Investigating Puppy Mills
Each rescued dog has an appointment with a veterinarian, which is often the first medical care they've gotten in their lives. They also experience two more firsts—their first bath and first grooming. "[We] try to get them cleaned up because they smell really, really horrible," Bill says.
For some dogs, the medical care is urgent. Some have mammary tumors caused by years of nursing and overbreeding. Bill estimates that one cocker spaniel could have given birth to as many as 140 puppies.
Before they were rescued, many of these dogs spent their entire lives in wire cages and had trouble walking on the ground once they were out. Some had their vocal chords damaged by a pipe in order to keep them from barking. Others were completely filthy, with their coats overgrown and soaked in urine.