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After having frequently seen a new breeder, suggested by a friend, my husband and I felt we could confidently trust that these sweet puppies were being bred with proper standards, and thought that meeting the breeder on his farm to view the puppies early would be nothing more than routine, entering a room with puppies charging at your feet to greet you, tails wagging and tongues hanging in every direction with an enthusiastic amount of energy to match their excitement levels.
However, when we arrived we were unfortunately greatly displeased with the conditions we found them in. None of the usual expectations when greeting a group of puppies early was there in anyway shape or form. First we were led behind a large farm home, and did not enter the large barn at the back. Instead we, my husband and I, were lead to a small white tool trailer with a window no larger that 6 inches long and 3 inches high near the roof (only on one side was open) the floor was covered in sharp dry straw.
The puppies, along with the mother, were stored away in this container, which was covered from end to end, with the exception of the small corner they were huddle in, with their excrement. There was no heat of any kind, and it was near the end of September in Ontario [Canada]. Two bowls were provided for them one with water and one with food, the water and food were sprinkled in the straw that was covering the floor, contaminating the water that they were all consuming (mother included).
We then took the strongest looking puppy (to ensure survival, as they were only 5 &1/2 weeks, but were on kibble already) our hearts bled with grief knowing we could not afford to remove all of the puppies.
3 days after his rescue, we noticed that he seemed more and more lethargic. He wouldn't run around like a pup his age should and slept for abnormal lengths of time, again even for his age. He also lost a considerable amount of weight (he was down to 5 lbs). When he "pooped out" 3 round worms of about 10 centimeters each in length (full grown round worms measure 20 cm in length), along with having large amounts of blood in his stool (puddles the size of a large coffee cup lid of just blood). We grew quite concerned at that point that they may not have followed the proper de-worming regiment for nursing puppies (this was over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend).
We took him to a local vet and had our fear confirmed, he was quite ill. His excrement contained "an insurmountable amount of worm eggs, which can only indicate that the possibility of serious damage to the intestines is very real at this point". We had explained the conditions we had found him in [to the vet]. He was so lethargic during the examination that she grew very concerned he may have Parvo as a result of the conditions he was forced to live in prior to our rescue. They gave him his first set of shots, as well as an antibiotic for his heavy diarrhea, followed by liquid de-worming medicine, top off with a parvo shot for extra protection.
Now some good news, I'm glad to report that at 8 weeks he weighed in at 10 lbs & 4 ounces and was eating & drinking well, not to mention was now very playful like a pup his age should be. He is now 6 months old and very healthy.
- submitted by Laura-Lee
Laura-Lee added that she hopes her story helps make people more aware to do thorough research on the breeders you choose and that Puppy Mills are still a very real problem today which requires public attention and needs to stop.
It's important to know the difference between a backyard breeder and a responsible breeder. Read about Finding a responsible breeder and Finding a reputable shelter or rescue. Many purebreed and popular mixed breed dogs are available through your local rescues and shelters.
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