ashley Mauceri, who is the Manager of Cruelty Response for the HSUS reflected on why
no animal should ever have to live outside in cold weather like this. She says that despite
her multiple layers of clothing, she was still shivering from this cold temperature. Obviously,
the animals were too.

She tells us that Arkansas does not have a single law to protect dogs in commercial breeding
facilities, but that the HSUS’s Stop Puppy Mills Campaign team is working right now to get a bill
drafted and introduced. Why am I not surprised with Arkansas’ lack? Well, I often refer to
the Humane Scoreboard to see how the congress people from a state vote. Checking Arkansas-
neither Senator Boozman or Pryor scored above 20 and ditto the 4 Representatives. One scored
25 and the others scored 0.

I am happy knowing that at least now – 57 animals were pulled out of a miserably cold situation.
Hopefully, the HSUS Stop Puppy Mills Campaign will be successful and that no animal will
have to suffer again as did these. Of course, this is probably a sadly optimistic wish, but one
never knows. Today in Paul Shapiro’s weekly news round up for the HSUS, he shares the unbelievably
good news coming from the U.S. 2015 Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee. The recommendations
EMPHASIZE A SHIFT TOWARD PLANT-BASED DIETS, and they removed the former recommendations
to eat lean meat. ( Miracles do happen.)


On a rainy day in Magnolia, N.C. HSUS’ Animal Rescue Members Jennifer and Tia arrived
at a mass dog-breeding facility. They would find – as so often is the case in puppy mills-
a variety of small-breed dogs suffering from severe untreated medical conditions. These
included dental disease, infection, tumors, eye issues, and malnourishment.

Some of these poor dogs experienced such severe dental disease which ultimately had
rotted their jaws. How terribly painful this must have been as the disease progressed.
No relief came for them from the cruel puppy mill owner.

One little dog’s eyes had such severe eye issues that one of her eyes had to be removed
to alleviate the suffering she was experiencing.

Many dogs were underweight and sick -largely the result of their dental disease. They
could not chew or swallow hard food. They would wait until the food had become soft and
rancid to be able to eat this unsavory food or starve.

I didn’t read anything about fines or imprisonment for the owner, which in my opinion,
was warranted. Somehow the owner got away with only surrendering 58 dogs on the property.
It seems to me that N. Carolina has no laws against cruelty to animals. Owners like this could
get away scott free after horribly mistreating these poor dogs.

Eight dogs needed immediate hospital attention, and were taken to an animal hospital nearby.
Jennifer tells how she removed Ricky Bobby, a small paralyzed dachshund from the facility.
Poor “RB” was terrified and shaking when she picked him up. Little did he know then that it
was an “angel’ who wrapped her arms around him on that rainy and unforgettable day in N.

RB was one of the dogs needing immediate treatment. As he had been dragging his back legs
along a cement floor for so long-his underside had open sores, inflamed patches, callouses,
and muscle atrophy. Nor was this bad enough – but his hindquarters were covered in urine
scalding from being confined to bedding soaked in urine and feces.

The one thing in his favor is that being a Dachshund sometimes means that their paralytic
condition –if treated by a veterinarian early enough, can be reversed.

Sadly, my very dear Patty, a small German Shepherd mix was not so lucky. Afflicted with
Degenerative Myelopathy in her back legs, I did get wheels for her, but she never seemed
to get use to them. I believe that they were a poor fit and caused her discomfort and even
pain when we used them. After awhile, I put them aside.

As long as I could help her down the front porch steps holding her hind quarters as she used
her front legs, I was happy that we were able to take care of her bathroom needs this way.
During warm weather I would even let her lay for a while on the front lawn in the cool of the
evening. I smiled in appreciation when a car stopped by seeing her laying on the lawn –thinking
she was abandoned or in distress. I came out when I saw the car stop and thanked them for
their concern but assured them that Patty was okay.

Sadly, the day came when even her front legs wouldn’t work anymore, and of course, I had to
put her down. A terrible experience for me having to say good-by to yet another loving
animal companion. It never gets easier.

Ricky Bobby’s story has a happier ending. He was adopted by Megan, a veterinary technician
from CareFirst, the veterinary hospital where he was treated. Megan made him a wheeled cart
which enabled RB to get around without hurting his underside. She did a great job of cobbling
together PC pipe, wheels from a large cart that didn’t fit him, air tires, a small pet harness and
a make-shift sling. This “contraption” helped RB to move around effortlessly. The description
of his cart sounded so much better than the comercial one which I had bought for my Patty. I
wish that Megan had been around when Patty need her wheels. In my opinion, the manufactured
one I got for her was a bust, and she never got use to it. It may have even caused her pain to use.

How did N.Carolina’s Congressional legislators do on animal welfare issues? Judge for yourself.
Senator Burr scored 20 and Senator Kay Hagan –0. Of the 13 Representatives – Walter Jones
scored 87, David Price 100, Mike McIntyre 50. The remaining 10 all scored below 50.


“It’s easy to get lost in the numbers when it comes to puppy mills-2 million plus dogs churned out
every year, 14 raids in N. Carolina, and 3,000 mills just in Missouri with 600 shuttered in that state
alone since Prop B passed there. But RB reminds us that it’s all about individual creatures, and
how your support allows us to turn around lives and give them a new beginning.”

And sadly, I believe it was last year that some reporter on the Today Show exposed the Westminster
Dog Show’s partnership or at least support of puppy mills. And then it was disheartening to find out
that even some Amish engage in puppy mills, and they often prove just as cruel as any other puppy
mills we have learned about.

I can never understand the public’s infatuation for pure breeds, which of course, has spawned the
proliferation of puppy mills. Every one of my 7 dogs was a mix of either: Sheltie, German Shepherd,
Samoyed, Chihuahua, or Chow. I found them all wonderful dogs, and I am glad that wanting or needing
a pure breed dog has never even entered into my mind.

And you too may have seen the segment on the Today Show last year where it was disclosed that
the Westminster Dog Show officials support the idea of puppy mills. I hope if this is true –that for
you who are fans of the show and disapprove of this stand – you will let it be known to them that
this is a completely wrong and unacceptable position to have if they really care about dogs.