MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Three Tennessee rescue groups, including Memphis Area Golden Retriever Rescue (MAGRR), joined rescue groups from across the country to help save more than 100 abused and neglected animals found July 15 in Union County, Mississippi.

Animal Rescue Corps (ARC), a Washington, D.C.-based organization with a nationwide volunteer network, spearheaded the rescue of the animals, which included 75 dogs, 24 cats, several donkeys and horses. It activated its volunteers, which set up a makeshift shelter in Tunica, which is about 40 miles south of Memphis. The rescue effort was named Operation Mississippi Blues.

MAGRR teamed with Middle Tennessee Golden Retriever Rescue (MTGRR), and Adopt a Golden Knoxville (AGK), to pool their resources and volunteers to take in nine Golden Retrievers.

“Since Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the country, we find them in puppy mills or other abusive breeding operations whose only goal is to make a profit,” said Phyl Simmons, Director of Operations for the Memphis rescue group. “They don’t care about the health or humane treatment of them. They just want to make the money.”

While Operation Mississippi Blues brought a national spotlight to rescue groups, Simmons said most organizations like MAGRR constantly deal with abuse and neglect on a smaller, local level. They find them starving, chained, beaten, abandoned or in other cruel situations. Their goal is to save the dogs, provide them medical care to become physically healthy while people volunteer as foster homes to help them acclimate to a loving environment. They then put them up for adoption and closely screen applicants to make sure the dogs get a great home and a chance at a happy life.

The groups took in puppies and adult dogs that ARC found on the property. As with all the goldens the groups rescue, the dogs will receive whatever medical care they need, and the foster parents will work to socialize them to prepare them for adoption. Each of the dogs will be matched with an applicant that suits their individual needs. Over the rescue’s 14-year history, MAGRR has rescued over 2,000 Golden Retrievers.