After Life in a Cage, This Dog Has a Home for the First Time

By: Nathan Grant

B.B. the poodle was found by rescuers in a dirty cage full of waste. 

The cage was small and completely made of wire. B.B. was in this cage in a basement without any ventilation. 

Image Credit: The Dodo

B.B. was found in a puppy mill around Charlotte, North Carolina. Members of the Humane Society of the United States raided the puppy mill last September, and struggled to figure out information about B.B.

While they could not tell her age, they could tell she had been repeatedly used for breeding. 

Image Credit: The Dodo

B.B. had nursed many litters of puppies, which were likely sold for high profit by the puppy mill owners. 

Rescuers also noted that B.B. likely spent her entire life trapped in her tiny cage. 

Image Credit: The Dodo

“She was very tiny, and she looked like this helpless creature,” Jessica Lauginiger, animal crimes manager at Humane Society, said to The Dodo.

“I put my hand up to the cage, and she’d come up and sniff a little bit. She was very hesitant for human attention, but she wanted it.”

Image Credit: The Dodo

After taking the time to gain B.B.’s trust, Lauginiger was able to take the mistreated dog from her cage. 

B.B. was not the only victim at this puppy mill. In fact, over 150 dogs were found experiencing similar conditions. On top of this, goats and cats were also found. Many animals were used for breeding, while others were being sold.

Thanks to the Humane Society of the United States, the puppy mill has been shut down – and all animals found there have been rescued! 

Image Credit: The Dodo

Because of the conditions, many animals needed immediate medical attention. Cabarrus Animal Hospital, a local veterinary clinic, was able to help care for these animals.

As well, this is how B.B. found her forever home.

Image Credit: The Dodo

Brenda Tortoreo used to work at Cabarrus Animal Hospital as receptionist. “B.B. was in a corner,” Tortoreo explained to The Dodo.

“She looked pitiful. She was scared to death. She wouldn’t eat, she wouldn’t drink and I felt so bad for her. And I said, ‘That’s the one I’m going to take home.’”

Image Credit: The Dodo

Once B.B. was healthy enough, Tortoreo brought her home to live a happy life with two other dogs. 

B.B. had spent so much time trapped inside a small cage, she was not sure how to act in the house. 

Image Credit: The Dodo

“I put B.B. down on the floor, and she kept going in circles — not running, but walking,” Tortoreo said.

“I guess that’s all she knew to do. I put her in the living room, and to go into the hallway, she would not cross that border [between rooms]. I have two granddaughters who live with me, so I would put her in one of my granddaughters’ rooms, and she was terrified of rugs. She just wanted off the rug.”

Image Credit: The Dodo

B.B. also was very unfamiliar with the outdoors and sunlight. She had never had a chance to see the world beyond her cage before.

“She never knew what sun was,” Tortoreo said. “She didn’t know what grass was, and she was terrified of it.”

As time went by, B.B. found things to comfort her in the home. 

“She’s got three big baskets of stuffed animals,” Tortoreo told the Dodo.

“She takes certain stuffed animals, and she’d bring them to bed, and she would line them up like she was nursing them, and she’d lick them, lick them and lick them. It was just so heartbreaking.”

Image Credit: The Dodo

Thanks to Tortoreo and the stuffed animals, B.B. was slowly able to get used to a real life in a loving home. 

“She runs around the house,” Tortoreo said.

“She’s eating like crazy — she was originally about 3 and a half pounds, but I think she’s maybe about 10 pounds now. She loves the grass now, and she loves playing with the other dogs in the backyard.”

B.B.’s love for Tortoreo grows with each passing day. She saved her! 

“About three weeks ago she started licking me — she’d never done that before,” Tortoreo said. “She’s really come out of her shell. She’s my little princess.”

Image Credit: The Dodo

While the puppy mill that B.B. and many other animals lived through has been shut down, there are many other mills still functioning in the United States. There are around 10,000 puppy mills in the nation, with over 150,000 dogs being held in harsh environments and forced to be used for breeding purposes. 

Source: The Dodo

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