This story is by Animal Rescue Corps…
This Mother’s Day has a particularly special meaning to my team. This week inTexas, we carried 49 dogs, including four new mothers and their puppies, to freedom. It was the second time I and some other members of my team were on the property of breeder Margaret “Peggy” Boyd. I led the first raid of her puppy mill inTexason a sweltering August day in 2009. The hot air hung heavy with the overwhelming stench of ammonia as we pulled more than 500 animals from shocking conditions. I will never forget one dog who I found huddled under a cage. Here is my team member Karla Goodson’s account of the scene. It was her first ever rescue and her first time at a puppy mill:
New mother and pups safe at ARC Shelter
This dog, who was so matted and covered in feces it was hard to identify her breed, was existing (for you certainly could not call it living) in the worst of the buildings at the puppy mill. The oppressive heat inside pressed into your body and the ammonia immediately burned your nose and eyes. The barking of hundreds of dogs crowded into wire cages was non-stop. No senses were safe from the misery that was everywhere, and for these dogs that hell had been inescapable.
We had already pulled many dogs to safety and were in the “rescue zone”. I was ready for Scotlund to hand me another dog but we had to pause when we came to one particular old girl who was among 300-some dogs suffering in that single building. I got to the doorway and saw him pull a dog, whom I thought was dead, out from under a stack of cages, hold her for a moment and say, “I just don’t know what to say about this.” She showed painfully obvious signs of the toll puppy mills take on breeding mothers – her old, emaciated, filthy body suffering the effects of years of neglect and endless breeding.
Scotlund asked me if I was ready for her and as he placed this fragile dog gently into my arms I said, “Come on, babe.” That was probably the first affectionate name she was ever called, the first time she was ever handled lovingly and the first time she was considered as an individual. The dog who came to be known as Babe died just minutes later in our arms. After years of producing litter after litter she lay hidden and forgotten, left to die, until we came for her. She had held on long enough to experience respect and compassion. Babe will not only always represent for me the horrors of a puppy mill but also the resilience of dogs and the patient, forgiving love of mothers.
Puppy Mill owner arrested
Animal Rescue Corps and I ask you to remember Babe this Mother’s Day and all the mill mothers she represents who are still suffering, considered nothing but production machines to the greedy individuals who enslave them for profit.
However, we also want to celebrate the mother dogs who my team, with the support of the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office, set free from Peggy Boyd’sTexaspuppy mill this past week. While she sits in jail, those dogs, including four new moms and heavily pregnant expecting mothers, are now with rescue groups who are committed to ensuring these moms, their puppies and the rest will not suffer the same fate as Babe.