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51 Maltese Dogs Abandoned on a Country Road in Texas

A puppy mill operator's cowardly act nearly cost dozens of dogs their lives. Rescue is under way.

 |  Nov 14th 2012  |   16 Contributions


Police in Flower Mound, TX, received a call last month that "a large number of small dogs" were running loose beside a country road. Animal service officers were sent out, and they captured the dogs.

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Fifty-one dogs, to be precise. All of them Maltese. They were in terrible hygienic condition, with "severely matted hair," and all were in poor health, with "issues ranging from staph infections to broken bones to cancer," according to Star Local News.

A video released later detailed those injuries, which included such horrors as a dislocated jaw, mammary tumors, tooth decay from eating urine-soaked food, a broken and dead tail, cauliflower ears, a deformed leg, nails grown into pads of their feet, and so on. The level of neglect surprised even veteran rescuers, according to the video. 

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Who would dump 51 ailing and neglected Maltese? There's only one theory: a puppy mill operator. Though there is no specific breeder in mind, police suspect the dogs were abandoned due to a new Texas law requiring minimum care standards, inspection, and licensing of commercial breeders. There's a $6,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Thanks to the efforts of Flower Mound Animal Services, who rescued the dogs with police, all of the dogs were placed in local rescue groups.

"It is always gratifying to see how the rescue community pulls together in these situations," said Stacy Smith of Flower Mound Animal Services. "It would have been difficult for any one group to provide the level of care and attention that these dogs required."

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Smith said that nearly every dog needed extensive medical treatment, and most suffered from anxiety and fear issues. 

"The organizations who took these dogs on committed to a great deal of expense and rehabilitation," Smith said. "These are not dogs that were ready to be adopted out immediately. They needed a lot of work."

The rescue groups did that work, however, and yesterday Flower Mound Animal Services was happy to report that many of the Maltese have already been adopted. Others are still rehabilitating in foster homes. One Maltese, Audrey, gave birth the day she was rescued. Her puppies will never know the horrors of the puppy mill.

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Smith wants people to think about these dogs when they consider buying a puppy from a store.

"These dogs spent their lives as the mothers and fathers of puppies you purchase in pet stores, online, or at trade days," she said. "They live their entire lives in filthy cages. A puppy purchased from one of those sources supports the puppy mill industry and this kind of cruelty. If you want to make sure you aren't contributing to it, adopt your next pet from a shelter."

We couldn't agree more.

Via Star Local News

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