MONTGOMERY COUNTY, GA. (WTGS FOX 28) — Animal rescuers with the New York based Guardians of Rescue organization said hundreds of German shepherds have been rescued from a Montgomery County puppy mill.
The .43 acre property is located at 300 Marlon Drive near Vidalia.
"We're talking about at least 400 dogs on less than half an acre," said Nikki Dawson, a rescuer who came down from New Jersey.
A few hundred yards away on the back of the property, Dawson said they have found the remains of dozens of dogs.
"Through the sheriff's department, we were told of an area where dogs were disposed of, that would be deceased dogs," said Dawson.
Her team investigated the area and found numerous bones belonging to dogs.
They were alerted a few weeks ago by family members of the puppy mill's owner, Angela Powell.
"I think they realized she needed some help and there was just too many dogs for her to appropriately handle," said Dawson.
According to the Candler County Sheriff's Office, Powell is already facing animal cruelty charges in Candler County for her other puppy mill location.
"Those pens held at least 10 dogs," said Dawson as she pointed to cages she said were too small to house German shepherds.
Dawson called the conditions of the puppy mill inhumane.
"Mud is almost up to your knees in some places and it's not just mud. It's mud mixed with feces and urine," said Dawson.
She said the cages don't have an adequate number of weather-resistant igloos and the dogs were subjected to weather extremes.
"All exposed to freezing rain. Hot days where they couldn't get away from the sun and find appropriate shade," said Dawson.
She said they've had a triage team assessing the dogs for the last six days.
"We have quite a few with some skin issues, ear issues, hot spots and open sores," said Dawson.
The last dogs were taken away from the property on Tuesday afternoon. They are being taken in by local and state rescues.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said this is an open and ongoing investigation. They have not filed any charges against Angela Powell.
Deputies said they are waiting the results of wellness exams from veterinarians.