46 chihuahuas in urgent need after commercial breeder closure

Laclede County, MO– In Operation Out of the Box, Animal Rescue Corps rescued 46 Chihuahuas from a closing commercial breeder in Laclede County, Missouri. These dogs, formerly part of a profit-driven breeding operation, are now under the care of ARC at our Rescue Center near Nashville.

When ARC’s Field Team arrived to the breeding operation, the property was strewn with broken-down cars, rusted farm equipment, and patchwork fences. We saw chihuahuas running loose in a yard scattered with corrugated tin hutches that were “home” to many of these dogs, surrounded by electrical cords dangling from fences and bushes. Inside the wasp- and spider-infested hutches were small, shivering adult dogs and puppies huddled in the corners. Each hutch had only a single heat lamp for warmth during this record-setting freezing winter. More than two dozen dogs, including litters of puppies, were also running loose in a home on the property.

ARC was in Missouri on a different case, assisting BISSELL Pet Foundation and other groups with a separate multi-agency, large-scale surrender of other discarded puppy mill dogs, when the urgent call came in requesting help for the chihuahuas impacted by the breeder shutdown. We immediately initiated a rescue deployment for the chihuahuas, our third multi-state rescue operation across two states in the past ten days. The chihuahuas will receive medical, physical, and social care at the ARC Rescue Center before being matched, placed with, and transported to vetted partners in high- adoption regions nationwide.

Tim Woodward, Executive Director, emphasizes the importance of choosing adoption over supporting commercial breeding. “Adopting a companion animal is a conscious and compassionate choice against the exploitation seen in commercial breeding. We’re thrilled to rescue these 46 chihuahuas, giving them the chance to be treated as valued family members instead of commodities for profit.”

With your help, their new lives begin now.

If you are in a position to help today with a donation to support ARC’s work, please do. Every donation makes a difference.

And, if you are in a position to volunteer, please sign up today. Opportunities are always available in ARC’s Rescue Center outside Nashville, TN, as well as sometimes nationally and beyond. We sometimes offer travel stipends.