Twenty-one rescued Jack Russell Terriers arrived in Grand Rapids today, delivered by the ASPCA after being removed from a suspected puppy mill operation in Lake City, Mich. The first stop for the ASPCA’s Animal Cruelty Investigation and Disaster Response semi—loaded with the Jack Russells and Shiba Inus that are being dispersed to shelters around the state—was the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS).
KCAS staff were ready and waiting to receive 15 of the dogs, and wasted no time getting them unloaded from the truck after their two-hour journey. (Six additional dogs were delivered to Humane Society of West Michigan.)
Clearly, some dogs were quite terrified. Some had soiled their kennels or gotten sick during the trip. Others, rather surprisingly, were curious and seemed friendly. All of them were undeniably adorable.
KCAS staff moved the dogs inside, getting them one step closer to starting a new life with the love, security and shelter they have never known. The dogs were given names, replacing the identification numbers that labeled each crate. Dog #214 (left, above) is now Smyley, and dog #159 (right, above) is now Fielder—named after Detroit Tigers players. Others now carry the names of Leyland, Verlander, Cabrera, Peralta, Porcello and more. (A little creative license was taken for Victoria M., who is the female version of Victor Martinez!)
Each dog was inspected, given a name tag, a pheromone-scented bandana (for calming), and treats or a taste of cream cheese. There were moments of tears as dogs pulled from their crates showed how terrified they were, and moments of laughter and happiness as others showed their Jack Russell personalities and curiosity.
Finally–bath time! While the dogs had been initially treated and cleaned by ASPCA, several of them still needed baths before settling in to their new kennels for the night. The dirt just continued to pour off of them as they were soaped up and hosed clean.
Clean and calmed, the 15 dogs were given their own kennels, where they will remain temporarily until ready for adoption. Crowds were already gathering outside of the kennels, giving hope that these dogs will soon find the homes they so greatly deserve.
Big thanks to KCAS and HSWM for accepting these dogs and giving them a chance at a better life. To learn more about adopting one of the dogs pictured here, please contact Kent County Animal Shelter. I can’t wait to see each of these resilient creatures finally get a break in life. If you do end up adopting a Lake City puppy mill dog, please let me know–there may be a custom photo session in your future!!