The Washington Post

Rescued puppy mill survivors arrive at D.C. shelter

View Photo Gallery: More than 100 puppies rescued from a puppy mill in Arkansas arrived at Washington Animal Rescue League for care and, eventually, adoption.

More than 100 “puppy mill” dogs arrived arrived at the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) in Northwest D.C. after being seized by Arkansas authorities from Happy Times Kennel in Hot Springs.

About 175 dogs were removed from the puppy mill. Animal protection groups in Arkansas kept about 20 of them for adoption.

The rest will be cared for at shelters in New York, New Jersey and Washington.

As soon as the dogs arrived this week, veterinarians and medical staff at the rescue center began evaluating and treating the animals, which include terriers, poodles, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus and other small-breed dogs.

A litter of newborn Shih Tzus was also among the arrivals.

According to the rescue league, the animals had been living in inhumane conditions at the Arkansas breeding facility where they were found.

They were kept in filthy outdoor pens, and several dead dogs were found among the survivors, according to the league.

The operator of the breeding facility has been charged with three felony counts of cruelty to animals, according to the Washington Animal Rescue League.

“We are prepared to give them everything they need — though it may take months of intensive work — to help them make the transition from caged animals being bred like livestock to cherished family members,” Gary Weitzman,WARL’s CEO, said in a statement.

“Our mission mandates that we rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals who have nowhere else to go, and these dogs certainly qualify.  We welcome them with open arms.”

Treatment and rehabilitation is expected to take several weeks or months. In addition to medical attention, the dogs will receive behavioral and socialization therapy to overcome psychological traumas.

The animals will be put up for adoption in 2012.


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