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March 19, 2010

Puppy mill dogs rescued Thursday

OSKALOOSA — Thursday afternoon, the Stephens Memorial Animal Shelter received delivery of eight dogs that were part of a more than 300-dog puppy mill operation in North Central Iowa.

Gabby Evans, manager of the local shelter, agreed to help without hesitation despite the shelter’s overcrowded status.

According to Evans, it was fortunate for these animals that the owner of this puppy mill chose to close the operation and surrendered them to the Animal Rescue League rather than sell them to other puppy mills, as most do. She said these animals were in pretty good shape considering the lifestyle they had been made to live. Judging by their splayed feet — wide-spread toes — these animals were made to live in small, wire-bottom cages used for breeding — most of them for over 4 years.

“People go out and spend hundreds of dollars for a cute little puppy,” said Evans. “This is what their parents look like.”

What is next for these animals?

One was off to the vet for immediate treatment of injuries, some were scheduled to see the groomer, but all were placed in a safe, warm place with plenty of well-needed food and water.

The shelter’s work is never done; during the time of this interview, four other local animals were also brought into the shelter. The shelter is extremely full and needs assistance from the community; many of their other animals are ready for adoption now.

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