DE SOTO, Iowa — Local animal rescue groups returned early Sunday morning from a dog auction in Missouri. The volunteers planned to bring back 30 dogs, but they ended up rescuing nearly twice as many.
“It was a sell-out auction for Julie’s Jewels and they also had consignment dogs there from a list of other breeders. So there was every kind of dog there you can imagine,” says Amy Heinz, founder of AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport in De Soto.
The dog breeding facility closed its doors earlier this month after coming under fire by the Humane Society and other animal rescue groups.
Volunteers from AHeinz57, Bailing Out Benji and Hope Animal Rescue made the six-hour drive to the auction. In just two days, the groups raised $13,000 to rescue puppy mill dogs. They brought back 56 dogs to Iowa. Their new caretakers say most of them are scared and unsocialized.
“The first night was actually harder than the auction itself,” says volunteer Leilani Shaw, “It was almost like she felt like she wasn’t worth of anything other than being in a cage.”
Shaw went to the auction and is fostering a 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that she calls, Bella. The little dog is doing better than some of the Huskies from Julie`s Jewels.
“Their ears are missing big chunks of them and the edges of the ears are bleeding and it’s from frostbite,” says Heinz.
All of the rescued dogs will get new names to go with their new lives. Instead of property, they are about to become someone’s pet.
“It`s a huge job. We won`t be sleeping anytime soon,” laughs Heinz.
Most of the dogs for sale went to rescue groups in the midwest. Tonight, the puppies and smaller breed dogs in foster homes in central Iowa.