Local rescue taking in an increased number of dogs from Ohio puppy mills
Planned Pethood is a foster-based rescue group that’s in need of more volunteers.
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Planned Pethood has helped find homes for thousands of dogs and cats over the years. The organization does not have a brick and mortar shelter, so all the animals taken in are cared for in foster homes.
The rescue is in need of some extra help right now because of a growing number of dogs in need. Planned Pethood finds homes for close to 1,000 animals every year, and in recent months, the organization has rescued an increasing number of dogs from puppy mills.
The rescue group is caring for seven dogs right now that came from Ohio puppy mills. Ashli Dutridge has been fostering for the last four years.
“Typical mill dogs are very shut down. They are terrified of everything,” Dutridge said. “They don’t know how to walk on a leash or eat food out of a bowl. They don’t know what a toy is.”
The goal is to change that life for as many dogs as possible. LeeAnn Harden has been a foster volunteer for more than seven years.
“The main focus is getting that dog to safety and making sure their life is better from there on out,” Hardin said.
We met three of the dogs at Secor Metropark Monday. Tulip is a Yorkie that’s being cared for by Leeann Harden and her family. LeeAnn says Tulip was extremely frightened at first, but has made incredible progress in fewer than two weeks.
“It’s sad sometimes when you first get them, but knowing that you’re helping them get their forever home is so rewarding. That is especially true when its a puppy mill dog that was shut down, and you see them start to open up and become a dog. Sometimes it takes longer, but Tulip has made great progress in the last week or so.”
Flora and Josie are living with Ashli. She’s been fostering for the last few years.
“Quite honestly, it’s what gives me purpose. It’s what keeps me going.”
Flora and Josie are Bernese Mountain Dogs that were used for breeding.
“Flora is shy and laid back. All she cares about is being near people and getting pets. Josie is much more outgoing. I like to say she’s a puppy stuck in a 5-year-old body.”
Planned Pethood takes in dogs from a number of places, including overcrowded shelters and owners who can no longer care for them. LeeAnn says in order to help more animals, the organization needs more help.
“We only have so many foster homes, so we can only help that many animals. We are in desperate need of more foster homes so we can help more animals. It is such rewarding work. People always ask how I cope with having to let the animals go, but it is a great feeling to know that a dog you helped is getting a wonderful forever home.”
Most puppy “mill mama’s,” as they are sometimes called, are retired at the age of five or six. Many of them don’t make it to rescues.
If you’d like to learn more about fostering, adopting or donating to Planned Pethood, click here.
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