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Puppy Mill 'Mom' Celebrates Freedom

Brandy rescued from puppy mill in 2009

  • Brandy was adopted following her rescue from a Virginia puppy mill. Michelle Riley/The HSUS

  • Brandy just after her rescue. Photo by Commonwealth of Virginia Office of Veterinary Services

Last Mother's Day, Brandy was living in a cage, surviving on minimal food and water and forced to bear litter after litter of puppies for the pet trade.

Three months later, in August 2009, Brandy and many other breeding dogs were rescued from a Virginia puppy mill by The Humane Society of the United States and local animal control.

All in the past

On the day of her rescue, the 3-year-old Boston terrier was found in a sweltering outdoor enclosure with no water or food. She and two other dogs were in a pen littered with old moldy feces, with only two plastic barrels for shelter. They were just a few of the nearly 100 breeding dogs on the property.

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A state veterinarian's report documenting the scene of the rescue described Brandy that day as underweight, dehydrated, flea-infested, scarred from old puncture wounds, suffering from a painful eye condition, and in need of emergency veterinary care. She was skin and bones except for her pregnant belly.

Rescued at last

Kathleen Summers, manager of the HSUS's puppy mills campaign, cared for Brandy at the emergency shelter and later adopted her. 

"Though Brandy's pup-bearing days are over, this year she will celebrate Mother's Day as a welcome and appreciated member of a family," said Summers.

Stop the cycle of cruelty

If you're thinking of getting a puppy, avoid supporting a puppy mill by considering adoption first. If buying a puppy, purchase only from a responsible breeder you have carefully screened in person. More tips on buying a puppy »

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