Almost 500 German Shepherds Saved In One Of The Biggest Rescue Actions Ever


Puppy mills… the dark spot in our existence as humans. 

I feel like there are so many ways of harassment, neglect, violence, and genuinely bad deeds done these days. People don’t care about each other, let alone about dogs.

Our four-legged friends get abandoned, betrayed, disowned, lost, afraid, and ashamed all the time.

And, the worst part is: they did nothing wrong!

It’s purely a human fault that puppy mills exist. No dog would ever like it there. No dog would ever like living in such terrifying conditions.

Puppy mill runners can cover them as much as they want, but the truth stays unchanged: those are inhumane conditions and those who run mills should be put in them just to see how it feels.

It seems like there’s no end to this modern-day plague. Puppy mills rise all over the States. And, while animal societies and rescue organizations try to do their best to extinguish them, they somehow appear again in a different place.

I’ve done my fair share of dog rescue actions, but none of them could compare with what the Atlanta Humane Society saved some two years ago. 

It was one of the biggest rescue actions they’ve ever done, and that’s not the only reason why it was so special. 

More than 100 German Shepherds were given a second chance in this action, and I can’t remember the last time I saw so many dogs of the same breed rescued from the same place.

Behind One Of The Biggest Atlanta Humane Society Rescue Actions

german shepherd dogs in a cage
Source: The Dodo

All of Candler County, Georgia, knew something was wrong. They knew that 160 German Shepherds had nothing to do in such a crowded place.

The neighbors sensed that something had to be done, so they took the matter into their own hands and contacted the Humane Society for help.

And, help was desperately needed!

Back in January 2019, freedom finally came to more than 100 German Shepherds trapped in a puppy mill on a property in Candler Country, Georgia. The dogs were kept there in horrific conditions: they were filthy, desperate for human love, and surrounded by cages. 

german shepherd dog pushes his head through a cage
Source: The Dodo

Some didn’t even know what freedom was!

A team of local authorities, human societies, and law enforcement cooperated and brought the owner of the puppy mill, Angela Powell, to justice. 

Powell was arrested and is now facing 35 animal cruelty charges. The trial is in progress, and everyone hopes Powell will get what she deserves.

But, as the rescue action developed further, rescuers discovered that those German Shepherds on the property in Candler County were just the tip of the iceberg. 

Powell had another mill property in Montgomery County, with more than 160 German Shepherds! 

german shepherd dogs in a cage in bad conditions
Source: The Dodo

What started as a standard rescue operation turned into something deeper and more meaningful. 

Powell kept those dogs just to bring her profit. She absolutely didn’t care about their health or their conditions. She was a cruel woman, and will stay described as such because keeping almost 500 German Shepherds in such heartbreaking conditions is beyond any normal mind. 

Along with the Atlanta Humane Society, numerous organizations from Georgia and Florida came to help. In the end, the total number of rescued dogs climbed to almost 500! 

That’s almost 500 dogs that were used for continuous breeding, without proper treatment. The sick dogs were giving birth to even sicker puppies. Constant fights were over food and water, which were already lacking. A fight for bare life was omnipresent with each of those dogs.

german shepherd dogs in forest in bad life conditions
Source: The Dodo

“It’s eerie. I don’t know why they do that… but the amount of dogs that you hear, basically begging for help, is just haunting. You know you’re getting them out of there and doing the right thing, but at the same time, you’re just so horrified that they have been living in these conditions for their entire lives,” said Jessica Rock, director of legal advocacy and law enforcement support at the Atlanta Humane Society.

“It’s been an undertaking,” Rock said. “I think we were down there for four days working this case. I can put my game face on, and I can do what needs to be done to get those animals out of there, but then when I come home and decompress a little bit… that’s when I start getting emotional about it.”

woman putting german shepherd dog in a crate during rescue mission
Source: Jacksonville

It was heartbreaking to learn that many of the rescued dogs won’t be able to find a forever home so soon. Those were severely unsocialized dogs. They did not know how to behave around humans who wished them well. A long journey was ahead of each of them. 

Exactly four years later, after the incredibly huge rescue action that the Atlanta’s Humane Society has ever seen, most of the dogs are doing fine. Some even found their forever home!

We’re still waiting for Powell’s trial to end and for her to be sentenced properly. She played God and had the lives of 500 dogs in her hands. And, she let them fall deep into the void without ever giving a single concern about it. 

Last year, a surprising number of 18 puppy mills were shut down in the States. Still, I believe this is bittersweet information because it brings us hope that puppy mills will go extinct one day.