Although doing rescue since 1990, founder of Wheatens in Need (WIN), Gwen Arthur, entered a puppy mill for the first time in her life on Wednesday, February 17, 2010. Gwen left the puppy mill with five Wheatens; two-sickly six week old puppies, two young females and one young male. Gwen left the older dogs with her Houston vet, Rusty Tracy, of Tracy Animal Hospital, for bathing, neutering/spaying, vaccinations, heartworm tests, fecal tests, general health exams, and micro chipping. After Rusty examined the 2 puppies, Gwen took them back home to Blanco (near Austin) with her. They had to be syringe fed, but then on Friday one of the puppies started bleeding from the rectum and they quickly deteriorated. Gwen rushed them to a vet’s office near her home, but after testing for parvo, giardia, coccidian, hooks and other parasites, there was still no diagnosis. Gwen called Rusty Tracy and he said the puppies were “bleeding out” and his diagnosis would be that they had ingested rat poison. Rusty told Gwen that the puppies would more than likely die, but we had to try to save them. They were put on IV fluids and Vitamin K injections, every six hours around the clock. One of the puppies died while Gwen was driving back home from the vet’s office and the other died the next day.
Also on Friday, Gwen received a call saying the puppy miller was willing to give up more puppies and the rest of her Wheaten breeding stock. Gwen left Blanco heading for Alvin, with her Jeep loaded with crates at 3:30 AM. Saturday morning. She met up with her friend and puppy owner, Jan, and they caravanned to the puppy mill, arriving there at 7:45 AM. Gwen was expecting to get the balance of the “rat poisoned” litter, but instead, the miller took her into a room where there was a newly whelped litter. The miller didn’t even know which day the pups whelped; giving Gwen and Jan two different answers. Gwen and Jan left the puppy mill with eight 5 day old puppies, their mom, Fancy, a six week old female puppy who was a litter mate to the two little “rat poisoned” boys, Mona, the mother of the six week old litter who is also suffering from rat poisoning, and the stud dog, Shane. In order to get the six week old female puppy who was a litter mate to the two little “rat poisoned” boys, Gwen made a deal with the miller, to take an older heartworm positive, Bichon. Again, Gwen went directly to Rusty Tracy’s Vet Clinic in Houston and left the older Wheatens and the little “rat poisoned” female puppy. Gwen called her husband, Don, in Blanco and told him to get the heat lamps and everything set up for a new litter.