Forty matted and malnourished dogs arrived at the Atlanta Humane Society on Friday for veterinary care after officials dismantled a large puppy mill operation in southwest Georgia.
A total of 61 dogs and puppies were seized from the operation in Webster County last week, Albany news station WALB-TV reported. The dogs, used primarily to breed puppies for profit, were found in crates where animal control officials believe they were confined their whole lives.
Martha Ann Coe, the animal control director in neighboring Terrell County, told the news station the majority of the dogs were covered in urine and riddled with disease that affected their teeth and eyes. Some were pregnant, and one was found dead, according to WALB.
The Atlanta Humane Society is hoping to find loving homes for the dogs in their care, mostly Yorkshire terriers and Havanese, once they heal.
The other 21 animals are in the care of the Humane Society of Terrell County, according to the organization.
Officials received an anonymous tip about the mill operation last Tuesday morning, WALB reported. They rescued dog after dog through the afternoon, and each one was individually assessed before they were taken to the Terrell County animal shelter, Coe told the news station.
“Conditions of the animals were deplorable,” she said.
Two days later, authorities arrested Glenda Albritton, 71, on charges of cruelty to animals and aggravated cruelty to animals in connection with the operation, according to the news station.
The Atlanta organization is asking for donations to help care for the dogs.
“We did the math, and because so many of these animals are heartworm positive and have so many other ailments, we estimate that their medical care alone will cost almost $20,000,” Atlanta Humane Society officials said on Facebook. “We'll do whatever it takes to heal them, but we need your help.”
The 40 dogs are being held in the Mansell Road shelter in Alpharetta, and the facility is quickly running out of towels. The organization is asking for donations of new or clean, used towels, and they have also set up an Amazon wish list for other needed supplies.
The Atlanta Humane Society is also accepting donations through their Facebook page.
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