Police and animal care groups helped to rescue 170 dogs from an illegal "puppy mill" near the Iowa-Minnesota border.

According to KCRG-TV, authorities found the Samoyed dogs in overcrowded conditions with signs of neglect, with no access to food or clean water.

"This is a large-scale breeding operation...and we asked the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and their affiliates for assistance in removing them from the property and ensuring that they get much-needed care and treatment," said Worth County Sheriff Dan Fank.

Law enforcement said many of the Samoyeds had been found in unclean kennels in below-freezing temperatures. Some cats seen inside the home had also been neglected.

The ASPCA is helping to relocate the dogs to a temporary shelter. Police had been investigating the owners of the puppy mill for about a year. Animal neglect charges may be pending.

Samoyeds are a breed of large herding dogs known for their thick white coats, curled tails, and friendly disposition.