Former puppy mill dog finds love for first time
One look at Snarf's button nose and almost toothless grin and people can't help but laugh. The senior Japanese Chin has a tongue that could make Gene Simmons envious and a personality so outgoing Jim Carrey would fade into the background.
Snarf was one of 55 former puppy mill dogs the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) received from the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) in March. Like most puppy mill dogs, Snarf probably spent all his life in a tiny cage, where his only value was seen in the money he could make his owner by siring puppies. By the time he was rescued, the 10-year-old dog's teeth were so infected that all but one had to be pulled.
Now, for the first time, Snarf knows the love of a family. He was adopted by Scott Franke and his wife, Andie Kyle, after Andie saw Snarf's photo on the Kentucky Humane Society's Facebook page and couldn't stop thinking about him.
"Andie just loved Snarf's big eyes, his little face and his tongue hanging out," says Scott.
The couple visited Snarf at the KHS Main Campus. Since they had four cats at home, they thought a senior dog might do better in their household. They brought Snarf into a cat room, and he was interested only in the couple. Snarf went home with them that day and instantly fit in with his new family.
"We've been amazed at Snarf's demeanor," says Scott. "He's very relaxed and happy, and he spends his days with his new cat siblings, Lucy, Ellie, Pandora and Stanley."
Snarf's life took a turn for the better in October, when the Attorney General's Office in Rowan County, Ky., began an animal cruelty investigation against Snarf's owner. Officials found 118 dogs living in small, filthy cages stacked on top of each other, some with dead rats inside them.
The dogs were seized and placed in the care of the ASPCA, where they received daily socialization as well as medical care for skin and eye infections, ringworm, giardia and other health issues. Just as important, and probably for the first time in their lives, they were shown love and compassion.
In March the puppy mill operator pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and one count of kennel violation. As part of her plea agreement, she relinquished ownership of the dogs, and the ASPCA transported them to various shelters, including KHS.
"I am so proud of the Kentucky Humane Society team," says Lori Redmon, KHS president and CEO. "The admissions, adoptions and veterinary teams worked together to check the dogs in quickly and efficiently. Within just a few days, all these former puppy mill dogs were up for adoption and looking for their forever homes."
Within a month of their arrival at KHS, all 55 dogs had found their forever homes—including Snarf, a little dog with a huge personality.