As many as 630 dogs were found living in “horrific conditions” at a South Georgia breeder’s business, and the Atlanta Humane Society is tending to 10 of them.
The nonprofit organization USA Rescue Team worked with the Humane Society in Valdosta to find and transport the animals.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture reached out to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday in reference to a routine inspection of a dog breeder, officials said.
Officials said the breeder, Reason Craig Gray of Nashville, Ga., told them he needed help.
“Inspectors with the Department of Agriculture stated Gray had told them several situations had arisen beyond his control and he would be unable to continue to maintain the dogs,” Sheriff Ray Paulk said.
The sheriff’s office, along with Berrien County Animal Control officials, removed the dogs from Gray’s property, a “major undertaking” that lasted until midday Saturday.
Authorities said they found the dogs living in 3-by-4 foot crates on the property.
“They were living outside in homemade sheds, and the crates were stacked on top of each other,” Atlanta Humane Society spokeswoman Christina Hill said. “So when they went to the bathroom, it would drip down onto the other dogs.”
Details about how long the dogs had been kept there were not released.
Many of the dogs had matted fur covered with feces when they arrived at the Atlanta Humane Society’s Howell Mill Road office Sunday morning, Hill said. Several have dental diseases.
“They’ve received their vet checks, and now they’ve been put in cages to decompress and adjust to their new situation,” Hill said.
The shelter’s medical team is looking at the dogs to determine what kind of attention they need. Then, after their medical plans are complete, the dogs will be put up for adoption.
“Each dog is being put on an individual medical plan ... so each of them will be up for adoption as soon as he or she is ready,” Hill said.
The other dogs were taken to licensed nonprofit rescues throughout Georgia and Florida, according to the sheriff’s office.
Gray surrendered his pet dealer’s license Saturday to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. He has not been charged in connection with the case, which remains under investigation.
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