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February 04, 2011

Talk Back: Helping Hands for Dogs

Puppy mill rescue
Kathy Milani/The HSUS

Missouri lawmakers are still threatening to gut Prop B — a blatant subversion of democratic decision-making, given that voters approved the measure just three months ago and it has not even taken effect yet. The HSUS rescue of nearly 100 puppy mill dogs in Tennessee who were living in filthy cages in the bitter cold is a reminder to all of us that so many people in this industry have so little regard for dogs. We find these scenes all over the nation, and especially in Missouri. 

Our animal rescue team is still on the ground in Tennessee, caring for the animals with help from United Animal Nations. Take a look at this video report from Nashville’s FOX station to see how the dogs are doing at our temporary shelter.

So many readers expressed such relief about these dogs, and here are a couple of your comments.

Thank God for HSUS and the other animal organizations that try to help these little innocents. Puppy mills just make me sick, not only because of their treatment of the dogs, but because of their contribution to the overpopulation problem. They don't care, they just care about the almighty dollar.  —Marjorie

Thank you HSUS for saving these sweet pups in Tennessee from what has been a life of hell! I am soooo grateful for all that you do for all these innocent animals. Sometimes it is difficult to believe that there are actually people in the United States that believe treating such helpless creatures like this is acceptable. —Kim

Several of you also replied to my post about prison dog programs where inmates care for homeless dogs until the animals are adopted. A few days after I wrote about these programs, the Washington Post featured another great story about a nonprofit organization that pairs service dogs with people with disabilities — with inmates at prisons in West Virginia and Georgia training many of the dogs. And former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell recently said he hopes to create a network of prison dog programs in the state.

You shared your appreciation for programs like these that give people and dogs a second chance:

My brother-in-law is incarcerated in Kentucky and he has had numerous dogs through their program. He loves those dogs so much — it's hard when they get adopted but it's also very rewarding and has helped him a great deal. —Heather

I do believe this is one of the best ideas so far. It helps our forgotten dogs and gives inmates a new career if they want.  —Linda

This is heartwarming and an extraordinary way to mend broken hearts and souls. —Paula

Dogs enrich our lives so much, giving us companionship and emotional comfort. In the broadest sense, the least we can do is stop overcrowding, mistreating and freezing them on puppy mills. The events in Missouri and Tennessee remind us of how much is at stake.

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