Rescuers say the animals were kept in deplorable conditions, some of which proved to be fatal for several animals. Law enforcement officials say nearly 700 dogs in all were found living in filth with their breeder.
"Our main concern was to get the puppies and dogs off of that property," said District Attorney Kim Helper.
Helper says the owner of the kennel could face animal cruelty charges.
"That would be an 'a' misdemeanor, which would be 11 months, 29 days in the county jail—or up to that amount," said Helper.
Local veteran animal rescuer Scott Haisley says he's never seen anything like it.
"Well, I've been rescuing animals for about 18 years now and this is definitely among the worst," said Haisley.
The sad irony, however, is that the Humane Society says there are so many animals already in shelters across this country that if people were simply to adopt those animals, the demand for dogs from so-called puppy mills would decrease dramatically.
"It's a tragedy when we have 10,000 puppy mills churning out two to four million dogs a year, when you have three to four million euthanized in shelters," said Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States.
The dogs that came to the D.C. area were lucky. After a medical checkup and a few weeks to regain their strength, they'll be ready to begin the next chapter of their lives with new owners. No one will be happier about that than the man who helped rescue them."We were able to open our arms of compassion and promise that their suffering has ended," said Haisley. "That's remarkable."