In rescue we learn to be non-judgmental, but we also learn that we can only make a difference by continuing to educate. This is an actual letter sent by the rescuer six months after the dogs were surrendered to Alabama Pug Rescue and Adoption, Inc. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case, but rather a trend we in rescue see more and more. Please, in some small way, let the rescue organizations in your area know you care. Without your support, we cannot continue to make a difference. To learn more about efforts in Alabama and other states to abolish puppy mills, please visit

So you did not think you would hear back from me? I am surprised that you wrote, and my first instinct was to ignore you. However, all wounds were reopened, and I actually began to cry, and then the anger returned. I would not be able to live with myself if I did not reply.

Pugsley and Skinny - as you called them. I have a rule of thumb that if a dog comes from a bad situation I immediately rename them. If they were loved, and cared for, their names will be with them forever. I changed their names when I drove away.

I think there are several things you need to know before I tell you about their conditions. First of all, everyone who saw them, asked who you were, and where you were, and how could this have happened. I protected you. I don't know why, but I did. I felt when I talked to you the second time, and "begged" you to stop what you were doing, or at the very least, to become partially educated in the needs of the breed you were producing and selling, that I may have gotten through to you. I have had to hold on to that thought, and continue to pray for the dogs left in your care. I also had to practice what I preach, and think only about the dog, and I am sure there are many more in your back yard that need medical care. I have to remember I rescue, and it's the dog that comes to me that I put first.

You have to understand about what this means to me. I don't go out to eat at night, or take vacations, I live for these dogs that come into my care. Their needs come above everything and I am fortunate to have many people who support me and believe in me. I make a promise to the dogs that I always keep.... If they trust me with their life, I will see to it that they never suffer again. You see, when I rescue, even when the dog is placed in a forever home, part of my heart stays with them. I take what I do very seriously and I rescue for the life of the dog.

Both of these dogs received heavy veterinary consultation and care. I worked with them day and night to rid them of the fear they had, and show them what gentleness was, and what being clean, and inside, and cool was all about. Both of them were terrified to be picked up, but you had to know that.

The blindness they suffered was a congenital condition. This means that they were born with it, and they inherited it, and any dog that was bred by them, or was related to them has the same tendencies. They are dogs that should not have been bred, as the gene is continually passed down. Skinny's one eye had a fallen cataract. It must have been extremely painful for him before it finally collapsed.

Both of the dogs were immediately neutered and I begin to work to properly socialize them, and teach them about trust. Skinny responded immediately, and began to show signs of the breed that he was. His continual circling eventually slowed down (years of living in a pen) and he even started to be able to learn what going outside meant. He stopped sleeping in his own waste, and actually began to eat out of a bowl.

Pugsley was not as lucky. His blindness, again, was a result of bad breeding, and his eye that was lost, was unfortunate. He also suffered severe neurological damage. I don't know if you noticed, but when I took him out of the car at the vet I noticed that his remaining blind eye, darted nonstop in circles and side to side. This is when he thrashed and moved from side to side. We took him to a specialist after several weeks of observation, and she confirmed that he had a serious neurological deficit (brain damage), again there from birth, and after trying several weeks to see if we could make any progress with him, it was confirmed that he was in a total state of confusion continuously causing him irreversible suffering, and two different veterinary consultations resulted in the recommendation to euthanize him. In other words, his suffering had to end. I held him during all of this. Imagine that. Imagine holding a little one whose head slammed my chest back and forth wanting to understand why, and where, and how all of this happened. He leaned against me, and I held him, when for the first time in his life, he felt peace. I kissed him and told him to "sleep sweet, and to return to God." Few people ever get to know what an angel feels like. I did, when his little body finally relaxed and he became whole again.

Skinny was adopted by a wonderful family in another state who spend their every day making sure he has what he needs. He is a totally indoor pet, as this breed must be, is almost totally housebroken, and he has gained almost 7 pounds. His story has a happy ending. He and I used to spend the early morning time listening to the birds. It was a time I treasured as he began to trust and love.

So, I answered you. I didn't even think I would, but I did. If you are still breeding, and taking these dogs to flea markets, and leaving them out year round, I am going to once again, beg you to stop. If you have those that need medical care, please do not let them suffer. These dogs were suffering. You may have not wanted to believe it, and refused to see it, but they were. If you cannot care for these dogs, I will. I will cry, and I will hurt, but I will cry with them, and I will hurt with them. But, I will not let them suffer.

This was my very first euthanasia. I do not give up easily, and I never will. I will continue to educate people such as yourself, and I will continue to take the dogs that need me like these two did, and many more have, and I will continue to pray that I will make a difference. Please, please, for the sake of my little buddy who waits for me in heaven, ask yourself if this really is all worth it. You do not know enough about this breed, or their needs to be a "reputable" breeder and from what I saw of these dogs, and the conditions they are being "bred" in, you never will be.

Pam Mayes
Alabama Pug Rescue and Adoption, Inc.