In early November, North Shore Animal League America brought 57 puppies and small-breed dogs from a breeding facility in Missouri to the Port Washington campus. Since 1944, North Shore Animal League America has been saving the lives of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. This month’s rescue adds 57 animals to the 1,100,000 animals the shelter has saved.
“Our good friends from National Mill Dog Rescue got a call from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) saying that a commercial breeding facility was being shut down because of health reasons,” said Ted Moriartes, Rescue Team Leader of North Shore Animal League America.
National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) is a non-profit organization located in Peyton, CO, with a mission to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome discarded breeding dogs and to educate the general public about the cruel realities of the commercial dog breeding industry. Since 2007, NMDR has been supported by hundreds of volunteers and has rescued more than 16,000 dogs. NMDR is run almost solely by volunteers and has pledged to put an end to the cruelty of the puppy mill industry.
Puppy mills are inhumane high-volume dog breeding facilities that churn out puppies for profit, ignoring the needs of the pups and their mothers. According to the Humane Society of the United States, about 10,000 puppy mills are currently active, with a combined estimated total of 500,000 dogs kept for breeding purposes.
Places like the National Mill Dog Rescue and North Shore Animal League America are working together to put a stop to puppy mills and help the dogs and puppies saved from those conditions find a safe and happy home.
“When [the National Mill Dog Rescue] went [to the puppy mill in Missouri], these animals were in deplorable conditions,” said Moriartes. “So we went to meet them in Missouri where we were able to bring back to North Shore Animal League America 57 animals that all have a second chance at life.”
“We brought back more than fifty dogs and puppies, including French Bulldogs, Pomeranians, Mini-Australian Shepherds, Poodles, King Charles Cavalier Spaniels and more,” said Moriartes. “Some were the parents, those used to breed litter after litter, who can be up to seven or eight years old, who were no longer ‘useful’ and likely would have been euthanized. Some were the offspring, puppies that would have been sold or turned into the next generation of breeders.”
According to North Shore Animal League America’s website, they place nearly 18,000 pets into loving homes every year. Part of the shelter’s Humane Relocation Program is their Out of State Nationwide Pet Rescues. The program is responsible for saving well over 150,000 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens since the program began in 1991.
When the animals get back to North Shore Animal League America, they are brought to the Lewyt Art building to be seen by the North Shore Animal League America veterinary team to assess their health,
“Those [animals] who need medical or dental attention are transferred to our medical center,” said Moriartes. “Those who are healthy are then bathed and groomed as needed, and trust us, coming from a puppy mill, a lot of them really need some time at our ‘beauty spa’.”
After the animals brought in from the puppy mills are healthy and clean, the North Shore Animal League America behavior team will also visit with the animals and assess their temperament and personalities.
“Puppy mill rescues usually don’t experience much socialization; the most love and attention they get is from our rescue team on the transport back to Long Island and then from our Animal League America staff,” said Moriartes.
“We give them some time to decompress and, if they’re deemed ready, they’ll go onto the Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt Adoption Center Floor in hopes of finding a loving, responsible, patient home ready to take in an animal who will learn for the first time how to be a beloved family pet,” said Moriartes.
Some of the dogs and puppies brought in from the puppy mill in Missouri were available for adoption as early as the weekend they arrived and have already been placed into loving homes.
“Adoption Counselors and volunteers can help prospective adopters identify the dogs and puppies in our care who came from this rescue,” said Moriartes.
There are still some dogs and puppies from the puppy mill at North Shore Animal League America waiting to find a loving family. If you’d like to check out the recent rescues or any of the other animals at North Shore Animal League America, you can check out animalleague.org or visit the Port Washington Campus at 25 Davis Ave.