We received six large bottles of shampoo, all of which were used to provide baths for over 150 rescue dogs, some of which required extensive grooming and multiple baths.
In July 2013, law enforcement raided a puppy mill near Wheatland, ND. Sheriffs’ deputies seized 174 dogs they found housed in cages stacked three high in a stifling unventilated, un-air-conditioned trailer. In most cases there were three to five dogs in each cage, living in a bed of feces- and urine-soaked newspaper. Some animals were so matted that they were immobilized and in pain. The Casselton Veterinarian Clinic accepted the dogs and provided medical care and clean kennels. Six 4 Luv of Dog Rescue volunteers went to Casselton three times a day for six weeks to bathe, groom, socialize and evaluate the dogs. As the dogs were certified healthy, they were placed with foster families while adoption applications were screened and approved.
The dogs confiscated from the puppy mill were terrified of humans, so it wasn’t surprising that a few escaped capture. One of these was Howie, a 15-lb. mixed Bichon. Howie eluded capture for 29 days. While the other 168 dogs were groomed by 4 Luv of Dog Rescue volunteers, given medical treatment at the Casselton Vet Clinic and socialized in approved foster homes, Howie kept running. Finally, on day 28, two loving ladies spotted Howie and tried to catch the filthy little dog with gray dreadlocks, but he fled into a cornfield. They got food and water and left it overnight, resuming their hunt the next day. With the help of a farmer’s Shelties, they were able to herd Howie into a building and capture him, bringing him to Casselton Vet, where he was groomed by 4 Luv of Dog volunteers before neutering and vaccinations.
When 4 Luv of Dog Rescued placed Howie in foster care he was terrified of human touch, turning stiff as a board — but he loved other dogs. His foster mom said, “He was frightened in the house but loved running through the backyard grass, his tail wagging furiously. He was never nippy, but it took weeks for him to begin to relax. Walking on leash was fine, but teaching him to potty outside took over a month. Soon after that, he stopped retreating into his kennel and from there he just blossomed. I credit my dog and my other puppy-mill mother and her five puppies with teaching Howie to be a dog. I had posted his progress on 4 Luv’s website and after two months started taking him to Adoption Days.”
There was soon an application for Howie, and we were overjoyed to learn they had a small dog and older children. At the home visit, the family met Howie, and their dog Pixie’s immediate acceptance paved the way for Howie’s successful adoption. Cautious with men, Howie surprised us all by jumping right up in dad’s lap the first night!! Yes, Howie has his forever home. Mom Ruthie told us she fell in love with him reading blog posts and seeing pictures, saying, “He made me smile, and between his cute face and sad story, I was hooked. I looked at other dogs on the web but could only think of his face and how much he needed me. He’s made great leaps already fitting into our home. He’s walking proudly on his leash, going potty on walks, kennels when we say ‘time for bed’ and jumping up on the furniture to sit and snuggle with us.”
This foster momma is so proud of the little white dog she called her Howie Wowie! Looking at the photos, it is hard to believe that the dirty, matted, dreadlocked little dog is the same little puff ball playing in his new yard. Your support made a difference to Howie and to hundreds of dogs just like him who have started new lives in loving homes.