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Iowa puppy mill dogs adjust to real world with training

Dogs from a puppy mill in Iowa are adjusting to life in the real world in Kansas City, Missouri.
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 7:07 AM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Missouri (CNN) - About 150 dogs raised in an Iowa puppy mill are getting a helping hand, or paw, in Kansas City, Missouri.

A rescue operation there called “Wayside Waifs” took them in. Now it’s helping those dogs raised in small crates adjust to life in this big world.

Jacob Marlay, a behavior evaluator with Wayside Waifs, said they are looking for signs of progress toward the dogs finding real life less scary.

It’s called a Team H Play Group at Wayside Waifs.

“We bring all the dogs in and let them have kind of a space to roam around,” Marlay said.

It’s a twice-a-day session with relaxing music and just spce to move for puppy mill dogs that are confused.

“They live most, if not their entire lives, in crates while they’re in a puppy mills. Circles is really all they kind of can do,” Marlay said.

The dogs at the session are seen circling, pacing and trying to figure out freedom.

“Being able to have that curiosity and explore things without being completely terrified,” Marlay said.

Marlay said the simple things like taking food from humans can all be a struggle because they don’t know people.

“If you had never been around another person your entire life, you probably wouldn’t really know how to react to seeing a person for the first time,” he added.

Casey Waugh, a spokesperson for Waysaide Waifs, said things like being on the couch, hearing a television or a doorbell really scares them/

Of the nearly one-hundred-fifty dogs Wayside got from that Iowa puppy mill, almost fifty of them are still here. Waugh said that’s because many of these animals have never interacted with humans before, and that’s what the classes are all about.”

“We’re big, scary things to them, so they have to figure out how to interact with us and what we are,” Marlay said.

Marlay said these dogs will find a forever home after several weeks of these classes.

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