Life-Long Health Issues for Pug Rescued from Puppy Mill

March 1, 2022

Toy the pug

Submitted by Constance W., Fair Haven, MI

We adopted our dog Toy from a Pug rescue group when she was five years old. She was one of 26 Pugs rescued on Independence Day in 2016. Toy lived in a wire cage and was bred time and time again, and she did not receive any veterinary care.

Toy has skin issues and calloused, webbed feet from standing on wire flooring her entire life, and she has permanent back and hip arthritis. She is now receiving cold laser therapy to help with the pain.

But those aren’t all of Toy’s health issues resulting from not receiving the veterinary care she needed while she was in the puppy mill. She also has a collapsed trachea which was not addressed at the time, and she has severe glaucoma. When she didn’t respond to medication, the veterinary ophthalmologist recommended removal of both eyes so she wouldn’t have to go through pain, discomfort, and yet another surgery again.

Toy’s suffering may seem like a tragic exception, but it is all too common for most breeding dogs kept in commercial facilities. Even in puppy mills licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, standards of care are notoriously low. Current federal regulations are so weak, and enforcement is so poor that breeders can keep dogs constantly caged and deny access to regular exercise, socialization and even adequate vet care. The truth is most breeding females do not end up in a loving home once their bodies give out. Their puppies are also prone to a host of lifelong, expensive medical and behavioral problems.

Puppy mill operators care more about profits than dogs. 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. Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to find out how you can make a difference and stand up for puppy mill victims like Toy.