MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities say nearly 170 dogs have been taken from an overcrowded breeding facility in Iowa after an investigation revealed they were living in dilapidated kennels with no access to clean water.

During a search warrant executed Monday, investigators say they found the dogs — all Samoyeds — living in overcrowded conditions in kennels with below-freezing temperatures and minimal protection from the elements.

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Samoyed is a breed of large herding dog characterized by thick, white coats.

The Worth County Sheriff’s Office launched the investigation several months ago and has enlisted the help of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to collect evidence, transport and shelter the dogs that were seized from the puppy mill.

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The ASPCA says the dogs are being transported to a temporary shelter where they can receive ongoing daily care until the court determines custody.

Officials say many of the dogs were fearful and undersocialized.

According to the ASPCA, animal neglect charges are pending against the person who was keeping the dogs.

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Visit ASPCA’s website for more information on how to help abused, abandoned and neglected animals.