September 28, 2023

The moment when two rescue dogs had their first experience with a blanket has melted hearts.

Six-month-old littermates Finn and Henry were rescued in mid-July by National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) in Peyton, Colorado.

“All of our dogs are rescued from commercial breeding facilities—sometimes known as puppy mills—in the Midwest,” Social Media Manager Melody Kahtava told Newsweek.

“They are relinquished willingly by the breeders as commercial dog breeding is a legal business,” Kahtava added. “Most of our rescued dogs are retired breeding dogs, but we do sometimes get puppies, like these two boys, who ‘age out’ and don’t sell.”

Finn and Henry
From left: Finn and Henry play around at home. The two rescue dogs who have melted hearts with their reaction to being given their first-ever soft blanket.

The Australian shepherd and poodle mix dogs were taken to the shelter where they were unsocialized and anxious.

“These two were extremely reserved when rescued,” said Kahtava. “This comes from a lack of socialization in their breeding facility. No positive interactions with people equals the belief that humans are scary.”

The rescue was established in 2007, and a staff of compassionate animal lovers support dogs from commercial breeders across the country.

When Finn and Henry arrived, staff members spent lots of time with them: “Once they received some extra attention from our wonderful staff and volunteers, they began to open up and be the puppies they were always meant to be,” said Kahtava.

Each year, 6.3 million pets are surrendered to U.S. shelters, which is an average of 17,260 a day, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Finn and Henry the dogs
Finn runs in the garden, left, and Henry rests at home, right. The Australian shepherd and poodle mix dogs are now in their forever homes.

The number of dogs and cats taken in by pet shelters hit 46,807 during January 2023, an increase of 1,744 compared with January 2022, the 24Pet ‘Shelter Watch Report’ found. Around 920,000 surrendered animals are euthanized every year. Shelters are striving to minimize euthanasia rates by promoting adoption campaigns, spaying and neutering programs, and behavior rehabilitation.

The Humane Society of the United States say that there are around 10,000 puppy mills estimated to be active across the U.S. While 2.6 million puppies are sold each year that originate from a puppy mill.

In a video on TikTok under the username @milldogrescue, the rescue center shared the heartwarming moment that Finn and Henry got their first “soft blanket” ever.

The nervous dogs continue to look up, confused, and don’t even seem to understand that the blanket is for them.

“It makes me sad how he keeps looking up like he’s gonna get yelled at,” wrote one commenter on TikTok. “Thank you for teaching them love and kindness.”

Another posted, “This is so sad,” while one viewer commented: “It’s so sad they don’t know what actual bed is.”

But thankfully, Finn and Henry have now found their happy ending, and have both been adopted into loving new homes.

“Henry went to a home with children, so you can imagine the love and playtime he’s enjoying now,” said Kahtava. “Finn went to a more quiet home, as he was the more reserved of the two.”

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