In a video (below) that you'll have to see to believe, Georgia rescuers were horrified to find an inhumane puppy mill crammed with more than 500 dogs. Luckily, the unfortunate pups were able to see a happy end to their sad stories.
In the 2014 video, animal behaviorist Victoria Stilwell, the host of TV show "It's Me Or The Dog," joins with Cherokee County Animal Shelter and Marshal’s Office to bust the abusive breeders and rescue the pups.
"We're going to get you out!" she tells the animals, who are in what she calls "rabbit cages," most of which have wire bottoms that were painful for the dogs to stand and lie down on.
"I saw dogs sleeping in food bowls so they could get off the wire screen," Dr. Michael Good, a local veterinarian who helped rescue and rehabilitate the dogs, told WGCL. "Imagine living your whole life on something like that. It's got to have an effect on your ligaments and your joints."
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The tiny cages weren't only physically painful for the pups; they were also wildly unsanitary.
"Almost every cage had feces in it," explained Good. "They're designed that when they urinate, and I guess when they mash it down enough, it will fall through the grates."
Authorities learned about the puppy mill when a North Carolina woman reported that she purchased a Yorkie-Chihuahua mix on the internet, and it died just days after she took it home. She received a refund for her $350 purchase but she spent hundreds on vet bills.
"It's absolutely disgusting, the conditions these animals are living in," said Stilwell. "They are suffering physically, but they're also suffering emotionally."
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After caring for and rehabilitating the pups for six weeks, Stilwell and her team put the word out and hosted an adoption event, according to Shareably. Stilwell said that people lined up down the street for the event and had been camping out since the night before for the chance to adopt one of the pups. Every single one of them got a home that day.
According to Stilwell's blog, Positively, the couple pleaded guilty to 25 counts of animal abuse and were sentenced to 25 years of probation.
"These people, they're not breeders," Stilwell told WGCL. "They're puppy millers that basically do factory farming for dogs. They don't care about the dogs themselves. All they care about is the money. That's it."
In order to help put a stop to puppy mills, Stilwell urged her readers to educate friends and family about the dangers of puppy mills, adopt their pets and never buy a puppy from pet stores or online. If you do find a suspected puppy mill, she recommends reporting it to animal control or the Better Business Bureau.