Quivering all over, a dirty yellow and white puppy with a large potbelly whimpers as a veterinarian injects it with saline fluids. The puppy is severely dehydrated and disoriented, unable to stand up on its own.
Chancho, as the veterinarians name him because of his pig-like round belly, initially had a grave prognosis. Found wandering along the street, and visibly weak with parasites and tremors, he did not have long to live.
The puppy spends the night on intravenous fluids and medication. When the veterinarians return the next morning, his condition has improved. By the following day, they are confident he will survive.
Last January investigators in Mount Vernon raided one of the largest puppy mill operations in state history. They found close to 400 animals. Many of the dogs were sick, in filthy cages, and had insufficient food and water. Days later a similar raid in Snohomish County of a site linked to the Mount Vernon business revealed another 200 animals.
Puppy mills are large-scale dog breeding operations where dogs may be denied their basic needs including proper medical care, sanitary living conditions, and adequate shelter and exercise. The businesses, which sell puppies to individuals as well as to pet stores, can be multi-million dollar operations. This … » More …