Making A Difference in Puppy-Mills
It has been almost twenty years since I first laid eyes on her sweet face. I was in my senior semester of my veterinary technician program and we had been assigned a feline and a canine to “work up.” This meant ensuring that these animals got the proper medical care, nutrition, and love that they would need to be healthy and ready for adoption at the end of the semester.
My lab partner and were assigned canine number fifteen. As we walked down the kennel aisle I saw many sad and scared little faces. It was no wonder because these dogs were obtained at a USDA auction. At the time I was not familiar with what that meant exactly, but I continued on down that aisle anxious to see what kind of dog I was assigned too. She was an overweight, short haired, tri-colored, brown-eyed Australian Cattle dog. I named her “Edie” and she was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen or as my mom said, “Unique looking dog.”
I later learned more about the USDA auctions. During a USDA auction a wide variety of animals and livestock are auctioned off to a variety of buyers. The auction Edie came from happened to be a “puppy-mill auction.” These dogs were auctioned off to research labs, educational facilities, and/or back to other puppy-mills. After finding out what a horrid place my sweet and now loving companion came from I was destined to help spread the word of these horrifying places and determined to help these dogs.
At the end of the semester I adopted Edie and throughout the next 10 years Edie went everywhere with me; the boundary waters camping, fishing (she loved to eat the minnows right out the bucket), and moved stated to state with me. She slept with me; even though she gave me poison ivy once, comforted me when I needed a friend, and made me laugh, but best of all her love and loyalty inspired me.
Edie became my inspiration for donating my time, skills, and money to help animal rescue organizations, to foster animals when I could, and always help animals in need find loving ‘forever’ homes. Currently, my house is filled with 4 rescued dogs and 5 rescued cats all which have found their forever home with us. Although, Edie has passed I continue to volunteer my time and help animals who need a voice continue to have one. I thank Edie for making me the type of person I am today; it’s amazing what an animal can do for you when they have touched your soul.