BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) – An assembly line of Federal Express workers marched out of the company’s offices at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Wednesday carrying precious cargo; 47 dogs rescued from filthy conditions in Tennessee.
The dogs arrived at Tri-County Humane Society in Boca Raton Wednesday night, where they will be placed up for adoption later this week.READ MORE: COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 53,000 In Florida
The animals were part of a group of 141 dogs that investigators say they found in Tennessee in the back of a U-Haul moving truck on a cross country journey. Investigators say it appeared the dogs hadn’t been fed or walked in days and were living in filth. The woman who was driving the U-Haul and a female companion are now charged with felony animal cruelty case. If convicted, each faces up to two years in prison.
Two weeks after they were rescued, many of the dogs are doing much better.
“We are finally seeing major improvement in the animals that were so frightened when we first saw them, every single dog goes out twice a day for a walk, they absolutely love it,” said Tracy Reis with the American Humane Association. “We’ve seen just a total change in their attitudes. They’re coming out of their shells. They were very afraid.”
Employees of Federal Express — like Danny Keller — helped unload the animals from a Fed Ex plane.
“You don’t often get the chance to touch the community like this so when you can do something like try to save some dogs — I’m a dog person myself — so it touches me,” Keller told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.
Kim Spencer, a longtime employee of Tri-County, said the rescue is a way to honor the memory of Tri-County’s co-founder, Jeannette Christos, who recently died.READ MORE: 'Unacceptable,' South Florida Haitian Leaders Outraged Over What Happened In Del Rio, Texas
“I know she’s looking at us right now and smiling and saying, ‘Good Job’ and that’s what I want,” Spencer said through tears.
She — and everyone else in the assembly line — wants to find homes for these dogs.
“We’re gonna get them whatever they need,” said Suzi Goldsmith, co-founder of Tri-County. “Give them a lot of love and put them up so they can go to forever homes as soon as possible.”
Until that happens, the dogs have a safe new place to live at Tri-County with plenty of food, water and anything else they might need.
“My hope is they can find a lap to sit in for the rest of their lives and have a happy, healthy home,” said Reis. “They deserve it.”
The dogs will be checked out by veterinarians tonight and tomorrow. Tri-County hopes to make them available for adoption later this week.MORE NEWS: South Florida Family Encourages Booster Shots After Vaccinated Relative Dies Of COVID-19
If you want to adopt one of these dogs contact the Tri-County Humane Society.