Sunday, December 12, 2010

Earl's Story

I got my beautiful purebred Basset Hound Earl from an animal rescue group when he was eight weeks old.  He is proof that you can get a purebred from rescue and that you can get an adorable puppy from rescue as well.  Finding a purebred puppy can be challenging, but they show up in rescues quite often because people buy puppies on a whim.  After they've had their fluffball for a few months and realize how much work training a puppy is, they dump their puppy as disposable.  Rescue groups are quick to scoop them up, but they go fast.  It takes patience, but it's possible to find a purebred puppy from rescue.

Earl came into rescue when many dogs were confiscated from an unlicensed puppy mill.  We drove up to a ranch that was fostering the two Basset Hound litters and a litter of French Bulldogs.  We had our pick from the pile of Basset puppies, and it was so hard to take home just one. 

The rescue took Earl when he was just five weeks old.  His dad Rouge was adopted almost immediately, but Earl's mom wasn't saved from the mill.  I think of her often and wish she had had the opportunity to get out of there too.  I think of her sitting in a tiny cage, cold and alone, afraid of the world and it's hard not to cry.  I remind myself that those horrible backyard breeders, took a significant loss when they were raided.  I am glad that all those dollar signs (puppies) they had been counting on, were taken away from them.  It feels twice as good knowing that my adopting Earl meant those breeders not only lost profit but lost their investment as well, and that the rescue group was able to take in some additional funds to help with all the other dogs in need of care.

When I got Earl, he was infested with fleas.  His belly was bloated and filled with worms.  He had spent the first five weeks of his life in a cage, which I hope he has long forgotten.  After pampering him and treating him for the worms and fleas, I made sure Earl got all of his shots and that he was neutered.  Approximately 500,000 puppies are born in puppy mills every year.  Many pets are abandoned and are living on death row in shelters across the country.  Even though Earl is adorable and would make beautiful puppies, I knew I had to get him neutered.  Many reputable breeders, selectively breed to maintain breed standards, so I know quality Bassets are always on their way.  I did the responsible thing to do, and I hope others can take that path as well and leave the breeding to those qualified to do so.

Earl turned two last month and is very happy living with me, my boyfriend, and our other Basset Hound Duke.  Every day I am thankful, that he was confiscated from that mill because he avoided the auction.  He made it!  He wasn't sold to a research facility or another mill.  He wasn't shipped in a tractor trailer cross country to a pet store to sit in another cage until someone took him home on a whim.  He has a forever home and will never bounce around from family to shelter to family and back.  Earl was very very lucky.  He is a success story.

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