After taking in 13 dogs from an Ohio puppy mill a local animal rescue group is on the lookout to find permanent and loving homes for the pups. In the meantime, Heartland Small Animal Rescue hopes that people in the area will step up and serve as temporary foster homes.
Many of these animals have gone through traumatic experiences, their bodies thin and haggard from neglect. One of the dogs is recovering from sores throughout his body—the shelter says he spent most of his life inside a cage and was rarely bathed. When he was first brought into the shelter employees had a difficult time determining whether he was male or female because the hair on his body was so knotted.
The puppy mill agreed to give up 121 dogs just days after Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill regulating puppy mills throughout the state.
Now that the dogs are in South Bend they will have to adjust to life outside the confines of a small mill and recover from years of abuse.
According to Linda Candler from Heartland Small Animal Rescue, the mills are more interested in producing pups to be sold rather than monitoring their quality of life.
“They care about what those dogs can produce. They care that they’re having puppies. If they continue to produce they keep them...if they don’t, then it’s sad to say what they do to them,” says Candler, “They have open sores, yeast infections, they've never had vaccinations...till rabies shots yesterday, never had a bath, never had nails trimmed. It’s awful, should never treat animal that way.”
Anyone interested in serving as a foster owner for one of the dogs, or helping out in any capacity, Heartland Animal Rescue asks that they call 574-633-4611.