The pet shop owner walked into the veterinarian's office with a Chihuahua puppy in his hands. He unceremoniously dumped the dog in the receptionist's hands and asked that the puppy be euthanized. Then he walked out of the building and never looked back. Confused and scared, the puppy shook in the receptionist's arms.
Dimitra Molossi, co-founder of Social Tees Animal Rescue, was sitting in the waiting room with her dog and saw the whole exchange as it happened. “He told her that the dog was defective and he wanted her to be put to sleep,” Molossi said. “The receptionist said he was the owner of a pet store nearby and nobody was buying her. Apparently he’s dumped animals with them before.”
The puppy suffered from injuries typical of a dog born into a puppy mill: she had a slightly bent front leg and experienced some difficulty walking. Additionally, her two back legs were bent from a bacterial infection that she had and from a complete lack of exercise.
Some pet stores purchase their dogs from puppy mills, commercial breeding facilities that excessively breed dogs and place a focus on profit rather than the dogs' health and well-being. Many dogs in puppy mills, like this Chihuahua, never see a veterinarian for important vaccinations and are kept in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions. Often these dogs are stuffed into cages and never get the chance to move around or walk outside.
The veterinarian refused to euthanize the puppy and Molossi, who was there at the right place and the right time, called her contacts to arrange an immediate foster home. They named the puppy Clover, and she was soon on her way to a loving foster mom along with antibiotics and a round of vaccinations. “She’s not in any pain now and is already starting to walk better,” Molossi said. “She was so smelly — you could tell nobody paid attention to her.”
Dogs like Clover bring much-needed attention to the plight of dogs in puppy mills. Many never exit the small cages they are kept in, and some dogs never even see the sunlight. Molossi hopes that these days are behind Clover. “She is just a baby — so hopefully she will never remember any of that,” Molossi stated. “She was just sitting in this box at a pet store and everyone passed her up because of her leg. He was probably trying to sell her for at least $1,500.”
Clover is enjoying life with her foster mom where she receives the love and care that she deserves. The foster also gives Clover therapeutic massages on her legs every day to help them regain their muscle mass so that Clover can someday run and play like any other dog. “She has no idea that she is any different,” Molossi said. “She runs around and plays all day. Her tail won’t stop wagging.”
In a few weeks, Clover should be ready for adoption. Contact Social Tees Animal Rescue if you think you are the right person for this sweet little dog. We hope that Clover has many years of happiness and contentment ahead of her! Share Clover's story with your friends and family on Facebook.