East End rescue group takes in 33 puppies
Thirty-three puppies, all outcasts from Midwest puppy mills, made their way to Wainscott Tuesday night as part of an ongoing rescue mission to save dogs deemed unsalable.
The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, known as ARF, was one of 13 rescue groups across the country to take 150 dogs as part of Utah's Best Friends Animal Society's cleverly titled program, "Pup My Ride." The program works with liaisons to the large breeding compounds to bring the dogs to the northeast for adoption.
Many of the dogs are purebreds, but do not rise to the standard of "salable" dogs, often because their breeds are no longer popular, said ARF operations director Michele Forrester, who picked up the dogs at a central New York City drop-off site. In some of the breeding places, the conditions are unsafe and unhealthy, she said.
"The conditions in the Midwest are horrific," Forrester said. "They live in wire cages too small for them, multiple dogs in one cage. There is a lack of food and veterinary care." The females are constantly bred, she said, leading to infections and tumors.
In one case that Forrester witnessed, the dogs were kept in barns with no air conditioning in the summer and no heat in the winter, with snow falling through cracks in the roof into the cages."Our goal is to educate the public and reduce the demand for puppy mill dogs," said ARF executive director Sara Davison in a news release. "By encouraging people to adopt from shelters instead of buying from pet stores, we can help break the cycle."
Some animal rights groups are challenging their local legislatures to ban puppy mills, such as in Missouri, where a law passed last year to ban them could now be overturned, according to local news reports.
The dogs being brought in to ARF will be treated by veterinarian Dr. Sarah Alward and neutered before they can be adopted.
Anyone wishing to adopt one of the dogs can go on the ARF website, arfhamptons.org, click on the adoption link, and fill out an application.