MOUNT VERNON, Wash. - Heartbreaking and deplorable. That's how law enforcers described what they found when they raided two suspected puppy mills.
Skagit County Sheriff's Department officers found more than 400 dogs at two locations - the latest in a string of similar raids in Western Washington.
Skagit County Fairgrounds is now serving as a temporary emergency animal shelter.
The two cases are not related, but authorities say the similarities are striking - female dogs churning out puppies like machines and their litters left to fend for themselves.
Law enforcers said the conditions of the more than 400 caged-in dogs are a crime.
"Some of the most disgusting in the 19 years of doing this job. They were living in their own feces, a lot of them. They weren't being cared for properly, it was just deplorable," said Sgt. Paul Arroyos, Skagit County Sheriff's Department.
The two raids Wednesday are the latest in a string in Western Washington following a pair in Snohomish County over the weekend.
No arrests have been made in Skagit County, but the investigation is continuing.
Ultimately, a judge will allow the dogs to be released, and that's when volunteers will need to step in.
"We are looking for volunteers who can house these dogs and give them some of the special one-on-one attention that they need," said Teresa Letellier, SPOT.
It appears that most of these rescued dogs can be nursed back to health and given the chance to live the life they deserve in a loving home.
Because no charges have been filed yet, we are not naming the breeders or listing their addresses.