Fortunately for the puppy now named Hope, Doll has saved yet another life. Determined not to see Hope die, Doll has managed to rescue her and place her in a loving home.
And fortunately for Marshall, and the TV crew that had accompanied him to a Missouri puppy mill, the shotgun blast narrowly missed its mark, lodging instead in the TV crew's van.
For three years, Marshall, Doll, and IDA's late Midwest Coordinator Gretchen Hersmann waged a dangerous but effective war against the puppy mill industry. In the process, they documented and ended some of the most horrendous animal abuse and neglect imaginable.
Turned into breeding factories and crammed into wire-floored cages literally to small to walk in, these innocent victims of the puppy mill industry are bred to exhaustion...their bodies physically spent by the age of five...at which time they are taken to auction, sold to labs, or simply shot.
His investigations have appeared on local and national TV shows, including Hard Copy and Extra. His latest success in bringing the horrible reality of the puppy mill industry to the public was a Readers Digest Special Report titled, "Scandal of America's Puppy Mills."
The report educated millions of people to the tragedies of the puppy mill and pet shop industries.
The following statements by William Ecenbarger, author of the special report, reveal the appalling abuses he witnessed.
"When I saw the conditions in which these puppies were raised, I was stunned. The animals lived in small wire cages stacked four and five high. Some puppies had open sores from lying on the metal wire. Urine and feces from upper cages dropped into the ones below.
Mr. Ecenbarger told of a Florida puppy mill
raided by and closed down by the police:
"When police and humane officials arrived they were greeted at the gate by dozens of dogs, many of them sick or injured. On the porch of the ramshackle farmhouse was a stack of filthy cages, where the decomposing carcass of a terrier dripped fluids onto a live poodle below.To the millions of readers of Readers Digest the message on how to end the despicable puppy mill industry was loud and clear, when the article went on to state:
"Inside, every downstairs room was piled with excrement-filled cages. Rats scampered in and out of them. Authorities seized 358 dogs. Many of the females had mammary tumors and a half-dozen dogs were blind from glaucoma. Nearly all the adult dogs had severe periodontal disease, and many had to have teeth removed."
"Puppy mills thrive because the demand for pedigreed dogs has created a highly profitable market for small farmers and the pet store chains they supply. Without pet store sales, dog breeding would not be a lucrative business and most puppy mills would be forced out of existence."