When the BC SPCA seized 66 dogs from a Langley dog breeder in February, what they found was nothing short of traumatic.
Cruelty investigators said multiple animals had broken limbs and some were missing ears and eyes. Many suffered malnourishment and dental disease, as well as caked fur and severe matting from never being brushed or washed.
It wasn’t just health issues. With dogs packed into crates and stacked into dark and unheated buildings, they were unsocialized – the result being that many, especially the older animals, were petrified of human contact because of the isolation.
In short, they never knew love.
Flash forward several months and dozens of the seized dogs have been adopted into new, caring homes and are getting a second chance at life. The most fearful, however, remain in shelter.
Undergoing gentle conditioning, training and socialization, these “diamonds in the rough” have needed a little more time coming out of their shell.
That’s the case for the Portuguese Water Dog dubbed Marilyn Monroe, who the BC SPCA says was forced to produce “countless” litters over the past five years.
This lovely girl is a shelter favourite and considered a “sweetheart” but she needs a home that understands the unique challenges of living with a puppy mill survivor.
She is startled by sudden movements and sounds, and she’s very shy. But to those who get to know her, she is an angel, says Vancouver Branch Manager Charlotte Ellice.
“Marilyn is very sweet and affectionate once she is familiar with you and trusts you. She requires patience and time from an owner, someone who knows good things take time,” she tells Vancity Buzz.
The shelter is looking for a home that:
Marilyn has become good buddies with another puppy mill survivor named Ewok, so the shelter is looking for a home where she will have a friendly and social canine companion to keep her company – and comfort her.
“She’s been a doting mom time and time again, it’s now her turn to be spoiled and loved,” she says.
The shelter is now accepting email applications at [email protected]
It’s also giving out required reading for anyone submitting an application: a handout on the challenges of welcoming a puppy mill dog into your home.
Did you adopt one of the Langley 66 or Surrey 57 rescues from the BC SPCA? I’d love to hear from you and tell your adoption story. Write me at [email protected]