Poodle rescued from a puppy mill in basement sees sun for the very first time

In a heartwarming turn of events, BB the poodle, who had endured a lifetime confined to a cramped cage in a North Carolina puppy mill, is now embarking on a new chapter alongside two other dogs in a caring and compassionate home.

Rescued from a puppy mill located near Charlotte in September, BB’s plight came to light when the Humane Society of the United States intervened and executed a raid on the premises. Amongst the distressing scene, BB was discovered alongside 150 other animals, including dogs, cats, and goats, all subjected to similar bleak conditions.

The Humane Society of the United States

BB’s existence had been devoid of sunlight and the touch of grass, confined to the confines of her wire-bottomed enclosure. Though her exact age remained unknown to the rescue team, her engorged mammary glands revealed a history of numerous breeding cycles and nurturing countless litters of puppies. It is believed that BB had spent her entire life confined to the restrictive confines of the property.

Now, BB is gradually acclimating to her new life, surrounded by the warmth and affection of a loving household. Alongside two other canine companions, she is learning to embrace the freedom to roam and the joys of companionship previously denied to her. This tale of rescue and redemption serves as a testament to the transformative power of compassion, as BB’s spirit blossoms in her newfound haven of love and care.

The Humane Society of the United States

“She was very tiny, and she looked like this helpless creature,” Jessica Lauginiger with the Humane Society of the United States told The Dodo. “I put my hand up to the cage, and she’d come up and sniff a little bit. She was very hesitant for human attention, but she wanted it.”

Following the closure of the property where BB had been confined, a collaborative effort involving the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the local sheriff’s department, and various law enforcement agencies came together to rescue all the animals held captive there.

The Humane Society of the United States

Brenda Tortoreo, a compassionate individual who had previously worked as a receptionist at Cabarrus Animal Hospital in Kannapolis, North Carolina, opened her heart to BB. When she first encountered BB, the dog exhibited extreme fear, as if overwhelmed by the world around her.

The Humane Society of the United States

“She was so terrified that she refused to eat or drink. It broke my heart. At that moment, I knew she was the one I had to bring home,” Brenda shared, recounting her initial encounter with BB.

Once BB’s health had sufficiently improved at the animal hospital, Brenda welcomed her into her home. Wanting to ensure BB’s comfort, she provided the poodle with several stuffed animals as companions.

The Humane Society of the United States

“I gently placed BB on the floor, and she began to move in circles—not running, but walking,” Brenda recalled. “It seemed to be the only way she knew how to navigate her surroundings.”

Brenda also revealed that BB displayed apprehension towards grass, as it was an unfamiliar element to her. This fear stemmed from a lack of exposure and understanding of the natural environment.

The Humane Society of the United States

Together, Brenda and BB embarked on a journey of healing and discovery, as BB slowly learned to trust and adapt to her new life. The patient and nurturing environment Brenda provided played a crucial role in helping BB overcome her fears and embrace the beauty of the world outside the confines of her previous existence.

“She never knew what sun was,” Tortoreo said. “She didn’t know what grass was, and she was terrified of it.”

BB has made remarkable progress in her new home and is successfully adapting to her transformed surroundings. Her appetite has flourished, and she is now consuming food with gusto. From her initial weight of three-and-a-half pounds, BB has blossomed to a healthy ten-pound canine.

The Humane Society of the United States

Brimming with newfound energy, BB joyfully explores her abode, darting through the rooms with exuberance. Outside, in the enchantment of the backyard, she relishes in the company of her fellow canine companions, engaging in playful interactions that bring her immense delight.

Recently, a heartwarming development unfolded as BB initiated a gesture of affection towards Brenda. In a remarkable shift, she began showering Brenda with gentle licks—a display of affection she had never before exhibited. This transformation is a testament to BB’s burgeoning trust and emotional growth.

The Humane Society of the United States

Radiating confidence and contentment, BB has truly emerged from her shell. In Brenda’s eyes, she is a cherished little princess, her spirit now unencumbered by the traumas of her past. BB’s remarkable journey serves as a testament to the resilience of animals and the profound impact of love and care in nurturing their healing and happiness.

“About three weeks ago she started licking me — she’d never done that before,” Tortoreo said. “She’s really come out of her shell. She’s my little princess.”

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