More and more of the dogs rescued from a Quebec puppy mill in September are learning to live without fear as they prepare for adoption.

Fourteen dogs from Paws R Us in Shawville, Que. are now in the care of Valley Boxer & Mastiff Rescue where they're making the big adjustment to normal conditions.

"The first time I took Tara outside (she) felt the snowflake on her nose and she panicked," said France Turcotte. "She panicked and bolted to go back in the house but the door was closed and she smashed her head."

Turcotte said the dogs rescued in the biggest such operation in Canadian history aren't used to having a lot of space.

"Other signs that were obvious were maybe Willow's," she said. "Willow would eat her food and use her bowl as a toilet afterwards."

Other animals show more visible signs of the struggle to recover – 10-week-old Great Dane Nina had her back leg amputated Friday because of a birth defect.

"She had three toes and a twisted back leg," Turcotte said.

However, the stressful experiences of these dogs means they need a certain type of owner.

"When you know somebody really loves an animal you can hear it in their voice and see it in their face," said Sylvia Gough, who has passed the screening process to adopt. "It's like people that love kids."

For information on how to adopt from or donate to Valley Boxer & Mastiff Rescue, you can visit their website.

The privately-run operation in Masham, Que. (about 50 kilometres northwest of Ottawa) said they'll take anything from cash to garbage bags.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Stefan Keyes