It is a story of hope and despair, and sends a clear message about the power of love. Michel was a 10 year old Rottweiler/shepherd mix, one of 93 dogs that was rescued from a Southern Illinois puppy mill not long ago. She was the last of the dogs waiting to find a rescue or home to go to, and sadly she passed away on Sunday after having several seizures, leaving her rescuer Elanna Bradley, heartbroken.
Elanna Bradley, a rescue volunteer and animal control officer stumbled into a puppy mill while trying to chase down a stray dog. In conjuction with the Puppy Mill Project, Bradley was instrumental in the rescue of the dogs who were being kept at a private home. They worked with several rescue groups to find places for the dogs to go until homes could be found and they are now spread across the country. All except for Michel.
According to the puppy mill owner, Michel’s favourite pastime was chewing on her plastic dog house. She shared a 4 x 6 pen with another dog and while she had food and water, with over 90 dogs on the property she received almost no love or attention. She was 3/4 of the way through her 3rd plastic dog house when she was rescued. “From the beginning, Michel was one of those special girls that you can’t help but love,” says Bradley. “The noise around her was deafening with the chaos and barking of 96 other dogs. I thought to myself…this is not her toy, it is her only way of releasing her stress and pent up energy from living in this cramped, loud, stress-filled environment.”
“Michel needed what we all need, to feel loved, and to be able to show love back,” said Bradley. “The noise, the stress and chaos of her former home was bad, but the feeling of losing her friend and being alone was worse. I took that beautiful face of hers into my hands and I promised her that I would find her a home with a family and all the love she needed.”