Dogs Rescued for Suspected Puppy Mill Need “Forever Homes”


For several weeks now, volunteers have been assisting the Pondera County Sheriff’s Office with caring for eleven pitbulls rescued from an alleged “puppy mill” that was running out of a house in Valier. Sheriff Robert Skorupa says the owner, who is awaiting trial, has agreed to surrender six of the dogs, and they are now available for adoption. The remaining five dogs will remain in the county’s custody until the trial, and if they are not returned to the owner, they will also be available to adopt.

Skorupa told KSEN/K96 he’s never been a fan of pitbulls because of their reputation for aggressiveness, “but these dogs are so sweet. I think they’re just so happy to be out of that situation that all they want is love and cuddles. ” (See below for photos and notes about each available dog.) Anyone interested in adopting one of these dogs should contact the Pondera County Sheriff’s Office at 406-271-4060.

The Sheriff said his department became aware of the alleged puppy mill when neighbors called to complain of the barking and stench coming from a house in Valier. “They were concerned that perhaps the resident of the house had passed away, but when we got a warrant and entered the house, we found all of these caged dogs.”

Volunteers continue caring for the dogs, and Skorupa says the community has been very generous, donating dog food, bedding, harnesses and other needs. He says he has a solid group of dedicated volunteers and enough food on hand for the time being. Cash donations are also welcome, and can be dropped off at or mailed to the Sheriff’s office, located in the Pondera County Courthouse.

Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

“Lily” – Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

Lily (female):

· Light blonde; age approximation 2 to 4; approximately 50#; appears to have had puppies; not spayed

Lily loves her elevated bed and responds correctly to “on your bed”

· She can be timid and is fearful of loud noises (backfire; bag popping)

Lily enjoys a blanket for comfort, chewing on rawhide, and her daily milkbone

· She has a great smile and kind eyes

· Lily seeks out affection and is eager to please

She is cautious of unfamiliar people but not aggressive

· Lily enjoys her walks and being brushed

She has demonstrated she prefers a clean kennel

Ready for my closeup – “Sammy” Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

Ready for my closeup – “Sammy”
Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

Sammy (male):

Light blonde/tan with white; age approximation 2 to 4; approximately 50#; not noted

Sammy loves going on walks and is very playful

· He is eager to please and watches the person closely for commands

Sammy loves his elevated bed and is learning to get on it when prompted

He is interested in the “outside” and watches cars and birds go by

Sammy is working towards using the outside to potty/poop more regularly

· He enjoys his food; he doesn’t gorge, and he enjoys his daily milk bone

Sammy is pretty quiet – not much barking or howling

“Hooch” – Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

“Hooch” – Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

Hooch (male):

Reddish cast/brown; age approximation 2 to 4; approximately 60#; not noted

Hooch loves being outside: he rolls in the grass, smells everything, watches everything and likes to bounce around; he is always moving

Hooch is always happy and wants affection; he likes having his feet rubbed

· He gets along with his kennel-mate

Hooch is cautious of people he sees during walks but not aggressive

He eats his food quickly

· Hooch is getting much better at keeping his kennel clean

Be sure to get my good side! “Marley” Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

Be sure to get my good side! “Marley”
Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

Marley (male):

Buckskin/blonde; age approximation 2 to 4; approximately 50#; not noted

· Marley is very affectionate; he would be happy being petted all day

· He is attached to his kennel-mate Hooch; he always wants to be with him

· Marley likes going for walks and playing in the grass

· He can be timid when unfamiliar people are near

Marley is learning to keep his kennel clean

He eats his food and his milk bones quickly

“Norah” – Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

“Norah” – Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

Norah (female):

Buckskin/blonde; age approximation 2 to 4; approximately 50#; not spayed; appears to have had puppies

Norah is exceptionally affectionate

She is curious about everything she sees

· Norah gets along great with her kennel-mate and shares their space without disagreement; they like to play tug-of-war with towels

She loves her food and milk bones

· Norah enjoys being outside on a blanket chewing on a rawhide or playing ball

“Ruby” – Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

“Ruby” – Photos supplied by Pondera Co Sheriff

Ruby (female):

Reddish cast/brown; age approximation 2 to 4; approximately 50#; not spayed; appears to have had puppies

· Ruby is very energetic borderline nervous

She has struggled learning commands “stop, go, outside”

· Ruby is loving and interested in people

She appears to want to be the alpha over her kennel-mate such as keeping the food to herself, taking the rawhide away and wanting to lay on the blanket her kennel-mate is on

· Ruby is cautious of strangers and will bark

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