The Animal Rescue Corps assisted Carroll County sheriff’s deputies Sunday to rescue about 150 animals of various species, found living in extremely neglectful conditions on a property in Atwood, about two and a half hours west of Lebanon.
About 43 large- and medium-breed dogs, including puppies, 37 cats, including litters of newborn kittens, 17 rabbits, 10 geese, eight chickens, six ducks, six goats, five sheep, five chinchillas, four ferrets and two alpacas, were found without adequate food or water.
Several dead animals were found around the property including a zebra, a cat, a duck and the remains of rabbits. Live animals were found with dead animals in the same cage.
Animals were found running loose and in cages around the property, inside a barn and in the property owner’s house and garage. The animals were all extremely dirty and suffered from heavy infestations of internal and external parasites, broken bones, extreme matting, eye and ear infections and respiratory issues caused by the extremely high ammonia levels inside the house and garage.
“This is extreme animal cruelty,” said Animal Rescue Corps president Scotlund Haisley. “I have never experienced ammonia levels this high. These animals were not living here; they were dying here. The operators of this mass breeding mill chose greed over compassion.”
The planning for the rescue began when the Animal Rescue Corps received a tip from a concerned citizen and reached out to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department. Upon serving a search warrant, the agency found several cruelty code violations and immediately engaged the Animal Rescue Corps for assistance with removing and documenting the animals.
“This county takes all cases of abuse and cruelty very seriously,” said Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson. “The law was being violated, and these animals desperately needed help, so we didn’t hesitate to take action.”
The rescue, dubbed Operation Noah’s Ark, is the Animal Rescue Corps’ third rescue operation in the past two months in Tennessee and Louisiana.
Each animal will receive a thorough veterinary exam, appropriate vaccinations and any necessary medical treatment at the operation center in Lebanon. Animal Rescue Corps will provide daily care until legal custody of the animals is determined and the animals can be placed with shelter and rescue organizations that will ultimately adopt them into loving homes.
Volunteers are currently needed to assist at the operation center for the next two weeks. Volunteers must be 18 or older, and the shifts are daily from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers will receive a T-shirt and lunch.