PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thirteen dogs are receiving medical care at Animal Friends and the Washington Area Humane Society after being rescued from a farm where they were kept, hungry and sick, in crowded chicken coops.

The two shelters rescued the dogs back on March 22 after a Washington County humane officer got a tip about the situation.

Animal Friends Communications Director Shannon Tremblay says the rescue was a partnership.

“Together with the Washington Area Humane Society, we were able to work with the owner, and the owner ended up surrendering the dogs to us. Washington took six, and we at Animal Friends took seven.”

The tasks at hand now: providing medical treatment, and, just as important, socializing the dogs so they can live with humans.

“They had probably never been in a home before,” said Tremblay. “Of course, they’ve never worn a collar. Never worn a leash. And now that they’re here, they’re starting to learn how to be a dog, and what it’s like to be loved, essentially.”

Four of the dogs were in need of immediate medical attention. The shelters have given the animals their vaccinations. They also needed de-wormer medication and treatment for infected ears.

McKenzie is one of the rescued dogs.

“They’re all being treated for parasites. They had whipworms and hookworms,” says Eleanor Miller, Animal Friends’ medical coordinator.

Miller say that McKenzie is more docile than the other dogs.

“So she’s probably one that’s going to be available for adoption quicker than the others,” said Miller.

Though the dogs may not understand, just yet, what’s being done for them, Miller adds, “I think they’ll show more appreciation when they’re in a home environment, and they can get love.”

Eventually, the dogs will be put up for adoption; however, Animal Friends says they will need extensive training and socialization before that can happen.

In the meantime, kennels at Animal Friends sure beat those chicken coops.

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