National Mill Dog Rescue saves their 10,000th pup

PEYTON, Colo. — The National Mill Dog Rescue has officially saved 10,000 dogs from puppy mills.

In the commercial dog breeding industry, dogs are most often killed when they are no longer able to breed. Since 2007, the National Mill Dog Rescue has made it their goal to bring them to freedom.

“In a puppy mill setting all of these dogs are kept in small cages.” National Mill Dog Rescue Founder and Executive Director Theresa Strader said. “There’s usually one male and three females in every cage and their job is to produce puppies for their entire life.”

She said contact with humans is vital to their health.

“They don’t typically come out of those cages and for socialization, exercise. They typically have minimal vet care and that’s what their life is measured by: the work of how many puppies they can produce,” said Strader.

“Typically they’re released from the mills when they’re about 7 years old, 6 to 7 years old, and for the smaller dogs that’s only a third of their life,” volunteer David Smith said.

And working with these dogs can be a reward in itself.

“Seeing that improvement in just their attitudes, their tolerance to people,” Smith said.

Saving that 10,000th pup means they are doing something right.

“Man, I mean I opened that truck and I had that 10,000th dog in my arms and oh my gosh I mean I really couldn’t do anything but cry. It was so weird,” Strader said. “It’s just so emotional. I’m just so proud of so many people.”

All of the dogs rescued by the National Mill Dog Rescue can be adopted, and they are always in need of volunteers. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering or adopting a dog, visit their website at

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