In March, the HSUS Animal Rescue Team freed about 300 animals from the horrors of an Arkansas puppy mill, which confined living dogs among their dead and decomposing kin. Inside a dilapidated shed filled with trash and used equipment, our team found Daniel, a little tri-colored Shepherd puppy, along with his mother and sibling. As usual, the puppy mill operator said all was fine, and that the animals were well treated.
Daniel spent his few weeks out of the womb in darkness, with only a reed-thin ray of light squeezing through the crack in the bottom of a door. Our team became alert to his presence once they heard faint whimpering and barking as they walked the property. The malnourished and ill little puppy was too weak to use his front legs. But when he saw his rescuers, he scooted to them, dragging himself forward. It was both a heartbreaking but hopeful sight, given that he showed such a strong will to live.
Daniel was given a tentative diagnosis of rickets and prescribed cod liver oil, lots of Vitamin D through a nourishing diet, and plenty of fresh air and sunlight. Each day, his front legs were massaged and stretched out. Staff members at our temporary shelter took him out for time in the grass, holding him up so he could stand and build up more muscle in his atrophied front legs. Within a couple of days, the resilient Daniel began to take his first tentative steps. After a period of convalescence, we placed him with Great Plains SPCA who found him a caring home where he is now able to run, and has a family that dotes on his every move.
On #GivingTuesday today, we highlight the important and lifesaving work done by our Animal Rescue Team which has, over the years, turned around the fortunes of thousands of animals. Before we rode to their rescue, they seemed doomed. These creatures had been trapped in delinquent puppy mills, other situations of extreme cruelty or neglect, or even animal fighting rings.
Over the years our Animal Rescue Team has deployed to or assisted with hundreds of cases to help animals in need, throughout the country. This year alone, the team delivered the full scope of our services to a dozen deployments, and offered financial or expert assistance in support of over a dozen more. We have rescued animals in disaster-ravaged areas and responded to a wide range of human-caused crises for animals.
This is physically and emotionally taxing work. It is hard to confront these sorts of life-threatening circumstances and also know that human beings have typically created the situations in which such animals are suffering. But it is empowering to be able to turn the lives of these creatures around. With the right equipment, staff, and medical skills, along with no small dose of compassion and resolve, we answer the call.
Each rescue requires a well-coordinated response: working with local law enforcement agencies and shelters, setting up temporary housing, transporting the animals, coordinating with veterinarians and species experts, and working with our Emergency Placement Partner shelters and rescues who will eventually place the deserving animals with their forever families. And it all requires financial resources, with major operations running into the tens of thousands of dollars because the animals typically need months of care.
For #GivingTuesday today, a Global Day of Giving distinctly different from the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, our goal is to raise $200,000 to help continue the lifesaving work of our Animal Rescue Team. For every $1 you donate today, HALO Pet Food, in coordination with Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org, will donate a bowl of food to help feed the animals we rescue and the many animals our partners care for every day. On #GivingTuesday, I hope you’ll consider making a gift.
We don’t trust the false assurances of the mill operators. And we’ll continue our investigations and interventions, and deliver animals from misery when that’s exactly what we find.