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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Rescue

Dachshunds imprisoned entire lives in cages rescued

A dozen frightened Dachshunds, who were imprisoned their entire lives in wire cages with barely enough room to stand or turn around and forced to live in their own waste, have been rescued from a breeder in Nebraska.

The dogs, most suffering from ear infections, worms and gum disease so severe that they had to have teeth extracted, had apparently never been out of the cramped cages, Julie Siebler, an official with Nebraska Dachshund Rescue, told MySetterSam.

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"They are very scared of humans as they have never been able to develop a bond with humans," Ms. Siebler said. "Their world as they knew it has been turned upside down. However, they will learn that it is all for the better."

Some of the dogs, like Peanut (top left), a 6-pound female, had to have 15 teeth pulled because her gums were badly infected and embedded with fur, Nebraska Dachshund Rescue states on its web site.

Jett, (bottom left) an 11-pound 4-year-old female, is being treated for whip worms, had six teeth pulled and an umbilical hernia surgically repaired. Jett was so thrilled when she set foot on the grass for the first time that she grinned, ran and never stopped wagging her tail.

"The dogs will need time to adapt before they can be placed into homes, Ms. Siebler said. "They are in the process of ... learning how to live a life that all dogs should be able to live - never confined to a cage year after year and slowly learning the tremendous bond that can exist between dogs and humans. This can take several weeks, months or even years."

But Ms. Siebler believes the Dachshunds can be rehabilitated and become loving pets. "These dogs have to learn a whole new life," she said. "...They need to learn that they are safe and that they are not going to be hurt anymore. Basically, they become a puppy all over again, as they never got the chance to be a puppy."

Ms. Siebler says the best way to avoid doing business with a puppy mill is to adopt from animal humane societies and shelters.

"Puppy millers usually sell directly to pet stores or to brokers that then take the puppies to the pet stores," she said. "However, they also sell directly to the public via the Internet and newspaper ads. There is ... only one way to avoid buying a puppy from a puppy mill and that is to adopt from your local breed rescue group or local animal shelter."

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Rehabilitation is expensive with the average cost per dog being about $200, Ms. Siebler said. For more information about adopting one of the Dachshunds or making donations for their treatment and rehabilitation, visit

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