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I mentioned last week here and here that Toronto Animal Services South would shortly be getting some puppy mill Poodles. Three of them arrived and I met them for the first time last Saturday.

All three were cuddled and shaking in their shared doggy bed in the corner of their kennel. I spent some time with them in there, letting them get accustomed to me and a couple of them even approached for a few licks on the hand only to scurry back to their corner whenever I moved.

Once I figured they weren't as petrified of me, I picked up the biggest one - a male - and carried him outside as none of them were going to walk on their own. I put him on the grass and he took a couple of steps which I thought was a good sign and then he stopped and trembled.

It wasn't a cold day but he trembled. He trembled at the grass underfoot. He trembled at the people walking around. He trembled at the open space. He trembled at whatever dangers he thought would descend upon him. It was too overwhelming so I snapped a few quick photos and carried him back inside.


I thought the other two might be better outside because they were the more affectionate ones inside but as it turned out they were worse than the larger male. Neither of them took a single step. One lifted her foot as soon as it touched down on the unfamiliar texture of grass and gingerly put back down and then just stood motionless. Well, not motionless. There was a lot of trembling with her as well. I thought she was going to have a heart attack so I took her back inside.

Li'l Eve

The last one I took outside lay in the grass which I thought was nice but she too was trembling.

Miss June

I brought her back inside in fairly short order but not before I noticed her back left leg. This was the one I had heard about. When she was back at the puppy mill covered in all that matted hair, it was hard to tell what was going on beneath all the jumbles of knots. Kimberly, the rescuer from Kismutt, thought the end of the leg felt funny but it wasn't until after a haircut that she could see there was no foot there.

Videos tomorrow.

16 Comments to “Three Lost Lambs - Part 1”

  1. Kit Lang says:

    OMG - this post hurts my heart. I want to take them all home, but they would hate it here with our cats who run a NASCAR track though our house all day and our rambuctious Tyler-boy. I hope they find good, super super loving homes.

  2. selkiem says:

    How do these people get up in the morning and look at themselves? How can they not cringe? And to think there are thousands more like that out there, poor little creatures who haven't been given a chance like these ones. And that the farmer who had these ones as we speak probably has a barnful MORE of them. What the HELL is wrong with this province that we can't STOP this.

  3. I am in tears right now, so appalled that purporting to be a human could be so without conscience or love to treat these sweet beings so cruelly. I pray they find the kindest heart in the world to love them as they deserve. So sad.

  4. olddog says:

    so sweet, so frightened! Apart from vigilantism what more can we do to shut down such operations. Are the owners keeping the dogs in such terrible conditions charged with cruelty to animals? If not why not? The media needs to stir up an outcry and educate those who naively buy puppies from places that hide the fact that the puppies are bred in such hell holes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What kind of owner would these dogs need? Would it be good for them to live in a house with a well-adjusted active poodle? Or do they need total attention and a quiet home?

  6. Anonymous says:

    What happens to the people who are responsible for this?

  7. Joanne says:

    with time they will come round. When I got Pilar she ran the baseboards like a rat. You couldn't move quickly, make a loud noise, anything that could be viewed as the "monster". She wouldn't even step out of her crate. She still cringes when you go to pick her up but she is getting so much better and it has only been a month. Other well balanced dogs help. Seeing me pet the others has been a tremendous reassurance for her that I am not going to eat her alive. Give them time, the company of another dog if possible, quiet attention...let them seek it, plenty of treats and praise and they will come round. That foot does not thankfully look as bad as I thought it would be.

  8. AC says:

    I fostered a poodle rescued from a puppy mill last Fall and these three little lambs are reminding me of the exact first day that I met Suzy. I had to carry her in my arms for the entire first walk we ever took together. Even though it is heart-wrenching to see them like this now, the good part is that once they find a loving home and are taken care of, they will recover really quickly! It was a surprise to me but it only took Suzy about two months to become just like another dogs you see at the park. So, let's be happy for them that they are now rescued!

  9. Anonymous says:

  10. Joanne says:

    Welcome to the world of and the results of the Amish and Mennonite puppy mills. These ones are the lucky ones, they made it out alive. I saw one Amish puppy miller on a show who cut off the foot of a pomeranian that had got its foot stuck in the chicken wire floor of its cage rather than cut the chicken wire. He amputated the pom's foot with wire cutters and thought nothing of it. They need to be put out of business. When I got Pilar she was being fed birdseed and expected to produce litter after litter after litter.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Poor little things!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I juSt don't understand how humans can be so cruel!!!!

  13. GoLightly says:

    OSPCA will tell you no laws are being broken. None are. Horrific, what is considered suitable and adequate care for an animal. Thank you for posting, and thank you for the you-tube link. That was appalling. But again, it is NOT illegal in Canada.
    Factory farming is done with any species you care to "manufacture". Machines made of flesh, to these people. Many, not just the Amish, are guilty of this thinking. Money making packets of protein. Love doesn't enter the equation.
    Thank you for rescuing them. They will come around, with time and patience and love.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Have they found homes yet?

  15. Fred says:

    Anonymous, no they haven't yet. Two were just put into adoption today and the third hopefully in a week or so.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I'm so glad they've found homes. For all the cruel people out there, they're outnumbered by kind and loving ones.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.