After receiving a tip from Montgomery County investigators, the Sumner County Sheriff’s Department raided a dog rescue and training operation founded by Nicole Hulbig.
At the property located on New Deal Potts Road, authorities discovered emaciated and mistreated animals on June 5. They also collected the remains of 37 deceased dogs found decomposing in trash bags in a barn on the property.
“As soon as we exited the vehicle, we started to smell decomposition,” Sgt. Sean Ryan with Sumner County Animal Control said.
Hulbig reportedly told authorities the deceased dogs died due to an outbreak of distemper nine months ago.
“They said they didn’t know how to remove them [the deceased dogs] or who to call to have the animals removed,” Ryan said.
Animal control was able to rescue 39 other dogs on the property and one cat. According to investigators, the animals were living in deplorable conditions and were kept in cages that were too small for their breed.
“It just hurts to know that many animals were suffering over there,” one neighbor who did not want to be identified told News 2. "Do you really call them people? Someone could be that cruel to animals and claim to be a rescue and help animals and bring them in and they are dying, that's not helping them."
Hulbig faces an additional eight counts of animal cruelty out of Sumner County. She and her husband, 22-year-old Eric Hulbig, were charged with four counts of animal cruelty out of Montgomery County last week after four puppies were found dead at their home.
Anyone who recognizes any of the seized dogs as their own, is urged to email the Sumner County Animal Control at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The dogs are currently not available for adoption.