Hundreds of German Shepherd dogs are being pulled from an extreme hoarding and puppy mill situation in Southern Georgia.
Animal advocate groups in Montgomery County, Georgia have been calling for action against the owner of these properties for some time. They accused the breeder of keeping over 200 dogs in deplorable conditions on her land in Higgstown, Georgia. But when she began moving dogs to another property in Candler County, neighbors began to complain about the constant barking, yelping, and poor conditions.
State investigators had visited the locations before, but said they found no violations that required any action. However, the community stood firm on behalf of the dogs and made sure they were heard. It wasn’t until someone went onto the property and sent photos of the horrific conditions to the police that they decided an arrest had to be made. The breeder has since been charged with felony animal cruelty, and the dogs are being released to local rescues.
Rescuers waded through mud and feces to get to the dogs, who were kept outdoors in livestock enclosures. Neighbors who had begged the police for action noted that the dogs had no access to food or clean water, and were sometimes living 20 to an enclosure with only a single, muddy or flooded igloo for shelter. With no food available, they’d fight to eat the mud and feces on the ground. Living in the mud for so long had stripped the fur from some of their paws.
They have lived in this nightmarish situation their whole lives and are finally experiencing adequate care for the first time ever. Animal Law Source founder Claudine Wilkins described the scene to WSB-TV 2 Atlanta:
“We were walking in mud and feces up to our knees. It was so bad that the igloos that she had for the dogs were submerged in water. So, there was no place for these dogs to stand in a dry spot.”
Rescuers estimated that there were 150 – 300 dogs between the two properties, but the number now appears to be around 450. The extreme amount of dogs across two counties has made it difficult for the organizations to come up with an exact number. Because there are so many dogs, several different rescues have pitched in to help remove them, starting with those who are ill first.
Rescuers are doing everything they can to get the dogs off the properties and are going home each day exhausted with more work for tomorrow. Every organization involved needs help.
You can help by checking out the following organizations on Facebook. Many have posts detailing what kind of help they need, whether it be supplies, donations, or fosters. If all you have to give is a “thank you,” or a post share, tired rescuers would likely appreciate it.
Guardians of Rescue is taking on many of the costs for caring for these dogs. Other organizations involved like Animal Law Source and Animal Aid USA are raising money for Guardians of Rescue.