MACON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Multiple people were taken into custody after more than 30 animals were rescued from a backyard breeding mill in Macon County.

Animal Rescue Corps (ARC) said it joined the Macon County Sheriff’s Office to seize 26 large dogs, including 24 Great Danes, as well as five cats, two chinchillas, and one small dog from a property in Lafayette on Thursday, March 23.

According to the animal protection nonprofit, the dogs’ owners were arrested and charged with animal cruelty after authorities discovered the dogs were living in “deplorable conditions.”

The organization said the dogs were crammed into filthy wire cages inside a small shed, leaving them exposed to extremely high ammonia levels. Meanwhile, other animals were reportedly left in muddy makeshift kennels, which were flooded by what appeared to be overflowing septic waste.

ARC said many of the dogs were suffering from a variety of medical conditions, such as high ammonia exposure, puncture wounds, pressure wounds, mammary tumors, overgrown nails, pressure wounds, skin inflammation, ear and eye infections and injuries, and worms and other internal parasites.

“This is a clear case of animal neglect and abuse with some of the highest ammonia levels we’ve ever measured,” said ARC’s executive director, Tim Woodward. “These breeding mills put profit above the welfare of the animals and it’s the animals who suffer.”

The nonprofit said it transported all of the animals — which were legally surrendered by the property owners — to ARC’s Rescue Center in Gallatin

“Each animal is receiving a thorough veterinary exam, appropriate vaccinations, and any necessary medical treatments until they are matched and transported to trusted shelter and rescue partner organizations that will ultimately adopt them into loving homes,” the organization said in a statement on Sunday, March 26.

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According to ARC, it will share its list of shelter and rescue placement partners on Facebook after the animals are transferred.

Meanwhile, the nonprofit said the Macon County animals are in urgent need of medical, physical, and emotional care, which require funds. As a result, any donation made to ARC to support these animals or the organization’s other work will be matched dollar for dollar up to $15,000 by the BISSELL Pet Foundation.

If you want to make a donation to help these animals saved from the breeding mill, follow this link. You can also volunteer to help care for them at the ARC Rescue Center by emailing