More than 700 dogs were rescued after being discovered in abysmal conditions at a puppy mill south of Atlanta, Georgia according to local animal groups.
Rescue teams were reportedly on site for 36 hours straight evacuating the animals, who were found piled on top of each other in crates, covered with feces matting their fur, the Atlanta Humane Society said.
The Humane Society of Valdosta took in about 230 of the animals, while an Atlanta-based non-profit, Release Atlanta, took in eight. It is not known what will happen to the remainder of the animals, as they await hopeful adoptions.
Many of the pups, according to a post written by Releash Atlanta, have "zero vetting," suffer from injuries or health problems and will require a lot of medical aid to get back on their feet. The group added that the dogs have been used their entire life to breed puppies sold in breeders and pet stores.
The "breeder" reportedly called authorities for help on Thursday to shut down the operation, the Daily Mail said. Cell phones and photos were not allowed on the facility were the dogs were rescued from, but photos taken after they were removed from the site show their matted fur before being cleaned.
It was not immediately clear if the breeder faced any charges.
The Atlanta Humane Society added that the dogs "have been living in crates their whole lives- one tiny crate stacked on top of another. They’re matted, covered in feces and have never been held or walked."
However, the animals were reportedly not aggressive in any way despite living a life in desolate captivity.
"Many of the dogs were coated in feces, had extremely overgrown nails and damaged teeth. They have never known a quiet life of love outside of a cramped cage," the Valdosta Humane Society said.
"They were shockingly trusting and calm as if to say "thank you for saving me. I know you are here to help.' Please say a prayer for those pups as they set out to find a new life and for every person involved in this, for it was truly a team effort involving many people and many rescue organizations," their post continued.
The groups who participated in the dogs' removal have already raised thousands to go towards their resettlement.
The Atlanta Humane Society raised more than $7,682, while Release Atlanta received donations topping $3,200.
Although the rescue teams encouraged those interested in taking in animals, they emphasized the importance of anyone interested in getting a dog to do their research to ensure that the animals don't come from puppy mills such as this one.
"These are the faces that have spent their entire lives producing puppies for pet stores and consumers who don’t care to do research .. These dogs have suffered immensely at the hands of greedy humans," Release Atlanta said on Sunday.
"If you don’t take your time to make sure beyond sure, that your puppies didn’t come from parents that look like this - then YOU are responsible for this."