As I made my way through the clutter; an air conditioner past it's usefullness lay rusting, a old table with three legs was upturned. A refridgerator; hot and musty with the door held ajar with an old paint can lay in front of me; I stepped cautiously. I was making my way to the puppies; the puppies that were for sale. Yes there were many things running through my head at that moment; disgust was one. How could anyone have puppies back here?
Driving up to the house; it hadn't seemed so bad. A nice long driveway which lead up to the red brick bungalow. No it wasn't beautifully landscaped but there were a few bushes and flower beds scattered around. It looked like any other typical country home. Nothing told of the horrors I was to encounter just beyond the perimeters of normal.
The woman who greeted me at the door was unkept; the type of unkept you can't hide. I tried my best to remain indifferent and asked about the puppies for sale. She had a suspicious demeanor about her; suspicious indeed. With all the media of late; one cannot say they don't know what is going on.
After a few questions about what I was looking for we head back. "Don't mind the mess," she offered "we're renovating." Believe me, I've seen plenty of renovating in my lifetime and this had nothing to do with improvements. The backyard didn't give any hint of what was down the path we were on.
Once we got over the obstacle course there was an opening; an opening that a person never wants to see. Some parts of me wish I'd never seen this; this is something you wish didn't exist. But hiding from the truth is no way to a solution. Facing the ugly facts and dealing with them head on is the only way.
So again keeping my composure I walked past the crates; the crates were stacked 4 high and filled with dogs wanting out. Some were past wanting out and were simply shutdown. "These are the breeders," she exclaimed. The bitches on the top three rows and the studs on the bottom. All the dogs were filthy; it was all I could do not to vomit from the stench.
Still making our ways to the puppies we passed many cages with puppies and their mothers. "These are all spoken for" she said. Which I knew meant they were headed to the pet stores; the places that turn a blind eye to the horrific treatment of animals.
Some of the dogs on the bottom cages stood ankle deep in water. Each cage was at least 1/2 submerged and with more than 3 dogs per cage someone had to stand in the water. I could only imagine the filth and disease running wild through this place. I should receive an Oscar for this performance, I remained unmoved by what stood before me.
Finally we reached our destination; I looked back to take it all in. Taking a quick head count, three dogs per cage, rows and rows of cages stacked three high. There had to be at least 500 dogs here. Here were the puppies that for some reason weren't going to the pet store; were these rejects? Why were these puppies being left behind?
On taking a closer look I noticed an eye missing, a leg misformed and held up tight under the dogs chest, a white puppy with a blank stare who may have been one of the lucky ones who could not see all that lay before him. There was a puppy with some sort of skin disorder, another with a badly deformed back and a tiny blue puppy no larger than the palm of my hand who lay trembling and sick in the middle of a cage alone.
I'll take them, I'll take them all. The hackles rose on the lady as she turned abruptly "WHAT?" I had to backtrack quickly, "I'm kidding, I'd love to take them all." I disfused the situation and took two of the saddest puppies. The little white blind one and the blue sick puppy who had stood in a separate cage.
Once back in the house we filled out the paperwork. The house was a mess but liveable; very unlike where I had just been. With my purse my constant companion and witness I had captured it all. I'd be back.
This story is fiction, but this is all too familiar for the puppies who stand in the beautiful stores at the mall and strip malls. Think about what is left behind, don't buy from a pet store.