More than 600 dogs were removed from a home in south Georgia from what animal rescue groups were calling a puppy mill and an extreme case of hoarding, according to new reports.

“The dogs were forced to live in small, filthy cages,” WXIA-TV reported. “And while it appears they’d been fed and had water, many of them suffered from infections and illnesses.”

The Humane Society of Valdosta/Lowndes used its transport truck and trailer to move about 250 off the property, said Emily Smith, director of operations. The society also took in 10 dogs, which were transferred to the Atlanta Humane Society for vetting and adoption.

Animal shelters throughout the state were being asked to help in the rescue, The Associated Press said. The nonprofit USA Rescue Team, based in Valdosta, is coordinating the effort to save the dogs.

Last week, the Georgia Department of Agriculture contacted the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office after a routine inspection of a dog breeder, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The breeder, Reason Craig Gray of Nashville, Georgia, reportedly told officials he needed help.

The society’s spokeswoman, Christina Hill, told the newspaper: “They were living outside in homemade sheds, and the crates were stacked on top of each other. So when they went to the bathroom, it would drip down onto the other dogs.”

It’s unclear whether charges will be filed against the owner. Various shelters say the dogs will be up for adoption after they are rehabilitated.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the Humane Society of Valdosta/Lowndes took in 230 dogs. The group transported about 250 dogs and took in 10.

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