Heartwarming Photos Document a Puppy Mill Rescue

In this image released July 23, 2014, a dog awaiting veterinary triage is shown after being rescued from a puppy mill in Estrie, Quebec, May 23, 2014. (Francis Vachon/AP Photo)

Recently-released photos show Pomeranians, Bichons and other dogs' first glimpses of safety after a May rescue from a puppy mill in Estrie, Canada.

In this image released July 23, 2014, a cocker spaniel is shown shortly before being rescued from a puppy mill in Estrie, Quebec, May 23, 2014. (Francis Vachon/AP Images)

The dogs were saved in what was the second largest puppy mill rescue in Quebec history: Over 200 dogs and puppies were rescued in a joint effort by the Humane Society International (HSI) and the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Small breed dogs made up a significant number of the animals rescued, and were allegedly forced to live in stacked, crowded cages exposed to ammonia fumes at the Estrie mill.

In this image released July 23, 2014, HSI Canada volunteer animal handler Kristin Lamy holds a Pomeranian awaiting a veterinary exam during a puppy mill rescue in Estrie, Quebec, May 23, 2014. (Francis Vachon/AP Images)

"These desperate dogs had skin and eye conditions, infections and matted fur," said Ewa Demianowicz, campaign manager for Humane Society International Canada. "We are thrilled to be rescuing these dogs and taking them to the safety of our emergency shelter."

In this image released July 23, 2014, a puppy undergoes a veterinary exam on the site of a puppy mill rescue in Estrie, Quebec, May 23, 2014. (Francis Vachon/AP Photo)

The rescue is the fifth such rescue in seven months by HSI. The organization pinpoints Quebec's lack of government funding for Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as a challenge for enforcing welfare standards for animals.

In this image released on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, HSI Canada campaign manager Sayara Thurston holds a puppy at the veterinary exam table during a puppy mill rescue in Estrie, Quebec, May 23, 2014. (Francis Vachon/AP Images)

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