Thin, fearful Sally greeted our Animal Rescue Team with barks, then gentle sniffs. A mom of three puppies so tiny they hadn’t yet opened their eyes, Sally was housed outdoors in a plastic shelter with no apparent food or water. She stayed nose to nose with her days-old puppies as our rescuers lifted them onto an exam table for a wellness check, a devoted mom whether lying on filthy plastic or a clean towel.
Unlike the millions of mother dogs trapped in inhumane breeding operations across the U.S., Sally got lucky. When authorities requested our help rescuing dogs from a reportedly abusive breeder in North Carolina, we showed up and searched feces-encrusted outdoor pens and a squalid mobile home. What we found was heartbreaking: Dead puppies in a freezer; 114 dogs with ailments such as heartworm and tick-borne disease, severe mange and anemia, open sores and untreated injuries; dogs shot with BB pellets; and several other pregnant or nursing mothers. We removed all the dogs from the property and placed them in a confidential, safe facility or in foster homes.