Muncie Animal Rescue helps rehabilitate backyard breeding dogs

MUNCIE, Ind. – A Muncie organization is working to rehabilitate a pack of dogs rescued from a backyard farm.

Grateful Rescue is an organization that welcomes unwanted domestic cats and dogs to rehabilitate them and place them in homes. Recently, they learned that a backyard rancher in northern Indiana was about to be evicted. The breeder had nearly 40 dogs on his property, which would need to be relocated.

Grateful Rescue stepped in to save 15 of these dogs, preventing them from potentially ending up in a puppy mill.

“The difference between backyard breeders and puppy mills is just a slight difference,” said Pamela Terhune, founder of Grateful Rescue. “Backyard breeders are often mixed breeds or designer breeds and the similarity is that these dogs are not socialized at all. They love other dogs, but they’re just terrified of humans and that’s what we’re dealing with now.

The dogs are now housed in a stable at the rear of the Grateful Rescue property. While some dogs remain fearful and fearful, others like Max and Cocoa crave attention and affection.

It comes after weeks of working with the dogs to get them used to being around people.

“A lot of patience, a lot of tenderness is what they need at this point because they’ve only been around one person and that’s the breeder, and they’ve been in a dark barn and they haven’t been around. ‘Haven’t seen the light of day nor the grass until they came here, ”Terhune said.

Pamela says the differences between backyard breeding and puppy mills are slight, but they’re similar in that they don’t know people.

“They don’t have aggressive bones in their bodies, so they’re not mean. They are just terrified, ”Terhune said.

The Humane Society of the United States is actively fighting puppy mills in the United States. They publish an annual list of known problematic puppy breeding or brokering facilities. The 2021 list shows 6 problematic puppy mills in Indiana, mostly in northern Indiana.

Communities in Indiana are starting to pass ordinances banning the sale of puppy mill puppies. Pamela says having contact details like these will help tackle the puppy mill problem.

“They put so many restrictions on how these dogs are sold to stores that it’s so hard for them, they just aren’t worth their money to do anymore, so they fall back,” Terhune said.

The community is mobilizing to help these dogs. Local organizations donated food, toys, veterinary services, fences, harnesses and more.

About half of the rescued dogs have already found new homes. Pamela is sure that the rest of this group of backyard breeders will progress towards their forever home as well.

Grateful Rescue is working on the construction of a new facility on 38 acres of land on the west side of Muncie. For more information, including how to adopt one of the animals or donate to Grateful Rescue, visit their website.

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