Dogs rescued from Missouri puppy mills treated at Richmond SPCA

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - More than a dozen dogs rescued from two Missouri puppy mills are getting some much needed medical attention right here in Richmond.

We're told each has a great chance at recovery, but it's going to take some time. All have dental disease, some are underweight and one has a leg injury.

Don't let the fluffy coat fool you, one dog is skin and bones underneath all its fur. It's one of nearly 80 small pure breeds rescued from two Missouri puppy mills.

16 are being treated at the Richmond SPCA for various health problems, including an American Eskimo with a leg injury.

"There are a number of them that have terrible dental problems and many teeth missing," said Richmond SPCA CEO, Robin Starr.

The unidentified breeders shut down operations and surrendered the dogs to the Humane Society of The United States when their licenses weren't renewed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

"Missouri has long been the worst offender state for puppy mills. 30% of U.S. puppy mills are found in Missouri," said Starr.

Starr said a new Missouri law, that takes effect in November, will require puppy mills to give dogs reasonable veterinary care, decent food, human contact and time outside their tiny cages. Starr said breeders who can't meet those standards are now closing.

This is a big change in living conditions for the dogs. They've never had soft bedding before and lived in much smaller cages with wire flooring.

"When they have had lives of immense deprivation like these dogs have it can take a while to get them socialized to people and sometimes they remain timid and fearful for the rest of their lives," said Starr.

The dogs will be put up for adoption as soon as they're healthy.

If you're interested in one of them, you can put your name on a wish list. Just go to the Richmond SPCA and talk to adoption staff.

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