When Animal Amigos rescued Winston (thanks to a family who called us about him), he was so matted he could barely open his eyes. He weighed only 7 pounds. A weight of 10-14 lbs. is considered healthy for this Lhasa breed of dog. Knowing that Winston needed special care, we quickly found a local Jemez family to foster him.
Winston’s foster parents discovered he didn’t know how to jump, walk up steps, or get into a car. They had to place his food on the floor, as he didn’t know how to eat out of a bowl. Winston didn’t bark or growl; it seemed he didn’t know how to or maybe he was too afraid to.
A vet visit and some online research gave us clues into Winston’s past. The vet who was scheduled to neuter Winston noticed that he had very enlarged testicles and a crease in his penis. It turns out that puppy mills band stud dogs to increase their sperm counts and for forced mating. His canines had been filed so that they were flat, another puppy mill practice. Because his teeth don’t give it away, Winston’s age is a mystery. He had multiple tumors caused by ingrown hairs, most likely from being confined in a very small cage, as puppy mills are known to do.
The vet treated the bacterial infection in his mucus membranes that prevented Winston from opening his eyes. After months of surgeries to remove tumors (and of course, to neuter him), nutritious food, and lots of love, he is a very happy little 11 pound boy who can jump, eat, walk up steps, with no apparent long-term emotional problems. Winston has found his voice and loves to use it to let the birds and squirrels know he’s there. Another big win for Winston-his foster family became his forever family.