Just thought I'd tell you a bit more about the Havelock (Peterborough area) "puppy mill". There were somewhere around 50 dogs living inside the house, and there was not a scrap of feces nor a drop of urine, anywhere. That was what the dogs fed themselves on.
A number of the dogs have been placed in animal shelters in southern Ontario. Several of them made their way to the Hamilton SPCA, which was already filled to capacity. There was one gorgeous golden retriever, her skin stretched tight across her ribs, her waist just a few inches in diameter and her hip bones jutting out, who still found the energy to wag her tail, and lick your hand.
A 2 year old black Lab cross (who knows with what) called Snow weighed about 15 pounds and looked like a puppy. Not house trained, and, according to the staff at the Hamilton SPCA, when we took her for a walk yesterday, it may have been the first time she'd ever been taken for a walk.
She took to it, and to us, like a duck to water. We took her home.
She curled up on my son's lap last night, and, finally warm and safe, she fought sleep...almost as if she was afraid that if she did, the dream would be over, and she'd wake up back in Havelock.
We took her to a Pet Cetera in Missisauga this morning, looking for a groomer, but theirs was not working today. They let us use their facilities, though, and although she wasn't that crazy about being washed, we eventually got the job done with help from the manager. Now she smells like a dog should! Kudos should go to the store, as they were incredibly helpful, the manager having had several "rescue dogs" of her own over the years.
Snow, now re-christened Rosie, walked out of the store with a dog coat on, which she'll need to keep out the cold until we can get some meat on her bones. She'll be getting 5 small meals a day, and we're hopefull that she'll become a medium size dog eventually. She'll always be small for a Lab, we suspect, although perhaps as she gains weight, she'll go through the equivalent of puberty. At two years of age, she looks like a puppy, and I'm wondering if she's ever gone into heat.
At the moment, my son is taking her outside for a walk (which we do every could of hours), where she gets a treat and praise if she goes "puddles". She can also have a few bites to eat of a high quality puppy food (and some shredded cheese!).
Anyway, if you're looking for a dog, there are some incredible animals that have come from that Hell in Havelock, and with a little bit of love in the last 24 hours, we can tell that Rosie will be a wonderful pet. I think we're very lucky to have each other.
Oh, and that golden retriever? The last we saw of her was when we were in our van, in the parking lot of the Hamilton SPCA. A family had her on a leash and were taking her for possibly her first walk, too. Her tail was wagging, and the family were all smiles. It looked like her nightmare was about to end, too.