Animal rescuers described the ranch near Tracy, Calif. where the animals were kept as "unhealthy and filthy living conditions."
Debbie Penrose, a private animal rescuer, found out about the puppy mill through a friend. She learned the breeder had recently died and a relative, who went to clean the estate, had found the animals and was looking for help.
"Emaciated," Penrose said when asked to describe the condition of some of the dogs. "Ticks, fleas..and the food bowls were just full of algae. It was awful. It was dirty."
This is Ryder. He is one of at least 96 (!!) dogs and 7 horses found at a puppy mill near Tracy 🙁— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) August 28, 2019
The good news: Several Bay Area animal rescues have come together to take them all in. They are now seeking donations and happy foster homes to help all the pups @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/5pbw4kAbrO
Penrose posted about the situation on Facebook to alert her friends in the animal rescue community. Eleven animal rescues from across the state stepped up to help.
"The dogs we're rescuing have probably had five, six, seven, eight, maybe even double digits amounts of litters," Maddy Hayley, the program coordinator at San Francisco's Wonder Dog Rescue, which took in 16 dogs, said. "We brought in a lab and one of her nipples is distending down 8 inches. It's so sad."
The dogs are now in foster homes and will soon be up for adoption. If there is anything good that came from the situation, Penrose says it's, hopefully, awareness.
"Just spreading the word about puppy mills and backyard breeding," she said. "There are responsible breeders out there, but please do your research."
The rescues that took in the animals are seeking donations to help in their recovery. They set up a GoFundMe account here.
This is a list of the 11 individual animal rescues involved:
Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue
Destiny's Hope Rescue
Throw Me a Bone Rescue
Southern California Dachshund Relief Inc.
Pits R' Us Rescue
Green Dog Rescue
Soft Paws Rescue
Wonder Dog Rescue
See more stories and videos related to animal rescues here.
Here are some photos from inside the puppy mill (taken by the animal rescuers). 11 animal rescues across the state have taken in the 96+ dogs. They are now asking for the public’s help https://t.co/UpJQ8Eohqr pic.twitter.com/Q0opShuP2L— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) August 28, 2019
This is a sweet black lab @WonderDogRescue has named Sugar (for her sweet disposition). Sadly, we’re told one of her nipples is distending down 8 inches from overbreeding. “That’s not normal,” the rescuer said https://t.co/UpJQ8Eohqr pic.twitter.com/EGdbdWOJDv— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) August 28, 2019