"There are so many reasons to become involved with the puppy mill problem. You're helping the animal community but you're also helping the human community. The truth is that some animals are living in horrid conditions because some - not all - breeders either do not have or choose not to use the financial resources necessary to maintain a basic quality of life for these animals.
"In Missouri, there are some decent, licensed breeders but there are also many unlicensed breeders who keep their animals living in terrible conditions. Our goal is to help get the dogs out of there so they can be given the proper nutrition and medical care they need, they can be rehabilitated and given a chance to live a normal life."
"We've seen some serious issues with the dogs we rescue from puppy mills. The biggest issue by far is dental. The animals are fed such a poor diet that young dogs only a few years old are losing teeth. In some cases the teeth have rotted away and the decay has gone into the jaw bone. In one particular case, the decay was so pronounced, portions of the jaw were eroded completely and the jaw was, in fact, broken in places.
"They have found frequent cases of mammary tumors in dogs who had whelped too many litters, some benign, others tragically malignant. Then there are skin conditions that are easily treated but ignored as extraneous expenses: cherry eye, a common congenital eye defect in various dog breeds easily corrected by surgery, is just one example.
"All I can say is that to be able to give these dogs the medical help they need is more rewarding than words can express."
Many thanks to Sarah for letting us interview her back in 2011, and giving us just a brief glimpse into how rewarding it can be for a local shelter to help carry the torch as we all seek to bring an end to puppy mills in the U.S.
Please...encourage your local shelter to consider implementing a similar program!