How do you explain a puppy mill survivor to a child?

How do you explain a puppy mill survivor to a child? It is a hard conversation with anyone, but explaining it to someone so young can be a challange. 

Elizabeth and her family adopted a puppy mill survivor. She has two young girls and had the challenge of explaining how their new dog will be different. 

Little kids typically struggle with empathy. I was very specific as we faced each struggle. So when she wouldn’t eat from her bowl I explained to the kids it’s possible her food was just thrown on the floor so we had to help her learn. When she couldn’t walk on the leash I explained that she spent a lot of time caged up and no one ever took her on walk. Basically every step making them understand her hard life and how it was our job to teach her about her new life.


As her kids learned more, her daughter Everleigh knew she had to help start spreading the words about puppy mills.

We asked Everleigh why it is important for people to know about puppy mills, and how does she explain it to other children. 

The mill is bad and they don’t take care of the dogs and use them just for babies. I tell them it’s a bad place where they don’t take care of dogs. I also tell them the whole story of my dog Luna and how she could have died if she wasn’t rescued. She was missing some teeth. She couldn’t do stairs and I had to hand feed her because she didn’t know how to eat out of a bowl. If we tried to take her for a walk. She wouldn’t budge and would just lay down. 


Elizabeth is beyond thrilled that her daughter is taking such an active role in trying to educate people.

Everleigh is a special kid and mature for her age. While she doesn’t know all the details I thought she could handle knowing the truth about where Luna had come from. She wants to be a vet when she grows up and have her own rescue.


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