Fairfax County group rescues dozens of dogs from puppy mill (Photos)

CHANTILLY, Va. – From cold metal cages to warm homes, more than two dozen puppies have been rescued and placed in foster homes in our area.

This weekend, Kim Showalter’s townhouse in Chantilly, Va., has become a foster home for one of 24 Yorkshire Terrier puppies and one Chihauhua mixed-breed recovered from a Tuscumbia, Ala., puppy mill, where conditions were so bad, some newborn puppies were found dead in their cages.

“No one likes to see anything in pain and suffering and anything we can do to stop that is what we can do, especially this time of year,” says Showalter, who has volunteered her home for the animal rescue group A Forever Home Rescue Foundation.

In bone-chilling weather, an Alabama breeder kept 122 of the puppies in outdoor cages, until authorities moved in Wednesday and confiscated them.

That’s when A Forever Home swung into action. Patti Stinson helped coordinate the long-distance rescue.

“Puppies were being born and they were freezing to the bottom of the metal cages, and I think in all my years this is absolutely the worst thing that I have ever heard of,” Stinson says.

Stinson has more than 20 years experience in animal rescue and her forearms bear tattoos of her career, including paw prints, the words “rescue angel” and a love message to Fatboy, her sheep dog that died in August.

Stinson dispatched 34-year-old Chris Evans of Arlington and 25-year-old Allison Lennox of Shirlington to mount the 27-hour round-trip to Alabama to rescue 25 of the puppies.

“A lot of them were cold, it was pretty chilly down there