Jun 27

Why Rescue a Dog: A Miniature Pinscher Story

Nano, a min pin-chihuahua mix.

Nano, a min pin-chihuahua rescue.

Why Rescue?

Nothing is more heart warming than when you first bring a skinny, scruffy dog into your home, he looks around, and from the look on his face you can tell that he is thinking, “This will do quite nicely. I did well when I picked this person.”

Nano’s Story

We rescued Nano, a Miniature Pinscher-Chuhuahua mix, in January of 2013. When my husband and I went to the shelter, Nano immediately picked me to be his owner. He wanted to be held very badly, and he thought that I should be the one to do it. He was very skinny. His ribs, backbones, and hips stuck out through his skin. At the shelter, he seemed to have all the energy of a typical Min Pin.

We took him to our veterinarian right away, and she reassured us that he just needed regular feeding to gain weight, but that he was also sick. He had inflamed tonsils, some rotten teeth, and other maladies. We had no idea that he was sick, but we could tell when he felt better because he had even more energy than before. I have had several Min Pins, all high energy, but I have never seen one quite as energetic. He will run up and down the hall repeatedly just for the joy of running. We were so glad to get Nano when we did so that we could nurse him back to health.

Rescue a Dog
Don’t Support Puppy Mills

Nano came to the shelter in a box full of puppies, and the shelter thinks he came from a puppy mill. He had scars on the back of his heels due to sitting in a cage for long hours. He obviously wasn’t getting enough to eat, and may have died from starvation had he lost his appetite at his former home. I am using the term “home” loosely.

Nano's First Days Home

Nano’s first day at our house. He was emaciated, and in desperate need of TLC.

At Nano’s first meal at our house, he gobbled his food then proceeded to bully our other dog, who is three times his size, out of hers. Poor Athena. She was bewildered. She had never had to fight for her food, and she looked totally taken aback. I read the look on her face as, “What just happened? Why would he do that? That’s my food. I don’t understand”

As you can see, there are two very different pictures of Nano, below. One was taken on his adoption day and the other several months later. Nano gained 1.5 lbs (a 20 percent increase) and his coat is now shiny.

Beware Puppy Mills

Nano is night blind, and will probably be completely blind before long. We are noticing that his eyesight is gradually declining. For now, we keep lights on that we would otherwise turn off just so that he can see better. His condition was likely inherited, as is the case with blindness in most dogs. I think that inbreeding may have taken place in the puppy mill, and that is the reason that he is going blind. While we are glad to have Nano, it makes me angry that someone would so blatantly put profit before health of the dog.

I am grateful that we found Nano so that he will have a good home when he is completely blind. Otherwise, he might be difficult to place since he will have a disability.

Buying from pet stores or directly from a puppy mill keeps the puppy mills in business. If you buy a dog from one of these sources, you in essence are supporting and condoning the activities of a puppy mill.

Nano at his healthy weight.

Nano at his healthy weight.

Backyard Breeders: Why the Controversy?

There are many different definitions of backyard breeders. Some think that only show dogs who have won champion status should be bred and then only by full time breeders. All others who breed dogs fall under categories of either backyard breeders or puppy mills.

Personally, my definition is not as strict. I think that the dogs of backyard breeders are typically pets and treated well except that the female may be bred too often. (A female dog should not be bred every time she comes into heat. This is exceptionally hard on her body.) The backyard breeder, in my definition, loves their dogs, but does not necessarily keep the betterment of the breed in mind when choosing a mating pair. They also like the extra cash, but probably are not as greedy and inhumane as those who run puppy mills.

Of course, just like with puppy mills, buying from a backyard breeder creates the market for this type of breeding. Make sure you agree with the breeder’s breeding practices before you buy.

Puppy Mills

Most dog owners have heard stories about inhumane conditions and practices that puppy mills use, and I am not going to relay graphic details of some of these horrific conditions. Sometimes, the line between a backyard breeder and a puppy mill can get blurred. The main difference I see between a puppy mill and a backyard breeder is that puppy mill owners have only cash in mind and are not emotionally invested in their animals enough to care for them properly. They will exploit their animals for every last penny. Be suspect of signs along the road advertising dogs for sale, especially if dogs are always available for sale.



  • Who Rescued Whom?

    Get Rescued: Adopt a Dog.

Rewards Abound

Most people who rescue a dog are not looking for a reward, but the rewards are many. Not only do you get the peace of mind that you helped a dog live a better life, but you also get companionship and devotion. By rescuing a dog, you are easing the suffering of an innocent dog, who through no fault of its own is in desperate need. The joy a rescue dog can bring your household is immeasureable.

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