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Cops: Homeowners Moved, Left 76 Dogs Behind

Dozens of neglected animals found in filthy Tennessee home
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2022 2:58 PM CST

Police in a small Tennessee town received a tip this week from a "concerned citizen," and what they found inside a local home stunned them: dozens of dogs, crammed into a trash-filled residence that had been abandoned by its owners. Responders from the Animal Rescue Corps, called by the cops after the dogs were found, say when they arrived at the house in Dyer on Monday morning, they found the 76 small- and medium-size canines trying to survive in inhumane conditions and suffering from a range of maladies, including infections, parasite infestation, emaciation, dental issues, bite wounds, and fur loss, per Gray News.

"The dogs have been left alone, facing overcrowding, fighting, and some of the worst ammonia levels ARC has recorded to date," the nonprofit says in a Facebook post, describing what it calls "Operation Holiday Heartbreak." Crew members say that the ammonia smell, resulting from the compacted feces and urine inside the home, could be detected from the street, per WBBJ. The dogs in the house included everything "from a puppy of only three weeks to pregnant mothers to elderly dogs with dementia—they all have been severely neglected for some time," ARC's Facebook post notes. "This is a cruelty case."

Thermal imaging had to be used to scan the inside of walls and chewed-out furniture for terrified dogs. "There's so much chaos happening inside of the house ... that animals will hide," the ARC's Michael Cunningham tells WBBJ. "It's not uncommon to find animals in box springs [and] beds." The nonprofit notes that the property owners had moved away and were only coming back to feed the dogs on occasion, per WSMV. The dogs have all been successfully removed from the home and transported to the ARC's rescue center in Gallatin. They'll be tested and receive urgent care for their various conditions, then hopefully placed with forever homes. The ARC is now asking for donations to help care for the rescued pups. (Read more dogs stories.)

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