I adopted my first dog and actually a Pomeranian in 2009. I was newly married, bought a house and wanted a dog to complete the picture. I’ve been surrounded by dogs my whole life… all kinds, from mutts to small breeds and very large dogs. So the idea of having a dog as part of the family wasn’t really a stretch. My mother and my aunts (her sister’s) established and still run the Hillside SPCA in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Naturally this is where I turned when it was finally time to get a dog of my own. To tell you the truth, I had no real interest in Pomeranians, we had always had mutts growing up… and a mutt was what I thought I wanted. My mom said that a little shaved down Pom caught her eye and that I should check her out. Reluctantly I went over to see this scared little Pom… when I picked her up, there was no denying this was “my” dog… and home she went. Thank you mom… you have a great eye and know your daughter well.
I found out from my Mom that she had been one of a dozen dogs that had been rescued from the biggest puppy mill bust in Pennsylvania history. I’m into history but not really this type of history. All the dogs were transferred to Rescues all over the state and Hillside SPCA got her. She was about six and had spent her life as a breeding dog… and had seizures all the time, but was very resilient and amazingly, still loved people. She passed away very suddenly after only two years to pancreatic cancer. Puppy Mill dogs are often prone to developing rare cancers (I later learned) due to poor nutrition, extensive breeding without rest, high stress/anxiety and never seeing the outside of a pen.
I can’t even tell you how devastated I was that she was taken from me so quickly. It totally broke my heart in every way that her life was cut so short after having had so many horrible years before I found her. I decided that I needed to immediately rescue another Pom and that it had to be a Puppy Mill rescue in honor of Nessie. She had changed my life and inspired me to a greater calling to rescue and advocate against Puppy Mills… and instilled a love for Poms that I will carry the rest of my life. Thank you my tough little girl.
Francis came to me a month after his rescue from a puppy mill operating in Western Pennsylvania and was still skin and bones… it was horrific. Fran, as I call him… has all the classic Rescue Pomeranian problems (collapsing trachea, popping kneecaps, and slipped disc). I believe his back issues are from mistreatment at the puppy mill. It wasn’t a shock to also see that he had all the textbook, if there was one, signs of a Puppy Mill survivor… fear, anxiety and a need for love.
He was estimated to be about 2-3 at the time of his rescue but was one of the dogs chosen for the “trash can” because he was no longer useful to the Puppy Mill owners. So a “A Tail To Tell Puppy Mill Rescue” went in saved him from the trash can. One dog that wasn’t so lucky, was left to die in the back of his cage with a broken leg… after he was rescued the poor dog wound up passing away from bladder cancer… so sad.
It took us 4 months of love, nurturing and patience to finally get him to walk on a leash to go potty outdoors. He is still very fearful of strange people and places but has made so much progress since his adoption. Underneath all the Puppy Mill abuse he is still a very happy little boy. For the first few months I had him, I would open his crate door and he would not make eye contact and would wait awhile to come out. He is unrecognizable now from the dog he was… he runs around, plays with his toys, goes on walks, is housebroken, and even barks like a regular Pomeranin now… if there is a regular bark for a Pom. I have to tell you, Francis has done an awesome job at helping me mend my broken heart after Nessie’s passing.
For all the abuse that Francis has gone through, he is an awesome Pomeranian and has taught me so much about resiliency and surviving the worst. I ask that you help in my quest to shut down every Puppy Mill in the country, so no other dog or Pomeranian has to go through what my Nessie or Francis had to go through. Please don’t buy from Pet Stores and please seek to rescue a Puppy Mill Pomeranian.