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A Note from Pat Miller, our President of SRC/F
Hi Everyone, We are approaching our 10 year anniversary of doing rescue. I am so proud of this and everyone who has been involved either for a few years or from the beginning. It started with me, Barb, and Doug, wow what a journey. Our adoption count is now at 1282. This does not include the 74 that we now have in rescue or the many that we have lost while in rescue, while we humanely sent them to the bridge. So a great big thank you to all of you for helping out with all of these dogs and I wish that we didn't have to talk about another 10 years of rescue, but due to the lack of people understanding why they shouldn't keep breeding, we will still be here. Although, I am getting older, I still plan on being here for the rescue as long as I can. I love all of you and please love on your dogs. They deserve all the love that they can get...
Looking Back, from Founding Member Barb littler
All three of us (Pat, Doug and I) were members of SFRA (Schnauzer Friends for Rescue & Adoption) in Cincinnati. Doug adopted Posey from SFRA. Posey was being fostered by a lovely lady that also fostered giant schnauzers and was the Diabetic Dog Whisperer for SFRA. Posey was attacked by the giants while the lady was away from home and Posey was gravely injured. Fortunately Posey survived and was adopted by Doug….that’s where Doug’s journey began with rescue, adopting a severely scared little dog that loved him unconditionally until Posey drew her last breath. Doug was drawn to the special needs dogs that others over-looked. There was a connection, because Doug too had his own health issues and he cared for his ailing mother. Doug has a heart as big as outdoors and unfortunately his health has continued to declined over the past 10 years.
Steve and I fostered Rosey and Scrappy for SFRA and failed. Both were special needs dogs who made their home with us for only a couple years. We too became drawn to the special needs and the mill dogs. Because of SRC, we found ourselves introduced to the dark world of Amish puppy mills when Pat reached out for our help in the summer of 2004. She had just left SFRA a couple months earlier and was starting over. We were used to pulling dogs from shelters and collecting from home surrenders. That first call for help did not prepare us for what we were about to encounter for the next 10 years.
We live in southeastern Ohio on a farm and unaware that just 2 – 3 hours from our home was the largest concentration of Amish puppy mills in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Because of our location, we were closer to pulling mill rejects. Anna and Sarah were our first Amish mill dogs to pull and they were so badly matted, they were unable to defecate without the feces sticking to them. I remember clipping the mattes off of poor little Anna (black schnauzer) and nicked her and it had to have a couple stitches. I was crying the whole time I was clipping and she never made a peep or moved. She knew life was getting better already.
I think one of the worst cases was a little boy named Shilo that was so badly matted, we did not know he had a missing foot until I shaved him down. Shilo was adopted by a wonderful man that took Shilo for daily walks and he loved it. I’m sure Shilo has long gone to the bridge, but he was one happy pup after his first hair cut.
One week, we thought we had finally lost it. We pulled 8 dogs at one time from the Amish. Having 8 badly matted smelly dogs in the house wasn’t as bad as seeing that one of the two boys pulled had fathered two of the females from different mothers and the mothers were part of the 8 dogs. And all six were together and intact. Typically, the Amish breeders do not release CKC (not AKC) papers, but this one did. I don’t think mills give much thought to inbreeding.
The big difference we have experienced between our move from SFRA to SRC was the willingness of SRC to take in schnauzer mixes. SFRA found out that we were helping Pat the summer of 2004 and we were told we could not help both organization, we had to make a choice. We attended our last Schnauzer Fest in 2005 for SFRA. We had been fostering TC (Too cute) and Daisy for SRC and decided to adopt them to keep them together. They were Amish puppy mill sisters and TC depended on Daisy for everything. We were not received well at the Fest when it was discovered we adopted from SRC…..well you know how it ended. I’m not real good at being told what I can and cannot do with my time and resources.
We’ve lost count, but have photos and bios of those babies over the years no matter if they spent a day, months or years in our home. It has hardened our perspective of puppy mills and neglect but our hearts still melt. I think we have just about seen and heard it all. We have made some very dear friends in this journey. We hope to continue helping for a few more years….
Doug Viars is unable to add his thoughts he is in poor health, Puppy Prayers for Doug...