ARC assisted the Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday in the rescue of more than 20 abandoned dogs found fending for themselves on a dilapidated property in Whitleyville, about an hour and a half northeast of Nashville. The person who left the dogs behind after moving off the property about two weeks ago surrendered the dogs.
About 20 small and medium mixed-breed dogs, including two 10-week-old puppies, were found exposed to the elements, running loose in and around several trailers on the property, which was covered in piles of feces, empty glass bottles and cans, broken furniture, metal sheeting, mattresses, tires, broken large appliances,and other hazardous trash.
The dogs were all dirty, malnourished, dehydrated and suffering from eye and ear infections, respiratory issues, ear mites and mange. Their only water source was mostly frozen, dirty rainwater collected in broken buckets. Three dead dogs, one adult and two puppies, were found on the property, and a veterinarian’s preliminary findings suggest that they likely died from exposure.
“The neglectful conditions were typical of hoarding, which is a compulsive emotional attachment to things or animals that often leads to a situation like this that causes immense suffering for both the animals and people involved,” said ARC president Scotlund Haisley. “All of these abandoned animals are innocent victims, and I commend the Clay County Sheriff’s Office for acting quickly and working with us to save lives.”
The planning for this rescue began when ARC received a call from a concerned citizen regarding the apparent neglect and abandonment of the dogs, and ARC reached out to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office to offer assistance.
“We take animal abuse very seriously in this county but don’t have the resources to do rescues like this,” said Clay County Sheriff Brandon Boone. “These animals desperately needed help so we didn’t hesitate to accept the assistance of Animal Rescue Corps and take action.”
Boone, Deputy Josh Brawner and Cpl. Bobby Jacoby were on scene as they and ARC documented and safely removed all of the dogs from the property.
On Thursday, ARC and Hardeman County Animal Control rescued 19 abandoned dogs from a rundown home in a residential area of Bolivar, about 70 miles east of Memphis. Five of the 19 dogs were already in the custody of animal control and officers were feeding and watering those still on the property following the owners move out of state to leave the dogs behind in mid-December.
The medium-sized, mixed-breed dogs were found exposed to the elements in a fenced yard, which was covered in piles of feces, plywood with rusty nails sticking out, cinderblocks and other hazardous trash. The dogs were all dirty, their fur was matted and they had ear and eye infections; one dog had untreated ruptured tendons in both back legs, which resulted in a deformity and arthritis. All of the dogs were social, but not used to human contact and exhibited extreme fear when handled.
“We take animal cruelty very seriously in this county but, with our shelter already at capacity, we didn’t have room for 19 more,” said Hardeman County Animal Control Officer Kimberly White. “So resources like ARC are extremely important to us in being able to address larger cases like this. I don’t know what we would do without them.”
Later Thursday, ARC volunteers rescued another 20 dogs at a third location in Tennessee.
ARC volunteers transported all of the dogs to an emergency shelter set up for the rescue, dubbed Operation Resolution, at Novamet Specialty Products in Lebanon.
Each animal will receive a thorough veterinary exam, appropriate vaccinations and any necessary medical treatment. ARC will provide daily care until the dogs are placed with shelter and rescue organizations that will ultimately adopt them into loving homes.
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.