In a post on Facebook on Monday, a non-profit in California revealed how it has rescued five puppies with “severe genetic abnormalities.”
The founder of Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue, Zach Skow, explained that the puppies were missing one or multiple limbs.
Rescued from a puppy mill, the dogs had been taken in by the animal shelter to be cared for and hopefully re-homed.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are more than 10,000 puppy mills in the United States, which are breeding dogs with profit rather than animal health as their priority.
Skow set up Marley’s Mutts in 2009 in the midst of a profound personal crisis.
“I founded the organization after being diagnosed with end-stage liver disease and being given less than 90 days to live,” he said. Newsweek. “As I began fostering animals after six weeks in the hospital, my body began to repair itself along with my mind and spirit. A dog named Marley, along with many other foster dogs, helped save my life and put me on the path to redemption .”
Now 14 years sober and having adopted and cared for more than 10,000 animals, Skow operates the rescue center from a 20-acre ranch in Tehachapi.
Part of a litter of 12, the puppies rescued from the breeder are a result of improper breeding.
“When you inbreed dogs or cross-breed them, this happens. Some of the dogs will need partial amputation’s so they may go on to live more free lives,” said Skow. “Each of them will need a cart, or prosthetic to aid them in mobility. All five of the kiddos are being bottle-fed, but once they are well enough to eat solid food, we will need foster homes for each of them.”
After sharing the story of the puppies on Facebook, Marley’s Mutts received thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments.
“Backyard breeding should be against the law,” said one commenter. “We need strong animal protection laws.”
Another wrote: “So incredibly sad. These poor babies, they don’t deserve this.”
Currently, the puppies are only around two weeks old, but the rescue hopes to eventually find foster homes for them.
“The home should be prepared to provide them with a safe environment, help prop them up while they eat and drink and be prepared to take measurements for a cart and just provide them with general care and love,” said Skow. “We have had countless dogs with front amputated or rear amputated legs. We at Marley’s Mutts focus on special needs dogs like this.”
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