ASHLAND CITY, Tenn.- Animal rescue investigators say it is one of the most
disturbing and largest alleged dog fighting operations they have ever
discovered in the state of Tennessee.
Sixty-five dogs were found chained up, emaciated and abused behind a house
on Buckeye Road in Ashland City on Thanksgiving. The dogs were found by
accident after fire fighters were called to extinguish a brush fire, the same
fire that nearly killed the dogs, in a way, also saved them.
"It's just unbelievable that these dogs are even alive. This has
been going on for probably decades," explained Scotlund Haisley with
the Animal Rescue Corps.
The organization spent the entire day Saturday cutting the dogs from chains
and placing them in crates so they could be moved to a warehouse in Lebanon
where each one will be evaluated and nursed back to health.
"It's a living hell. Absolutely horrendous conditions, I mean emaciated
pit bulls, infected, old infected wounds. Tons of scaring, broken bones, you
name it. This is one of the worst pit bull fighting cases I have ever
seen," Haisley added.
Investigators haven't charged anyone yet, but federal officials were in
Ashland City on Saturday because dog fighting is considered a federal felony.
The owner of the home where the dogs were found told officials he rents out the
house and wasn't aware the dog were being held there.
"They had no access to food or water, some of them had shelters others
didn't'," said Haisley.
Officials hope to be able to adopt out the dogs in the coming weeks but say
they first need to make sure each one is healthy.