'They're Matted, Covered in Feces and Have Never Been Held': Horrific Scenes as 630 Dogs Rescued From Georgia Puppy Mill

Social media users have expressed outrage over the discovery of more than 600 dogs living in "filthy" conditions at a South Georgia puppy farm.

Local animal rescue Releash Atlanta shared images of the dogs on social media Saturday alongside an appeal for donations. The Atlanta Humane Society, which is taking in some of the dogs, issued a similar appeal Sunday.

Non-profit USA Rescue Team said Monday that they led the operation to remove the dogs from their inadequate home. "Our team was the only rescue permitted on the property so we had a lot of work to do!" the group's Facebook post read. "Our team had boots on the ground, both day and night, and spent a quite a bit of our funds purchasing supplies to assist."

Local sheriff Ray Paul confirmed to Newsweek 630 dogs were surrendered by a breeder. The dogs' owner, Reason Craig Gray of Nashville, had told state agriculture officials attending for a routine inspection he needed help and wanted to surrender his animals.

"These dogs were living in filthy conditions and have had zero vetting," Releash's post read. "Many have medical issues and injuries."

These dogs have been living in crates their whole lives- one tiny crate stacked on top of another," Atlanta Humane Society wrote on Facebook. "They're matted, covered in feces and have never been held or walked."

Exact details of how so many animals came to be living in poor conditions at the property are unclear, but Releash reported it was a case of "extreme hoarding."

"The homeowner, I believe loved the animals, but the situation got so out of control that the sheer numbers, he couldn't handle any longer," Tim Hill of the Humane Society of Valdosta Lowndes County told local station WPAT.

He added the animals seemed to have been fed and watered. Several shelters across Georgia and Florida have since taken in the dogs.

"This is so sad. I don't understand how anyone could think that this is okay," Facebook user Dale Byers commented on Releash's post.

"Thank God for you and the other rescues!! Shame on this home owner who ever they are!" added user Kristen Repetto Leavell.

"Hate to see this abuse," wrote user Melody Roberts. "Want to combat this? Email your local elected officials and ask them what "they are doing to combat puppy mills"? Changing the laws is the real way to put these folks out of business."

This article has been updated with further information from Sheriff Ray Paulk.

Puppy Mill
Dogs found in "filthy conditions" at a South Georgia property are pictured. Releash Atlanta