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GREENSBORO -- The Guilford County Animal Shelter (GCAS) says 58 dogs rescued from two suspected puppy mills are recovering "well" and soon could be ready for adoption.

Marsha Williams, the executive director of GCAS, said within the last three weeks, law enforcement agencies seized 32 Australian Shepherds and 26 poodles from two breeders--one in Iredell County and one in Hertford County.

Williams said the dogs have been vetted, groomed (with the assistance of All Pets Considered) and bathed. She said several of the Australian Shepherds have had eye procedures. Some of the poodles still have leg problems, and one dog can walk only on three of its four legs. One of the poodles will be available for adoption Monday, and Williams said she suspects most of the others will be available within the next two weeks (visit the GCAS Facebook page for more information).

She said the most critical hurdle at this point is helping the dogs become more socialized and ready for adoption. Williams said GCAS employees and volunteers are working to teach the Australian Shepherds how to walk better on leashes and help some overcome nervous tendencies.

Williams said instances of dogs being seized from suspected puppy mills are continuous. She said the frequency of the problem is why GCAS and several other local animal rescue organizations will again present House Bill 930--the "Commercial Breeder Bill"--before the General Assembly during its upcoming short legislative session. The bill, drafted by the Humane Society of the United States, seeks to "ensure humane care of dogs in custody of large-scale commercial breeders." It would require commercial breeders ("persons or entities possessing 20 or more adult intact female dogs engaged in the business of breeding those animals and selling their offspring for pets") to provide "sufficient food and clean water, veterinary care, sanitary and safe housing, parasite prevention and daily exercise."

During the WFMY News 2 "2 The Rescue" special this weekend, WFMY News 2 will feature some of these GCAS dogs, as well as other shelter animals, who are ready for adoption. The special will air at 8 a.m. Saturday in the last hour of the Good Morning Show.

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