German shepherds, victims of Georgia puppy mill, brought to Nassau County

Canine victims of a breeding operation in Georgia are getting a helping hand from the Nassau Humane Society. Five German shepherds arrived in northeast Florida today, and more are expected in the coming days.

Some of the dogs were injured, and all were in need of immediate attention. Action News Jax was told many of the dogs had very little contact with humans or experience in being on a leash.

The Nassau County Humane Society tells Action News Jax there were almost 500 German shepherds across two different properties in a single breeding operation, living in horrendous conditions, including sleeping in mud, being surrounded by bugs and having very little shelter.

“It’s definitely overwhelming to see dogs that really haven’t had any human socialization at all. They’ve never been on a leash,” said Jackie McDonald, executive director of the Nassau Humane Society.

STORY: 165 neglected German shepherds rescued from Georgia property, officials say

McDonald says a single female breeder was in over her head in the breeding operation and says neighbors complained about the smell and hearing dogs scuffle. McDonald tells us retrieving the dogs wasn't easy.

“Most of them had to be caught, because they were in big fields, running scared,” said McDonald.

Action News Jax was told there were dead dogs on the property that had started to smell.

McDonald said there was a coordinated national effort to rescue the dogs.

“We’re very lucky that multiple rescue groups around Georgia and Florida have come together,” said McDonald. "So, with that magnitude of dogs, there’s no way any of us could take them all. So we split them up amongst each other.”

McDonald says they aim for the dogs to one day be placed for adoption, but they have a long road ahead and other animals they need to help as well. They tell us more dogs from Georgia are coming here, as well.