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160 dogs rescued from puppy mills get warm welcome in Armonk

By Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy , The Journal News | LoHud.com

1706 days ago   Article ID# 947515
Original URL


Best Friends Animal Society

ARMONK , NEW YORK (The Journal News | LoHud.com) - As Brian Gordiski received his sixth delivery of the day — a 2-year-old white beagle from an 18-wheel tractor-trailer — the volunteer from Adopt-A-Dog, a rescue organization, was surrounded by adoring fans.

"How cute are you?"

"You're a good boy!"

"He's in great shape!"

A group of women, all volunteers, commented. They had gathered to take charge of about 160 dogs rescued from puppy mills in the Midwest and brought to Armonk on Tuesday morning, after a 24-hour journey.

The event, dubbed "Pup My Ride," was orchestrated by Best Friends Animal Society, a Utah-based nonprofit that works with animal shelters and rescue groups, and hosted by Armonk-based Adopt-A-Dog. It roped in 13 shelters from throughout the tri-state area.

Kate Aubry of Putnam Valley said she started volunteering with Best Friends after she adopted a 5-year-old beagle named Juno last year at a similar event.

On Tuesday, she held a quivering 14-week-old American Eskimo in her arms.

"She's just very, very scared right now. She's trembling," Aubry said.

Kelli Harmon, a coordinator for Best Friends Animal Society, said the program was meant to deliver the dogs to local partners with adoption programs capable of finding homes.

"We are fighting against puppy mills and irresponsible breeding," Harmon said. "The sole purpose of these dogs has been to breed and make money for their owners."

The dogs live in tiny, wire-bottomed cages, in squalid conditions, with little human contact and often no veterinary care, Harmon said.

Mill dogs that no longer turn a profit are unwanted and usually killed, she said.

"If people looked at the hideous USDA inspection reports of breeders used by pet stores, they'd change their minds," said Allison Allen, a volunteer with the Connecticut-based Westport Coalition against Puppy Mills. "They are a cash crop for the farmers, and they are treated as products."

Among the dogs rescued were beagles, Malteses, American Eskimos and Chihuahuas, ranging in age from 2 months to 8 years.

"Some of them are ready to be adopted, some need a little TLC before they'll be ready," said Gordiski, of Adopt -A-Dog, which took in 10 furry friends ranging in age from 6 months to 8 years.

"You see humanity at its worst and its best here," Susan Falvo of Long Island said as she stroked the subdued white beagle held by Gordiski. "In reality, their unconditional love rescues us from an unforgiving world."

Copyright 2015 The Journal News | LoHud.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1706 days ago   Article ID# 947515

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