Not many people can resist the charm of a sweet puppy dog. When they’re small and cute, no one cares where the dog came from, as long as they can have some snuggle time…
Sadly, however, many of these dogs will grow up to have physical and emotional problems due to the inhumane practices that went into their birth…
Puppy Mill Dangers
Illegal puppy mills and backyard breeders are a growing, serious issue around the world. Not just because they often result in sick pups, but due to the disgusting treatment of the parents.
Damage & Disease
These criminals abuse the dogs they breed, often forcing them to live in dirty cages, with little-to-no food or water, surrounded by other animals who are ridden with disease. Besides the mental damage, this does to a dog, the mistreatment can also result in serious physical defects, too…
So this is true for a poor pooch named Maria, who was badly abused and mistreated for her entire life. This tiny dachshund had parents who didn’t care about her wellbeing at all.
Maria was never brought to a veterinarian for health care when she was sick and probably never received any love from any human, ever. It’s a miracle this dog survived, living in misery for as long as she did. Most dogs would have never been able to live through what she had…
To Maria’s owners, her sole purpose in life was to have as many puppies as possible, despite the damage it was doing to her tiny body. She had been treated like she was trash for her entire life and once the evil breeders were finished using her, they’d move onto their next victim.
Being bred over and over and over again with other disabled dogs in sickly living conditions took a big toll on Maria’s tiny body over the years, resulting in her becoming paralyzed from the waist down. The dachshund could no longer use her hind legs and was completely disabled…
But that didn’t stop the breeders from trying to get one last litter out of her. In 2014, poor Maria was forced into becoming pregnant one last time – even if it killed her. However, there was one thing Maria’s evil owners didn’t think about with this pregnancy.
Due to her paralyzed legs, there was no way the disabled dachshund could give birth the normal way that she had done so many times in the past. The only way Maria could deliver her latest litter was via a Cesarean section that would cost them a lot more than they would make on her puppies…
Dachshunds, with their long, slender bodies, are more prone to birthing complications that result in necessary C-sections than other dogs are. Maria’s C-section would cost about $3,000 and so the monster puppy millers decided she wasn’t worth it. Instead, they dumped her like garbage, leaving her pregnant and paralyzed with no way to survive on her own.
Luckily, not everyone in the world is as cruel as her old owners. A Texas rescue organization soon found the pregnant dog and took her under their care. Seeing the tiny dog drag around her giant belly, they instantly knew her former owners must’ve realized the likelihood of pregnancy complications and gave up on her. However, they refused to do the same…
The amazing heroes of Friends of Emma (FOE), an animal rescue group based in Fort Worth, found Maria in terrible pain and covered with fleas, and would soon give her the love she’s never had, “We are a private rescue home providing for major medical, critical care and hospice animals…We work with some of the most critical and rare cases,” FOE wrote on Facebook.
Maria was “malnourished, terrified and full of infection,” according to FOE’s rescue video, but she kept holding on to life for her unborn puppies. Over the next few months, Maria’s sickly condition began to slowly improve and when it finally became time to give birth, she had a huge surprise in store for her saviors…
The Von Dapp Family
“On August 4, 2014, Maria delivered seven healthy babies via C-section,” FOE’s video announced. Just like their mama, the tiny pups were named after characters from The Sound of Music: Friedrich, Gretl, Werner, Liesl, Louisa, Kurt and Rolfe. Together, they were lovingly known as “The Von Dapp family”.
A Mother’s Love
FOE wrote on Facebook that Maria struggled with feeding the pups at first. “She still has no milk,” they wrote. “[But that’s] common, considering her depleted condition upon arrival. And with a C-section, often mothers do not experience milk let down even with stimulants. So I have bottle fed these kids from birth.” Yet Maria refused to give up on her seven tiny pups…
Road to Recovery
Despite the dog’s difficult physical condition during her birth, she surprised her heroes by slowly overcoming the pain and struggle, recovering nicely. However, Maria still had no feeling below her ribcage and FOE was convinced she would never fully gain any movement back.
A Better Life
After the terrible start Maria had in life, all her rescuers wanted to do now was make her comfortable and try to give the poor dog the greatest quality of life possible. Just being away from the nightmare she once called home was an improvement, but they managed to go above and beyond for Maria and her puppies…
“Maria still has work to do. She still drags her legs when she’s very excited (or tired),” FOE says in Maria’s incredible rescue video. Since being shared on YouTube by the Texas-based rescue organization, Maria’s story quickly went viral, being viewed more than 5 million times by people all around the world. “She stumbles some – and waddles a bit – but she feels, she walks, she runs.”
It was impossible for anyone who watched Maria’s incredible story of tragedy and triumph to not fall in love with this mother dog and her sweet pups. So it wasn’t so surprising when FOE received a great deal of interest from people looking to adopt Maria — and her entire litter!
FOE explained that hundreds of different people offered to give the dogs forever homes, but “They still remain with mom, nurse for comfort and she cares for them in all other aspects. And [she] is a very good Mommy!” Long after each and every puppy was placed in the perfect home, the inquiries came pouring in.
“Maria and her puppies […] all found their forever families many moons ago. But thanks for the overwhelming interest in them,” Friends Of Emma issued in a statement in 2015. Even though Maria was likely born into misery, her amazing story proves that every dog deserves better and we can help put an end to the evil practices that nearly destroyed her and tore so many of her babies from her. Please SHARE Maria’s story to help spread awareness about the dangers of backyard breeding and the incredible power of animal adoption!