From Hell on Earth to the Arms of Compassion
Our work at Animal Rescue Corps takes us behind the scenes of some of the worst animal abuse in the country. I often find myself walking into puppy mills, hoarding situations, fighting animal confines and other cases of large-scale cruelty that could only be described as Hell on Earth. Most people will never experience these horrors first-hand, so it is our mission to rescue the animals, expose these harsh realities and inspire the highest ethical standards of humanity towards animals.
This approach of combining hands-on action with public education is especially effective when it comes to combating the cruel puppy mill industry. Recognizing the importance of working together, ARC partners with law enforcement agencies and other animal protection organizations throughout the U.S. and beyond to shut down these inhumane mass-breeding facilities. Each of our partners is motivated by a common outrage at injustice and a passionate desire to make a lasting difference in their communities. We are often overwhelmed with an outpouring of support when people learn of the hidden atrocities that had been taking place so close to home. Citizens come together to donate supplies and their time but they are also deeply affected by the animals’ stories and they return home to spread the message to their friends and families, widening the circle of compassion for animals.
Together, we have waged war on the industries that profit from animal suffering and will stop at nothing until all are free, but the fight is just beginning. We estimate there are approximately 15, 000 puppy mills across the United States. Which translates to one puppy mill within 20 miles of every American household. These facilities breed approximately 4 million puppies a year. Puppies born in mills are often in poor health and then sold to unsuspecting members of the public. They are often sold over the Internet, in newspaper advertisements, at flea markets or through pet stores. Consumers, purchasing puppy mill dogs and supporting this barbaric industry, themselves become part of a disturbing cycle of abuse. While the puppies escape these mills early, breeding dogs do not escape until they can no longer produce profitably.
The breeding mothers are the true victims of the puppy mill industry. These dogs are treated as a cash crop, kept in tiny, filthy cages for their entire lives, forced to churn out litter after litter of puppies. These mother dogs receive little or no veterinary care, grooming, bathing or human affection and often have never even felt the security of solid ground beneath their feet. This is an especially cruel fate for man’s best friend, a species that for thousands of years has stood loyally by our side.
Puppy mills not only cruelly confine and neglect the dogs enslaved there, they also have a negative impact on this country’s pet population problem. Millions of dogs are born in puppy mills every year, while millions more are killed at shelters across the country. With countless dogs imprisoned by this industry at this very moment and so many waiting in shelters for their forever homes, it is impossible for most people to grasp the magnitude of this issue, which is why ARC makes an effort to tell the stories of individual dogs we rescue.
It is the ultimate goal of ARC to put an end to all animal suffering and we are working every day towards this lofty goal. I know that we have a long road ahead of us, but compassion is our primary driver and we are motivated by the injustice inflicted every year upon billions of beings capable of suffering. There is no greater feeling than removing a breeding mother dog from the only life she has ever known – one cramped inside a wire cage living in her own feces – and finally showing her compassion and security. Without our intervention, these dogs would continue to be locked in constant confinement and forced to breed for the rest of their lives, if you can even call that a life.
We will continue to shoulder the mantle of compassion and fight against those who wish to harm the animals of this world. Even if you can’t be out in the field with us as we lift these animals out of darkness and into the light, you can do your part to put an end to this industry. I challenge you, through your personal and professional lives, to take your own talents and knowledge of this suffering to find creative ways to join us in putting an end to the many horrific abuses of animals in what we call a civilized nation.