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Rescued Puppy Mill Dogs In Worse Shape Than Expected

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Rescued Puppy Mill Dogs In Worse Shape Than Expected

By Raquel Lamal. CREATED Oct 11, 2013

GREEN BAY. Wis.- Twenty three dogs that were rescued from a puppy mill and brought to the Bay Area Humane Society are in worse condition than originally thought.  Workers at the shelter say many of these dogs have never seen blankets or toys and some haven't ever even been outside before.

These dogs are on all different levels of the spectrum according to animal behavior specialist Tanya Zwick.  Zwick is working one on one with many of the animals and she says some are adjusting well to life outside the puppy mill, but others are terrified of even the smallest things.

One dog in particular is Tahiti.  She had never seen grass before until Friday.

"Since she got here she's been sitting in a corner with her face hidden," said Zwick.

That's because Tahiti has lived in a wire cage her entire life so she's scared of almost everything.

"Touching something other than wire, carpeting, linoleum, gravel, grass, all those things are new to them," said Zwick.

Staff at the Bay Area Humane Society have been trying to get the dogs to come out of their shell, but many just run away from people when their cage opens.  Zwick says the first step with these dogs is to get them used to the normal sights and sounds of a home by pairing the dogs with foster parents.

"You don't want to force anything real fast, you want to let them go at their own pace," said Zwick.

There's lots of adjusting these dogs need to do and because of that it could be some time before they're considered adoptable.

"Most of them are going to have a pretty extensive care plan before they're available for adoption," said Bay Area Humane Society Director of Development, Karen DeBaker.

Workers are sending the most frightened dogs to foster homes first, meaning little Tahiti will be spending her first night in a real home, tonight.

Zwick says each dog is different, so it could take anywhere from a week to a month or longer before these dogs are ready for adoption.  If you would like to help workers say blankets and toys are needed, especially now.