Saturday, December 19, 2009
Puppy Mill Chihuahua Mama
My 11th foster dog for 2009: a tiny Chihuahua girl who was a puppy mill breeder mama. She was one of four back yard breeder dogs turned into the Shelter last week. When does a "back yard breeder" become a "puppy mill breeder"?--well, in my mind, it's when the owner surrender form states: "We had these dogs only for breeding for top dollar puppies. We no longer make money with these dogs and are moving."
I don't know how the intake person who handled this "surrender" could keep calm. I think I would have gone ballistic. There were three females and one male. Three of the chihuahuas had horrible confirmation--long, skinny backs, outward-turned paws and weak mouths. The mama, named "Peaches," by her owners (although she doesn't appear to answer to the name) came with me. Peaches has an overall good body type, adorable markings, including a kissy spot of white on top of her round apple head, tiny ears and a peach-colored coat, but she has a severe underbite, crooked lower teeth and her ankles have fallen so far they nearly touch the ground. The ankle issue is probably a by-product of spending a life in a wire cage.
All the dogs were nearly feral, with poor socialization. This mama dog was not producing puppies for her owners because when the Shelter vet did the spay operation, the poor dog's uterus was filled with pus from a horrible infection. The Shelter vet did a full hysterectomy and gave her an antibiotic shot. I have started Peaches on Clavamox and have give her some Tramodol leftover from when my little dog got bit up by the Jack Russell foster (that happened in April).
Peaches nommed hard on my index finger put of fear yesterday while I was putting a harness on her, but she seems a bit less terrified today. Picking her up without a fuss is impossible, of course, but she did eat some boiled chicken out of my hand. She is probably not housebroken, but has piddled on the pee-pee pad.
While I was taking care of Peaches' paperwork, the dispatcher came in to say that one of the Animal Control officers was bringing in 10 Rat Terriers from a hoarding situation where there were at least 40 dogs. The Shelter is stuffed with dogs, and we're not really set up to handle these special cases. If you live in the Houston area, and would like to foster a special needs dog, please leave me a comment or visit the Montgomery County Texas Animal Shelter website, http://www.montgomerycountypets.com/. I'll be posting updates about "Peaches" and her kennel-mates.