Puppy mill dogs go through rehab

(Photo: Pamela Brown)

Meet Gavin.

Just three weeks ago, he couldn't walk on a leash or be touched by a human

Gavin was among 102 dogs brought to the Washington Animal Rescue League from a puppy mill in Arkansas. Behavior director Michelle Yue says she believes this little pooch had never interacted with a human before coming here.

“When he was first brought here he would jump up and growl at anyone that approached him,” she says. “No one could approach him."

And with a lot of TLC and treats, Gavin is now warming up to strangers. Everyday he's hand-fed, taken out on bathroom breaks every hour and trained on his leash. But Yue says the most important part of getting him ready for his next home is bringing him to her own home every night.

Chamomile is also a work in progress.

PHOTOS: See photos of the dogs going through rehab.

Dr. Dan Shillito says her leg healed abnormally after it was broken in two different spots

Now she's as rambunctious as ever, thanks to an aggressive treatment of medications and daily rehab.

And then there's Appaloosa.

“These are probably the worst teeth I've ever seen,” says Shillito. “If these dogs sneeze too hard. They're going to go shooting across the room. They're that loose, infected and painful."

And to relieve the pain, she's getting most her teeth pulled out.

“These guys are so resilient she'll be eating kibbles probably by tomorrow,” Shillito says.

Doctors say they're amazed three weeks after care, some have gone into loving homes while others are waiting their turn.

Angle Johnson came to the shelter to adopt one of the dogs but can't decide which one to take home.

“I love them all,” she says. “I'm confused.”

Shillito says that's a good problem to have.

“You look at these dogs,” he says. “No matter what people have done to them, they just want to be a pet. They just want to be a part of someone's family.”

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