RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — 47 Golden Doodles were taken from a Western North Carolina backyard breeder.

Many of those dogs were left outside, rarely left their cages, and were found to be covered in bugs and feces.

10 of the Golden Doodles are now with a rescue in Wake County.

One of the dogs, Rasta, had five pounds of matting shaved off of her body.

“Her arms were just covered with mat and unfortunately, feces were all within the mat because she had been in a crate, probably for her whole life,” said Mollie Doll, the Executive Director of Freedom Ride Rescue.

Rasta is in bad condition,. 

“She’s got tick-borne diseases, she’s got heartworms,” added Doll. “When they shaved her, she had live ticks crawling all over her body.

The 47 golden doodles are spread out at different rescues in North Carolina and Virginia.

Doll explained there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to help the scared, sick animals.

“They’re unsocialized. And on top of that they have a host of health issues that we’re just coming to find out,” she said. “Most of the dogs howled around the clock for the first couple of days we had them. It’s just incredibly sad.”

Freedom Ride Rescue is working with local groomers, fosters and animal advocates to rehabilitate the dogs. 

But it’s going to be a very long time before they’re adoptable.

“These are not happy, waggy puppies. These are dogs that are shell-shocked at best, and are slowly coming around to being touched,” said Doll. “The doodle I have [at my house]… the first night I had her, in a kind of safe den. She immediately ran to my window and started kind of frantically thrashing against the window, trying to get out.” 

Doll told CBS17 many of these dogs had never been in a house before.

She believes the state of this group of animals stems from bad breeding practices, and the attempt to keep up with the appeal of these designer dogs. 

Doll wants people to do their research if they do choose to buy from a breeder, rather than rescue.

“See if you can meet the mom and the sire who had your puppies. See if you can get into the facility,” she explained. “What condition are the mom and dad being kept in? What condition are the other animals in?”

(Photo from Freedom Ride Rescue)

Most of the 10 golden doodles have some very serious illnesses like Heartworm and Lyme disease.  Treating them can cost upwards of $600 per dog. 

Doll said the rescue is always on the lookout for donations. 

People can keep up with the status of the rescued dogs on their Facebook page.