Adopting a Puppy Mill Dog
Thank you for your interest in adopting one of our Samoyeds rescued from a puppy mill. Before submitting an application to adopt one of our puppy mill survivors, it is important to fully understand what to expect so that you can decide if you are up for the challenge. Please read the information below carefully before completing the special adoption application.
It takes a very special person to rehabilitate a puppy mill dog, a person with an abundance of patience. If you are hoping for a sweet loving little dog who will sit in your lap, enjoy being petted, walk on a leash, come to you when called and play in the back yard, this may not be the dog for you. If you are patient and let your dog move at his or her own pace, chances are you will end up with a dog with whom you share a bond like no other. Though it will be difficult – arduous at times – saving a puppy mill survivor and watching him or her blossom from a shutdown, scared dog to one that enjoys life will likely be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
What is a puppy mill survivor?
Most puppy mill dogs are confined to a kennel their entire lives. They have not been exposed to the things most pet dogs have been and their interactions with humans have been minimal. They have never been walked on a leash, or inside of a house. Everything from here on out will be new to a puppy mill dog, and therefore very, very scary. Their lives have been turned upside down. Everything they encounter will overwhelm them, and helping them adjust to their new world will be a challenge that will try your patience at times.
These survivors will not know how to ‘act like dogs’. The conditions they have been raised in have left them with psychological scars that will take months or years to overcome, if ever. Initially, they will not trust humans. They will be too scared to make eye contact or eat in front of people. They may not enjoy being in your company or being petted. They will not know where to relieve themselves. They will panic on leash, and shut down completely when put in a new situation.
Rehabilitating a puppy mill dog
Fortunately, many of these dogs are able to recover from their traumatic experiences. Many puppy mill survivors form intense bonds with their owners. Yet, they often retain certain psychological differences from other dogs, like a fear of unfamiliar people and novel items or situations. It is impossible to tell which dogs will fully adapt to their new lives as pets and which will continue to struggle with the most basic aspects. As an adopter of a puppy mill survivor, you must unconditionally accept that your dog may never fully recover from his or her experiences up to this point and still commit to providing the best possible life for him or her.
The timeline for rehabilitating a puppy mill dog will be unique to each dog. It may be weeks, months, years, or an entire lifetime. At times it will feel like taking one step forward and two steps back, and what works for one dog may not work for another. But luckily, you’re not alone in this. There are many resources available to help these dogs succeed in their new homes.
Are you ready to take on a puppy mill dog?
A puppy mill dog is a ‘special project’
Affiliative behavior and affection
What makes them comfortable?
Check list for an adopter considering adopting a puppy mill dog
*** In order to place our puppy mill survivors in the most appropriate homes for them based on their behavioral needs, we will be screening applications to find the best match for both the dog and the adopter. If your application is chosen, we will ask you to come in for an interview prior to meeting any of the dogs. If we feel your home would be a good fit for any of the puppy mill survivors, we will set up a time for you to meet them. If you wish to take one home, we will require that you foster the dog for 30 days prior to finalizing the adoption. Nebraska Humane Society Behavior staff will be available to help you and your dog at any point during this period or following adoption. Priority will be given to applications received before December 5th, 2018. ****