Volunteers rescue dogs from closing puppy mill

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PHOENIX -- Eleven adult Jack Russell terriers and five puppies have a new lease on live  thanks to a volunteer group here in Phoenix. All of the dogs were all rescued from a closing puppy mill in Missouri.

"Had we not taken them," said Sandy Mittendorf with AZ Jack Russell Rescue, Inc. "they would have all been put down."

Mittendorf and a group of volunteers rescue, foster, then adopt out these neglected animals.

"Conditions are horrible at most puppy mills," Mittendorf said. "They’re dirty. The dogs don’t get out to exercise; most of them have never even walked on grass. They spend their lives in little kennels."

A few days ago, Mittendorf got word from a fellow rescuer in Missouri, who said these dogs needed help, Mittendorf jumped into action, calling her friend, Danny Butler, who immediately packed his bags to go get the dogs.

"It’s just a rewarding experience that words can’t be put to it," Butler said.

A quick 57-hour trip to Missouri and back and the pups now have a new life.

"They were pretty dirty and they stank a lot," Butler said. "We didn’t have any hands on with the dogs until we get back today."

"We love dogs, Jack Russells in general, but we love animals of all kinds and we felt this was something we needed to do," Mittendorf.

Now that the dogs have been cleaned up and are being cared for, a vet will be brought in to check them out. In addition to checkups, the puppies will be spayed or neutered. After that, all of the dogs will need forever homes.

The dogs will be available for adoption after July 15, 2011. For more information, contact AZ Jack Russell Rescue, Inc. at 480-854-0358. You also can e-mail russellrescuephx@aol.com.