December 23, 2010
"Official Dog Walker" To Puppy Mill Rescues
Twelve-year-old Micah feels a special affinity to these dogs
As the son of a veterinarian, twelve-year-old Micah Staub has been around animals all his life. His family frequently makes space in their home for abused, unwanted, and "special needs" animals.
Among these animals are horses taken in just before they were sold for slaughter, three pit bulls rescued from dogfighting operations, a two-legged English Bulldog, a blind pug, and many dogs rescued from puppy mills.
"The Staub family has helped so much with our hands-on rescue efforts in Indiana," said Anne Sterling, Indiana state director for The HSUS. "They have never turned down an opportunity to help the animals, whether they are roosters from a cockfighting ring, pit bulls from a dogfighting raid, or dogs from a puppy mill."
But when the Staub family took in approximately thirty dogs—including several nursing mothers with newborn puppies—from a recent puppy mill seizure, it was a huge job, even for people with their experience.
Micah wrote in an email to The HSUS about puppy mills:
The dogs need freedom. Puppy mills hurts them. It make people mad and hurt peoples feelings. They (people) need help them to get out of the bad place. They been locked up with no playing and fetching. It make me feel sad when they are lock up in cages for hours. It just make me want to to cried alot. It hurt my heart and my feelings about the dogs.
I love to walk them and play. They look happy and wiggle tails alot.
P.S. Thank you for saving the dogs from the puppy mills.
Micah quickly made it his duty to become, in his words, their "official dog walker." The recovering dogs flourished with the exercise and individual attention they lacked for so long.
"Micah has walked those dogs every day," said his mother Candice. "He loves the dogs because they will relate to him and not judge. They simply love him for what he is and Micah does the same."
Compassion and understanding
Other children are sometimes hard on Micah because he has learning differences and a speech impediment, said Candice. She feels this makes Micah all the more understanding of animals who have special needs.
The HSUS' Maddie's Fund Puppy Mills Task Force recently sent Micah a care package to thank him for working so hard with the rescued dogs. The package included a Task Force T-shirt and a letter naming Micah as an honorary member of the task force.
Candice Staub hopes that young people who strive to be kind to animals will remember to extend that compassion to peers who are different.
"The dogs are the one thing he loves. They do not judge his speech or his color or his size. They just love him for who he is, and the relationship that you see unfold is heartwarming."
Hear more from Micah in his interview with Humane Teen.