The man stated she was “defective”. Sitting in the foyer of a vet’s office with her dog, Dimitra Molossi, co-director of Social Tees Animal Rescue, saw a guy walk in clutching a little Chihuahua puppy. He promptly handed the dog over to the receptionist and left. “He informed her that the dog was defective and wanted her to be put to sleep,” Molossi told us.

“The receptionist claimed he was a pet business owner nearby, and nobody was purchasing her. He’s dropped animals with them before.”

After glancing at the puppy, the receptionist understood nothing was wrong with her. Except from having a twisted front limb and a little problem walking, she seemed like any other joyful puppy. She wouldn’t stop wagging her tail at all the new people surrounding her.

The vet examined her out immediately as Molossi phoned her rescue partners to arrange a foster home. They named her Clover — for the stroke of good luck that left her in the right hands.

Clover’s hind legs are also slightly twisted due to what the vet suspected was an untreated bacterial illness and minimal physical exercise during the first months of her life. After having X-rays and several immunizations, Clover was transported to her foster home that night with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs.

“She’s not in any discomfort anymore and is already starting to walk better,” Molossi added. “She was so dirty – you could tell nobody paid care to her.”

While Clover is secure and happy today, her condition is similar for hundreds of other puppies for sale in pet stores around the country. Most of these puppies are born and raised in puppy mills, large-scale breeding enterprises that give minimum to no veterinary care or interaction with people

As they are hauled out to be sold in pet stores, their moms remain in the mills to continue breeding litter after litter until they are too sick or elderly to produce puppies. Numerous puppies are sold poorly or damaged to naive consumers at pet stores for upwards of $1,000.

Tiny canines like Chihuahuas are common at puppy mills. Such as their size permits breeders to hold a more substantial number of dogs in restricted cages or pens. Some may never see sunshine until they are hauled outdoors to be handed off to their buyer or to have their photo shot for an internet advertisement. Their moms can go their entire lives without seeing the sun.

“She is just a baby — so hopefully, she will never remember any of that,” Molossi added. “She was sitting in this box at a pet store, and everyone passed her up because of her leg. He was certainly attempting to sell her for at least $1,500.”

Thankfully, it seems like Clover has rapidly gone over her traumatic start in life and is just like any other puppy.

While Clover is still working on strengthening her legs, her foster mom continues to give her special massages a few times each day — and she should be ready for a permanent home within the next few weeks.

“She has no concept that she is any different,” Molossi added. “She runs about and plays all day, and her tail won’t stop wagging.”