From Horrors to Happy Endings

By on September 29, 2008 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The HSUS is still on the ground in Galveston County, Texas, working to rescue animals stranded by Hurricane Ike. But this weekend several members of our Emergency Services team, many who have been deployed in the field for seven weeks now, were called north—far north.


© The HSUS/Turner
One of 110 dogs rescued from the Canadian puppy mill.

On Friday they joined our global affiliate Humane Society International (HSI) to assist in the rescue of more than 100 dogs from absolutely atrocious conditions at a Montreal puppy mill.

It is with a heavy heart that I write here about what the team discovered. The images sent back from the scene have turned knots in my stomach, so I can only imagine what our staff on the ground experienced. Scotlund Haisley, our senior director of Emergency Services, writes in his field notes, “I have lead many puppy mill raids during my career, but this may be the most disturbing facility I have ever set foot on.”

The majority of the animals rescued were nothing more than skin and bones. Some were so frail they could barely lift their heads. The skeletal remains of several dogs lay hauntingly inside cages. A small beagle was discovered in a closed plastic storage container amongst cages of dogs crammed into a closet, where he had been left to die. A mound of incinerated dogs was found outside the home.

While it’s nearly impossible to look past each of these small tragedies, we are hopeful in knowing that the raid itself was groundbreaking—we believe this was one of the largest puppy mill raids in Québec’s history. With news coverage of the rescue mission, countless Canadians have now learned about the deadly cycle of puppy mills and our work in eradicating these cruel operations.

And, as with all of our rescue missions, I trust that a silver lining will emerge—a happy ending that washes away the immense pain we’ve uncovered.

© Philippine Animal Welfare Society
"Dr. Adonis" with a hospital patient.

Such is the case with Adonis. A year ago here on the blog I told you about HSI’s campaign to stop the commercial slaughter of dogs for food in the Philippines, and I shared video footage from a rescue mission we assisted in, intercepting 100 dogs bound for slaughter.

Adonis was among those rescued dogs. Dubbed Brown-Brown at the time, he has now been rehabilitated and adopted into a permanent home, and serves as a certified therapy dog with the Philippine Animal Welfare Society’s Dr. Dog program. We’ve shared Adonis’s touching story on our website and also in a video update about the campaign, and I hope you enjoy it.

Animal Rescue and Care, Companion Animals

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