Adam Parascandola has worked as an animal rescue volunteer for years, and in that time he’s seen more than his fair share of heartbreaking sights. But not even years of experience prepared him and his team for what they found when they were called out to an abandoned property in Jones County, North Carolina.
The decrepit property was full of dogs locked up in cages. One dog was trapped for so long that the door to his cage had rusted shut! When Adam learned the reason why the dogs had been mistreated so badly, however, he became enraged…
Animal rescuers like Adam know puppy mills are horrible places for a young dog. The animals kept there are often neglected, inbred, and raised in filth. But that’s not all puppy’s are forced to go through.
The’re also forced to breed at a young age. But even though he’s raided dozens of mills over the years, Adam’s job never seemed to get any easier to handle. Each puppy mill came with its own horrors and disturbing sights.
During a recent raid in Jones County, North Carolina, nothing could’ve prepared Adam and his crew for what they discovered. Once they’d made their way inside, they realized this was no ordinary puppy mill…
After walking through the home, they found dozens of abused animals living in filth. Adam and the other rescuers ventured into the back yard and spotted a shack. They figured it was probably being used for storage, but they decided to take a peek inside just in case…
Once inside, they were horrified to discover countless abused and neglected animals. One of the dogs, a little chihuahua, had been inside his cage for so long that the door was rusted shut. Adam had to use wire cutters to free him.
The dog, whom Adam named Billy, was estimated to be roughly 10 years old—and he was on the verge of death. Not only was he severely underweight, but his lower jaw was damaged almost beyond repair.
While looking at Billy, Adam explained that rescuers often have a hard time identifying an exact age for puppy mill animals, because their conditions have a tendency to wear on them more than the typical aging process.
“Puppy mill dogs often appear much older than they are due to their terrible conditions, but we are confident Billy is at least 10, though now he seems to get younger every day,” Adam later explained in an interview.
Adam became so attached to the sickly pup that he officially adopted him. The pair then raised funds for the Humane Society of the United States in order to help bring attention to animal welfare issues. Still, the question remained: would Billy ever heal from his past?
There was no denying that Billy had a rough run during his life at the puppy mill, but thanks to selfless people like Adam, he now had a chance for a better life. Just see how much he improved since getting the care he needed!
But little did Billy know that not far down the road, another dog was facing a similar predicament. It started when Danielle Finley and her boyfriend were driving down a dirt road and spotted something strange…
As the couple drove, Danielle noticed something in her rearview mirror: it was a dog chasing their car! That’s when they decided to pull over to investigate. Once the dog approached their vehicle, they were shocked.
It was a small Cairn terrier, and Danielle and her boyfriend couldn’t believe his condition. Not only did he appear to be severely malnourished, but he was also missing tufts of fur all over his small frame.
Even though the pooch clearly had a skin condition—one that could spread to their own dogs—the couple decided to take the risk. They supplied the pup with fresh food and water and they drove him to the nearest veterinarian.
Initially, Danielle believed the dog—whom she named Phil—had come down with a case of mange, but the veterinarian soon revealed it was a more severe condition not found in strays. That meant that Phil belonged to someone…
Based on the worn condition of his teeth, the veterinarian assumed that the dog had spent his life in a cage. Whoever had previously owned him had locked him up for years—and then clearly dumped him on the side of the road when his health issues worsened.
That was when the veterinarian told Danielle and her boyfriend some devastating news: in all likelihood, Phil had been housed in one of the many puppy mills in the nearby Pennsylvania community.
Danielle and her boyfriend decided they couldn’t abandon Phil like his previous owner had—so they adopted him on the spot! They immediately started him on a special diet to help regrow his fur, and within a few weeks, he looked healthier and happier.
The couple’s two other dogs were quick to welcome Phil to the family as well! The three of them spent their days playing with each other both in and out of the house. Phil especially bonded with the couple’s Boston terrier.
The couple still didn’t know how Phil managed to escape the puppy mill, but one thing was certain—they were happy he did! But sometimes dogs need some help from a professional before they’re able to get back on their feet.
Take Buzu, for example, a homeless dog who roamed the streets of Romania. He was dirty, starving, and largely ignored by passerby. Would he ever find a loving home?
If you happened to be walking through the neighborhood where Buzu lived, you’d probably pass his makeshift cardboard home and not even bat an eye. Buzu was quiet and well behaved, and he never bothered anyone.
None of the people living in the surrounding area knew much about Buzu other than that he had no official home. He spent his days sleeping or wandering around the dirt roads longing for attention and food scraps.
Even though Buzu didn’t have a proper home, someone had fashioned a shelter for him with a cushion, cardboard box, and a bowl of water. By no means were these luxuries, but they were better than nothing!
Every day, Buzu roamed his little area of the street near his tattered makeshift shelter. His ears would always perk up every time he saw another dog and their owner walking his way.
Of course, the dog owners never allowed their furry friends to interact with Buzu. He was a street dog, after all, and people understandably didn’t want to risk exposing their animals to fleas or any diseases he might’ve carried.
Every time another dog passed by, Buzu would spend a few minutes following slowly behind, hoping their owner would turn around and give him some attention. Sadly, they never did.
Buzu would try to get the attention of other passerby, but that, too, failed for the same reasons. People knew Buzu was calm and friendly, but they weren’t sure how healthy he was and they simply didn’t want to risk interacting with him.
Buzu would watch as dozens of people passed him each day. Occasionally, they would look down and take notice of him, but no one ever dared to pet or feed him. As far as they were concerned, he wasn’t their problem.
The poor canine would stretch out in the middle of the gravel street in hopes that someone would eventually want to play. He was always ready to spend his time with a friend. The problem was that he didn’t have any!
For hours on end, Buzu would search for scraps of food to get him through the day. It was difficult to find a substantial meal, but there were usually enough garbage cans in the area to keep him going.
After eating old meat and rotting vegetables, Buzu would continue his aimless meandering. He would never venture too far from his cardboard shelter; he preferred to stay close to his bed.
Buzu was so eager for attention that whenever he heard anyone shout or even talk loudly, his ears would perk up in hopes that someone was calling out to him. Unfortunately, that was never the case.
One afternoon, Buzu returned to his cardboard home only to discover that his cushion and bowl of water had been taken away. Now he was forced to sleep on the hard ground or on the rough cardboard, and he had no source of hydration. Who would do something so heartless to an already struggling animal?
Luckily, a rescue worker from an organization called Howl of a Dog heard about Buzu and she set out to help. All it took was a few biscuits, and Buzu was more than happy to give her his affection!
Once the rescue worker gained Buzu’s trust, she coaxed him into her car and brought him back to the shelter so he could finally receive proper care. He was as calm as he could be for the entire ride!
Back at the Howl of a Dog headquarters, veterinarians discovered that Buzu’s fur was riddled with fleas and he was missing tufts of hair due to dermatitis. He was long overdue for a bath!
Buzu happily welcomed all of the helpful treatment, and after the bath, he looked and acted like a brand new dog! The shelter’s veterinarians started him on medication so he cold regrow all of his missing fur, too.
After a hearty meal, Buzu was treated to something he’d gone without for a long time: a comfortable, clean bed! He seemed happy and healthy. But he still had one major problem: would he ever be able to find a permanent place to live?