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




Thank You ASPCA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Carol Weiler

God bless you all for the work you do for these preciouse animals, i have 6 rescue animals myself and they are my world i love them so much. These video's really break my heart i do not understand why humans would do this to god's gift's:(
God Bless you all..


I adopted a puppy mill mama about 3 months ago... she was VERY similar...She was almost 9 ( had her 9th birthday since then :) ) She shook & was terrified of people, would sleep in her own mess, wouldn't walk on a leash, & cowered at anyone who even looked at her! NOW, after just almost 3 months she is almost a fully happy dog, & she's spoiled rotten ;) ... she is still wary of new people, but follows me like a shadow! I never realized how horrifying it must be for the poor breeder dogs at puppy mills!!! I suggest EVERYONE adopts these angels in need, if you do, after a little patience & love, you will have a best friend for life!!!!


Thank you & God Bless you for all that you do to help these dog's !


Tears in my eyes.

Bruce Austin

Keep up the great work that you people do.I give to all animal causes when I'm able and let others give to the other charities.No dog at this time,but definitely would only adopt rescues and shelter dogs.Great work !!

Stacia Boots

Awesome resuce of all the puppy mill dogs. I am so glad you save them all and helped poor Zach. I am happy he is in a loving home. Keep up the good work. God Bless you all and all the animals you help.

Linda Conley

This is why I support the ASPCA. What a wonderful Organization.

Barbara J Frederick

Yay Zack! And another Yay for the ASPCA volunteers who helped him. This is SUCH important and valuable work. It's about who we are as humans.


We've rescued our wonderful dog, I made the mistake of buying a dog from a pet store.....HUGE mistake, we spent so much money on her and in the end had to put her down because of the inbreeding she had issues that couldn't be fixed. We were heartbroken.. We now have a great dog. DON'T GO TO PUPPY STORES!!!! no matter what they say, they lie.