"Is that your dog?"
I've asked that question thousands of times over my past 13 years in animal rescue. But this time it was a bit different.
Just minutes before, I slammed on my breaks, barely missing the dog. I had been driving down busy University Drive in Mesa, Arizona, and saw the black and tan dachshund out of the corner of my eye. She darted into the busy road and dashed right in front of my SUV. Stomach in my throat and my hands death-gripping the wheel, I gathered my thoughts and found my breath as the doxie ran to the entrance of a mobile home park.
I followed the dog, parked my vehicle a bit haphazardly, got out and started to chase after the dog. Just then, the black sports car pulled up, parked and a young woman got out. Short skirt, high heels, designer bag and cell phone in tow, I knew the dog was hers even though she didn't seem the least bit rattled by the situation.
That's when I stopped and asked. She said the dog slipped out the front door. The woman wasn't as frantic about it as I was and couldn't run as fast as me due to her spiked heels. I asked the dog's name and ran after the dog, calling her by name. I cornered Lily by a mobile home, snatched her up and brought her to the young woman who barely thanked me.
Was I in an alternate universe? These things are happening way too often, I thought.
No tags, no collar, and I soon found out no chip. I begged the woman to make sure she at the least got the dog a collar with ID tags.
Then I asked a typical rescuer question.
"Is she spayed?"
It's just a gut feeling you get after rescuing for so long, but I already knew the answer. Boy do I like when I'm wrong, but this time I wasn't.
"I want her to have puppies," the woman said nonchalantly.
I've heard it a million times. The dog obviously was from a breeder or a puppy store, meaning she was likely born in a puppy mill.