Lily was born into a puppy mill. These are breeding grounds for dogs. Dogs are bred together based on their looks, creating the cutest puppies to sell at pet stores. The terrifying thing is: this is all legal.
“Lily spent all of her days confined to a small, cold wire cage in a dark, foul-smelling barn. Never was she removed from her cage for exercise or socialization. In her dreary confines, Lily was forced to produce one litter after another with no respite. Like all commercial breeding dogs, she was a veritable breeding machine whose worth was measured in only one way – her ability to produce puppies.”
Due to this, by the age of 7, her body had been warped into something barely resembling a dog. She had no lower jaw, the consequence of no dental care, poor diet, and having to drink water from a rabbit bottle. Literally, her jaw rotted away. Deadly tumors developed inside her chest and Lily became reclusive and terrified of people.
Lily was worn out and the breeders no longer needed her so they sold her at an auction. Lisa Strader bought Lily for what the breeder called a "steal." Lisa Strader, a self-admitted animal lover has been a dog rescuer her entire life - fostering unwanted and stray dogs. No one wanted Lily because she was so worn out. Despite never having housed anything other than a rescue dog in her life, she bought Lily. After adopted, she underwent 4 surgeries to remove mammary tumors, to repair her face. Her uterus had transformed into a rotted, black hole from the years of breeding.
Through loving care and being treated humanely, something all dogs deserve, Theresa Strader recounts that Lily: “learned so much in our home – about being a family member, being a dog, being worthy.” Lily has had a profound effect on the lives of the Straders: “But she learned how to love and be loved and for that, there are no words. She changed our lives forever.” Lily spent 12 months with her adoptive family, full of love and care. “Lily died on May 13, 2008, at the age of eight – about half the life expectancy for an Italian Greyhound. Martha." Lily died because of neglect, because of 7 years of torture and humanity. One must ask: how many other dogs must be condemned to such a horrible life?
But Lily is not a single case. There are hundreds of thousands of puppies suffering daily across the country in puppy mills. The ASPCA estimates that there are over 10,000 puppy mills in operation across the country. One town has decided to put a stop to this. Phoenix, Arizona just passed a law declaring that ALL dogs and cats sold at local pet stores MUST be rescue animals. This will drive puppy mills out of business, putting an end to the suffering.