Last year, Mastiff Rescue of Florida (MRF) received reports of a suspected puppy mill for English Mastiffs. Research and investigation by MRF volunteers led to detailed reports to the county sheriff. He sent animal control and several officer visits resulted in closing of the puppy mill with all 15 dogs transferred to the local humane society.
According to officers, the breeding stock was chained to trees and fences. Most had no shelter. They had severe ear and skin infections and were flea and tick infested. Some had untreated wounds and many were malnourished.
At the shelter, the dogs were seen by a veterinarian, treated, medicated, bathed, flea dipped, neutered, temperament-tested and micro-chipped, 2 had to be euthanized as they were just too sick. Volunteers practiced socialization by talking to and sitting with the dogs. A MRF volunteer was called in to verify that the dogs were, indeed, English mastiffs, and another MRF volunteer wrote the press release that described the breed. Television stations aired footage filmed on-site, and the local newspaper covered the story. On adoption day, before the doors opened, potential forever-families lined up to meet with shelter staff and MRF volunteers who informed them about the breed and about possible issues because of the puppy mill.
Every dog found a home, and both MRF and the shelter worked with adopters and foster families to ease the transition to a normal life.
This was the first time we at MRF, participated from start to finish in closing a puppy mill and cooperating with a shelter in finding homes for the dogs. Unfortunately, we are often involved with puppy mills. Sometimes they discard the mastiffs they have maltreated and bred continuously with hereditary issues, and those dogs end up in high-kill shelters. We have saved so many. Sometimes we get the products of puppy mills’ poor breeding practices like the blind dogs we’ve recently agreed to care for the rest of their lives. We need your help to close puppy mills and save lives.
If you suspect a puppy mill is operating near you, gather and document whatever information you can, and seek assistance from your local animal control, write letters to you County Commissioners. The Humane Society of the United States also has investigators who work with local law enforcement to close puppy mills. Never buy a dog over the Internet. Always visit the facility, and make sure you see the whole facility, not just a few cute puppies. Read ads and if the same address or name appears regularly with puppies, take note, go visit, and ask to see the facility. Please go to our website, we have information there how to buy from a reputable breeder.
If you do nothing else, educate everyone you know about puppy mills. Puppy mill owners are cruel, out for the money and care nothing for the dog. They write enticing ads and sell cute puppies while their breeding stock is abused and neglected. You can make a difference. Please help.
Mastiff Rescue Staff