ROANOKE, Va. -They're timid, afraid of all people, and adjusting to their new home.
"We have a lot of volunteers that will just sit and spend time with them, read books to them, throw treats to them just to let them learn that people are OK," said Matthew Brown, the adoption center director.
More than two dozen dogs are sleeping easier after investigators found them all living in about nine inches of feces in Pulaski County.
They were all taken from former pet store owner Alexander Nelson.
Last year he was charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty and ordered not to have animals in his possession for seven years.
Monday a judge ordered him to give up 31 dogs.
Some of them hide their eyes from view, hoping not to be seen, others tuck under beds, curious but not taking any chances.
"Most of them are keeshond mixes or husky mixes anywhere from about newborn to about five years old," Brown said.
Angels of Assisi is helping them all break out of their shells, and be a dog. A few are sleeping in crates with covers because staff here say that's all they've known.
"Don't make eye contact or will sit in the corner with their heads pressed up against the wall, so very little human interaction, very little socialization," Brown said.
Moms with their puppies were most likely used for breeding. None of them can walk on a leash.
Outside young dogs are introduced to play time, all new to them. Still they aren't sure what to do with people around.
"The easiest description is they're like puppy mill dogs. A lot of them are timid like you said, not very social," Brown said.
Some were already adopted, others are staying with foster families. Right now they're all getting spayed and neutered and medical treatment.