Submitted by Audrey T., Austin, TX
I regularly foster dogs and see firsthand the extensive, long-term medical problems borne by animals who weren’t treated as pets, but rather were used purely for their breeding ability. One such dog was Marty. The nine-year-old French Bulldog was sold on Craigslist, most likely by his breeder, to a family that couldn’t afford the care he needed. In January 2018 his owners surrendered him to a rescue organization, and I decided to foster him.
When I took Marty to his initial veterinary exam, I was shocked to learn of his extensive medical issues. He had splayed paws, was almost blind and had a serial number tattoo on his little, blond bat ear—all signs of the cruelty he had suffered for so many years. Marty was also in terrible pain from two abscesses in his mouth and severe spinal degeneration that left him struggling to walk. Through surgery and targeted laser therapy, Marty was able to regain some of his mobility, but he will continue to suffer the consequences of his puppy mill upbringing for the rest of his life.
Marty now lives with a family who gives him constant love and care. Unlike so many other pups, his story ended happily, and he will always hold a special place in my family’s heart.
Audrey works for the ASPCA’s Government Relations department.
Puppy mill operators care more about profits than puppies. They often do nothing to uphold the health and integrity of a breed, and usually couldn’t care less if their unethical techniques lead to the suffering of dogs or heartbreak of families.
All dogs deserve the good life—but as long as the secretive puppy-breeding industry continues to hide the truth, too many dogs will remain victims of its cruelty. Visit Barred From Love to find out how you can make a difference and stand up for dogs like Marty.