ARLINGTON, VA (WJLA) - Dozens of dogs are being nursed back to health in Virginia after spending years struggling to survive.
They're getting the medical attention and love that they've missed out on for years.
They were freed earlier this month from a hoarding situation in Goochland County which is northwest of Richmond.
"Their life consisted of an outdoor six-by-six foot, chain-link kennel with a concrete floor and a plastic dog house," said Neil Trent, president and CEO of Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
More than 50 frightened and filthy dogs were itching for freedom when rescuers arrived on Friday, September 13th, 2013.
Many of them were sick and injured.
"Some were running up to the fence barking [while] others were hiding," said Lauren Hilton. "There were just dogs everywhere."
Hilton is the adoptions manager of AWLA and says the hoarding conditions were horrific.
"The next day we went home [and] obviously showered [and] washed our clothes [but], you just couldn't get rid of that smell."
Now she's giving loveable hounds and beagles a new lease on life.
Her organization took home five of them for forever homes..The rest are in the caring hands of others throughout the state.
"It's actually an effort that had been led by a private rescue group that had been working on this for a number of years," said AWLA Chief Operating Officer Susan Sherman.
She says the property owner was being eyed for years. Annette Thompson surrendered the dogs and can no longer have any pets.
"That's a good outcome," said Sherman.
An outcome she hopes sheds light on a persistent problem.
"I think that people who get into these situations are intending to do good and they really get overwhelmed with the number of animals," she said. "We and other shelters and rescue groups in the area are available to help."
Speckles, a 4 year-old American foxhound mix is the first up for adoption. He's ready now.
The other dogs which range from five to eight years old should be available soon.