Dog in need of hip replacements believed to be from puppy mill

Dog in need of hip replacements believed to be from puppy mill
Walter White (Source: Crowdwise)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The life of a puppy is generally care free, running around and just being silly but that is not the case for one Tucson pup, Walter White.

He was plagued with two bad hips, unable to live his life to the fullest for now and is still only months old.

Cheryl Amos, who is fostering this special golden retriever told Tucson News Now, "Seeing him go through this has been a little bit hard."

Amos and her husband began fostering Walter White, named after the Breaking Bad character, back in January.

"It was just like that was what we needed to do," Amos said.

Walter has experienced a lot of change in his life within less than a year. He was sold to a family from a local pet store and they raised him until his costly medical issues came to light.

He was then taken to the Southern Arizona Golden Retriever Rescue, where they believe his life may have started at a puppy mill.

More often than not, dogs from puppy mills have health issues, like kennel cough. In Walter's case, he was healthy otherwise but his bones weren't quite right.

The puppy mill problem runs rampant with tens of thousands of them nationwide.

It's a problem seen here in Arizona.

Joyce Sanford, the Intake Coordinator with the Southern Arizona Golden Retriever Rescue said, "We do see the results of it. That's part of what not just our rescue, but all rescues go around mopping up."

States across the country have passed legislation in recent years, requiring pet stores to sell rescue animals. It almost happened in our state a couple of years ago.

"It looked like it was going to pass and then it didn't. That would have been a really good thing," Sanford explained.

Sanford with the SAGRR said it's a law shelters and dogs like Walter could benefit from if it ever came about again.

Walter has just had his first hip surgery, his second scheduled for six to eight weeks from now.

"He's been through so much," said Amos. "Plus, if you have a golden for one day - you kind of feel like they're yours."

The Amos family hopes to call Walter their own after fostering him, leaving a permanent paw print on their hearts.

The community has rallied around Walter's story, raising more than $3,000 for him in a matter of months. A link to his CrowdRise can be found here: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/surgery-needed-for-golden-pup-walter

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