Adoptable Sami is dreaming that she will be in a home for Christmas. For a dog who until recently lived her entire life in a puppy mill our wish is to make that dream come true.
Sami was a breeding dog for seven years and her body bears the marks to prove it. Puppy mill mamas live a hard life of neglect and sadness. Never knowing what it was like to be part of a family her story could have ended there, just like the thousands of forgotten dogs like her that are the dirty little secret behind the cute pet store puppies, but through a stroke of luck Sami finally got her first break.
At seven, Sami’s usefulness as a breeding dog was coming to end and she found herself dumped at a shelter. This actually was not her lucky break because in a crowded rural shelter her days would be numbered. Her break came when she was chosen for a transport coming up north to the West Suburban Humane Society. We often take in dogs from rural shelters where there is little chance of them being adopted and wonderful rescue road warriors run weekly transports to get these dogs to urban shelters where they get a chance at a new life.
For dogs that have lived in a home, coming into the shelter system can be a difficult adjustment. But for a dog like Sami, she already feels like she hit the jackpot. It is amazing to see her immense pleasure in simple things that most family pets take for granted -- like a warm place to sleep, regular meals, soft praise and gentle pets. Her joy at snuggling into a warm soft bed (probably the first she has ever known) can bring a tear to even a seasoned rescuers eye.
Even though Sami already thinks she has somehow made it to the good life, we know that there is so much more in store for her. So much more! Somehow her years in the mill did not break her spirit and although this new big world that she never even knew existed can be a bit scary at first, we see a gentle and sweet soul starting to shine through. After all, Sami is part of that elite species of resilient and forgiving beings we fondly call dogs. She has been through the worst and has come out a survivor.
Sadly, with over 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. Sami’s history is all too common. The best way that we can help prevent this type of suffering is by spreading the word. To puppy millers, dogs are a revenue stream and nothing more. The majority of puppies bred in mills either end up in pet stores or are sold on the Internet. There are still many unsuspecting consumers who either don’t know or don’t believe the sordid truth behind the cute puppy in the window. The way that we can help to stop this shameful practice is by cutting off the revenue source. Just think, if no-one bought pet store puppies, the industry would dry up.
Our dream is that one day there will be no more puppy mills. But for now, what a blessing it would be (one could say, a Christmas miracle) if Sami found a home for the holidays. After all, Christmas is the season for miracles and Sami’s angel could be just around the corner. Perhaps it is you?