MOLINE-- Last week an Iowa woman was found guilty of animal neglect after her Worth County puppy mill was shut down. What what happened to the more than 150 dogs there? Now some of those dogs are getting a second chance at life.
Even a gambler feeling lucky wouldn't jump on these odds; that two-year-old Layla the Semoyed, with all her puppy energy, would get a sister.
"This is Sadie. Sadie's about six maybe seven years old," says James Zahara.
That bet gets even more risky when you find out where Sadie used to live.
"We were heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken," says Zahara.
In north central Iowa in the county of Worth, Sadie was one of 154 Semoyed dogs saved from an illegal puppy mill.
"They had them crammed several small kennels, they were thin. It was just atrocious," says Humane Society of Scott County director Pam Arndt.
The rescue was so intensive that Arndt and her team were called in as backup.
Then Pam called backup of her own, Zahara.
"We found out they were pretty much experts in Semoyeds and knew they would be a good fit," says Arndt.
The fostering and adoption process wasn't easy.
"When we first got Sadie, she had no personality. She didn't even know she was a dog," says Zahara.
But with time and patience, Sadie started to change.
"The tail starts waggling, the tail starts waggling. We were just like yeah! You're becoming a dog!" says Zahara.
With that, the odds of this family growing again, those odds, in Layla and Sadie's favor.
"Someone to adopt both of them? Perfect!" says Arndt.
"We heard about Boo. We thought let's do this!" says Zahara.
Two-year-old Boo is also a puppy mill product from Worth County.
Signs of the past are still present; Boo's apprehension to new visitors and Sadie's shorter stature.
"She never played with dogs before. All she did was breed, all she did was breed in a small environment," says Zahara.
But with every passing day, for these fighters, the odds improve. Because in this game of life, everyone deserves a second chance.
"It was mainly trust more than anything else, and knowing that it brought more love into this house than we could have ever imagined," says Zahara.