When Max was rescued from a brutal puppy mill, the tiny shih tzu had been badly neglected, and suffered from sarcoptic mange, an eye ulcer, anemia, malnutrition and dehydration. Scabs covered his entire body.

But luckily, Max is one tough puppy —  with the help of the amazing “Dr. Matt,” he managed to overcome his painful, debilitating ailments and grow into a healthy, happy dog. You can watch the amazing transformation in the video below.

As you can see, Max’s brother did not make it. And, according to Vet Ranch, his sister had died the night before the two males were rescued.

Dogs like these are suffering in puppy mills every day, and we have the power to stop the cruelty. ALWAYS choose rescue dogs and cats from shelters, and do not buy companion animals from pet stores, where most of the dogs come from puppy mills like the one Max was rescued from.

Some regions — like Salt Lake County, Utah – are making it illegal for pet stores to sell any commercially-bred animals, just animals rescued from shelters. Let’s hope more and more local governments adopt similar regulations (or better yet, let’s pass a federal law). But unless you live in an area where pet stores must legally only sell rescue animals, the shelter is the only place you should be looking for pets.