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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Rescue


51 traumatized dogs rescued; 1 found nursing 7 pups

Fifty-one dogs - including one nursing seven puppies and all with severe emotional problems from being imprisoned all their lives in cramped, feces-covered wire cages with little food and water - have been rescued from a breeder in Minnesota.

The dogs - mostly small breeds like Yorkshire and Jack Russell Terriers, Toy and Miniature Poodles, American Eskimos, Chihuahuas, Shi-tzus, Maltese and Dachshunds - are being treated for dental problems caused by poor diet, lice and skin problems, and trauma from being locked away in cages stacked upon one another in an enclosed room with virtually no human contact, animal welfare officials say.
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Specially trained volunteers having been working with the dogs to help them overcome their fear of the outside world, according to Tracie Jacobson, public affairs manager for the Animal Humane Society, which has locations in Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, St. Paul and Woodbury. "They were quite shy and fearful and questioned human contact," Ms. Jacobson told MySetterSam.

Law enforcement authorities, who had received three calls about conditions at the commercial breeding facility (in photo above from an Animal Humane Society video) in a rural western Minnesota, called humane society officials to assist in closing the operation. Animal Humane Society agent Keith Streff convinced the owners to surrender the animals.

Many of the dogs are being cared for by Animal Humane Society - like Emily, top, a 2 year-old Miniature Poodle, and Harvey, a 5-year old Toy Poodle, (in photos at left from the Animal Humane Society) - while some have been sent to partner organizations - Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth, Tri-County Humane Society in St. Cloud, A Rotta Love in Minneapolis and Pet Haven in Minneapolis - where they will get special rehabilitation treatment.

Adopters will have to give these dogs special care because they lack social and house skills after living in such deplorable conditions, animal welfare officials say. "We’ve already seen many go into new homes; several are still waiting for homes," Ms. Jacobson said. "They will need a great deal of patience and understanding in their new homes. But with a lot of work, they’ll live a full life."

Animal Allies Humane Society is caring for seven of the dogs, including the mother and her puppies, according to Madeleine Robins, development and communications manager. Two of the dogs, in particular, were very scared and one was placed in foster care to help with socialization.

The mother dog, a Dachshund/Wire-Haired mix, and her puppies also are being cared for in a foster home, Ms. Robins told MySetterSam. "The mother and her puppies will remain in foster care until the puppies are old enough to enter the adoption program. The puppies are about 4 weeks old right now."

Ms. Robins is optimistic that all of the dogs - like Solostice, left, an American Eskimo, and Grizzly, a male Dachshund, (in photos above from Animal Allies) can be rehabilitated and placed into good homes.

"All of the dogs are wonderful, and there is no question that they will become wonderful pets in their new homes," Ms. Robins said. "The process is being slow and patient with them and not introducing too much new stimulus too fast. Most were shy, but not aggressive."

Ms. Robins and Ms. Jacobson say caring for and rehabilitating the dogs is expensive. "There is a great deal of staff and volunteer time and monetary resources that go into investigating, rescuing, treating medically and rehabbing the dogs," Ms. Jacobson explained. "At American Humane Society, we are often responsible for cleaning up the industry of inhumane dog and cat breeding."

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Those interested in adoption or who would like to make a donation to help pay for the care and rehabilitation of the dogs should visit Animal Humane Society, Animal Allies Humane Society, Tri-County Humane Society, A Rotta Love and Pet Haven.