Animal rescue groups across the region are now caring for hundreds of German Shepherds after they were pulled from a puppy mill style operation in Central Georgia.
The Atlanta Humane Society rescued hundreds of dogs from a Georgia backyard-breeder’s properties in Montgomery and Candler counties, found in what they call “extremely neglectful” conditions.
The owner of those properties has been arrested for animal cruelty.
Local rescues in Greene County, Tenn. are now working to help transport some of the dogs to a rescue in Maryland where they will hopefully find forever homes after a lifetime of neglect and abuse.
Some reports indicate more than 400 dogs were found on the breeder’s properties.
38 of those dogs, once on the brink of death, are now safe at Greene Pets Foster Network in Greene County, many fighting for their lives.
Katherine Rollins owns Greene Pets, a local rescue group helping rehabilitate and transport the dogs.
“You always think that you’ve seen it all and you never have. You really never have,” says Rollins.
The rescues are now working to reverse years of neglect and abuse.
“That’s why we’ve got skin and bones. That’s why we’ve got mange. There’s bite marks, they have fought, there’s torn ears,” says Rollins.
Deborah Lewellen with Eminent Danger German Shepherd Rescue, also in Greene County, described the dogs as looking horrible and smelling even worse when they arrived in town on Sunday.
“Their coats are coated with feces and mud almost like concrete. It takes 30 minutes just to keep working that muck off of them that’s hardened and been on them for years. So it smells awful,” says Lewellen.
She says this type of cruelty is shocking, even after working in rescue for 8 years.
“It’s heart breaking and gut wrenching and infuriating,” says Lewellen.
For Rollins, “It turns you into a people hater. That’s the hardest thing of rescue.”
These two local groups are helping their sister rescue in Maryland, Mid Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue, which is where these 38 dogs are headed.
“Two ladies in Georgia rented a truck and borrowed crates and brought the dogs up here and we spent Sunday morning unloading dogs and putting them in their kennels and trying to figure this out,’ says Lewellen.
Now over the next few weeks, the dogs will be transported from Tennessee to Maryland. In the time being, they will be receiving the medical attention and care they have desperately needed for years.
“All we can do is try to right the wrongs. And try to fix the wounded and those that are forlorn and in despair. And these dogs are all that and more,” says Lewellen.
To help these rescues, the Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society and Pizza Inn are serving as donation drop off points. They are asking for dog food and cleaning supplies.
They have already collected two truck-loads of food.
You can also contact Greene Pets on their website to make donations of food and supplies.
They are asking that all monetary donations be made to their sister rescue in Maryland who is receiving these dogs and footing the bill for their medical care.
Information on how to donate to the care of these 38 dogs can be found on Mid Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue’s website.