MORGAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thirty-two animals, including 20 dogs, were rescued from a Tennessee home after they reportedly found living in “neglectful conditions.”
The Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) says the property is located in Morgan County, about two hours east of Nashville.
The sheriff’s department seized the animals, which included 20 dogs, one donkey, four miniature donkeys, two ponies, a potbellied pig, three roosters, and one hen.
According to a press release, deputies visited the home after receiving an animal abandonment complaint.
They allegedly found “clear violations” of state and local animal cruelty codes.
The ARC says small dogs were locked in the hope, which was piled thick with animal feces, debris, and urine. No food or water could be seen.
“The stench and dangerously high levels of ammonia gas from the animal waste prevented authorities from entering the building immediately,” officials said.
The property owner allegedly claimed to breed and sell the dogs and did not live where the animals were found.
The owner was taken arrested and charged with 18 counts of animal cruelty and later released on bond.
“I’m so grateful we were in a position to respond to this request; we didn’t get here a moment too soon,” said ARC President Scotlund Haisley. “These animals were on death’s door when we arrived, but they’re safe now and we’re going to do everything possible to help them recover.”
The dogs inside the house, mostly Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes, were found without food or water loose inside the feces-strewn home.
Adult dogs and puppies, who were just weeks old, exhibited signs of severe, chronic neglect, including emaciation, mange, dehydration, intestinal worms, external parasites, runny eyes and alopecia.
Found outside on the property were four dogs chained to trees, horses in a pasture, chickens with extremely poor body conditions in wire pens, and an overweight potbellied pig with overgrown hooves.
None of these animals had food or water.
“It’s just pitiful that a dog, or any kind of animal, would be treated this way…” said David Wood of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, “there is no water source for them.”
The animals were taken to ARC’s emergency shelter in Lebanon. Each animal will receive a thorough veterinary exam, appropriate vaccinations, and any necessary medical treatment.
For people wishing to foster or adopt, ARC will publish its list of shelter and rescue placement partners on its Facebook page once the dogs are transferred to these groups.