Fourteen animals left in a horse trailer to die were rescued. This week they're being nursed back to health by volunteers in Lebanon.
According to the Animal Rescue Corps, the Sheriff requested their assistance in Monteagle after they found an abandoned trailer in a restaurant parking lot.
"Cruelty, period," Ada Dever said. "These poor animals, what they've gone through, it really tugs at your heartstrings as sweet as they still are."
Dever, a volunteer, went to help. "We saw animals in make-shift hutches almost," Dever said. "It was wood frames with chicken wire wrapped around, completely sealed shut. No way to open up and take the animals out."
They used tools to extricate them from the trailer.
"It was easy to get them out," Dever said. "Typically cats would try to run away from you in a situation like that, but since they were starving, all we had to do was touch a bag of cat food and they came out willingly."
According to rescuers, the license plate had been removed from the trailer.
They assumed someone left the animals there because they couldn't care for them anymore.
"No way to get in there and clean it out," Dever said. "The smell, it was all ammonia. Even though it was an open horse trailer, it was still, the odor, it was unbearable."
A dog that rescuers named 'Magic' had a tumor on his eye that was removed by veterinarians.
“The big dog here, we actually thought it was his eyeball, but it was a tumor hanging down off of his face," Dever said. "A lot of long nails, really overgrown nails, tumors, internal parasites we’re finding, really bad oral issues.”
He's malnourished, so they have been feeding him four times a day.
Another dog who looked like a Chihuahua mix was hobbling around.
"This little girl, Keera, she has a couple of mammary tumors," Dever said. "As well as, you can see her hopping along, a leg injury."
According to the non-profit spokesperson, a possible owner was located. They were told charges have been expected.
"I mean who knows when they've been pet last," Dever said. "Let alone had any kind of positive human interaction."
For anyone interested in adopting one of the animals involved in this story, they will disclose the shelters where the animals will be placed next week.