A person who went to the property at at 1780 N.C. Highway 41 West in Trento to buy a puppy notified law enforcement that the animals were being kept in poor conditions.
The Jones County Sheriff's Office searched the property on Wednesday morning and found the dogs living in unsanitary conditions and lacking veterinary care and socialization.
The Humane Society of the U.S., which assisted with the rescue, said chihuahuas, French bulldogs, dachshunds and pomeranians were living crowded in small wire enclosures amid their own feces. Many of the dogs were severely matted, appeared malnourished and were suffering from a variety of medical issues.
The property owner was selling puppies to unsuspecting consumers through local newspaper advertisements, the Humane Society said.
"When people see the pictures of these dogs, they're going to understand what the inherent problem is with having puppy mills in North Carolina or any state," said Molly Stone with the Wake County SPCA. "It's a really good visual illustration of why we need regulation."
The owner, whose name was not released, surrendered the dogs to authorities. It is unclear if anyone has been charged.
The Jones County Sheriff's Office has not returned calls for comment.
The animals were transported to the Wake County SPCA holding center in Garner on Wednesday afternoon, where they will be examined and treated by veterinarians before being eligible for adoption or foster care.
"The worst of the dogs were transported to an urgent care facility so they could get medical care," said Mondy Lamb with the Wake County SPCA.
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