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Just keep in mind that little Sunshine is a puppymill rescue so she will come with special issues. Puppymill rescues are often unable to be completely housebroken since they have gotten used to living in their own urine and feces. They can have habits like spinning and self mutilating from being confined most of their lives. Most are very fearful and not socialized to humans.

It takes a very special and patient person to rehab a mill dog, one who realizes not only their potential, but their limitations. I personally would recommend that anyone considering rescuing a mill dog do it through Northcentral Maltese so you would have the support and knowledge of their wonderful and experienced volunteers.
 

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Under Sunshine's picture, it has the name of the rescue group and "toy breed puppymill rescue" in parentheses.

I could be wrong, but I don't think Northcentral does any cross posting with other rescue groups.

I'm certainly not trying to discourage anyone from adopting Sunshine. I am 100% in favor of rescue - it's the only way I get my furkids. But I know firsthand how challenging even a rescue from a home situation can be and have heard from adopters of mill dogs on the many forums I have belonged to over the years how difficult the adjustment can be for both the dog and the adoptive family.
 

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You can go to their website here to find out more about the group:

WolfSpiritsRescue.com

They do have a page explaining about adopting puppymill dogs:

Adopting a Puppy Mill Survivor

You just saw a dog on our web site and want it. Before you get excited about that cute little face you see and just have to have it please read on.

First remember adopting any pet is a lifetime commitment.. Please do not act on impulse.

Puppymill dogs do come with some issues you will have to accept.

They are not housetrained when they come to us and some may never catch onto the concept. They have lived for years in small cages where they pooped and peed at will. Many eat their own feces or that of another dog.

Many coming out of the mills are very fearful of people especially men. Time and patience is needed to gain their trust. Years of abuse and neglect are not easily forgotten in just a few weeks or months. Many times a smell, touch, or noise will remind them of something from their past life in a mill and they will have a set back. What you thought was your happy new pet has again become a scared little stranger. Years of abuse and neglect are the cause. Humans to them only caused pain and fear. They need to learn to trust again. They need patience, love and understanding. A commitment not for everyone.

Most will be very scared at first then become totally dependent on you. They may become attached to just one person in the home and become their protector. Some will be food or toy aggressive. Living in a mill many had to fight for their food. Weaker ones sat back until they could get a chance to sneak over to get a small morsel of food to eat. Many survived on their own feces or the feces of their puppies while they were still with them.

Many have a fear of crates or cages -reminders of their past life. Many have lost their teeth due to years of neglect. Those with some teeth left may need more frequent dentals than most dogs. They may have heart conditions from the years of tooth decay. Some develop joint problems because of years of being inactive in a cage. Some we aren't aware of until after they have been adopted.

Flattened feet are common from standing on wires for years. Some have a smell that just doesn't seem to go away after a bath. Years of urine, feces and filth have been embedded into the pores of their skin. Some take months of baths and a good diet to get it out.

They will be experiencing and learning many new things:

Housetraining, walking on a leash, knowing they will never be hungry again, experiencing a soft bed to lay their head, walking in the grass for the first time, playing with a toy and most of all that a human touch will not hurt them again.

The first time they experience many of these things may be frightening for some. But with each experience grows confidence just like a baby taking it's first steps. And with confidence, many can accomplish so much more. To sit and watch a puppymill survivor play for the first time and to receive that first doggie kiss brings tears of joy to your eyes like a proud parent. You know that the weeks, months of patience has helped a little survivor know the meaning of love.

Puppymill rescues are not perfect, but can learn just like a new puppy can. A home full of patience, love, understanding and a commitment is what these little ones need. A chance to be loved and spoiled like they deserve.

Are you that family?
 

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Because they are confined to a cage most of their life, they learn to spin circles in their cage. Some self-mutilate their tails while they do it. It becomes an obsessive compulsive disorder that often can't be stopped.

I have the deepest admiration for anyone who adopts a former mill dog. I have only had rescues for the past 20 years, but even I don't know if I'd be up for the challenge to be perfectly honest.
 
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