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!

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Debra.....if you look at the top of the page....there is a tab which states "Adopt." Click on that with your mouse and it will show you, as you scroll a little bit down, an area where it states, "How to adopt from ASPCA." There is a picture of a lady laying down on the grass with a dog. Follow whatever steps they have. You can even click on this link for adoptable dogs in your area. .....This is the best option for you as it is in your local area. The dogs in your area need homes just as badly as these pupsters. Don't go after these dogs just because they are pure breds(supposedly). All dogs need love no matter what breed they are. I pray you are not adopting to breed because that would be wrong.


Look on the internet for rescue shelters in your area. Call them and ask if they have dogs rescued from puppy mills or could suggest one that does. Most shelters get dogs that are taken in by animal control and other larger shelters that are overwhelmed with a puppy mill rescue since there are so many dogs rescued that they offer them to other shelters to find homes for. I have five dogs, some are from a puppy mill and some are just unfortunate dogs who ended up in another shelter that was overcrowded or animal control. Some come with a background story and some do not. Age is guessed by teeth, temperment is seen by how they acted in this present shelter or possibly the one before too.Not always.Rescue dogs can be a surprise package with "issues" so don't expect it to be a perfect dog right away.Good luck hope you find one just right for you or the dog picks you out too.

Greg Lara

Wonderful! I'm so grateful for the work you do.


THIS should be your new ad campaign!! Uplifting stories that make people want to run out and adopt a survivor!!! Good job.


What a wonderful transformation! It proves that dogs are great and so are the people who love them!!!!

C. Festa

Amazing. You do such good work. I've been donating to th ASPCA for years now. And I want to give you all a big hug for the wonderful work you do.



Thank you ASPCA for saving Zack and ALL the others in the country.

All mills (Cats and Dogs) should be burned to the ground, after the animals are rescued, of course.


I Love you guys..Love what you do to help these beautiful animals..they desserve to have a place to sleep out of the cold, heat, etc..they desserve to have food to eat..they desserve to have

you guys are wonderful and I love donating to your cause in helping all these animals..

Zack you desserve a wonderful life! Love You Guys!


i love this - what a great story to see when so much bad in the world - thank you so much for what you do for these animals!!!


You are wrong. People are very, very scary or there would not be puppy mills in the first place. God bless the ASPCA