The dogs rescued from an alleged puppy mill in Langley last week have a long road to recovery ahead of them say animal advocates.

According to the SPCA, 34 puppies and 32 adult dogs were living in small crates and cages stacked in dark, unheated buildings with dangerous ammonia levels resulting from accumulated urine.

The dogs were suffering from serious medical issues such as broken limbs, missing ears and eyes, infections, abscesses, malnourishment and dental disease, the SPCA said. Many of the animals had fur that was caked in dried feces.

"These surgeries that these dogs are going to need and the medical treatment and ongoing care is going to be in the thousands and thousands [of dollars]," said Sarah Liebl, director of CAARE Rescue.

  • Hip surgery: $2,500 - $5,000
  • Parvo puppy treatment: $$800 - $1500
  • Heartworm removal: $ 1,500
  • Eye removal: $600 - $1,000

Dogs that have an incurable disease may have to be put down, according to Liebl.

Emotional rehabilitation

Sarah Liebl CAARE Rescue

The emotional trauma the dogs suffered in the Langley breeding facility can take years to recover from, said Sarah Lieble, director of CAARE Rescue. (CBC)

But often,it's the emotional wounds that take the longest to heal.

"It can take anywhere from weeks to years to rehabilitate these animals The emotional trauma is unbelievable," said Liebl.

"They might have been attacked by other dogs, they've never been walked. Some of them probably have never seen the light of day or touched grass."

The goal is to socialize the dogs enough so that they are adoptable, but it's hard work said Liebl.

"It takes a lot of patience and a lot of love. It's going to take a lot of volunteers."

Some dogs never reach the point where they become adoptable, and they will live out the rest of their life in a foster home or a specialized home that can fit their needs, she said.

"But they'll still be given quality of life based on what the foster home can provide the dog."

To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Rehabilitating dogs from puppy mills.