Gwinnie, Shy And Scared Puppy Mill Dog -- Her Life Mattered

Gwinnie finally found safety.
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<p> Gwinnie (left) and Teddy (right)</p>

Gwinnie (left) and Teddy (right)

Michele Burchfield

On the day she was rescued from the puppy mill, Gwinnie’s life began to change in a wondrous way. But she had no way of knowing that ― and she was terrified. Throughout her seven long years living in a cage, Gwinnie knew nothing but abuse and suffering, and her job was simply to produce puppies to be sold in pet stores across the country. She experienced heartache after heartache as her puppies were taken from her too soon; they needed to be young and cute in order to sell for maximum profit. Prior to being rescued, Gwinnie never knew the gentle touch of a human hand, she never heard a soft voice, she never received medical care. She only knew fear and survival.

But during her years in the mill Gwinnie had a friend, and that friend was Teddy. When she was rescued by National Mill Dog Rescue, so was Teddy. They comforted one another throughout all the uncertainty and terror that was this strange new world outside the mill. It wasn’t long before Gwinnie and Teddy found their forever home – together – and they thrived on the love their adoring family gave them. Gwinnie’s scraggly and matted fur soon became a lush and beautiful golden coat, and the fear in her eyes diminished. Although she would often hide behind her brave Teddy and worry when a stranger came to her house, Gwinnie finally knew she was safe ― and she knew she was loved.

Sadly, the abuse and neglect she suffered in the mill had taken its toll and beautiful Gwinnie passed away on October 3, 2016. Her heartbroken family misses her dearly and is still trying to accept her loss, but nobody will miss Gwinnie as much as her soul mate Teddy.

Strange as it may seem, in many respects, Gwinnie was one of the lucky ones. She was rescued (with her soul mate, no less) and she knew great love, happiness and freedom before her life ended.

Sadly, there are hundreds of thousands of breeding dogs living in puppy mills who will never get the chance that Gwinnie had.

Run in paradise, Gwinnie. Your life mattered, and you are missed more than you know.”

<p>Gwinnie and Teddy - before and after being rescued from the puppy mill</p>

Gwinnie and Teddy - before and after being rescued from the puppy mill

Michele Burchfield
<p>Gwinnie, 2 years after being rescued from a puppy mill</p>

Gwinnie, 2 years after being rescued from a puppy mill

Michele Burchfield
<p>Gwinnie and Teddy</p>

Gwinnie and Teddy

Michele Burchfield

What is a Puppy Mill?

A puppy mill is a large scale commercial dog breeding operation where dogs live in cages and are bred repeatedly, producing puppies to be sold in pet stores across the country – and online throughout the world. There may be as few as 100 breeding dogs or as many as 800 breeding dogs housed at a single facility. It is estimated there are approximately 10,000 puppy mills in the USA, the majority being located in the Midwest. About one-third of these mills are approved and licensed by the USDA, as dogs are legally classified as “agriculture.”

Most of the dogs live in wire cages in buildings, barns and sheds which often have no heating or cooling. The dogs are not socialized, they receive little or no veterinary care, they do not have beds or toys, and they never get to run and play in the grass – some dogs never even see the sunlight – and though they yearn for it, they never receive love.

Puppy mill dogs drink from “rabbit-type” water bottles and cannot lap water normally to flush their mouths. This allows bacteria to remain, leading to severe dental issues; the most extreme (but not uncommon) is loss of jaw bone. Long-haired breeds are never groomed and become painfully matted, causing horrible infections. The floors of the cages in which they live are wire and the dogs’ nails are seldom cut, resulting in deformities and painful sores. Life in a cage produces a list of other physical conditions far too long to elaborate on: missing eyes, broken tails, spinal injuries, unrepaired broken bones, heartworm disease, ticks and parasites… to name just a few.

The female dogs are bred at every heat cycle and their puppies are usually taken from them too young. When a dog is no longer productive, typically at 5-7 years old, standard procedure is to destroy it.

Learn more about puppy mills at:

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