Nearly 40 dogs rescued from Macon County home

Posted: 7:02 PM, Jan 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-21 11:10:59-05
Gary Leary

LAFAYETTE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two people are behind bars after nearly 40 dogs were rescued from a hoarding situation in Macon County.

On Friday afternoon, Macon County Animal control got an unusual call.

"We got a call from neighbors that eight dogs were on the loose, attacking livestock and when I went down with the deputy, low and behold there were more at the barn." said Jamie Weekley with Macon County Animal Control.

Altogether there were 38 dogs, mostly huskies. Eighteen found in the home on Sycamore Valley Road in Lafayette, another twenty dogs were found in a nearby barn.

"They were not well taken care of, conditions were very poor…some of them are very thin and never had human contact," said Weekley.

Officers arrested 59-year-old Gary Leary and his 46-year- old wife, Jennifer. They are charged with 38 counts of animal cruelty and the killing of livestock, and being held on a $20,000 bond each. Wilson County Disaster Animal Response Team - Otherwise known as DART - was called in to assist.

"It is terribly heartbreaking but rewarding because once they come to a setting like this they are safe and secure and that's what we like to see," said Julie Hutchison, the coordinator of Wilson county DART.

Right now, 34 of the dogs survived and are being cared for. Weekley says some of the dogs belonged to other families and were taken by the Learys, including a dog that went missing for a year. That dog belonged to a family who lived right down the street.

The dogs will remain in the care of Macon County Animal Control for another week before being sent out to adoption centers. If you believe one of the dogs is yours, you can call the Macon Country Sheriff's Office. You'll need to bring proof such as pictures and dog records.

DART has set up a gofundme page to help alleviate the costs of food and care .