Making progress, 'slowly but surely': 55 dogs rescued after owner's death

The canines were found dirty and uncared for after their owner died.

LAKELAND, FLA. - Slow yet steady progress is being made toward the rehabilitation of 20 rescued dogs in northern Florida.

Members of the Florida Great Pyrenees Rescue and Club were notified that 55 dogs were left running free on some 35 acres of land in Vernon after their owner died in June. The ones that weren't brought to Lakeland are at rescues across the Southeast.

"It was overwhelming, but truthfully, just helping them kicks in," Terry Sandlak, director of the organization, said. "That's your main goal."

The dogs in Lakeland are being cared for by vets at TLC PetSnip, Inc. It was quite the medical undertaking: all 20 were malnourished and had internal parasites. Thankfully, none tested positive for heartworm.

Three of the dogs needed surgery -- one due to wounds from another -- while five required several teeth to be removed. Some other dogs also underwent eye entropion surgery.

"We work with them every day on their social skills, as most have not had contact with people except the elderly lady," Wilson said. "We are making progress, slowly but surely."

It will take at least six months until the dogs are ready for adoption.

"I want them all to have their own family and be spoiled rotten and have doggie beds and toys," Sandlak said. "They deserve it."

The medical cost for the dogs is at least $20,000 dollars. You can donate money or food through the Florida Great Pyranees Rescue and Club's website. Updates continue to be posted on the Florida Great Pyrenees Rescue and Club's Facebook page.

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