WAVERLY, Tenn. - Eighteen animals were rescued from a property in Waverly in a mission called “Operation Out of the Ring.”
Reports from the Animal Rescue Corps stated they saved 16 dogs and 2 cats with the assistance of the Humphreys County Sheriff's Office and Animal Control.
The animals were rescued Friday from a suspected dog fighting operation, as well as a possible breeding operation.
A concerned citizen tipped off authorities of animals being held in the woods behind a home. Authorities discovered the dogs chained around the property.
The dogs were mostly American pit bull terriers and German shepherds. Officials said they all required medical attention and did not have access to food or fresh water.
Some of the animals were tethered with heavy logging chains to stakes. Others were found in pens.
Authorities said they also found more than 60 chemical barrels and makeshift shelters on the property leading officials to believe many animals had been moved off the property in the last several days.
“Efforts are currently underway to locate and rescue the rest of the dogs moved off this property,” said ARC President Scotlund Haisley, “and we and our law enforcement partners won’t give up.”
Dog fighting paraphernalia was found, including a treadmill, a springboard, and other equipment.
Officials said the dogs were underweight, had sores covering their bodies, and exhibited signs of internal and external parasites.
“Dog fighting is a felony and we take this very seriously in our county,” said Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis. “We will continue on this case until we bring everyone involved to justice.”
The animals were taken to an emergency shelter in Lebanon.
Critical financial resources for the rescue were provided by the Bissell Pet Foundation, and New Leash on Life and RARE provided logistical support.
Anyone with information about this case has been asked to call 931-296-2301.