Oprah and a Yorkie rescued from a puppy mill
Think about your dog or a dog you know and love. Imagine it living in filthy crates, covered in feces and being given very little food. These are the conditions 90 Yorkshire terriers were living in just weeks ago before the Humane Society of Missouri came to their rescue.

Meet some of these furry fighters!

The society received a call from the Green County sheriff's office. With their help, the Humane Society obtained a warrant to take these dogs to a better place. "This was the most horrific puppy mill situation we have ever encountered, and we have been rescuing animals from puppy mills for years," says Humane Society president Kathy Warnick.

Kathy says some of the dogs couldn't even walk because their hair had grown so long and become so tangled with urine and feces. "In some instances, it was so horrific that the matting constricted the use of their limbs, and it actually cut off the blood supply and their legs died. The bones died in their legs," Kathy says. "They hadn't been cleaned. They hadn't been socialized. They had been living in 2 by 2 cages."

Now safe and sound, the Yorkies are living at the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis. Kathy says they'll be available for adoption in a month or two, once they've had a chance to adjust to their new surroundings and get healthy. "We are really optimistic about their chances for recovery," she says.

Kathy says these dogs can be placed in homes across the country—but it takes a special owner to care for these puppies. "Anyone who has a lot of love to give and a lot of time and patience, because puppy mill animals are animals that require a little bit more patience," she says. "They sometimes are not as easy to housebreak. They've never been out. Their feet have never touched the ground."

Find out how you can donate to or adopt one of these Yorkies


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