More than 70 dogs rescued from decrepit living conditions in a suspected Quebec puppy mill are now looking for new homes.

The Montreal SPCA has started putting small groups of the 71 dogs up for adoption. They were rescued last week from a house in St-Gabriel-de-Brandon, about 120 kilometres northeast of Montreal, where four dogs were found dead.

Investigators said the animals were located in crates, bath tubs and dresser drawers on every floor of the home. The property has since been declared unfit to live in.

SPCA spokesperson Anita Kapuscinska said the animals have been groomed and received their first basic vaccines, but that it will still take some time for them to adjust to their new homes.

“They have a past, so it is important to make sure that you are patient with them when it comes to housebreaking,” Kapuscinska said.

The dogs are between two months to 10 years old and include Chihuahuas, Maltese and Yorkshire terriers. Many of the animals were found marked with blue and yellow paint, and local firefighters were called in to help because of the intense stench inside the home.

The one thing all the dogs have in common, Kapuscinska said, is that they’re “really happy.”

“They all have their unique little personalities,” she said.

Police discovered the dogs while investigating allegations that fraudulent vaccination certificates were given to some dog owners.

A woman at the home was arrested. Police said she would face charges of fraud and forging documents and could also be charged with animal cruelty.

A law passed in 2015 recognizes animals in Quebec as sentient beings and toughened animal cruelty punishments in hopes of cracking down on puppy mills in the province.

Fines now range from $250 up to $250,000. Serial violators can face up to 18 months in jail.

Kapuscinska said the dogs have been given plenty of love from volunteers.

”They’re all being sterilized prior to being adopted and receiving a lot of TLC from our team.”

With files from CTV Montreal