More Than 100 Dogs Rescued From Property Near Lebanon
Tennessee State Fair Grounds, Nashville
LEBANON, Tenn. – More than 100 dogs were rescued from a "hoarding situation" at a property near Lebanon.
Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) said approximately 110 medium to large dogs were living in feces-laden pens with no doors on property in southeast Wilson County. The dogs only had dilapidated wooden boxes and rusted-through metal bins for housing, the organization said.
"It's two decades worth of suffering on this property," ARC President Scotlund Haisley said.
Spokesmen said the dogs had no shaded relief from recent hot temperatures, nor any clean water. One dog was found dead, and evidence suggested others may not have survived.
"Animal control started here eight years ago," Wilson County Animal Control Director Mary Burger said. "And they tried helping her. They spade some of them and brought them back to her. But she would agree on that, but she wouldn't let them have the dogs."
The rescued dogs suffered from a range of medical problems, such as mange, broken legs, bone disorders, conjunctivitis, and blindness resulting from their living conditions and the absence of daily care and medical attention.
Many of the dogs are unsocialized to humans and shy because they have not received attention. All of the animals were surrendered to Wilson County Animal Control.
"Fortunately we're actually already starting to see signs of them wanting to be social," Haisley added.
The Animal Rescue Corps said the situation started with eight unsterilized dogs two decades ago, and developed into the largest rescue in Wilson County.
The dogs were taken to an emergency shelter set up at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville, where the animals will be treated by veterinarians. ARC will provide daily care until they can be placed with shelters and rescue groups.
"Now they will find somebody who will love them, and spend time with them, and hug on them, and kiss them," neighbor Tina Kelley said. "Let them be a dog."
Law enforcement says an agreement has been reached with the owner to ensure that the hoarding does not happen again.
"She's not a bad person and she means well," Burger said about the owner whose name was not released. "I really don't think she knew how bad the situation was because she was feeding and watering these animals. (But) It takes more. You have to be a companion. You have to love them and pet them."
Charges are not expected to be filed. Wilson County officials say they are focused on making sure the dogs get into good homes.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)