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Missouri Puppy Mill Survivors Arrive in Washington
January 20, 2011
(January 20, 2011) Washington, DC – The Washington Animal Rescue League (the League) is taking in 13 Missouri puppy mill dogs surrendered to authorities by breeders who acknowledged they could not care for the dogs properly.
Missouri, a state with one of the highest number of puppy mills, recently passed legislation with additional protections for the dogs. When the new law goes into effect in a year, breeders will not be allowed to keep more than 50 breeding females, who are not to be bred more often than twice every 18 months. The dogs must also be fed every day, live indoors with access to outside exercise areas, and be seen by a veterinarian every year.
Altogether, 77 dogs were surrendered by the two mills. One of those died shortly thereafter, seven did not make the trip to the Washington area due to pregnancy or illness, and the rest were divided among eight animal adoption agencies.
The 13 dogs at the League will be evaluated and treated at its full-service, state-of-the-art Medical Center, and the professionally certified behavior and training staff will assist them in overcoming any socialization problems and psychological traumas.
“For years now we have been giving refuge to the survivors of puppy mills from all over the country, so we are well acquainted with the many physical and psychological problems these dogs typically have.,” relates Dr. Gary Weitzman, the League’s CEO, “We are prepared to give them everything they need—though it may take months of intensive work—to help them make the transition from caged animals being bred like livestock to cherished family members. Our mission mandates that we rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home animals who have nowhere else to go, and these dogs certainly qualify. We welcome them with open arms.”
At the League, the arriving dog’s evaluations, treatments, and medical and psychological recoveries are expected to take a long time compared to those of the other animals at the rehabilitation center in Northwest Washington. The ultimate goal is to place them in adoptive homes, but “the dogs may not be ready for that for weeks,” according to Mary Jarvis, the Chief Operating Officer.