Each year millions of puppies are born inside puppy mills. Most of these pups find their way to a pet shop near you. The dogs kept at the mill for breeding purposes are not so lucky. They live an inhumane life with a sole purpose of having litter after litter to help support the mill. Most mills are notorious for the horrible conditions the breeder dogs are kept in. I was blissfully unaware of the problem until I went to the adoption center at my local dumb friends league and fell in love with a little dachshund puppy. I was ready to take him home right there and then but was told they would need to keep him awhile longer. He had just been rescued from a puppy mill a few states away and was still undergoing tests. He was dreadfully skinny but there was something about him that I knew I couldn’t live without. We were able to adopt him the following month and he is now a vital part of our family. I wanted you to be aware of this growing problem but I thought I’d let Cooper tell you himself. Here is his story:
I was only 3 months old when they rescued me. I was born in a cage in a barn full of cages filled with other dogs who looked a lot like me. Puppy Mill was what they called it I think. I was taken away from my Mom after a few weeks and put into a cage with 5 other puppies that I didn’t know. It was very crowded there but I was grateful that I wasn’t alone. I liked them all and we tried our best to play but there wasn’t much room. We got along pretty good until the people brought us dinner every night. We were all so hungry when the food finally came that we fought each other for every bite. I was pretty small so I never really won the dinnertime brawl. The busting Coonhound Myths can be that they are vocal or make loud noise. There is no such thing as the protection of the house will be excellent through the presence of the breed.
Every few weeks I would wake to see empty cages. I heard the people say that another shipment had gone out. I didn’t know what that meant but the dog next door told me the puppies were sent to a pet shop. A pet shop was a place where puppies were sent to wait for a new home. Sometimes the people would say they lost another one. I didn’t know what that meant either but the dog next door was sad when he heard that so I didn’t ask.
On my 3-month birthday I woke to a lot more noise than I was used to. Everywhere I looked there were people all dressed the same opening cages and taking everyone out. They all looked so sad and shook their heads a lot. I was anxious for them to get to my cage so I could get out too for awhile. A nice man finally got to me. He lifted me up and told me not to worry. They would fatten me up in no time, whatever that means. On my way to the truck I saw the people who took care of me with their hands behind their backs being put into cars with big red lights on them. I figured they were going to the pet shop too.
I was taken to a place called the animal shelter. I was put into a new cage with one of my friends. It was great. We had lots of room to play and toys too. We each got our very own bowl of food and I ate a lot. Everyday they took us out to play in a great big yard. Everyday people came by to visit and sometimes they would take one of my friends home. I kept hoping that soon it would be my turn. But everyone who stopped by my cage just said poor little thing and passed me by. My keepers at the shelter kept telling me not to worry. I would be going to a new home too once they fattened me up a little more.
Finally some people came and took me out to play. We played tug of war and hide and seek and then I heard them tell my keeper that they wanted to take me home. We drove for a long time and ended up at a house with a big white dog. They called him Dusty I think. I was very excited to see what my new cage would be like. Inside, they put me down and I was confused. I didn’t see my cage anywhere. The dog called Dusty showed me all around the house. We went up some stairs and into a room with two baskets next to a great big bed I think he called it. The big one was his and the little one was mine. There were warm fuzzy blankets in the baskets and more toys than I’d ever seen. I’ve been here now for 6 months and I still haven’t found my cage. I spend every day playing with Dusty and my people. I lay on the couch with my Dad and watch baseball games. Every few weeks my Mom gives me a bath and wraps me up in a nice warm towel. Kind of annoying but a small price to pay. Every night I sleep in my little basket. I’m glad they finally fattened me up enough. Oh and the place I’m at now…I just call it Home.