A video of a sick and malnourished puppy running on a treadmill every day as she grows into a (more-or-less) healthy adult has gone viral, Bored Panda is reporting.
South African videographer and animal-rights activist Dave Meinert rescued Pegasus from a puppy mill – a “backyard breeder,” as he calls it – a few months ago. Her littermates – those who weren’t severely deformed – all died. Pegasus herself was near death.
“She is a “double-merle” and was born with a severe lack of pigment. Most double-merles are born blind and/or deaf and I was told that if she lived, this might happen to her, too.”
Meinert reports that instead of focusing on his new puppy’s poor prognosis, he decided to make the best of the situation and record her every day for what little time he had left with her. So he set up his video camera and recorded her every day on his treadmill, doing her daily exercises.
What happened over the next seven months amazed the South African filmmaker: the once sick and dying puppy defied all odds and has grown into a seemingly healthy almost-adult (a “teenager,” as Meinert calls her).
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) describes puppy mills as places of unspeakable cruelty.
“A puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs—who are often severely neglected—and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices. Despite the intense suffering of these dogs, puppy mills are operating all over the U.S.”
The problem is equally bad, if not worse, in South Africa, where Pegasus was rescued. According to The Speak!, the South African government doesn’t regulate puppy mills – at all. To combat the problem, South Africans are encouraged to buy their pets only from licensed breeders.
As for Pegasus, the formerly sick puppy is not out of the woods, however. PetaPixel notes that it’s a miracle she’s lived this long. Her disease almost always leads to deafness and blindness, and that may not be the worst of her problems. Her poor prognosis may yet catch up with her, and she could die at any time.
“I still don’t know how long she is going to live, but right now is pretty great.”
Hopefully, this video of a puppy running on a treadmill will bring light to the appalling conditions of puppy mills, so stories like Pegasus’ will be a thing of the past.
[Image courtesy of: YouTube]