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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 edwards

I get flyers and see these video's and I'll betcha I have one of the best homes around for dogs such as these, but don't know how to adopt one. How???


ASPCA & many breed-specific rescue groups abound. There's probably an ASPCA in your town, in fact. And you can go on line to find out about any particular breed you might be interested in. BTW the same applies if you're interested in horses & other large animals.


k thanks


Debra, I adopted my Cavalier from she was a puppy mill rescue. HUA does a lot of puppy mill rescues and they will also do long distance adoptions. HUA is located in Nebraska and I live in Delaware. They are a good organization. Good luck you wont be sorry :-)


contact the ASPCA they should be able to provide you with the information you need. Most animal shelters in various areas should be able to assist you too.


I got my rescue Jack Russell from the local pound here in Woodbridge, VA. Here's a great dog, took some TLC because he was so nervous!


National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado, 888-495-DOGS, would be a good resource for you.


You can contact the ASPCA or the HSUS directly - they are the ones that usually do direct puppy mill rescue - or you can use to see adoptable animals in your area (you enter your zip code).
If you want to help further afield, charities such as Turkish Animal Group, Soi Dog (Thailand), or Nowzad Dogs rescue horrifically abused animals and try to find them loving homes anywhere in the world (usually North America, Europe, or Australia).


This option is not easy. I made several calls to ASPCA in 3 states trying to adopt one of these Jacks and it was impossible. I even offered to drive from Florida to Michigan to adopt one. No one seemed to be able to help. I believe this is an area of the ASPCA that needs some assistance. Many of us want to help out by adopting, but no one seems to know how to direct us.


Jennifer that is because it is the ASPCA and they are more about the donations. You should probably ask them what facilities these dogs were turned over to, as for 95% were probably euthanized. I use to donate to them,but having the same problem you did made me realize they are really not the Humane Society, now I donate to my local shelters only. These people do none of the work on rescues and your local shelter receives none of the donation money.