About Puppymill Rats
(click on picture for larger image)
They are housed in cages, often with wire bottoms (to make it easier to clean). This will cause a dog's feet to "break down". Their appearance is sort of smashed and flat looking. The cages are usually stacked one on top of the other, to fit more in to the space available. The waste of the dogs in the upper cages drops into the cages below. This is not only unsanitary, it can cause urine burns - sometimes damaging the eyes of the dogs in the lower cages. This is probably what happened to Mikey's eyes, one of which had to be removed after it ruptured.
The dogs are not handled except when moved them from place to place, and when their puppies are taken away - barely old enough to leave their mothers. Because of this lack of human interaction, most puppymill dogs are hesitant to allow themselves to be touched. They simply do not trust that they will be gently handled. If you choose to adopt a Rat from a puppymill, you will need to earn it's trust and love.
The puppies also miss the important lessons in dog behavior their mothers would teach them. They can sometimes play too rough for even big dogs to handle. They tend to bite too hard in play, and to be "out of control".
Another thing a mill Rat is not equipped to handle is a house. Most of them have never seen the inside of a house before coming into foster care, and see nothing wrong with peeing and pooing wherever they stand. Crates are no solution to this. We must begin as with a puppy, and show them where and when it is appropriate to relieve themselves. Our foster-moms will make every effort to housebreak their charges before allowing them to go to a new home.
Mill dogs often have health problems stemming from a life of neglect and poor food. They will lose many of their teeth during their first dental cleaning. Some, like Addison, lose all of their teeth, and have nothing to keep their tongue in their mouth! Another, life threatening side effect of tartar build-up on teeth over a long period is kidney disease.
Adopting a former mill-Rat can be hard work, but you will never regret it. These dogs can be every bit as good a companion as any other, and seem to understand that they have survived Hell on Earth.
If you have questions about any of our former mill-Rats, please do not hesitate to email us. We will be happy to answer your questions.
Dog Dreams video, "A State of Misery" about puppy mills.
More information on Puppymills:
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