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Puppy mill dogs find real homes

After living their entire lives in an alleged puppy mill in North Carolina, the first of the 15 dogs received by the Montgomery County Humane Society in Maryland have found loving homes.


The 15 dogs were among about 300 rescued during a raid of Thornton’s Kennels in Wayne County, North Carolina, after a year-long investigation by the Humane Society of the United States.


The breeder was accused of trying to maximize the amount of puppies born, while minimizing the amount of care they received in order to increase profits. 

Mostly small breeds — Yorkies, poodles, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and shih-tzus — many of the seized dogs were emaciated, severely matted, had overgrown their collars and were suffering from dental and other serious medical ailments.

“It is appalling that any breeder would allow animals to be raised this way,” Montgomery County Humane Society (MCHS) President and CEO Cris Bombaugh said last month. “These dogs are now getting the medical attention, grooming and TLC they so badly need with our staff and volunteers.”

This week, MCHS reports that two of the dogs have been adopted.

Nana, now known as Pumpkin, was the first.  A small white poodle mix, she was adopted by Kathleen Fornatora, from Ashton, who reports that “she’s adjusted wonderfully well. She’s coming out of her shell and is more relaxed.  She just bounces at mealtime.” Nana now walks out of her crate on her own, rather than waiting for someone to reach in for her.  Her housetraining is progressing as well, no small feat for a puppy mill survivor. 

Most recently, Amber, a tiny Chihuahua who has been renamed Kiki, went home with Tana Stellato and her son Jason, 17.  Her family is experienced with rescue pets – their previous dog, Sabrina, was also a puppy mill survivor who lived 16 years under their loving care.  

“Kiki is so sweet and really doing well,” Stellato says.  ”She was slow to eat and drink the first 24 hours while she was checking out her new environment, but now everything appears normal.”

Stellato says Kiki knows how to sit on command and understands “outside” when it’s time to do her business.  ”I never leave her alone,” Stellato adds. 

(Photo: Jason Stellato and Kiki, courtesy of the Montgomery County Humane Society)


Comment from LuluAndLolly
Time March 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Another great post, thanks john! Your PaLs, LuLu and LoLLy!

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