Teacup Chihuahua Hemp may be a cute little pooch, but she has a dark past that was filled with sadness and cruelty. The vulnerable dog had a long struggle growing up in a puppy mill, where she experienced untold trauma. Hemp was even sentenced to a horrible fate, until someone special stepped in and changed the little dog’s life in more ways than anyone could have imagined. What’s more, Hemp had a few surprises for this special someone as well. Read on to find out the story of the tiny and petrified Chihuahua, and how one woman changed it all.
1. A Dark Life
Hemp the teacup Chihuahua was doomed to a fate of being reduced to nothing but a breeding dog in a puppy mill. Her only purpose was to produce litters of puppies for her cruel owners to sell off for a hefty profit.
She was trapped in a small cage, without ever being allowed to see the outside world or experience the joy of running through the grass in the open air. But little did she know that her luck would soon change for the better.
2. A World Without Love
Even though her luck would change on one fateful day, the little teacup Chihuahua named Hemp would have more hardships to endure than most Chihuahuas her size. She would even be sentenced to death in one of the most horrific ways possible.
Hemp grew up in a small crowded cage in the dark puppy mill. She had never even seen the light of the day outside the miserable building where she was being held. The poor dog was sentenced to grow up in a world without love.
3. Tea Cup Chihuahuas
Not only were the conditions in the puppy mill beyond horrific, but teacup Chihuahuas also are quite fragile, and susceptible to a number of different health issues that require special attention ― attention that sadly none of the dogs were receiving.
Due to their size, this small dog breed is prone to heart issues, low blood sugar, seizures, and fainting. There are also a number of complications associated with small dogs such as vulnerability to the cold, eye issues, and a wide variety of obesity issues.
4. A Puppy Machine
Tiny Hemp was used as a puppy machine for years, even though she was too tiny to have puppies naturally. Her puppies had been sold for anywhere between $700 to $1500, depending on any deformities or health issues that arose.
The pregnancies put extreme stress on Hemp’s body, to the point where she began to develop severe health issues. Not only was she physically abused at the puppy mill, she was also mentally abused. Something no dog should ever have to go through.
Apart from the physical and mental abuse, there was also the problem of having to give birth to puppies. Hemp’s body was too small and too weak to give birth, so the breeders at the puppy mill came up with a terrible solution.
When it came time for Hemp to give birth to her litter of pups, instead of risking her death with a natural birth, the breeders delivered the litter of pup via caesarean section. This operation put her body through even more severe stress.
6. End of the Rope
After giving birth to at least two litters, most likely through inbreeding, Hemp was unable to have any more puppies, which rendered her useless to the breeders at the puppy farm. What they planned to do to her next was absolutely horrific!
By the time Hemp had given birth twice, she was malnourished, weak and unable to fulfill her task of having more puppies. The owners of the puppy mill decided that it was time to put Hemp down. But not in a humane way…
7. An Unexpected Visit
The owners of the puppy mill were reportedly going to cruelly drown little Hemp instead of euthanizing her in a more humane way. That’s when a rescue agency stepped in, boldly intervening to make sure that the worst didn’t happen.
An organization called Many Tears Animal Rescue came to the mill to save tiny Hemp. They were shocked by the state of the mill’s facilities as well as the condition of the dogs, who they were breeding for pure profit.
8. The Rescue
Along with Hemp, the rescue group managed to help save a number of other dogs from a fate worse than death. They immediately took Hemp and the group of other dogs back to their headquarters and started cleaning them up.
Hemp had bad scratches on her ears and legs, as well as a number of painful scabs. They cleaned her up as best they could and put a photo of her online, hoping that some kind soul would adopt her.
9. An Amazing Woman
Hemp’s picture wasn’t the most photogenic after being rescued from the traumatic puppy mill. She wasn’t looking her best yet. However, the rescue team hoped that someone would be interested in saving her and giving her the loving home that she deserved.
Surprisingly a number of people expressed interest in adopting poor tiny Hemp, despite her mangy appearance. One woman, in particular, was very interested in adopting her; a woman by the name of Claire Stokoe. But she was on the other side of the country.
The distance between them didn’t deter Claire from pursuing her dream of adopting tiny Hemp. Claire contacted the adopting agency and luckily Hemp was still available for adoption. Something about the tiny teacup Chihuahua just drew Claire in and wouldn’t let her go.
Claire ended up driving over 600 miles to meet Hemp. The entire way there she hoped that the meeting would go well and that the two would bond with each other. Claire hoped that she would gain a new family member to love. Read on to find out what Claire found when she arrived to the rescue station.
11. Shocking Conditions
When Claire got to the adoption center she was shocked by what she saw. The state of Hemp was worse than she imagined. It was apparent by Hemp’s condition that she had gone through a lot at the puppy mill.
“When I saw her I was shocked,” Claire said. “She was emaciated and shaking. She clung to the lady at the rescue and I wondered for a second if I could really help her. Claire added sorrowfully: “She looked so pitiful and it was really upsetting.” Claire saw that the little dog “was crouched at the back of her little carry case, wide-eyed and scared.”
The rescue organization was upfront about Hemp’s condition and the special care that she would need to be given. One of the biggest issues was that Hemp wasn’t used to any light at all. She struggled to keep her eyes open in the light.
Hemp was kept in a dark room at the puppy mill, rarely seeing much light. So to be free in a well-lit room was something very foreign and difficult for her. It would take time, but she would eventually get used to it.
13. Health Issues
One of the biggest hurdles facing Hemp was that she severely malnourished and badly neglected. The owners at the puppy mill stopped feeding her when she was no longer able to carry puppies. Hemp was also suffering from a terrible skin disease.
On top of all that, Hemp the tiny Chihuahua also had leg problems. They were bent in the wrong direction because of the pressure placed on her tiny physique when she was forced to give birth at such a young age. With all of these ailments, would Claire still want to adopt Hemp?
14. A Match?
Hemp’s health issues weren’t going to bother Claire in the least. But what she was worried about was whether or not they would get along with each other. If they weren’t a match, then she wouldn’t feel comfortable taking her.
On their first meeting, Hemp wouldn’t let Claire go near her. She was highly suspicious of the new human. Claire worried that Hemp would never be accepting and trusting of another human ever again, but it turned out to be just the opposite.
15. Hoping for the Best
It was love at first sight! Claire knew that there was no way that she was going to leave such a helpless tiny creature alone in a shelter. She feared if no one ever adopted Hemp, the poor dog might be put down.
Claire understood the responsibilities involved in adopting a dog with all her special needs and health issues. In spite of that, she decided that she would adopt the little dog and hope for the best. Her biggest hope was that Hemp would warm up to her.
Claire filled out the necessary paperwork for the adoption and at long last everything was complete. Tiny teacup Chihuahua Hemp now had a new forever home and a family that would take care of her needs. But Hemp was paralyzed from fear!
Claire filled the carrier with warm blankets to make the long trip home feel a bit more comfortable for little Hemp (soon to be renamed), but she was still terrified. Then something unexpected happened in the car that would change everything.
17. A Surprise Encounter
“I took the front of the case off and all of a sudden she ran up my stomach and hid her face in my neck,” Claire said. “I was dumbfounded and just sat there enjoying the feeling of her little breaths on my neck.”
“She fell asleep and soon we were all dozing in the back of the car. She fell asleep within minutes,” Claire added with an air of relief, feeling thankful that things were slowly working out fine for her and her special new dog.
18. A New Name
Along with a newfound lease on life, Hemp got a new name, Brie. She was named after the Game of Thrones character Brienne of Tarth, a character that is known for her strength and loyalty; attributes that were well suited for the little teacup Chihuahua.
“How she survived two pregnancies, the cold, the hunger and the fear I have no idea,” Claire said. “She is made of stronger stuff than me, that’s for sure. It’s inspiring.” But Brie didn’t only gain a new name; she gained a number of family and friends.
19. More Friends
Along with a new mother, Brie also gained a number of goofy new little canine friends that she could romp and play with. Claire has three other dogs apart from Brie named Douddica, Dexter, and Vesper. Brie and Vesper took to each other instantly!
“Vesper took to Brie straight away as if Brie was her puppy,” Claire said. “She cleaned her and sat next to her. Brie would walk all over Vesper, and Vesper let Brie do anything ― even eat from her food bowl.”
20. A New Dog
Almost overnight, Brie transformed personalities and became a happy new Chihuahua thanks to her new loving family. Brie and Vesper quickly became best friends. Vesper even treated Brie like her own little puppy, so much so, that something very rare occurred.
“Vesper even had a phantom pregnancy just one month after I got Brie and the vet said that getting Brie made her hormones shoot through the roof,” Claire added. “She was even trying to get Brie to suckle like a puppy.”
Claire, reminiscing about that day she came across the Facebook ad for the adoption of little Brie, says that they were meant to find each other. Brie was ultimately destined to be a part of Claire’s family despite all the hardships she had to endure.
The picture in the ad was of tiny Brie looking scared and standing next to a soup can. “She could barely see over the top of it and she looked so precious and vulnerable,” Claire said, reminiscing over the feelings that overcame her when she saw the image.
22. Mr. Duck Duck
Brie is still filled with youthful energy. “She acts very much like a young puppy in many ways,” Claire added. “She races around the house, plays with toys, chases and throws socks around and slides along the floor dragging her legs behind her.”
“She has constant contact with humans who love her and want to protect her,” Claire said. “She plays with toys, her favorite being Mr. Duck Duck [a stuffed animal]. She sleeps in her own bed on a soft blanket with access to water. She walks off [leash] and runs with her brother and sisters.”
23. A Happy Girl
Brie’s a laugh riot without realizing it. “She does a hilarious little thing where she grabs her ears and opens her mouth really loud and makes a noise like chimps do when they laugh,” Claire laughed. “It is the cutest thing I have ever seen.”
Ever since leaving the puppy mill, Brie’s health has improved significantly now that she is being taken care of properly and loved by her human and animal friends. Brie and Vesper have become inseparable, while Brie has taken to Claire as her own mother.
24. Snug as a Bug
Brie’s family has even provided clothing for her so she doesn’t get cold. Chihuahuas, in particular, are highly susceptible to the cold due to their very small size. They love to bathe in the sunlight and burrow themselves under blankets to keep warm.
Brie also has her very own warm bed to sleep in at night. The bed is pink and shaped like a unicorn ― another symbol that is perfect to describe Brie the teacup Chihuahua. She is a unicorn in her own right.
25. Instagram Fame
The story of Brie escaping the puppy mill in Wales went viral and Claire made sure to document every step of saving her and how she is doing today. If you’re looking for more amazing pictures of the adorable pup, check it out here.
Brie’s Instagram page has become so popular that the cute little teacup Chihuahua has attracted more than 13,000 followers. It’s a platform that Claire uses to spread joy as well as important messages that we can all learn from.
26. Adopt. Don’t Buy!
Claire uses Brie’s Instagram success to spread the message to adopt a rescued dog and not buy them at pet stores if one is interested in getting a dog. This is because pet store animals mostly come from puppy farms.
While the thought of a farm full of puppies sounds like a great place, as we’ve learned from Brie’s story, they are not. The dogs in puppy farms are kept confined in dark dirty cages, devoid of sunlight and love.
27. Lucy’s Law
There is currently a law in the process of being ratified by the UK parliament, which has been coined Lucy’s Law. This law seeks to ban the sale of puppies at pet shops; a trade which fuels puppy farms and their cruel conditions.
The bill is named after a dog, much like Brie, that was saved from the squalor of a puppy farm. “Dogs lives are literally hanging in the balance, all the other Lucy’s out there still need to be saved,” Lucy’s owner stated.
28. The Petition
A petition was started to make Lucy’s Law happen and it gathered over 143,000 signatures. “I never thought it would come as far as it has and it’s all stemmed from one little dog called Lucy who I saw on a rescue center website looking so tiny and vulnerable,” Lisa Garner said.
“I’m incredibly proud of my team and everyone for signing and sharing the petition, change is long overdue and you are all making it happen,” Lisa added. It is estimated that around 80,000 puppies are sold by puppy farms each year.
29. No Regulation
Only some elements of dog breeding in the United States are regulated under the Animal Welfare Act of August 24, 1966. But each state has its own laws regarding puppy farms and many states continue to ignore the cruelty of the industry.
Currently, there are at least 21 states that have zero regulation for puppy mills. By turning a blind eye, these states essentially serve as a safe haven for cruel practices, just like the horrific puppy mill that poor Brie was in.
30. Puppy Mill Raids
A number of puppy mill raids have taken place across the United States and many of the owners of the mills have been arrested and charged with animal cruelty. In 2015, a puppy mill in Florida was raided and over 100 dogs were rescued from terrible conditions.
Another significant raid took place in Arkansas where Humane Society rescuers saved 183 animals from a puppy mill. Puppies like Brie all around the world need saving, so remember to always adopt or rescue a pet, not buy them from a store.
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