96 terrified dogs and puppies saved from horror house in huge rescue mission

Almost 100 traumatised dogs have been rescued from a horrific puppy farm in Torquay, Devon. The Shih Tzu type dogs, thought to be between the ages of a week and 12 years, were discovered by the RSPCA with flea and worm infestations in their dirty, matted fur.

All 96 dogs were living in a “terrible condition” surrounded by their own urine and faeces – but have now thankfully been taken in by numerous animal rescue centres across Devon and Cornwall. One shelter is fighting to save the life of a young puppy and the mother, who has been weakened by having to nurse “litter after litter”.

Woodside Animal Welfare Trust near Plympton is caring for six of the dogs, and their health problems are being dealt with by an on-site vet.

Deputy manager Lisa Darcy said: “No matter how long you have worked in rescue, you are always shocked when you see an animal that has not been well cared for.

“There is the initial shock, then we focus on what we can do to help them. It is totally frustrating and heartbreaking.”

Lisa added: “Several have problems with their eyes, we are hoping that is something we can work with, but there is a chance an eye removal can happen.”

The Gables Cats and Dogs Home has taken in 23 dogs from the puppy farm, while another 11 are in the care of the RSPCA’s Cornwall branch.

A spokesperson for Gables said: “On arrival with us most of the dogs were extremely matted and covered in their own faeces as well as suffering from ammonia burns on their skin from living in their own urine.

“The tight mats have made it difficult for the dogs to move about and go to the toilet as well as causing incredibly sore spots on their skin.

“The huge flea burden has resulted in some of the dogs constantly scratching, leaving them with open sores from the self-inflicted wounds.

“The mothers of the puppies have been struggling to keep up with the demand of having to continually nurse litter after litter in these conditions.

“It is feared that it may already be too late for the weakest of the little puppies, but we are doing everything we possibly can to keep the puppy alive.”

The RSPCA is advising potential dog owners to avoid puppy farms at all costs and adopt rescues in need instead.

Dog welfare expert, Lisa Hens, said: “We’d urge families to carefully consider whether getting a dog is right for them. Dogs are a huge commitment and need lots of time and attention.

“If you do have the time and money for a dog then we’d urge you to consider rescuing instead of buying a puppy.

“Not only will this give a rescue dog a chance at finding his forever home but it’ll also save any potential heartache caused by unwittingly buying a dog from a puppy farm.”