Lily, a tiny, maltreated dog became the inspiration for Theresa Strader to establish National Mill Dog Rescue and go on to rescue thousands of dogs just like her.
Theresa Strader saved Lily from a dog auction in Missouri. The Italian Greyhound had spent the first 7 years of her life as a commercial breeding dog and the years of neglect and abuse were evident on her face.
During her years as a breeding dog, Lily spent all of her days confined to a small, cold wire cage in a dark, foul-smelling barn. She was never removed from her cage for exercise or socialization. She produced litter after litter and when she was no longer able to, she was sold off at a dog auction.
As with many dogs in puppy mills, Lily had received very little veterinary care (if any) throughout her life. The results of poor quality food and no dental care were that Lily’s mouth and lower jaw had literally rotted away. She also had many mammary tumors and was absolutely terrified of people.
Theresa brought Lily and twelve other dogs home from the auction and what followed was a harrowing education in rehabilitation, something that would inspire the seasoned rescuer to devote her time and energy to advocating for dogs like Lily from that point forward.
Just fifteen months after her rescue, Lily passed away in the loving arms of her adoptive family. While grieving, Theresa wrote this powerful letter directed at Lily’s breeder and her beloved Lily.
I think her heartfelt letter also speaks to the public at large too, because commercial breeders only breed dogs like Lily if there’s demand from consumers.
Share Lily’s story and Theresa’s important message with your friends and family!