DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Three people involved in an animal cruelty investigation were indicted after hundreds of dogs were seized from their Madison County home, according to District Attorney General Jodi Pickens.
On August 3, 2020, the Madison County Grand Jury returned an indictment against George Andrew Doyle, Tabitha Doyle and Sandra Webb for 338 counts of cruelty to animals and a single count of tampering with evidence, according to a release from Pickens office.
The indictment stems from an investigation on June 20, 2020 by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department (MSCO) at the trio’s residence on Sanderson Road in Mercer, Tennessee.
MSCO executed a search warrant which allowed deputies to seize evidence of animal cruelty, in violation of Tennessee law, mistreatment of animals and evidence showing the sale of dogs, according to a release from the department.
Authorities seized more than 300 dogs from the property and said the execution of the search warrant took over 30 hours.
MSCO said they’ve carried out a continuing investigation of complaints about the sale of mistreated dogs involving the residents of the home before. Until now, they were not able to develop sufficient legal probable cause to obtain a search warrant.
Authorities said the dogs were living in squalid conditions.
Multiple veterinarians volunteered their services to provide triage to dogs on the scene. Several rescues like Guardians of Rescue and the Dickson County Humane Society (DCHS) are just two of the organizations that helped provide care for the animals.
Vivienne Akhdary is the General Manager of the Dickson County Humane Society. She told News 2 these situations enrage her.
“To me puppy mills are a scourge. I don’t understand how the AKC, or see how anyone can allow this to happen. It’s disgusting.”
Akhdary said DCHS took in two Doberman and six dachshunds from the rescue.
“There were a lot of rescues there, because no one can take in that kind of, you know, number of animals. The two Doberman that we took in had some issues. One had issues with his feet, apparently being kept in a crate too long that was too small for him. And he had severely infected ears, repeated infections that caused him to have swelling and be hard of hearing. The other dog was okay. He had some problems with his eyes. The decision was made by the rescue that was organizing the whole thing that they wanted them in foster homes, which I don’t disagree with. And so that they asked us if we would surrender them back to them to put them in a foster home and get them medical treatment. And we did.”
Akhdary told News 2, they provided all the care and comfort they could so the other dogs could recover.
“The six dachshunds we took in, they were very scared. One had a pretty severe case of mange and they were not very socialized. It was just enough to make you cry.”
Akhdary said these situations though difficult, are always something the Dickson County Humane Society will try to help with.
“We help that’s what we do. No matter how hard it is. My staff will work night and day for them. They love the animals, they work so hard and you know, face it. We’re a nonprofit, we don’t pay a lot of money. But, I have dedicated people who care. And that makes all the difference.”
Now, all six dachshunds are living in foster homes. Akhdary said seeing their progress makes it all worthwhile.
“Life is new for them. They’ve really blossomed and they’re very happy little dogs right now. We can’t adopt them out yet. We can’t even spay or neuter them right now until the legal part of this is done. And, I don’t know how long that will take. But in the meantime, they’re in happy homes and doing well.”
You can make a donation to the Dickson County Humane Society here.
George Andrew Doyle, Tabitha Doyle and Sandra Webb will be arraigned in Madison County Circuit Court.
MCSO said they are working with State Senator Ed Jackson and Representatives Chris Todd and Johnny Shaw to address weaknesses in Tennessee law regarding ‘puppy mills’.
Courtesy to WBBJ for video and photos from the scene.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.