Rescue workers freed almost 100 dogs who had been kept locked up in squalid conditions in a blacked-out barn in Tennessee.
The dogs were found this past Saturday in a barn in Manchester, Tennessee, in complete darkness, with many of them emaciated and “living in several inches of their own waste” and close to death.
The Huffington Post reports that some canines had acid burns from the ammonia of their own urine. There was also a wheelbarrow in the barn laden with 10 dead dog corpses, piled on top of one another and covered in maggots. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Animal Rescue Corps workers help free almost 100 dogs who had been locked up in cages in a barn in Manchester, Tennessee, surrounded by their own waste on Saturday.
2. Workers described the animals as being overcome with fear after living in tiny cages and total darkness for an unknown period.
3. Some of the breeds were unrecognizable because the dogs were covered in so much waste.
Scotlund Haisley, president of Animal Rescue Corps, which led the rescue operation, said:
They had been suffering a very long time. I saw little to no emotion, and when I did see an emotion, I saw fear.
The property owner, who has been identified as 64-year-old Caroline Irby, was charged on Monday with 10 counts of animal cruelty and booked into the Coffee County jail on a $10,000 bond.
The rescued dogs were mostly adults and were from all kinds of breeds, including Shih Tzus, Golden Retrievers, Yorkshire Terriers and Border Collies.
4. The female owner of the Tennessee property has been charged with animal cruelty. Hoarding is an illness, authorities said.
5. The 97 dogs were in conditions that Animal Rescue Corps described as the worst they’ve ever seen.
6. The dogs were kept in a barn without any windows in Coffee County, Tennessee.
Haisley said that bringing the canines outside was a stunning sight. He told The HuffPost:
Something magical happened that I had never seen before in my 26-year-old long career.
When we brought everyone out, they all did the same thing.
They shot their noses up to the sky, and what we believe they were doing was absorbing the sunshine and the oxygen.
7. Each of the dogs was assessed individually and then sent for treatment in Lebanon, Tennessee.
8. The dogs were mostly all adults and a variety of breeds including Golden Retrievers, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers and Border Collies, but some were so dirty it was hard to tell.
9. The property owner, identified as 64-year-old Caroline Irby, was charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty on Monday and booked into the Coffee County jail on a $10,000 bond.
Smyrna-based vet Jackie Jones was among the many people enlisted to treat and care for the dogs due to the overwhelming number who needed help.
Many more volunteers have also joined the effort. Jones told The Daily News Journal:
Words can’t describe how it was.
It was deplorable. There was so much neglect.
10. Dozens of workers and volunteers attend to the dogs as part of the massive rescue operation.
11. The animals were relocated to a shelter in Lebanon, Tennessee, where they are recovering.
12. Nearly 100 dogs were rescued on Saturday from a property in Coffee County, Tennessee, where officials say they were living in total darkness inside a squalid, windowless barn.
The dogs were each examined and moved to a shelter in Lebanon, where their treatment has continued.
Apart from being hungry and indescribably filthy, the biggest issue with most of the rescued canines was their light deprivation, which has caused heart problems and infections.
It is expected that Animal Rescue Corps will care for the dozens of canines for at least one-and-a-half to two weeks and give them medical grooming, vet exams, vaccines and decompression time, according to the DNJ.
To donate to Animal Rescue Corps, visit www.animalrescuecorps.org/donate.
13. Workers said the dogs turned their heads and noses to the sun once outside.
14. Besides being hungry and incredibly filthy, the biggest problem with most of them was light deprivation, which brought on heart problems and infections.
15. Many of the cages were rusted shut and the dogs had not appeared to have been fed in some time.
Neighbors have since described Irby as a nice woman.
They have said that they have never suspected Irby was a dog hoarder or saw any evidence of so many canines living on the land.
It is unclear at this point how the police first came to find the dogs hidden in Irby’s barn.
16. The operation will continue for another week or two, such was the state of the dogs.
17. Rescue workers freed almost 100 dogs who had been kept locked up in a blacked-out barn in squalid conditions in Tennessee.
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