Transportation tales: Anxiety

Transportation for the Puppy Mill Rescue Team can be scary. Not only for the dogs but also for the wonderful volunteers who are driving. When saving puppy mill dogs, the team goes to different places including vet offices and puppy mills

We have decided to start a series to share stores of what happens behind the scenes during a rescue mission.

Below is a story from volunteer Marybeth M., who experienced going into a puppy mill for the first time a few weeks ago.

On her way to freedom.

STOP #1: ANXIETY. As Jeanette and I pulled up to the first mill we felt sick. We were afraid. Afraid for ourselves (mentally) and afraid for the dogs we would see that we could not save. We have to “play nice” with the millers so that they continue to allow us to take their discarded dogs, because the alternative for these dogs is surely death. 

These mills are at the Amish miller’s homes. We pulled in. We both looked at each other. There’s no way we are at the right place. This house looked like it belonged on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing. Very modern, best of the best for finishings. We were in the bus just confused. It was 7:00am and no one was around. I got out of the bus and that’s when I knew we were in the right place. The barking. I could hear dogs barking and my heart immediately sank into my butt. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to run away. I wanted to find these fucking people and let them know what I and many others think of them. I knocked again. A teenage girl answered the door. We were there for a newfiedoodle puppy. I didn’t want to go into the mill/barn. I didn’t want to lock eyes with any dogs we couldn’t take with us. I told the girl “We’ll just wait out here.” She went into the barn area for about 20 minutes which felt like a lifetime. 

She came out and said “Well, she won’t come out, so..” Jeanette and I looked at each other like “shit.” So I asked her to allow us in to get her and she obliged. The puppy was in the barn alone with the horses. She was TERRIFIED. The mats on her were awful and the white parts of her were dark yellow from living in her own urine. She was huge and about 100 lbs. After climbing into the small wooden box she had retreated to, we managed to get her out and carried her into the bus. We put her into a crate with a blanket and some water. We said goodbye to the teenage girl, faking nice of course: “Thank you so much! Let us know if you ever have anyone else we could help with!” She was probably confused as we said “anyone” and they clearly see these dogs as nothing but a money making machine.

SADNESS. As we leave, we see the others out back who are forced to live outside. The Newfies and poodles who can’t come with us. We lock eyes. They bark at us and stand up as if they’re begging for us to take them. As we pull out, Jeanette and I are silent. We start heading to the next mill. I feel a sense of relief? Where did this come from? I tell Jeanette. She says “OMG ME TOO!” It was game time motherfuckers. After that first pick up, the anxiety was gone. Let’s save these dogs and get them the hell out of here!

All cleaned up and adjusting to life as a loved pet.

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