Unquestionably, there are many evil people in the world who gladly bring harm to innocent animals in the pursuit of money. The only way to truly overcome this type of evil is through dedicated work and compassion. While animals who endure horrible mistreatment at puppy mills may be permanently damaged by such abuse, it does not need to determine the rest of their lives. Animals who are saved from these mills can go on to live happy and free lives if given the right support.
A perfect demonstration of how love can overcome cruelty is the case of Athena the cat, a rescue kitten. While puppy mills are known for the harm that they bring to dogs, there are often cats kept in these overcrowded mills as well. Athena was unlucky enough to be one of these cats, as she was confined in a North Carolina puppy mill since birth. It was not until the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was able to intervene in 2014 that Athena was rescued.
This was itself quite lucky, as North Carolina incredibly did not have laws regulating puppy mills. However, in keeping with the personality that one would expect a person running a puppy mill to have, the owner of Athena’s mill was convicted of animal cruelty.
This cruelty has permanently affected Athena. From her years of overbreeding and being confined in the mill, the cat developed severe Upper Respiratory Infections (URI), a condition that flat-faced cats like Athena are already more susceptible to. Her health was in such dire straits that the first vet she was brought to recommended putting her down. Luckily, her new family got a second opinion from another vet, who proposed a solution.
The second doctor explained that Athena could lead a healthy life, free from URIs. However, he would have to remove her nose in order for this to happen. Athena’s new owner, a person who loved and respected the cat as a living being, immediately agreed. After all, Athena’s life was at stake.
The operation was successful and Athena is now living a pampered life. Her new home is filled with love, and her new owner has stated that Athena herself is incredibly loving and affectionate as well. Further, she has not had any URIs since having the operation. While her face may look slightly different than other cats, Athena is completely happy and healthy.
While Athena’s story has a happy ending, many animals are not so lucky. Puppy mills are devastating and destructive for the lives of the poor animals being bred. Overcrowding and overbreeding are just a couple of the numerous issues with such mills. Luckily, organizations like HSUS exist to fight against these mills and help animals like Athena. These organizations rely on public support, so it is important to donate whenever possible in order to bring an end to these puppy mills.
While Athena will always bear the mark of cruelty upon her face, she is a shining example of how love and compassion can overcome even the most horrendous mistreatment. Her story is inspiring and is helping to raise awareness for animal rights. One can say with great confidence that Athena not only endured the cruelty of her upbringing, but conquered it.