LEBANON, Tenn. - Volunteers rescued nearly three dozen animals who were living outside in deplorable conditions after a fire destroyed their home on New Year's Eve.
According to officials with the Animal Rescue Corps, Eighteen dogs, six cats, nine chickens and one duck were removed from the property in Cypress Illinois and taken to ARC’s Rescue Operations Center located in Lebanon, Tennessee.
"A lot of them were 3 or 4 in a pen so we were able to get in there and scoop them up and get them in crates," Amy Haverstick said.
According to the Animal Rescue Corps, bigger dogs were found chained up on the property.
"So they were cold and ready to be warmed up," Haverstick said.
Firefighters found the animals when they responded to the house fire in Johnson County, Illinois.
The home was destroyed, and the owner surrendered her rights to the animals.
"I would say that they had gotten in over their heads. They had too many animals than they could care for properly," Haverstick said.
One dog's collar was so tight that he has scars on his neck. On Monday he was wagging his tail in the warm emergency shelter. All the animals are expected to be okay.
Haverstick said, "As far as their health goes, we're finding internal external parasites, that type of thing ... Ducks generally like to be with other ducks and he was there by himself so I'm not sure where he came from."
Six cats were also found scouring the property for food.
Haverstick said, "They're kind of like barn cats, there are friendly ones, but we trap them quite quickly with food. They're all obviously very hungry. And very ready for something to eat."
Today they cuddled up in a warm bed and got some shut eye. In the coming days, the animals will get to see a veterinarian and be nursed back to health. The Animal Rescue Corps partners with shelters and animal adoption agencies around the country.
So when the animals leave Lebanon, they will be placed in a shelter that is the best fit for them.