It has been one week since 46 Cavaliers came into our care after being rescued from a puppy mill auction in Wheaton, Missouri. They have started a brand new chapter in their story , and we are thrilled to be able to bring it to you in full color (Blenheim, Tricolor, Ruby, and Black and Tan!) .
This week, all the dogs concluded their general vetting, but continued visits to cardiologists, ophthalmologists, and orthopedic specialists will continue for many with ongoing health needs. Most have now had their spays/neuters and dental cleanings.
Our rescues have also been adapting to their new lives thanks to the help of their volunteer foster parents. Their progress over the course of just a week has been remarkable, and we have seen the dogs bloom and develop their own personalities in response to the love and TLC they have received. While they are adjusting well, even the simplest of luxuries is a new experience: freshly filled water bowls; nutritious new diets; cozy beds; and squeak toys are some of the comforts that the Cavs are learning to enjoy.
On Friday, 14 of the 34 dogs brought to Birmingham, Alabama, reunited for a photo to socialize with each other and show off their new lease on life. The photograph was captured by Birmingham photographer, Connie Collum.
Thanks to the care of their foster parents and Connie's photo-artistic talents, the pack looks healthy and beautiful, but it is important to remember that both physically and emotionally, the dogs still have a long road to recovery ahead of them.
In spite of all the positive steps forward, we have been constantly reminded that while these dogs now have a bright future, they are only a week out from what was a very harsh past. Their new lifestyle is not without its challenges. Basic skills such as walking on a leash, managing the ups and downs of stairs, and eating meals are among the challenges our Cavs are meeting as they learn how to be happy pets.
All of the dogs continue to struggle with day-to-day "handling" by humans, such as petting, grooming, being transported, receiving commands, and being walked on a leash. While most are now curious and outgoing, they often freeze in response to even the most gentle hand being placed upon them, and will "pancake" flat to the floor in fear. The priority of improving and stabilizing their health has, in some cases, even required procedures to remove up to 28 teeth, which were decayed and painful due to the poor diet and hygiene practices of the puppy mill. Nonetheless, their foster parents are aiding them in overcoming these hurdles with gentle patience, understanding, and perseverance.
We are grateful for your continued support and are excited to share their journey.
The 46 dogs that were turned over to Cavalier Rescue USA are being fostered in different states across the nation. If you are interested in volunteering, fostering, or adopting, please complete an online application at www.cavalierrescueusa.org and then contact your state coordinator to express your interest.
This post was written in collaboration by volunteer Alabama Regional Coordinator for Cavalier Rescue USA, Brittney Wilk, and Lacelliese King of The Uppity Puppy www.uppitypuppy.com. It was originally published at http://www.gofundme.com/puppymillauction.