By Austria Arnold

Last semester, a small and fragile puppy climbed her way into the arms, and eventually the hearts, of The Bundle Magazine staff. We named this sweet girl Kami and began to nurse her back to health. Born in an Arkansas puppy mill, Kami suffered from intestinal parasites, an eye infection and skin problems. She is slowly but surely gaining weight and learning how to accept love, but many animals are less fortunate. Read below to learn more about Kami’s journey and the horrors of puppy mills.

Kami is hairless, although certain parts of her body grow clumps of hair. Her skin was dry and dull when she was rescued, however, proper nutrition and care are improving her looks.

Fortunately, Kami does not have any major congenital or birth defects, which is a concern when adopting from puppy mills because inbreeding is common. What she does suffer from, however, is microphthalmia, a condition that has resulted in the tissue around the left eye being smaller than her right eye.

Puppy mills are a national problem. Arkansas, where Kami was bred and raised, is ranked among the top 10 states having the greatest number of puppy mills. There are estimated to be between 700 and 1,000 puppy mills in Arkansas. Texas is ranked 15th nationally in terms of puppy mills per state according to The Humane Society.

Kami is thought to be a mix between a Chinese crested and a dachshund. Chinese cresteds are known for being extremely friendly and for attaching to one particular person. Although she was skittish at first, we are slowly getting Kami acclimated to more people.

People are fighting back against puppy mills. For example, State Rep. Jim Sorvillo of (R-District 32) introduced an online petition to end puppy mills in the state of Arkansas. Many non-profit organizations are also working to find homes for sweet puppies once they are removed from the puppy mills. If you’d like to learn more about how to help other pups like our sweet Kami, click here.