Animal Rescue Corps assisted the Graves County Sheriff's Office in Kentucky Tuesday with the rescue of approximately 100 dogs found to be living in deplorable conditions at a dog rescue organization in Wingo, about two hours west of Clarksville, just north of the Tennessee state line.
The dogs, of varying breeds and sizes including hound mixes, Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Maltese and Pomeranians, were found running loose among piles of debris and living in crowded, dilapidated pens and small filthy cages.
There were dead dogs and dog bones scattered throughout the property and dogs eating the remains of others.
In addition, there were several dog bodies found in burn piles.
Tuesday's rescue, dubbed Operation Sweethearts, was the result of an investigation that began one year ago following a tip from an informant. It was revealed during the investigation that at least one dog died of starvation.
"This is one of the worst cases of animal abuse I have seen," Animal Rescue Corps President Scotlund Haisley said in a release. "The dogs had no access to food, water or shelter. They were eating each other to stay alive."
The dogs were removed from the property and transported to an emergency shelter set up at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville.
There, the animals will receive veterinary exams, vaccinations and any necessary medical treatments by a team of local veterinarians.
"It's a long process because once we get them into rescue, then there is rehabilitation and we have to get them healthy, put some weight on them and learn their quirks and understand them so we know we place them in a proper home. It doesn't need to be a quick adoption," volunteer Shawn Aswad explained.
ARC will provide daily care until custody of the animals is determined and animals can be placed with shelters and rescue groups.
The owner of the dogs was taken into custody by police Tuesday.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:07 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:07:37 GMT
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