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MONROE, N.C. -- It was a bittersweet day last June when Animal Control officers seized more than 300 dogs from a Caldwell County puppy mill.

On Wednesday, some of the Animal Control workers that helped save the dogs got a special thank you from some of the owners who adopted the rescued pups.

It was three weeks before Judy Layton came up with the right name for the Yorkie she adopted from the Union County Animal Shelter.

I just wanted her to have a name because she d been through so much I wanted her to grow into something fancy, Layton said.

Tessa was one of 300 dogs rescued from a Caldwell County puppy mill last summer and later adopted out at area shelters.

It was so bad, the owner has since plead guilty to more than 100 counts of animal cruelty

It was just horrible, Layton said. I get so mad and so angry when anyone mistreats a dog.

When she was first recued, Tessa needed a lot of help.

Tessa was one of the dogs found outside in a rabbit cage with a piece of tin over the top.

The vet had to pull 10 of her teeth and Layton says the Yorkie didn't really know how to be a dog.

She didn t even know how to give kisses because she never had anybody to give them to but now she can, Layton said.

The Union County Animal Shelter officials said that helped bring Tessa and Layton together is all the proof they needed to know that Tessa is in the right home now.

She s a hundred times better, Union County Animal Control official Michelle Starnes said.

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