"Noises scare them:" 22 dogs rescued from puppy mill run by 72-year-old woman in New York

SANDY SPRING, Maryland -- More than 20 sick dogs were rescued from a puppy mill in New York, and they're recovering at a veterinary clinic in Maryland. Soon, they'll begin social rehabilitation so they're suitable for adoption.

Twenty-two Keeshond dogs were rescued from the puppy mill owned by a 72-year-old woman. Authorities said the owner left the dogs in cramped outdoor kennels with a basic roof, no siding and a dirty concrete foundation.

"There were several that had frostbite and had to have toe amputations," Denise Sharp, veterinarian said.

Sharp and her staff at Olney-Sandy Spring Veterinary Hospital were working to clean the dogs' coats, which were covered in urine and feces. They were also running blood tests, performing dental work, giving medicine and spaying and neutering the dogs -- all with donated funds.

"These guys are not housebroken. They don't know how to eat out of bowls. Noises scare them. If you come at them with anything in your hand, many of them flinch," Sharp said.

Following an estimated three months of physical and social rehabilitation, Sharp said the neglected dogs should be ready for adoption.

"Two and three years out, where they're normal dogs in homes really enjoying what the breed is known for, sleeping on beds and being attached to people -- that human interaction is very rewarding," Sharp said.

These dogs were part of a larger rescue that involved 33 Keeshonds and eight American Eskimo dogs.