Dudley, renamed “Max”, a five and 1/2-year-old Westie, was rescued from a southern Maine backyard breeder (puppy mill) who had used him to sire litters of puppies. When we met Max, he had never walked on grass, was filthy and unkempt, and had no effect or emotion (other than fear). He did not wag his tail, respond to his name, or know how to walk upstairs, on a leash, or wear a collar. In short, he had not been provided with no love, socialization, or the opportunity to experience life outside of a concrete-floored kennel. Additionally, we were soon to discover that he had not received adequate veterinary care in his five years in the mill either. Heartbroken, we knew that we needed to get him to a vet to see exactly what we were up against.
After a sleepless night, Max stood up all night on his makeshift dog bed in our foyer, we brought him to our veterinarian. After a thorough examination, we were told that he had been badly neglected. His feet were splayed from living on a concrete floor, and many of his teeth would need to be pulled from being fed canned dog food. He would also need to be neutered, have blood work done to check for parasites and to ensure that his liver could withstand the anesthesia needed for dental work, and be brought up to date on his vaccinations. The breeder had been quick to hand over his registration papers; unfortunately, vet records were nonexistent.
After a few hours of online researching, luckily for Max, we stumbled across WestieMed. We asked for half of the costs needed for Max on our application, crossed our fingers, and waited. In the meantime, with constant love, and a commitment to embrace him into our family, Max has begun his road to rehabilitation.
In the two weeks that we have had him, he has learned to walk on a leash, wag his tail, walk up two stairs, and bark! My daughters claim that they have even seen him smile. After many baths and gentle brushing, a nutritious diet, and bones for his sore teeth, his beauty is starting to shine through. He is indeed a loyal, delightful, handsome little man who has won us all over. His emotional needs are now being met, and he will go in this week for his medical needs. We will keep you updated!
We can’t thank WestieMed enough for helping us to help Max. Your organization is a testament to the power of good people making a difference, through generosity and caring. It has inspired me personally to do all I can to crusade against puppy mills, and use Max’s story to educate others about the abuse and neglect that exist for so many animals. Your financial support has made a world of difference – Max seems to be enjoying his second chance, and we are certainly enjoying him!
Update April 7, 2014
Max is doing very well. He has acclimated to being a family dog, and is especially adored by my two daughters.
He is fully house-trained, can walk on a leash, comes to his name, can climb stairs, and has quite a “Westie” personality (so we’ve been told.) He gets along great with our Scottie Terrier mix, Annie, and the two of them are inseparable.
Max has not had any problems with his teeth since he had the extractions, and we make sure to give him dental bones to chew. He is healthy in every aspect, and loves splashing in the water at the beach (even on the coldest winter days.)
I have attached a photo of Max.
Thank you again for all of your help!