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The HSUS Helps Rescue 33 Dogs from Cruel Conditions in Tenn.

Cumberland Co. Sheriff’s Dept. and Animal Control, animal protection groups take animals to safety

  • The owners of this dog and many others face cruelty charges. Harrison McClary

  • The 33 dogs were kept in inhumane conditions and many had health issues. Harrison McClary

  • Andrea Gaskins of Cumberland County Animal Services checked over a thin dog. Harrison McClary

06-21-12 UPDATE: The Crossville, Tenn., couple was charged with animal cruelty on June 20, 2012.

The Humane Society of the United States' Animal Rescue Team was called in by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department and Cumberland County Animal Control to assist in the rescue of 33 dogs from the home of a Crossville, Tenn., couple, where the animals were being kept in inhumane conditions.

When responders arrived on the scene, they found 14 large and medium mixed-breed dogs kept chained to trees around the property without adequate shelter and 19 Chihuahuas living in small crates inside a shed without ventilation, running water, or electricity. Some of the dogs are very thin and have severe skin conditions, infections, and other medical conditions such as tick-borne disease.

Cruelty charges

After receiving a complaint, the Tennessee Division of Animal Welfare initiated an investigation of this property by the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department. The owners relinquished custody of every dog but one to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department.

The couple will be charged with animal cruelty.

Critical work

“The conditions in which these dogs were living are the definition of animal cruelty,” said Leighann McCullum, Tennessee state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Tennessee Division of Animal Welfare for the critical work they do for animals, and thanks the Cumberland County officials and all of the rescue groups who stepped in to help give these animals a better life.”

The dogs have been removed from the property and will be taken to several of The HSUS’s emergency placement partners in the state. Happy Tales Humane, McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center, A.A.R.F. (All About Rescue and Fixin’ Inc.), and Nashville Humane Association will each take a number of dogs.

The shelters will evaluate the dogs, address their medical and health needs, and place them up for adoption.

*Photos and b-roll from the rescue will be available upon request.

Media contact: Stephanie Twining, 240-751-3943, stwining@humanesociety.org

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