After a week of flying around the country, getting directions from
every bird she met, Mrs. Robin heard the sound of a faint and tiny voice:
"Even if you don't have a name, you are the best puppy in the world,"
the sweet little voice said.
"At last!" said Mrs. Robin, "Maybe this is the puppy that Patrick
and Cricket are looking for."
Mrs. Robin flew closer to the sound of the fragile voice. It was
difficult to hear through the sounds of barking and crying dogs.
Mrs. Robin could not believe the horrid smell. She listened
for the tiny voice again, coming from a decrepit building. She frantically
searched for a way to get in.
"No one can get in there, Birdlady," said a big dog in a cramped
and wired cage.
"Do you live here?" asked Mrs. Robin politely.
"You can't call it livin'" said the dog. "We are prisoners
of greed. It's like jail only worse. We stay here until
we die, and that usually doesn't take very long. Welcome to Anguish Acres."
"Pain is all we know," said the dog, "and hunger and filth and disease.
We are never let out of these cages. Our feet get cut and bleed.
No one cares. I'm one of the lucky ones because at least I see the
light of day."
"My name is Mrs. Robin," the bird said politely, "what is yours?"
The big dog laughed a bitter laugh. "We are too poor to have names
here Mrs. Robin, ma'am. All we have is numbers. I'm Male 852."
"We are kept here and forced to have puppies who are then jammed
in trucks and sent away to be sold in pet stores. Thousands of dogs
and puppies die every day, never knowing what it feels like to be loved,
while Farmer Misery gets fat and happy.
That's all a dog wants in the whole world," said M852. "We
just want to be loved."
"The puppy mill farmer who locks us up and uses us up until we die."
The dog explained. "This place is so forsaken, birds don't even fly here.
What brings you?"
"I heard a tiny voice," said Mrs. Robin. "Telling someone they were
the best puppy in the world."
"They don't call them puppies here," said the dog. "They call
them PRODUCT. You can't get in. No one can."
She had no intention of leaving without finding the best puppy for
Patrick and Cricket.
"If there's someone special you are looking for, I suggest you find
him quick. The healthiest ones are stuffed in trucks and shipped out fast.
The others are left to die."
"Die?" gasped Mrs. Robin in disbelief.
"Not just die," said the dog. "They are starved to death."
Mrs. Robin looked through the keyhole in horror.
"The cull cage is where they put the sick ones to die, away
from the others. No medicine, food or water is wasted on them. When
they finally die, Farmer Misery deducts them as a business expense on his
taxes. It's all about the money."
"We need to get in there," said Mrs. Robin. "I need to find
someone small enough to fit through that keyhole."