Pug life: dogs blossom, one year after giant bust

- They are arguably the most adorable and spoiled breed of dog. For one Pug, however live hasn't always been plush.

In fact, it was downright horrible.

Just before Thanksgiving in 2015, a puppy mill bust took place, and deputies rescued dozens upon dozens of Pugs in Tonopah. Many people subsequently saw the story.

Pugh were reportedly everywhere: stuffed in cages that were stacked on other cages. Pugs were in every nook and cranny. 128 Pugs were found, along with one cat.

Garry Miller ran the Sheriff's Office Animal Rescue Unit, called MASH. The pugs were taken there.

"We literally worked all night, one animal at a time," said Miller.

As soon as the bust hit the news, calls and e-mails flooded in, with 5,000 people calling or e-mailing, wanting to adopt or help.

"They're so cute," said Miller. "They're Pugs. They're cute. How can you not love them?"

Fast forward one year, some of the Pugs are definitely living the life, with their new owners.

Nearly 30 ended up with a Pug rescue, due to their severe health problems. The rest were adopted out, with patient, loving human companions.

"She doesn't have a diva personality, but she has a diva lifestyle at home," said Jennifer Anderson, whose Pug has a rather diva-ish quality to it.


"She's always in my lap. I sleep with her at night, and I love her snowing. She's just a pint-sized nugget," said Anderson.

Anderson said she has always loved Pugs.

"I used to have a Pug, and she was mauled in front of me by a Pitbull, and I couldn't save her," said Anderson. "I was very sad, of course. In December, I got Cher. It was a sad story that turned into a blessing."

At the time of the adoption, Cher was skinny, scared, and not al all social. Anderson works at a horse rescue and Cher goes to the horse stables with her.

"She's a spoiled girl now," said Anderson.

Another Pug also found a loving home. Maddie was adopted by Connie Phillips.

"Doctors thought was was a puppy because she was so small, but turns out she was three to four years old," said Phillips. "She was very malnourished when we got her."

On top of being malnourished, Maddie was also sad.

"They're a companion breed," said Phillips. "So, to deny them companionship is extra abuse, on top of the neglect and everything else."

Now, Maddie is happy and healthy, but it took a lot of work, as well as love.

"She was like a little broken bird," said Phillips. "I literally had to move slowly, not make any sudden movements. Took her a week to show personality. She didn't know what a toy was, or a treat. She had to be trained how to work. She was so afraid. We got a half a block, and she was scared out of her mind."

Phillips said a year later, Maddie has blossomed.

One of the Pugs from the MASH unit was adopted by FOX 10's Kari Lake, who named her Sushi.

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