This story is one of hope. I'm very excited to share the story of Lucy, a puppy mill rescue that was recently given another chance in life. Lucy's rescue story started on September 11th when police and the Humane Society of the United States raided an Edgefield county puppy mill in South Carolina. Nearly 300 animals were seized including over 200 dogs, dozens of fowl, and nine horses. Conditions were horrible and many of the animals were living in wire cages with no solid flooring, drinking green or muddy water, suffering with matted fur and disease, and living in their own feces. To top it off, bones, ashes, and rotten carcasses were littered throughout the property.

The Humane Society of Charlotte took 76 of the rescued dogs and have slowly been putting them up for adoption as they've become ready. One of those dogs was Phyllis, a Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix that had probably mothered many, many puppies.

When volunteering at the shelter a few weeks ago, my friend Casey decided to tag along in hopes of catching a peek at some of the puppy mill dogs. The minute she saw Phyllis, she fell in love. Phyllis was still stinky, in need of a long bath, and very shy, but she was just as sweet as can be. Days later, Casey returned to the shelter and declared Phyllis (now Lucy) as her new fur-kid!

At the time of our photo shoot, Lucy had only been in her new home for two weeks. She had already made huge strides in house breaking, walking on a leash, and making friends with her new 4-legged brother, Dave. Obviously still very shy and timid, she has been working with a trainer to learn how to become a regular dog. If she has come this far already, in a year from now, I know she will be a well-adjusted, spoiled little girl.

Here is Lucy (on the right) with her new brother, Dave. Lucy may look scared in some of the pictures but she was actually quite comfortable with the camera. She simply hasn't gained any self-confidence as of yet and you can see that in her posture and body language.

Lucy had quite a bit of matted hair and so much had to be removed. She will look gorgeous once it all grows back in and she is nice and fluffy again!

Lucy has already developed a strong bond with her mother. Through training and patience, she is quickly learning how to be a dog for the first time in her 4-year life.I can tell Lucy is already making huge steps. It says a lot when a dog will let you photograph them from close above. With slow, careful movements, she didn't even cower away. I'm so proud of her!Judging from this image, I'd say that Lucy has nothing but wonderful days ahead of her...Dave, of course, had to step in and work it for the camera. He is going to be a good example of self-confidence for his little sis.

Best of luck to Lucy on her path to dogginess. I'm so glad she has found a warm, loving home and I can't wait to watch her blossom into a wonderful family companion.

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Here is a video showing more of this recent puppy mill raid (if the video doesn't appear below, view it on YouTube). Even though this occurred in South Carolina, North Carolina has a similar puppy mill problem. Please make sure you research who you vote for in this election and make sure they are supporters of animal welfare and take a stand against puppy mills. Here is one animal-friendly voter guide that I found for North Carolina: http://ncvaw.org/2012-voter-guide/

 

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