Video: Puppy Mill Survivor’s Amazing Transformation

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 3:45pm
puppy mill victim

Zack was one of about 150 Jack Russell Terriers and Shiba Inus we rescued from a Michigan puppy mill earlier this year. After rescue, he needed surgery on his eyes—but he also needed extensive behavior help.

ASPCA behavior expert Kristen Collins was at the rescue to help remove dogs from the property, and she noticed Zack right away. He shook violently as he crouched in terror, his eyes wide. When Collins approached his enclosure, he bolted for the broken crate that was his only shelter from the elements.

"He looked like the most fearful dog on the property," Collins remembers. She knew Zack's best hope was intensive treatment at our Rehab Center for puppy mill and hoarding survivors.

When Zack arrived at the Rehab Center, his behavior was no different than the first time Collins saw him quake with fear at her approach. He cowered in the back of his space, ears flat and body low. And yet—after a few days, though he remained skeptical about human touch, Zack began to tentatively wag his tail at the sight of familiar people.

Today, Zack has been adopted and is part of a loving family. We wanted to show you the amazing progress Zack made during his time with us—please watch his video below.

We also wanted to thank those of you who have given to the ASPCA. Zack’s recovery wouldn’t be possible without you. If you haven’t given recently, you can do so here to help other animals like Zack. Thank you!

Add new comment




I think your mixing them up with PETA. They have a very high kill rate, something like 98%


Yes, I have stopped anything to do with the RSPCA in UK because of these reasons, I now support local and volunteer organisations and no kill shelters like the Dogs trust.


how sad I would like to thank all the people that saved these poor dogs!


I know they are cute I cant even belive people would do this to these poor dogs


The bad thing is ASPCA will not let me have more than 4 dogs in residential home even though my home is large enough and have several rooms dedicated to dogs. Get secure yard and more. So I have adopt from recue centers who don't care how many dogs I have as long as they are all well taken care of. I have six dogs and room for one more but ASPCA I fear might want me to get rid of some of my dogs. Not happening. I would sell my home first. They need to change the rules for residential based on the ability of the home owner.


I heard the town or area you live in matters how many dogs you can have. Also the nuisance of barking they might create too. I have five and I train them the best to control barking at night mostly, but daytime they can go have fun. They are not crazy barkers and even daytime barking can both the neighbors too.So no one would even guess that I have five they are so quiet. Shelter adoptions do no question mostly but you do have to have all your dogs come meet the new dog at the shelter before the adoption is approved. Remember, you don't want to become a hoarder either and be able to provide more than food and water. For every dog added there is more strained attention time for all the other dogs. Love can be spread, but dogs will be begging for your attention, too many dogs and hard to be there for all of them. You only have one lap to share too.I make sure none of my dogs feels less loved than the others, but still they do crave YOUR undivided attention instead of shared attention.

Noelle G.


Many rescue groups are looking for good homes. ASPCA, Hope for Paws (check out the videos), your local shelter, Humane Society. Mill Dog Rescue (check out their videos). The list goes on and on! Please take a look at these groups on the internet and I am sure that you can make an animals dream of a forever home come true! Keep us posted.

Paul Y

In Colorado there is, they could help with this also, or google puppy mill rescue dogs for adoption and add your state !

Rae Xi

Debra, it's amazingly easy. Most townships and cities have at least one or two shelters. Just look one up, visit, and fall in love with a cute dog or puppy! When you adopt from a shelter, you're helping the shelter and saving a life.

Rescue mom

Search on the adoption link thru ASPCA website. Don,t take locale too seriously my last came up from down south. He was heartworm positive and his foster mom in upstate NY who picked him up finished the treatment for me so bringing him into our home was perfect. there's many angels out there saving and rehabilitating animals for a fit in a forever home.