Ruby, The Puppy Mill Rescue

My husband and I have volunteered with a shiba inu rescue for a few years now. We were asked by the rescue if we could make some room in our home for another shiba inu – coming from a puppy mill in Wisconsin.

PHOTO: Janel Scott

She was a breeder mama who most likely lived her whole existence in a cage. She was about 5 years old and knew no kind touch from a human hand. When we met her at the rescue’s transport location, we found a little red hair ball in the back of a crate, shaking in fear.

She had no name at the mill, she had never felt grass, and had never worn a collar and leash before. We also found out she had recently given birth to her last litter just weeks before her rescue. She was thrown away like garbage.

But we saw her and knew she was much more than that.

When we arrived back at our home and tried to let her out to go potty on the leash, she managed to buck and spin into somersaults, trying to escape our grip on the leash. She was wild and terrified.

Once we managed to get her into her new bedroom filled with toys, treats, food and blankets, she began to observe us from the corner of the room.

Months went by and slowly she came out of her shell. Each progressive step she made became another “Ruby milestone”. Everything was so new to Ruby. New smells, new places and new experiences. She learned everything so gracefully and happily. We ended up adopting her into our family the following year.

Ruby helped us understand that there is always new beginnings and to make each day a new experience.


Now she is almost 8 years old. But you would never know it by how much energy she has! She loves life, loves learning new tricks and has come to completely love and trust us.

Sometimes she whimpers in her sleep and I wonder if she remembers her old life. I have to remind myself that she is strong and determined to be happy. She always looks forward with a wagging tail and a pep in her step when she walks on the exact same leash that she once feared so much.

This is a friendly reminder to please adopt and don’t shop.

Story submitted by Janel Scott of Omaha, Nebraska.

Ruby’s story was originally shared on Share your very own rescue story here!

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