There were more than a dozen dogs — mostly Chihuahuas, mostly extremely sick — locked inside a feces and trash filled house with no food or water in sight.
Outside, more dogs were chained up. There was a with overgrown hooves, along with hens and roosters, donkeys and ponies, also in bad shape.
None had anything to eat or drink.
On Wednesday, rescuers pulled 32 animals from the home, located about two hours from Nashville.
Scotlund Haisley, president of Animal Rescue Corps — which assisted the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department in the rescue, which aptly called “Operation Dire Straits,” said:
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 person who owns the property is 73-year-old Jesse Gilbert. Jesse told police he did not live on the property, and was breeding the dogs in order to sell them.
Police have charged him with 18 counts of animal cruelty, for what police deemed to be “clear violations of state and local animal cruelty codes,” according to a statement put out by ARC.
In the statement, David Wood of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department said:
It’s just pitiful that a dog, or any kind of animal, would be treated this way.
These creatures are going to be treated much better from now on.
Animal Rescue Corps now has legal and physical custody of all the animals. They have been taken to a temporary shelter, where they are being fed and loved, vaccinated and fixed, and provided other medical care.
Then, the animals will be available for adoption. Their hellish existence of being bred for profit completely done, their lives as loved pets just getting started.
Animal Rescue Corps relies on donations to support rescue missions like Operation Dire Straits.
ARC will post updates on Facebook — including information about how to adopt these dogs and the other rescued animals.
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