132 Rescued Mill Dogs Are Off to Find Forever Homes

On July 3, rescuers stepped in to save 132 dogs, including newborn puppies, and four birds from deplorable conditions at a puppy mill in Page County, Virginia, in an effort that was dubbed Operation Liberty Dogs.

The rescue was carried out by the Animal Rescue Corp (ARC), which assisted the Page County Sheriff’s Office and Animal Control after receiving a tip about neglected animals it turned over to law enforcement. ARC describes the heartbreaking conditions these animals were found in:

The dogs, the majority of whom were underweight, were suffering from severe eye and ear infections, significant fur loss and matting, urine-soaked fur, skin issues, and extreme internal and external parasites, such as fleas. Additionally, three parrots and a cockatiel were found living in similar conditions, their cages and food bowls also covered in feces. All animals lacked adequate living conditions, socialization, and veterinary care.

You can see a video of the rescue below, but be warned that there are some disturbing images:

“Animals have been suffering from various untreated illnesses on this property for an extended period of time. The conditions were very typical of a puppy mill where animals are treated as nothing more than breeding machines,” said ARC President Scotlund Haisley. “A lot of suffering ended here today and I commend Page County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Control, and County Attorney for acting quickly and working with Animal Rescue Corps to save these lives.”

After caring for the animals they rescued at an emergency shelter, this week the organization announced that all the animals they pulled out are on their way to shelter and foster-based partners in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and Canada where they’ll get the physical and emotional care they need so they can go on to be adopted into forever homes.

It’s unfathomable how anyone could look at those dogs every day, see them in that condition and do nothing, or that anyone would actually need to be told that’s not okay, but it continues to happen at large-scale commercial breeders around the country because we’re still buying puppies that come from places like this.

Hopefully, seeing the reality of puppy mills and the faces of the adorable puppies being sold who are lucky enough to be rescued in operations like these will help push the message to adopt from a rescue or shelter, or to work with a reputable breeder, instead of buying dogs from pet stores or via the Internet. Even when people say breeders are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it doesn’t mean much when it comes to ensuring quality care for parent animals or the health and temperament of the dogs being sold.

ARC is now urging people who want to help by fostering or adopting one of these dogs to contact its partner organizations directly, but also notes that while some of these dogs won’t be available for a while, there are still many others waiting there who are ready to go their forever homes. Could you help?

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven4 months ago

thanks for the article.

Christine Jones
Christine Jones6 months ago

Petition signed. So glad these poor creatures were rescued. Thank you ARC and all involved.

Jane R.
Jane R.about a year ago

I couldn't watch the video. Seeing it would break my heart and make me cry. I'm thankful they were rescued.

Millie O'Connor
Millie OConnorabout a year ago

So happy they were rescued! :-)

john pierce
John Pierceabout a year ago

It breaks your heart. Thanks for sharing.

Alexandra G.
Alexandra G.about a year ago

God bless them !!

Sue H.
Sue H.about a year ago

It's time to ban puppy mills for good worldwide. Glad there is a happy ending to this story.

Julie J.
Julie J.about a year ago

Great work guys. You rock.

Donna F.
Donna F.about a year ago

I hope they all find good homes!

Melania Padilla
Melania Padillaabout a year ago

Sick bastards! NEVER BUY A PET, ADOPT!! Thank you for sharing, so glad these souls are now safe