“It has been so much work rehabilitating not one but two dogs from the same puppy mill bust. But it has been one of the most rewarding. Watching their little personalities come out more and more as they relax and become accustomed to a life of love has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.”

Bubba and Herman are Angie’s “Angel babies.” These long haired chihuahuas were two of the 250+ dogs rescued from two puppy mill operations in Stevens County, Washington, in September 2018. Our RedRover Responders team was there, assisting American Humane with the shelter and care of these pups, who had endured horrific conditions in the puppy mills. But our volunteers weren’t just feeding and walking the dogs as they began their long recovery process. Our volunteers were teaching these animals that it was safe to play, safe to love and safe to trust — perhaps for the first time in the dogs’ lives.

Like many of the dogs we cared for on that deployment, Bubba and Herman were frightened and skittish. They had never seen toys before and didn’t know how to play. But soon, with the patient care and unconditional love of our volunteers, they were ready to find their furever families and start new, happy lives.

Angie adopted Herman (the Merle chihuahua) in October and says, “He came to us a timid, 4 lb little guy scared of absolutely everything.” But Angie was patient and persistent.

“I set an alarm every two hours to teach him how to potty outside. We had to spoon feed him so he wouldn’t try to inhale his food and choke. He lived so long not knowing when his next meal was coming. He never played with toys and he didn’t make a peep, not a single bark for a solid two months.”

In November, Angie saw Bubba’s photo posted for adoption, after he had spent time in foster care recovering. Bubba (the black and white chihuahua) came to Angie and her family “with every issue Herman had and then some.” The poor pup seemed to have been even more abused than Herman and suffered from health issues due to a lack of muscle tone in his back legs.

They were terrified of everything including their own shadow. They inhaled their food, they weren’t potty trained, they wouldn’t play with toys…”

While both dogs had an immediate bond with Angie, they were terrified of men. “It was heartbreaking to see,” Angie says.

“But we fast forward a year and both have them have come so very far. They are becoming the happiest little boys. They have favorite toys. Herman will play fetch for hours and Bubba likes to chew and take care of his little toys. They are so sweet and funny. Their little personalities grow by the day. Herman is mischievous and funny. Bubba is the lover boy and they both love to just sit and cuddle for hours. I have bad depression and anxiety and sometimes I think they rescued me. They brought a light to my life in the darkness. Again, thank you so much for all the work you have done not only for these guys but for all the animals in need of help. Thank you for everything you do for all animals!! Y’all are an inspiration.”

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