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Shivering Dogs Rescued from Tennessee Puppy Mill

From snow to safety

King Cavalier spaniel rescued from Tennessee puppy mill Feb. 2011

Kathy Milani/HSUS

Snowflakes were falling as officers from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by members of the HSUS Maddie’s Puppy Mill Task Force, streamed into a dimly lit, unheated barn at a puppy mill near Lewisburg, Tennessee.

The stench of feces and ammonia was overwhelming. Rows of rusted wire cages similar to rabbit hutches, crammed with almost 100 dogs of all breeds and sizes, filled the dilapidated structure. The sagging roof, lined only with empty dog food bags, allowed the wind to whip through, causing many of the dogs to shiver from the bitter cold. The years of constantly being forced to walk on wire cage floors had caused severe paw injuries, and at least one dog was entirely missing a paw.

One by one, the dogs were gently removed from the cages.  Many of them seemed happy to be picked up and held for the first time in their lives, while others cowered shaking in the corners.

By the end of the day, all of the dogs were safe inside, enjoying the comfort provided by the volunteers in the temporary shelter, and the snow had stopped falling.

—Melanie Kahn, Senior Director, Puppy Mills Campaign

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