MEMPHIS, TN (CNN/WMC) – More than 100 dogs that were left in the back of a moving truck during a cross-country road trip are on the road to recovery after police in Tennessee stumbled across the neglected animals during a traffic stop Jan. 17.
"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 of the American Humane Association.
Investigators said the dogs probably hadn't been fed or walked in days and were living in absolute filth, but now, they're safe, fed, watered, and just about ready for adoption.
"One hundred percent difference. The first thing I noticed when I walked into this shelter was the smell and it was a wonderful smell, it's a smell of cleanliness, "said Gina Thweatt of the Tennessee Animal Rescue.
Thweatt was one of the first animal rescuers on scene last week and said seeing the animals for the first time since they were saved was thrilling.
Rescuers can't comment on the medical condition of the dogs, as that's still part of the criminal case. Their main focus is to get the animals adopted into forever homes.
"We're doing spay neuters on the ones that weren't done, all vaccines, the local shelters that will be taking animals will do their own advertisement, if you will." said Reis.
Rescuers say they hope to have most of the animals ready to be transferred to local animal shelters for adoption by the end of the week.
The woman, who was driving the U-Haul with the animals inside, and a female companion, are now charged with felony animal cruelty.
If convicted, they could each face up to two years in prison.
But friends in California say the two are animal lovers and that they were taking the dogs to a farm the driver had recently purchased in Virginia.