Today is an annual day to mark awareness of the squalid conditions of puppy mills. While there are many good and reputable breeders out there, there are many more backyard “breeders” or Puppy Mills that confine puppies and their parents to terrible and filthy conditions inside cages. Their whole lives they have no room to move and never any time outside.
Meet Ralphie. He is from a puppy mill. He was born in a confined space and then sold as a puppy in a store in Nashville, TN as Jack Russell Terrier. As you may have guessed, he is not a JRT. He is actually a Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, American Eskimo and Poodle Mix. After the purchase in TN, the folks that bought him possibly realized he wasn’t a JRT or maybe it was because of an issue he has with his back legs, they then decided they didn’t want him anymore.
He was fortunate enough to be rescued before bounced to a shelter. The group Pilots and Paws flew him to Grand Rapids, MI to were he was placed with a rescue called Pet Tales. From there he was adopted and living the most amazing and best live in Howell, MI with his brothers Thomas and Rufus. (Cat and Dog)
Because he was born in a confined space when he was a puppy and never let out, he now has problems with his back legs. You may notice when you see him that his back legs are rotated and his knee caps are on the outside of his legs…. but quite honestly, this doesn’t keep him from moving! He is a quick little guy.
When puppies are born in mills like he was, they often receive no veterinary care, are abused, never get any socialization, receive poor food, no clean water, and lack adequate exercise space.
In Michigan we have yet to completely ban the sale of animals/puppy mill dogs in pet stores and last year (2018) there were even legislators that were trying to disallow cities and townships from banning the sale of pets in stores. This wasn’t passed and now cities like Royal Oak, MI have passed ordinances that will not allow the sale of pets in stores. This ban cuts back on the amount of potential puppy mill dogs that could be sold in the city.
We can only hope more and more cities and townships will move forward in banning these sales. This will, we hope, eventually lead to the puppy mill industry ceasing to operate.
It seems larger pet stores are more frequently asking rescues to come in and have adoption days with rescue dogs versus dogs from potential puppy mills. These events have dogs get adopted and also bring awareness to the need for rescue groups and their efforts to save dog lives.
Big thank you to Erica for allowing photos of Ralphie for this and for sharing his story with us. Ralphie has his own FB page where you can follow his journey and read more about his wonderful life. See his page at: https://www.facebook.com/RalphieDoodleDandy/
Ralphie also has his own Instagram and you can follow him- @ralphie.the.rescue.dog