Pet Shop Momma and Poppas speak out! \

Read their stories and find out why we should all avoid purchasing from petstores!  All stories here are reprinted with permission from their rescue partners!   

These are the dogs behind those cute faces in the windows!  Don't Buy from Pet Shops!


Amelia's Story

In April of this year, Kim Townsend (NoPuppymills) rescued five dogs from Don Foster's illegal dog auction in Missouri.   One of them was a 9 1/2 year-old Italian Greyhound brood bitch who had already been sold among three different mills in 1999 (when she did not come back in season, she was sold on down the line). She can be seen bottom right at: as she looked the day after her liberation.

With transport help from Wendy Cook, Nashville Shar-Pei Rescue, Kim sent her to me at Addie's Safehouse in Memphis.  She had no name. I called her "Amelia".

Amelia had only her upper canines left, the rest of her teeth having rotted out "naturally" through the years, along with her gums and a good bit of her underjaw. She was in the worst condition of any mill IG we have taken so far. For several weeks I feared she would not pull through. The first few weeks I went to bed several nights with the sad surety that I should take her in the next morning to be put down. But we waited.

In addition to her very debilitated condition, Amelia was deaf and had seizures. What a frightening life she must have had.   Even now, when she is startled, it can throw her into a mild seizure. After five weeks, we finally risked light anesthesia to remove her last two teeth and pop one of her many mammary tumors for biopsy. It was early stage mixed-malignant but her chest X-ray was clear and bloodwork was good. She was loving her canned food, getting a spring in her step and a wag in her tail. So we waited. I remember asking God to let Amelia please have six good months and I would be happy - even in her condition it would be the best six months of her life.

But Amelia was a real trooper, a tail wagger, gained 2 1/2 pounds and discovered that fuzzy toys are for flipping in the air.  She was a sweet, gentle girl and loved to be held though I still thought she would have to live out her life here. Not many people would want to adopt a girl like Amelia.

Then a miracle happened !!! Helane Graustak in MA asked to adopt Amelia. Helane is active in Greyhound rescue and has two Italian Greyhounds of her own - and a heart as big as all the world !!!

So on Sunday afternoon, I tearfully handed my sweet Amelia over to Dana King and his son Andy - WONDERFUL greyhound rescue folks who were driving back home to New York. And they lovingly carried my baby home.

Amelia is with her adoring mom now. I have no doubt that she will be dearly loved (and spoiled rotten <G>) for the rest of her life.  She already has her own web page. Take a look at Amelia at:  

I want to thank EVERYBODY (Kim, Wendy, Dana, Sue, Andy, and Helane) who cared enough to DO something to help this little Italian Greyhound girl who never got a break in life - until now !!!

I love you, Amelia. Live happy and live long !!!


Hope & Susie

Hope & Susie were purchased at a puppy mill auction in Carthage Missouri in May of 1999. Hope was 6 years old and was purchased for $25...Susie was 9 and cost $5. There was also a 12 week old pup with an unretracted penis which went for $35. The pup, named Ike, was immediately taken to a vet for what must have been a very uncomfortable condition. He is now living happily in Virginia.

Hope, the girl with the ruptured saliva gland was adopted to a loving family in Oklahoma. Susie, the older girl is with me. She will not allow herself to be touched but if relatively friendly otherwise. She weighed only 7.5 pounds when I got her and is now at a proper weight of 10.5 which is a 40% weight increase. She was extremely thin and dehydrated, missing a good deal of her hair, has terrible scars and now has only a few teeth left. Her tail was little more than a bare bone and is bent sideways from a bad break. Her hair will not grow back but the bare spots have fuzzed over a bit.

Following is a description of the two girls from the gal who purchased them from the auction:  I took the girls to the vet the one with the swelling under her jaw has had a ruptured salvitory gland at one time or another no way to tell which side, there is just clear fluid in it and he says he can take out the gland on one side but if it is the wrong one she is down to one bad one is not hurting her or her health it is just cosmetically not attractive his advise to leave as is...her weight is good she has been bitten by something at sometime she has a puncture wound healed over on her back and two small hernias which he would fix when she got spayed.  the other girl does have cancer but the growth (big one) will be easy to remove as it does not seem attached strongly she has two other small nodules that will need to come off as well...he palpated her abdomen and felt no growths inside but he would check when he spayed her and remove all he found he says this is good news that he did not feel anything inside... she has also had a broken jaw at one time also..and will lose most of her teeth...but eyes , lungs and heart sound good......I got her for 5.00 do you think she would be viable? He says she otherwise she is in fairly good shape... what do you think??? both eat well and with a little work will be nice dogs.


Skyy's Story

I have Skyy. He was one of the Joplin 5 rescues, from last September. Skyy was in such bad shape that when Esther Ryan picked him up from the shelter she wasn't sure if he would make it on the trip back to her vets. Esther must have known what she was doing when she sent him to me to foster, for now he will never leave.

I do not know the horror this little guy could have suffered, nor do I want to, but unfortuanantly I can imagine. I belive that Skyy was at Esther's for about 2 -3 weeks before a freind of mine met her at a dog show & brought him back to me.

On a rather cool night in September I picked him up & brought him to my home. I open the crate door and was not expecting what I saw. A very scared little Iggy, no teeth (it was dental infection that almost took his life), his tongue hanging out and the most frightened look in his eyes I have ever seen. It was the eyes I will always remember, no shine, no brillance, just cold, empty, frightened stare. I pulled Skyy from the crate, and what emerged was a very thin, frail gray dog. Much gray around the face and over the legs. Small tumors across his back and a larger one on a knee.

The first words out of my husbands mouth was "my God, why did they not just shoot him!". He was the most pitiful thing he had ever seen.

Skyy was so frightened of people that he would always bolt through the dog-door whenever there was a noise or a movement. In zero degree weather I would have the go get him out of the dog building in the back yard and close the dog door so he wouldn't stay out and freeze to death. He did immeadatly get along with all the other dogs here, I think that is what has helped him transition so well, that and constant liver & chicken from my husband.

There are things I remember that happened, that must have been like a rush of memory to him. Once my husband went to pick up the water hose an spray one of the other dogs for barking, this was also the first time Skyy had sat in my lap and began to relax. Well when Larry picked up the hose I thought it was over for poor Skyy, he fought to escape my lap and bolted for the dog building, that was always his "safe haven". Needless to say we didn't pick up the hose again for a long time! All my fall flowers suffered for this, but that was OK.

Now after almost a year he will drive you crazy if you have any type of food in your possesion! He will try and bite your hand to play, which is really funny. He sleeps in his bed in the laundry room with the others. In the morning he does like to come jump on the bed to see what is going on. He does not like to sleep there though. He seems to like to be cuddled at times, and when he is in one of those rare moods to be scrathced, he will paw at you like a "normal" dog for more if you stop.

His few outings have been to a Rescue parade done at a fun match by the local kennel club and he went to "Relay for Life" that is a benifit for The Amercian Canacer Society. He has become my local "spokes dog" against puppymills. He doesn't mind being touched by strangers when we are out and because his tongue hangs out so long everyone notices him. Thus a wonderful beginning to converse and educate the public on rescues and puppymills.

What began as a foster home for a boy that never knew love and affection has become a permanant home, and now for the man who thought he should have been "shot" , well when he hears me talk to a potential adoptive parent and I talk about"The Skyy Man", he is quick to remind me, he is "HOME"

The really sad part to this story, is there are so many more out there that are in the same boat. Not only Iggy's, which is where our love lies, but every other breed known to man. We have got to get the public educated about puppymills & BYB. I know that for some people it doesn't matter where they get there puppy. I work with many educated people who come to me for "dog" advice, some take it others don't. Many think if I can buy this puppy from a BYB for 200.00 why should I go to a reputable breeder and pay more. I understand that, but I also know what goes into the lively hood of a reputable breeders bloodline. It has taken years to educate my own immedate family, much less friends and aquaintances.

Melinda Ward

Italian Greyhound Rescue of Arkansas

enclosed is a pict of Skyy & myself at Relay for Life

Do you have a story to ad?  Please do!   Let's get the word out!

PLEASE DON'T buy dogs from Pet Shops!   These dogs behind the scene of that petshop are suffering.