ATLANTA - Animal rescue groups across Georgia are caring for hundreds of German Shepherds saved over the weekend.
Investigators found around 450 dogs at two different properties owned by the same woman.
Channel 2's Sophia Choi received video of a rescue operation in Montgomery County from animal advocates.
Former Cobb County prosecutor Claudine Wilkins, who founded the non-profit, Animal Law Source, was there during the rescue.
"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," Wilkins said.
Belinda Powell, the woman who owned the dogs, started out as a breeder. She has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty.
Wilkins believes she was motivated by money.
"This is an easy business to be in. You just put two dogs together that you want to breed and you breed them. You put them on the internet and people will start buying them from you," Wilkins said.
Between the two locations, investigators said they found 350 at the property in Candler County and another 100 in Montgomery County.
Marietta veterinarian, Dr. Michael Good, took in four of the dogs.
"They seem to be like typical shepherds, real sweet-natured. I feel real positive," Good said about their conditions.
Investigators said many of the other dogs aren’t doing so well including one with serious eye problems.
"(He has) such mucked up eyes. He could barely see. It was all clouded over," Wilkins said.
With such serious health issues, some animals could take months to heal, costing the rescue groups a lot of effort, time and money.
"It’s expensive. We have to house them, take care of them and vet them. So these rescues that took them in need of support," Wilkins said.
Rescue groups said what happened to these dogs should serve as warning: be careful buying your pets online.
They said you’re better off adopting at a shelter.
"On the websites they look beautiful and running in a field of grass. In reality, they’re what we saw yesterday which is horrible conditions," Wilkins said.
Wilkins said the people who helped her rescue these animals volunteered including a local judge.
For a list of shelters that took in the dogs, click here.
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