150 Dogs Begin New Lives Following Puppy Mill Rescue

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Puppy mill rescue: 150 dogs saved by North Shore Animal League America and Best Friends Animal Society, as well as Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, and Noah's Ark Animal Welfare Association.

©Photo by Molly Wald -- Best Friends Animal Society: Kelli Ohrtmann & Cathy Scott with rescued dogs

We first must get the dogs feeling safe and comfortable in their new environment

- One hundred fifty cast-off puppy mill dogs from a number of Midwest states are safe today after being delivered to local rescue groups in the New York area. After thorough medical evaluations, much-needed grooming, and a lot of TLC, they eventually will be available for adoption through local rescue groups.

After a long, cross-country journey, they were delivered this morning to waiting groups here at North Shore Animal League America in Port Washington by Best Friends Animal Society, which arranged for the release and provided transport of the dogs. In addition to North Shore Animal League, three other animal welfare organizations--Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Wainscott, N.Y.; Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, East Hanover, N.J.; and Noah's Ark Animal Welfare Association, Ledgewood, N.J.--will provide homes for the dogs until they are adopted.

The rescued dogs included adults used for breeding, adolescents and puppies of various breeds, such as cocker spaniels, Yorkies, Maltese, poodles, Pomeranians, shih tzus, shelties and Jack Russell terriers. Dogs such as these are typically killed or sold at mill dog auctions for as little as 25 cents because they are considered unsalable. Instead, they will get a new chance for happy lives.
Joanne Yohannan, senior vice president of operations for North Shore Animal League America, said the rescued animals would be given time to settle in, and will be fed and hydrated after their long journey.

"We first must get the dogs feeling safe and comfortable in their new environment," Ms. Yohannan said. "Then our staff experts will begin the process of evaluating each animal. These dogs will experience the nurturing and warmth of human contact that they have been deprived of all their lives, which will prepare them for adoption into the loving homes they deserve.

"Rather than being needlessly killed because they were no longer wanted by their breeders, some beautiful dogs are about to begin a new and exciting phase of their lives," said Kelli Ohrtman, campaign specialist for Best Friends Animal Society, which funded the rescue of the dogs to the New York area through its "Pup My Ride" transportation program.

The rescue and transport of the dogs are part of Best Friends Animal Society's "Puppies Aren't Products" national campaign (puppiesarentproducts.com), which also targets the retail end of the puppy mill industry through informational demonstrations at New York puppy emporiums. Since 2008, the peaceful pet store demonstrations have caused some stores to only offer for sale pets that come from rescue groups and shelters.

"Puppy mill dogs comprise a significant percentage of the 4-5 million pets that die in American shelters annually", said Ohrtman. "The mission of Best Friends Animal Society is to bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets. It's what the public wants and the pet trade industry must change dramatically or it will become a relic of the past."

Ms. Yohannan said that the Animal League will announce later in the week when the animals will be available for adoption and advised interested individuals to visit the Animal League website, http://www.AnimalLeague.org for details.

"Once our staff experts have determined that the dogs are ready for adoption, we will be eager to find the perfect homes for each and every one of these wonderful dogs," said Ms. Yohannan.

Media contact information:
Devera Lynn
North Shore Animal League America
516-883-7633
516-474-5332

Dianne Zoppa
North Shore Animal League America
516-883-7636
516-232-5998

Temma Martin
Best Friends Animal Society
801-953-8876

John Polis
Best Friends Animal Society
435-644-2001 ext. 4858
435-817-2980

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